Carlson School of Management

Pulse - Spring 2013


Institute news

Pellere - By Stephen Parente, PhD, director

May 2013 marked the fifth anniversary of the first time a Carlson School MBA student earned a medical industry specialization. Our program's humble beginnings lay with just two students and a small staff back in 2008, but have grown to a thriving program from which over 25 students graduated with a MILI specialization this spring.

There have been many markers that we've "arrived" in these past five years, and I'm happy to announce yet another: This year Marissa Szody, Hilary Johnson, and Jennifer Cutshall represented our program in the inaugural Business School Alliance for Health Management (BAHM) Case Competition hosted by Harvard Business School and they took second place. As new members of the elite BAHM community, our students really made their mark! They competed with some of the finest students from the finest MBA programs in the country (and, indeed, around the world), and their success has brought excitement and pride to our whole community.

The announcement of the BAHM team's placement came the day after commencement, always a time of reflection. Each spring, formally and informally, we evaluate our program and think of lofty new goals. We congratulate graduates as they move into new, exciting roles. And we begin dreaming of how we'll make our program bigger and better every year. Here's to year six!


Field Reports

San Francisco:
In January 2013, a group of MILI Affiliates traveled to San Francisco with MILI Director Professor Stephen Parente, Executive in Residence Dr. Susan Alpert, and Assistant Director Jessica Haupt. Over three days, the group met with leaders in medical industry innovation, applying classroom learning to industry knowledge outside the Midwest. They discussed health care delivery with Shelley Oberlin, an accomplished industry consultant, and Joanne Spetz, a professor with the Center for Health Professions at the University of California San Francisco, and they took on health care financing with Josh Baltzell, the managing director of Split Rock Partners, as well as Jim Phillips and Brian Kalis from Accenture. In the third of the in-depth sessions, the group took a big picture look at health care reform with Alpert, Parente, and Thom Gunderson, a managing director and senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray. The trip concluded with a tour of the McKesson Vision Center. It was an exciting time to be in San Francisco where the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference and its many surrounding events were underway. Summing up the experience, MILI Affiliate Stephan Dunning wrote, "It was terrific to meet and converse with each of the invited experts," and "Being around (and in!) the JP Morgan Conference was a great opportunity to understand an aspect of the industry to which I am not typically exposed."

Washington, D.C.:
While most students and faculty members look forward to a relaxing spring break with nothing on the agenda, MILI students, faculty, and Affiliates high-tailed it to Washington, D.C. for an intensive opportunity to see health care policy makers in action. In three fast days, the group met with legislative representatives from the Office of Congressmen Erik Paulsen and Keith Ellison of Minnesota, and Senator Mitch McConnell's chief of staff, Josh Holmes. This, of course, gave the group a good overview of the legislative wrangling over the Affordable Care Act, opposed by Paulsen and McConnell, but championed by Ellison. The Minnesota group was also able to visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Congressional Budget Office, both key players in the health care debate.


Lunch - and Learning

MILI is pleased to invite our wide constituency to attend our monthly Lunch and Learn sessions, whether in person or online with the web conference links listed on our website. Sessions are held at the Carlson School from noon to 1:00 p.m., and they bring the latest in health policy, regulatory affairs, and insider views on medical innovation news at the federal level to the public in presentations and lively discussion over lunch.

Sessions have included discussions led by Harvard's Michael E. Chernew and our own Stephen Parente, our Executive in Residence, Susan Alpert, and Michael Ramlet, the founder and editor of The Morning Consult. For more information, please visit


Research Seminars

Luke Froeb Research Seminar

MILI teamed up with the Department of Health Policy and Management in the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health to present February's seminar, "The Competitive Effects of Hospital Mergers." In this well-attended event, Professor Luke M. Froeb of Vanderbilt University discussed his tenure as the director of the Bureau of Economics at the Federal Trade Commission. Under his watch, the FTC successfully sued to block the Evanston-Highland Park hospital merger in a landmark case that led to the adoption of travel cost models. These, in turn, created smaller markets and more aggressive agency enforcement. Froeb used his Carlson School seminar to reflect on this case and the ability of travel cost models to predict the effects of hospital mergers and the role competition plays as providers increasingly move toward consolidation.


