Healthcare at Kellogg

Master the business of healthcare

The program for Healthcare at Kellogg is built on the reality that U.S. healthcare is fundamentally a business. Rising leaders in healthcare must be excellent general managers, who also:
  • Know how healthcare markets, institutions, offerings and policy interact
  • Understand divergent responsibilities of providers, product manufacturers and insurers
  • Identify the regulatory, cultural, and moral dimensions of the industry
  • Capture healthcare opportunities and overcome challenges at the public-private intersection

HCAK ties theory and practice to go well beyond academic learning. The program's courses and experiential-learning platform emphasize the public-private nature of healthcare today.

Craig Garthwaite
Faculty Director, HCAK
Julie Gertz
Program Development Manager

The Kellogg approach to healthcare

Students who choose the HCAK pathway benefit from the school’s extensive resources for top managers along with healthcare-specific offerings. No matter their previous experience, students leave the HCAK pathway as effective leaders who are able to make productive decisions in this critical sector.


Foundational courses integrate fundamental managerial disciplines with deep exposure to the industries that comprise the healthcare sector.


Advanced courses apply foundational concepts to specific problems facing managers in the life-sciences and payer-provider sectors.


As a capstone to the pathway, HCAK students hone their skills through an experiential course or fieldwork.

View our academic pathway

The Healthcare at Kellogg (HCAK) pathway prepares students for the unique challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector. Foundational HCAK offerings integrate fundamental managerial disciplines (e.g., economics, strategy) with deep exposure to the industries comprising the healthcare sector, while advanced courses apply these concepts to the specific problems facing managers in the life sciences and payer/provider sectors. As a capstone to the pathway, HCAK students may test and hone their skills through an experiential or field course.

Faculty sponsors: Craig Garthwaite (Strategy)

Healthcare at Kellogg (HCAK)

1 | Foundational

Healthcare Strategy
STRT 443

Health Economics
STRT 444
These courses expose students to a set of fundamental issues facing health enterprises in the healthcare sector (both life sciences and payer/provider segments). We recommend students take at least one of these courses. They are designed to have limited overlap and many students choose to take more than one.

2 | Depth

Life Sciences / Products Track

These courses prepare students for the strategic and managerial challenges unique to life sciences companies.

Critical Issues in the Pharmaceutical, Biotech, and Medical Device Industries
HCAK 453

Biomedical Marketing
HCAK 470

Pharmaceutical Strategy
HCAK 931-5

Intellectual Capital Management*
STRT 441
*Recommended that students complete the healthcare option for final project

Payer / Provider Track

These courses address foundational and topical issues in healthcare services.

Service Operations
OPNS 482

Health Care Quality
HCAK 922-5

Transformation of the US Healthcare Delivery System
HCAK 924-5

Strategy and Execution for a Successful Healthcare Delivery System
HCAK 935-5

Health Analytics
HCAK 940-5

3 | Experiential / Field

Medical Product Early Stage Commercialization
KIEI 611

Medical Technologies in Developing Countries
KPPI 973-5

Healthcare Strategy Lab
STRT 947

NUVention Medical Innovation I
HCAK 615

NUVention Medical Innovation II
HCAK 616

Complexities of Early Stage Health Care Investing and Entrepreneurship
HCAK 927

These courses offer an opportunity to apply and hone by "going deep" in a particular field project.

Last edited August 1, 2018. For any questions regarding this page, please email

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Faculty Insights

Craig Garthwaite

The Walmart-Humana merger creates incentive for healthier patients. Professor Craig Garthwaite gives his take on Walmart eyeing Humana as a potential acquisition target. (CNBC)

Amanda Starc

Chicago-area health systems are joining forces in an effort to improve patient care and lower industry costs. However, according to research and real-life examples this is not always good for consumers’ care and costs. Professor Amanda Starc shares insights. (Chicago Tribune)

Christopher Ody

Coupons that cause consumers to switch away from a generic drug, with an overall lower cost, to a brand-name drug may be playing a role in raising drug spending and premiums for others. Professor Christopher Ody's cowritten study provides insights. (The New York Times)

Kellogg Insight

New research shows privatizing Medicaid drug benefits reduces spending, without the decrease in quality of care. Our Kellogg faculty discuss how a shift in benefits may provide relief, among other insights. (Kellogg Insight)
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Health insurance for dummies: Why we cover pre-existing conditions

Article examines how the Trump administration this week issued a final rule on “short-term, limited duration insurance” that critics say will only make things worse for sick people. Article quotes Professor David Dranove, who explains that the more people in the insurance risk pool, the lower everyone’s costs.

