Keynote Speakers

We are pleased to announce the conference will feature Gary M. Ahlquist, Michael J. Barber, and Dawn M. Owens as keynote speakers:

Gary D. Ahlquist
Senior Partner, Healthcare Practice
Booz & Company

Mr. Gary Ahlquist is a Chicago-based Senior Partner who leads Booz & Companyís work for healthcare clients worldwide. He specializes in strategy and organization development for health plans, insurance companies, and providers. A pioneer of the consumer health movement, he has authored many articles and speaks frequently on the future of the American health system.

In his twenty-nine years with Booz & Company, Mr. Ahlquist has worked with numerous clients in the insurance industry (all lines) including corporate and business unit strategy development, and major transformation programs to accelerate insurersí transitions to best-in-class performance.

Sample client assignments led by Mr. Ahlquist over the years include the development of new product, market, distribution, diversification, and acquisition strategy studies; merger and post-merger integration of several corporations; and assisting more than fifty hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, and medical group practices in developing strategies and in their implementation.

Mr. Ahlquist is a member of the firmís Board of Directors. He serves on the Chicago 2016 Olympics Committee, Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Executive Committee of the Kellogg Corporate Governance Conference, and is the immediate past-Chairman of Childrenís Home + Aid.

Mr. Ahlquist received a BS from Tufts University and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Michael J. Barber
Healthymagination, GE Healthcare

Michael J. Barber is a GE Officer and VP of GE’s Healthymagination business strategy on global health.  The Healthymagination charter is (by 2015) to improve the quality of care by 15% or more, reduce the cost of procedures and processes through the appropriate use of GE technologies and services by 15% and increase access to technologies and services essential to health by 15%.

Prior to this position Barber, a 25+ year GE veteran, was Vice President, Chief Technology Officer for GE Healthcare, leading a technology team of more than 7,000 engineers, technologists and scientists working in diverse fields such as MRI, CT, ultrasound, patient monitoring, anesthesia, life sciences, imaging contrast agents and health-related R&D. Healthcare’s revenue totals over $17B and the company spends over $1B annually for R&D.

Barber started with GE in 1982 and has had a variety of roles in engineering, operations and product management.  As the Manager of the Digital X-ray Detector Platform, Barber led a team that eliminated the need for film in X-ray procedures.  Barber holds patents for novel X-ray system designs and has been directly involved with many product advances in the field of diagnostic imaging.

Dawn M. Owens
OptumHealth, a UnitedHealth Group business unit

Dawn Owens is chief executive officer of OptumHealth, a UnitedHealth Group business and one of the nation's largest health and wellness companies. She leads nearly 11,000 employees in providing information, tools and solutions that people use to navigate the health care system, finance their health care needs and achieve their wellness goals. Owens became CEO of OptumHeath in 2007. Under her leadership, the company has quickly become a health and wellness leader, now serving nearly 60 million people through programs offered by employers, payers and public sector entities.

Since joining UnitedHealth Group in 1997, Owens has held numerous leadership positions, including chief marketing officer of Ingenix, which focuses on transforming health care through information and technology, and president of UnitedHealthcare National Accounts (formerly known as Uniprise Strategic Solutions), UnitedHealthcare's business providing customized health, well-being, productivity and administrative solutions to large employers. She began her health care career at Aetna Health Plans.

Owens holds a bachelor's degree in International Business and German from Grove City College in Pennsylvania, and studied at Marburg Universitaet in Germany. She attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Owens also serves on the board of Hope for New York, a non-profit focused on poverty issues.


© Kellogg School of Management 2009