Karoline Mortenson Research Seminar

On Wednesday, May 22, MILI welcomed Professor Karoline Mortenson of the Department of Health Services Administration in the School of Public Health at the University of Maryland, College Park. In her talk entitled "Can Global Budgets in Healthcare Create the Right Quality Incentives", she explored a "global payment" model encompassing both inpatient and outpatient care in eight rural hospitals: the Total Patient Revenue system (or TPR). She shared the preliminary results of her examination of the program's efficacy. As she writes in the paper upon which her presentation was based, she found that TPR program implementation seems to be associated with a slight increase in readmissions, but did not affect hospital quality. Payment innovations that provide financial incentives for lowering costs while maintaining quality care may not hold the quick results many hope for.

This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health.


Insiders View: Practitioner's Perspective

Innovation in Pediatric Devices

On March 6, MILI hosted a panel discussion on how the health care device market is shifting to match the unique needs of pediatric patients. Speakers included Bradley Slaker, MBA, the founder and executive director of DesignWise Medical; Susan Alpert, MD, PhD, MILI's Executive in Residence; and Gwen Fisher, MD, a co-founder and director of Pediatric Innovation with the Minnesota Pediatric Devices Consortia. At this event, particularly embraced by our New Product Design and Business Development students, attendees learned about providing solutions for a very special constituency.


UnitedHealth Group Actuarial Seminar

In early April, MILI hosted the latest in its signature series of practitioner-student events, the UnitedHealth Group Actuarial Seminar. Ian Duncan, vice president of outcomes and analytics with Walgreen Companies, presented "What Can Massachusetts Health Care Reform Teach Us About the ACA?" Among the 50 attendees were a group of undergraduate scholarship recipients who eagerly chimed in with their questions about the future of actuarial science and its American health care implications.


Medical Industry Opportunities in Brazil

On May 14, MILI and the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) hosted an on-campus afternoon session providing insight into the Brazilian health care market and system, including the public and private sectors, the role of government, and recent policy changes. Attendees learned about the opportunities and challenges for U.S. companies doing business in Brazil, which is the largest medical equipment market in South America and among the five largest pharmaceutical markets worldwide.

The event's keynote speaker was Simon Stevens, president global health and executive vice president, UnitedHealth Group. Panelists were Tamer Abdelgawad senior director, international policy at Pfizer, Shira Kelber, a McKinsey & Company consultant, and Renato Romani, a Brazilian physician and entrepreneur. Native Brazilian, Dr. Romani added a very interesting first hand look into his country.


Design of Medical Devices Conference 2013

MILI was proud to continue as a sponsor for December's 12th Annual Design of Medical Devices Conference in Minneapolis. This national forum brought together world-class designers, researchers, manufacturers, and the public to share cross-disciplinary perspectives on healthcare innovation and production. It also showcased the University of Minnesota's leading role in the medical device community and raised funds to support education of future leaders. Over three days, this confluence covered everything from emerging laser therapies to nano devices in poster presentations and technical sessions.

MILI fellows Adrine Chung and Beth Lindborg presented their research on, "A Case Study of Failed, Venture Funded, Medical Device Start-up Companies." Their presentation was followed by a panel discussion with Executive in Residence, Susan Alpert and Valuation Lab faculty Randy Nelson. The research paper was developed by a team of MILI fellows which, in addition to the two speakers, included Justin Paur, Kyle Spears and Jason Humphrey.

By all accounts a smashing success, next year's iteration of this world-class conference is already being planned. For more, visit


New MILI Working Papers Now Available

MILI's latest working paper, "Lean Healthcare: Controlling Cost through Better Care" is now available online.

W. Edwards Deming said, "It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best." All healthcare leaders are looking for solutions to rising healthcare costs, poor quality outcomes and poor patient safety. There is no easy fix; however, a few healthcare organizations with forward thinking leaders chose the very unpopular approach of implementing Lean. These leaders were rewarded by implementing positive transformations to their institutions including marked decreases in costs and increase in quality care for their patients. By dedicating funding and resources to the implementation of Lean, these healthcare institutions have been recognized nationally and internationally for their quality improvements and have become leaders in the field of quality improvement. Discover how healthcare organizations dedicated to Lean have saved millions of dollars while improving quality of care and patient safety. The piece was written by Frank R. Lowe, MHI '13, Senior Systems Analyst at Park Nicollet Health Services as part of his capstone project for his Masters of Health Informatics degree.