Los Angeles Times, 03 Aug 2018

What Pfizer's decision to defer price increases after Trump talks means

Article discusses how President Trump just claimed a win after striking a deal with Pfizer, but it could have zero impact on prescription drug costs, quoting Professor Craig Garthwaite, who said it’s “It's all sizzle and no steak."

Business Insider, 12 Jul 2018

Is private equity helping or hurting health care?

Article examines whether private equity is helping or hurting the healthcare industry, quoting Professor Craig Garthwaite, who said recent pricing controversies in the pharmaceutical industry have left some consumers fearing a repeat performance by large-scale physician practices, but PE firms have helped turn around several poorly run health care industry players, and have a clear role to play going forward.

Crain's Chicago Business, 09 Jul 2018

Amazon just made an eye-popping play to disrupt drug stores

Article discusses Amazon’s announcement that they are buying Pillpack, an online pharmacy start-up, causing shares for Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid to lose $11 billion in value. Quotes Professor Craig Garthwaite, who says that their strategy of buying a smaller company that has already done all the work sidesteps the complexity of getting licenses in every state and streamlines the process. Professor Garthwaite also discussed this topic on KCRW Radio.

Vox, 28 Jun 2018

Why Companies Have the Urge to Merge

Article discusses the reasons why companies might consider vertical mergers and quotes Professor Craig Garthwaite, who says that one large motivation is to address “growing uncertainty related to the future of conventional business models."

The Wall Street Journal, 15 Jun 2018

Elizabeth Warren and a Scholarly Debate Over Medical Bankruptcy That Won’t Go Away

Article brings into question a research paper that Elizabeth Warren wrote on medical bankruptcy in 2005, quoting Professor Craig Garthwaite on his assessment of the research’s findings. Article also cites research from Professor David Dranove, which found that medical problems were probably responsible for less than 20 percent of all American bankruptcies.

The New York Times, 06 Jun 2018

    Student experience

    The HCAK pathway goes well beyond the classroom with cocurricular, professional, mentorship and academic opportunities.

    Cocurricular opportunities

    The Healthcare Club delivers a diverse platform of opportunities and activities for Kellogg students to gain awareness, develop relevant skills and build successful careers in the healthcare industry.

    The annual Business of Healthcare conference offers opportunities for professionals, academics, students and alumni to explore challenging healthcare issues and to network with professionals who share their interests.

    Job placement


    The Chartis Group
    Oliver Wyman
    Navigant Consulting
    Strategy& (formerly Booz & Company)
    Trinity Partners, LLC
    ZS Associates

    Medical Device
    Becton Dickinson
    Boston Scientific
    Intuitive Surgical
    Johnson & Johnson (Ethicon)
    Zimmer Biomet
    Provider & Services
    Athenahealth, Inc.
    ATI Physical Therapy
    21st Century Oncology
    Brigham & Women's Hopsital
    Castlight Health
    Catholic Health Initiatives
    Cerner Corporation
    Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconson
    Intermountain Healthcare - Primary Children's Medical Center
    Kaiser Permanente
    Northwestern Memorial Hospital
    Project 2020
    Relay Health
    Surgical Care Affiliates
    Sutter Health
    Valence Health
    Amgen (Onyx)
    Eli Lilly
    Johnson & Johnson
    Glaxo Smith Kline
    Renaissance Pharma

    Visiting executive program

    For over 30 years, Kellogg’s healthcare program has provided students with the opportunity to discuss topics of mutual interest with nationally-recognized health care executives and receive helpful industry insights and advice. Students have found this experience to be one of the most rewarding activities at Kellogg. Below is a list of executives and their organizational affiliation.

    We will arrange lunches that will consist of the visiting executive and five students, as well as one-on-one sessions with the visiting executive. The program begins during the Winter Quarter. The visiting executive will return in the Spring Quarter and meet with five students for lunch followed by more one-on-one meetings. Any student signing up for one-on-one meetings in the Winter Quarter can also sign up for a date with the same visiting executive in the Spring Quarter. We encourage you to meet with them again, but we also know it is difficult to plan your schedule that much in advance. If you are interested in lunch or a one-on-one meeting with a visiting executive, please be sure to look for the sign up in the Healthcare Club newsletter.

