Health Care Conference to Examine Unprecedented Consumer Choice, March 1

From technological innovations like genetic testing to the system changes stemming from Obamacare, consumers are facing more choices than ever in caring for their own health.

This expansion of consumer choice, and the opportunities and challenges it creates for companies and organizations, will be the central theme of the Berkeley-Haas Business of Healthcare Conference: Embracing Consumer Choice on March 1. The seventh annual conference will bring together more than 300 health care industry professionals, academics, and students at San Francisco’s Hotel Nikko.

Organized by the Haas Healthcare Association, the conference is expected to sell out quickly. For more information and registration, visit

“The major health care reforms that were confirmed in November place a substantial amount of responsibility on the consumer making the right decisions. The big question is, will that happen?” says conference co-chair Tara English, MBA13. “It’s a monumental challenge with far-reaching implications for the business models of traditional health care companies.”

The morning keynote speaker is G. Steven Burrill, CEO of Burrill & Company, a venture capital and merchant banking firm he founded in 1994 that invests in life sciences. Burrill has been involved with the biotechnology industry for more than 40 years, including 28 years with Ernst & Young, where he directed services for clients in life sciences, biotechnology, and manufacturing.

Ken Shachmut, executive vice president and chief financial officer for Safeway Health and senior vice president for Safeway, will give the afternoon keynote address.

Conference attendees will get to experience firsthand how to create a consumer-friendly health care experience using human-centered design in an interactive workshop led by Haas Senior Lecturer Sara Beckman. The day also includes a live demo/rocket pitch session showcasing new decision-making tools for patients and providers.

Morning sessions include a discussion on the future of personalized health care and a panel on innovative solutions in global health with Charmaine Pattinson, director of the Clinton Health Access Initiative. Afternoon sessions will cover startups and venture capital investing with a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs and VCs, and a panel on prevention with Lisa Schilling, national vice president for health care performance improvement with Kaiser Permanente.