Get Social with MILI

Have you connected with MILI online yet? It's the best way to stay up to date on our events, networking opportunities, and developing courses. It may even help connect companies and prospective hires! Get in on the action here:

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New Advanced Learning Opportunities for Professionals

The Carlson School is excited to open up a new opportunity for professionals to access cutting-edge classes offered through MILI. Taken on a non-credit basis, these courses allow already accomplished professionals to advance - whether they work toward an Executive Education Certificate in Medical Industry Leadership or simply hope to deepen their health care knowledge in a specific topic area.

Why enroll? Success in every profession requires intelligence, drive, and curiosity. Our Executive Education program caters to early- to mid-career professionals who are looking to expand their skill sets and explore fast-changing fields. As you know, MILI is marked by its investment in lifelong learning, valuing the mutual benefits of interaction among students, faculty, and global industry executives. Together, we can help you build your expertise, resume, and career in heath care.

A typical Carlson Executive Education participant will have a bachelor's or master's degree, as well as 3-5 years of professional experience in some sector of the medical industry. Our participants are often supported by their firm in their pursuit of a rigorous, relevant knowledge base.

For more information, please visit

Students in Focus

Course Spotlight: New Product Design and Business Development

When we say "interdisciplinary", we mean it. For several years now, the Carlson School and the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota have been teaming up to present the New Product Design and Business Development course, bringing students in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, business and entrepreneurship, and, of course, MBA students participating in the Medical Industry Leadership Institute together. In this yearlong experiential learning course, students collaborate with faculty advisors, corporate mentors, and real sponsor clients to design and prototype new products and develop comprehensive business plans. And then your product faces the ultimate final exam: a launch into the competitive marketplace.

Since its inception, the New Product Design and Business Development teams have completed nearly 100 projects, successfully placed several products on the market, and generated many patents. Projects have included work for Medtronic, Best Buy, and Tennant, and are especially relevant to those students interested in facets of the health care field and medical innovation.

Speaking of innovation, course instructor Paul Iaizzo, Professor of Surgery, is excited about the latest development in the course: evening classes. "This next year, on a trial basis, the lectures will be provided as an evening course, with corporate sponsor meetings during regular working hours," Iaizzo tells us. "If this seems like an attractive option, we may keep it going." Additionally, he says, "We hope to also engage more faculty from across the University in full- and part-time mentor roles, too."

As the program office puts it, "Everyone wins. Sponsor companies keep the intellectual property and gain access to the University's faculty, facilities, and best students. Students win by working with leading companies on cross-disciplinary teams managing technology for real-world products. The University wins by developing long-term relationships." This program builds intellectual bridges and innovative products.

To learn more about this course, offered as an elective for MILI students, visit or


Student Spotlight: Eric Smith

"When you work in one part of the health care world - in my case, in policy and legal work within a hospital - you can easily think your part matters most, and of course, that you have the smartest people," says Eric Smith. After his first year in the Carlson School's MBA program in the MILI track, he tells us, "I now know students from every sector of the health care world, and that's given me a more holistic view. My fellow students are also amazing resources; I can't count the number of times I've drawn upon their knowledge."

Smith was a successful lawyer working as the Child Health Policy and Advocacy coordinator at Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota when he learned about MILI's program from an alum, Chris Ghere ('12 MBA). "My last job - and best job - was a unique mix of hospital legal work, health care policy work, and payment reform work. The last two were the most interesting to me," Smith reflects. Talking with Ghere, he realized he needed a better understanding of business to really do meaningful work in the areas he liked best, and the Carlson School was the key.

"Carlson has a national reputation, amazing MILI faculty, and intimate connections with Minnesota's nation-leading health care industry. Why go anywhere else?"

As a student, Smith says that his favorite project has been creating a market sizing plan for MILI director Stephen Parente's Health Care Marketplace course. In the project, Smith needed to consider how to expand Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) services in Minnesota in a way that best took advantage of the Medicaid expansion. It also needed to address the new health care reform act, ACA, and its increased emphasis on primary and preventive care. "It put actual dollars to a health care reform implementation that will legitimately help patients stay healthy," Smith says. And, of course, it let him learn more about implementing legislation, bringing policy into practice in his two areas of affinity.