    Please note: If you sign up for a lunch or a one-on-one meeting, it is your responsibility to fill your spot if you are not able to attend.

    Dianne Blanco has been CEO and Director of Orteq Limited, a privately held start-up, since March 2006. Orteq has a unique polymer technology platform for sports surgery soft tissue repair. Its first product, Actifit, for the treatment of irreparable meniscus tears or defects in the knee, is on the market in Europe and other rest of world markets. The company expects FDA approval to start a US clinical trial this summer.

    Prior to joining Orteq, Mrs. Blanco spent almost fourteen years at Baxter Healthcare, a worldwide leader in pharmaceuticals and medical devices, in various divisional president roles ending as President of Europe, and prior to that, she spent eight years as Executive Vice President at Microdot Inc.

    Mrs. Blanco was born in the US, but has lived in Europe since May of 2000. She has an undergraduate degree magna cum laude and Masters degree from the University of Illinois. She holds an MBA magna cum laude from the Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

    Mrs. Blanco resides in London. She is married with a grown daughter. She is an avid recreational runner, reader and novice art collector.

    Arthur Holden (Kellogg '81) is the Founder and Chairman of the Pharmaceutical Biomedical Research Consortium [PBRC]. The PBRC is a 501 C3, which serves to advance the field of medicine through the development and implementation of high quality “pre-competitive” biomedical research consortia, across the pharmaceutical industry and academia. The Consortium currently has a major program international effort underway focused on the pharmacogenetics of serious adverse drug reactions [i.e. International Serious Adverse Event Consortium]. Resulting data and outputs from these efforts are being made available to all qualified researchers, free of IP constraints. Until October 2007, Mr. Holden concurrently held the position of Senior Vice President of Corporate and Market Development at Illumina, a leading provider of analytical systems and service for the analysis of genetic variation. It was named the NASDAQ’s fastest growing technology company in 2006 and 2008. In 2000, he was the principal founder of First Genetic Trust, a venture capital [Venrock] backed development stage biotechnology/informatics firm. He served as the company’s Chairman and CEO from 2000-2006. First Genetic Trust develops secure web-based applications to support the acquisition, storage, management, and analysis of genetic and medical data in drug discovery, development and clinical practice. The company was sold in the spring of 2006 to Cerner, Inc. Mr. Holden also served as Chairman of the SNP Consortium. Before serving as Chairman of the SNP Consortium, Mr. Holden was CEO of The SNP Consortium Ltd. which was a nonprofit entity dedicated to creating a high quality, high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) map of the human genome. Prior to his leadership role with the SNP Consortium Ltd., he was CEO and a Director of Celsis International PLC, an international biotechnology company. He spent the majority of his career as an executive with Baxter International. Mr. Holden serves on a number of non-profit boards. He is Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Biotechnology Management Program at the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He is a director of iBIO, the Chicago Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and the Illinois Technology Development Alliance. Mr. Holden has won numerous leadership awards, including being a recipient of the Laura Jackson Achievement Award for outstanding leadership in the healthcare industry from Northwestern University.

    David Loucks is President and Chief Executive of Healthios, Inc. (“Healthios”), a healthcare merchant banking firm. Throughout his professional career, Mr. Loucks has been active as an advisor, investor, and general manager across the global healthcare industry, in the process nurturing a unique perspective on the sources of success and the nature of value creation. Healthios was founded in 2005 by Mr. Loucks, following several years spent as Managing Partner of the Aethena Group, LLC, which is a private equity partnership with a broad portfolio of investment interests. During his tenure with Aethena, Mr. Loucks positioned that firm to become one of the most active investors in the global healthcare industry, having participated in more than (40) transactions from 2001 through 2004, representing aggregate enterprise values in excess of $5 billion. Prior to founding the Aethena, from 1998 until 2000, Mr. Loucks served as President and CEO of Physician Dynamics, Inc. (“PDI”), a fully-integrated provider of patient education and disease management solutions for patients afflicted with chronic and acute diseases. Services comprising patient & family education, compliance management, utilization review, outcomes measurement, informed consent, and remote monitoring were sold to hospitals, health plans, and providers throughout the U.S. Among his duties at Robertson Stephens, Mr. Loucks was a founder of the Special Situations practice and he directed that firm’s first international financing initiatives for companies based in Europe, Israel, India, and China. Schooled in Europe, and later a graduate of the Lawrenceville School, of Yale University, and of the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, Mr. Loucks is multi-lingual and has spent more than 15 years living and working internationally.

    Pete Masloski is a Principal with ZS Associates in Evanston, Illinois, and is currently the leader of ZS’ Medical Products and Services Practice. His experience at ZS includes helping clients improve the effectiveness of their marketing and sales efforts in a broad range of areas. Pete’s practice area expertise spans a broad scope from market strategy; such as opportunity assessment, product strategy, organization design, and go-to-market strategy; to organizational effectiveness drivers, such as incentive compensation, targeting and account planning. His clients at ZS have been primarily in the medical devices and medical diagnostics industries. Pete has authored several articles and white papers on topics such as medical device industry trends and their implications, go-to-market strategy, sales effectiveness and incentive compensation. Pete is also currently a member of the sales and distribution advisory board for MX magazine. Pete joined ZS Associates in 1996. Prior to joining ZS Pete worked for The Dow Chemical Company in various research and development and commercial roles. Pete has a Master of Management with distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Pete also holds a BSE in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University.

    Kristen Murtos is President of NorthShore Skokie Hospital part of NorthShore University HealthSystem, a comprehensive, fully integrated, healthcare delivery system that serves the Chicago region with four hospitals and over 2,400 physicians. In her time at NorthShore Murtos has worked extensively in medical group development, physician alignment, clinical service line management, mergers and acquisitions as well as strategy and business development.

    In her current role as President of Skokie Hospital, Murtos provides leadership promoting organizational performance and driving quality, loyalty and growth. In addition to her leadership role at Skokie Hospital, Murtos oversees Corporate Marketing, Communications and Business Development for NorthShore.Prior to joining NorthShore, Murtos worked with Deloitte Consulting where she assisted healthcare providers, payors and manufacturing clients with operational improvement, market strategy, delivery system integration and care management. Murtos holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and master degrees in Business Administration and Public Policy from the University of Chicago. She has served in leadership roles with the University of Chicago Graduate Program in Health Administration & Policy Executive Council, The North Shore Board of the American Cancer Society and The Evanston Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves on the board of the North Suburban Healthcare Foundation and on the Advisory Board for the Kindness Connection which promotes volunteerism to school age children.

    Candace Quinn has over 30 years’ experience in the senior and chief marketing role for major health systems and hospitals around the country and nearly another 8 years as a consultant to hospitals and health systems. In 2013, she joined Professional Research Consultants as its COO.

    As an early pioneer in the field of healthcare marketing, she has worked with small stand-alone hospitals, single specialty hospitals and major academic medical centers: for systems as small as two hospitals to regional systems as large as 9 hospitals; for integrated delivery networks with annual revenues of $1Billion to ones with revenues in excess of $30Billion.

    During her 20+years as a CMO, she established, led and developed successful and talented marketing teams ranging in size from 6-76; and, managed marketing budgets from $500K - $17Million. She has a track record of balancing in house staffing with external resources to most appropriately serve the organization.

    Among her accomplishments while serving these organizations is the successful launch of several integrated brand strategies. Using a disciplined, inclusive approach, she has helped organizations successfully identify their competitive brand position, articulate that brand promise, and create award winning advertising strategies embraced by employees, physicians, management and trustees to launch the same.

    In addition, committed to the belief that the brand is only as strong as the experience a patient receives, she has served as a catalyst in “the deliberate experience” recreation. In this effort, she has led multiple teams through the redesign of a clinical experience to deliver to the patient an experience that goes beyond the actual clinical treatment. She has coached multidisciplinary teams in patient satisfaction improvement techniques and the use of research data to deliver real time information. She has helped launch "hospitals within a hospital" concepts, strategically designed new freestanding Cancer Centers to deliver on a branded experience, and has assisted both general and specialty hospitals as they looked to advance their brands.

    As a consultant, Candace focused her efforts on brand development for clients across the country, incorporating research, strategy, and experience design into her work.