When it comes to the future, Smith is confident. "Upon graduation, I'd love to be directing a hospital business operations department, working on network integration at a health plan, or consulting for a firm," he says. He'll get a good start with a hospital consulting internship this summer, and hopes it'll jump start his big dreams. "One way or another, I want to be a thought leader and an influencer in the health care world," he says. We don't doubt that he will change the health care landscape.


MILIsa Update

MILIsa president Hilary Johnson ('13 MHA/MBA) reports that the organization kicked off the spring semester by hosting a lunch and learn featuring Mark Bratland, vice president of operations for DaVita, and by visiting the University of Minnesota's Visible Heart Lab. In mid-March, the group held its board elections for 2013-2014, and Johnson is pleased to announce the group's new leadership team: Marissa Szody, president, and vice presidents Brandon Cox, Janessa Nickell, Jenny Hong, Eric Smith, and Brian Chen.

In April, Marissa Szody, Hilary Johnson, and Jennifer Cutshall represented Carlson in the 2013 Business School Alliance for Health Management Case Competition hosted by Harvard Business School. The competition featured teams from ten universities and our own Stephen Parente served as one of the six faculty judges. Final presentations had to be done via video as events surrounding the Boston bombings prohibited teams from traveling to Harvard, and on Tuesday, May 21 it was announced that our team won second place. The topic of the competition was Entrepreneurship in Global Health.

Additionally, Jennifer Hong, Janessa Nickell, Erik Greene, Brian Chen, and Dustin Nides competed in the Johns Hopkins Healthcare Business Case Competition, sponsored by Pfizer and themed "Overcoming Barriers to Adult Vaccination." In May, MILIsa closed out the semester by hosting a lunch and learn featuring Josh Baltzell from Split Rock Partners.


Congratulations, Graduates!

MILI is proud to formally recognize those 2013 graduates who have earned their specialization. These graduates did a fantastic job and are now a part of a group of over 150 affiliates.

  • Agcamaran, Rommel John
  • Albrecht, Scott Michael
  • Aoudia, Stacy Lynn Preble
  • Atkinson, Christopher Michael
  • Chaudhary, Avantika
  • Chung, Tai-lien
  • Cutshall, Jennifer A
  • Dantes, Cristy Sonza
  • Domenighi, Alvaro Silva
  • Flaherty, Nathaniel Christopher
  • Halverson, Brett A
  • Hoag, Brian Edwin
  • Kelecic, Jason Michael
  • Maas, Marc Richard
  • McQuiston, Jack Raymond
  • Ostlund, Emily Elizabeth
  • Parker, Robert Kendall
  • Pedalty, Lindsay Anne
  • Reiter, Jessica Mollie
  • Roller, Stephen Andrew
  • Samuelson, Patrick Robert
  • Sawyer, Christopher S
  • Sharma, Nikhil
  • Srinivasan, Shankar
  • Stoddard, Abigail Frances
  • Tait, Erin Catherine

Focus on Faculty

Faculty Spotlight: Qingfeng Liu

Qingfeng Liu is a new MILI visiting faculty member, having arrived in February, just in time to see early spring, the return of winter, a glimpse of summer, more winter, and finally, a glorious Minnesota launch into summer. Along with his family, Professor Liu is quickly settling into life in the Twin Cities, where he will work closely with Stephen Parente as he continues his comparative study of the American and Chinese healthcare industries, as well as the regulations each country imposes on the health sectors. Dr. Liu comes to the Carlson School from the Shanghai Medical Instrumentation College where he is a professor and postgraduate supervisor. If you are interested in contacting him about his research, please email

Alumni & Friends

Affiliate Spotlight: Adrine Chung

MILI Affiliate Adrine Chung, director of business operations for the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, might have become an Affiliate because she's a grateful alumna. Or maybe it's because she wants her organization to hire well-rounded graduates with real-world experience. Or maybe it's because the program prepared her so well for a career trajectory that would tie her biochem and physiology education and clinical and hospital setting experience so perfectly. But most likely? It's because she owes MILI Affiliate Board President and former classmate Stephan Dunning credit for finding her the perfect job.

"I have much to thank Carlson and MILI for: I value the networking opportunities and colleagues I have met through the Carlson School, but it was MILI that provided me with a focused group of individuals with whom I could form deep friendships and build a resource base," Chung tells us.

She advises current MILI students to focus on the chances they get to see how the health care industry works on many levels. "There is a lot of uncertainty and ambiguity in my current role, but I have been able to leverage the knowledge and applicable experience I gained from the MILI and MBA programs to make the most informed decisions that have so far ...knock on wood... haven't resulted in any disasters!" She also hopes MILI students put a premium on the networking aspects of the program - obviously very important in her own trajectory. "I think it's a common theme that the Carlson School does a phenomenal job of emphasizing, but MILI has a distinct benefit for students and alumni. The medical industry is very unique, and the programs MILI administers, from the student association to courses, the Affiliate program, and field trips, provide a customized network," she says.

Chung goes on to say, "I obviously attribute my current position to the contact I made through the MILI program, but I have also had the privilege of working with four peers in the MILI Fellows program, and that has opened unexpected doors, too. Recently, we completed a case study in venture-funded, start-up medical device companies that failed...we were able to do interviews with executives, investors, and regulators who had been directly involved with the cases, and I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in a previously unfamiliar area." Even after graduation, Chung is still looking to MILI for educational opportunities and chances to connect.

She's also on the lookout for ways to close the circle, bringing her talents and experience back to the Carlson School and to other MILI students. "I see myself as an ambassador for MILI; it's a two-way street, where I benefit from the connections and experience of others and hope to provide the same to my fellow affiliates," she says.


MILI Affiliate Executive Board Update

Since our last update, the Board has experienced some turnover. Your current Affiliate Board consists of Adrine Chung, Stephan Dunning, and Creighton Long. With the helpful support of MILI staff, Monica Kenney and Jessica Haupt, we have organized ourselves to actively serve our other Affiliate members and provide exciting events. Many, many thanks to outgoing members Eric Schaefer, David Edgerton, Anil Asrani, and Archana Balasubramanyam for their time and participation in the Board's efforts.

This spring we hosted a MILI Student and Affiliate networking happy hour in Minneapolis, and a site visit at the VA Campus with MILI Affiliate Eric Geurkink, Chief of Pharmacy.

Early summer will also mark the return of the MILI Affiliate Roundtable. These events bring together a small group of Affiliates to discuss a specific medical industry topic with a guest industry leader. Watch your email for an invite to these exclusive industry events!


Become an Affiliate

Institute Affiliates are members of the medical industry community interested in engaging with MILI. By becoming an MILI Affiliate, members gain ongoing access to the school's faculty research, lifelong learning programs, students interested in the industry, and opportunities to network with industry leaders. In return for their volunteer service, Affiliates have access to:

  • Cases from student experiential learning projects and work site innovations
  • Medical industry data resources
  • Affiliate member directory
  • Networking opportunities
  • Discount on medical industry Carlson School Executive Education courses
  • Opportunity to visit a MILI class session
  • Subscription to The Morning Consult, emails focused on current news, op-ed, and academic articles
  • An Invitation to the Medical Industry Valuation Laboratory open house to see public disclosures of new innovations

You can find the Affiliate application online at For more information or to make a suggestion regarding the kind of events you would like the Affiliate Board to focus their efforts on, please email the Board at


The Medical Industry Leadership Institute is funded by the generous support of the National Industry Council, Valuation Lab partners, alumni, and friends. Through community support, MILI is able to offer unparalleled classroom experiences and industry-impacting events. To make a tax-deductible gift to MILI's Program Support Fund (#5295), please visit

If you would prefer to support a specific program, please select a fund number below and contact Monica Kenney at

  • Research Support Fund (#3609): General research expenses. Contributions provide funds to further MILI's research portfolio which includes seminars, publications, and research data.
  • MILI Discovery Fund (#6087): Support experiential learning of the Medical Industry Valuation Laboratory course. Contributions provide funds for initiatives and educational experiences that facilitate market valuations of new innovations for the medical industry and enhance the potential to bring new technologies to market.
  • Carl N. Platou Leadership Competition Fund (#6357): Contributions support the scholarships awarded to the winners of the Carl N. Platou Leadership Competition, where students are recognized for their skills in leadership traits and innovative thinking, as displayed by an elite group of students in the spirit of Carl N. Platou.

Donors will receive stewardship gifts based on giving levels.

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