    Candace is a frequent speaker, author, and an experienced facilitator. She has conducted numerous focus group studies for her client organizations, and specializes in brand strategy design for healthcare organizations. Today, she serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Professional Research Consultants located in Omaha, NE.

    She received her Masters in Management from Kellogg Graduate School of Management (84) and holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from Rockford College.(82) She is active in her family's life as wife, mother of two adult children and grandmother of seven.

    Olivier Visa is director of Pharma marketing at Baxter. He is a seasoned executive in the pharmaceutical industry with global expertise and responsibilities in both strategic and operational marketing. He’s developed a strong acumen of the industry challenges and opportunities throughout his engagement in Drug Delivery. He’s recognized for his focus on growth and investment through customer-centered business strategy and ruthless execution. Olivier has acquired a diverse cultural understanding through all the countries he worked in: UK, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, US and Canada. Additionally, his global responsibilities led him to build business relationships with Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America and Eastern Europe. He is a Kellogg alum (EMP61, 2005). Being a Board Member and Chairman for fund-raising at the French American Chamber of Commerce based in Chicago drives him to play a significant role in the economic relationships between the US and France, his native country.

    Andrew Ziskind has more than 25 years of experience in clinical care and academic health system leadership. He is an MGH-trained interventional cardiologist with extensive clinical and administrative experience. He has developed and led innovative primary care and specialty delivery systems and has vast knowledge and leadership involvement in accountable care and payment reform, as well as experience in national and international consulting. Dr. Ziskind was recognized by Consulting Magazine as one of the 25 most influential consultants in 2013.

    During his career, Dr. Ziskind has served as Vice Dean for Clinical Affairs and Health System Vice President at the University of Washington and served as President of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Group President at BJC Healthcare. At Huron Healthcare, he leads the Clinical Solutions service line focused on strategy, building clinical performance, physician alignment, and care continuum optimization at hospitals, health systems and academic medical centers.

    Robert Hilliard Jr., was named state president for WellCare’s operations in Illinois in November 2013. In this role, he is responsible for strategy, regulatory compliance, business development, provider contracting and relations, sales and marketing, medical management, finance and administration.

    Prior to joining WellCare, Robert was the chief operating officer for UnitedHealthcare’s Community Plan in Texas. Before that, he served as chief medical officer for Molina Healthcare of Texas, and the regional medical director of western commercial markets for Humana in Texas. He also has experience leading SmartChoice, a health sciences start-up, and running an OB/GYN practice.

    Robert earned his medical degree from the University of Texas and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He serves on the board of trustees for AIDS United. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.


    Students interested in the HCAK program are eligible for renewable tuition scholarships. There is no formal process for applying for a scholarship. Students applying to Kellogg should indicate on their application that they are interested in the HCAK program by checking the appropriate box. Scholarships are renewable for the second year of MBA study conditioned on demonstrating ongoing interest in healthcare.


    Through the Kellogg Public-Private Initiative, HCAK offers dynamic learning opportunities outside the classroom.
    • MacEachern Symposium – Founded in 1943 by Dr. Malcolm T. MacEachern, this annual event convenes industry experts who offer insights on how major trends in healthcare will reshape the competitive landscape.
    • Biotech and Healthcare Case competition – One of the oldest and best known healthcare competitions, this annual event hosts student teams from around the world to tackle complex healthcare questions beyond a class setting.
    • Business of Healthcare conference – This annual forum offers opportunity for professionals, academics, students and alumni to explore challenging healthcare issues and to network with professionals who share their interests.
    • Healthcare at Kellogg series – Kellogg faculty provide an overview of the healthcare industry through this quarterly bootcamp series of lectures.
    • Faculty/student lunch-and-learns – Academic and industry experts join students on campus to discuss significant business issues or cases in an informal class setting.


    Kellogg maximizes opportunities in healthcare by teaming up with companies and organizations from a broad range of industries. Groups interested in partnering with Kellogg, seeking project support or recruiting students or alumni, have a number of ways to get involved. Visit Kellogg Corporate Partnerships to learn more, or explore our opportunities below.

    Sponsor a project

    Empower students to apply management skills to help your business or nonprofit with a current need.

    Recruit Kellogg talent

    Kellogg's Career Management Center works closely with companies to recruit talent from across the Kellogg network.

    Engage student clubs

    Clubs are invaluable to the student experience, with opportunities throughout the year to strengthen industry networks.