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The Executive Conference on the Future of Health Care

Partnership and Collaboration: The Next Generation Health Care Model

The Executive Conference on the Future of Health Care Graphic 2017 - University of St. Thomas

Collaboration and partnership in the health care industry is more important than ever. With a conference scheduled packed with c-suite and executive leaders, you will be in the company of those who are leading health care through innovation and collaboration. Learn how their work is influencing the future of the health care industry.

  • Learn the strategies and tactics of Minnesota’s three largest health systems from Allina CEO Penny Wheeler M.D., Fairview CEO James Hereford and Mayo Clinic CIO Cris Ross.
  • Gain insights from the former Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Andy Slavitt about what might happen next in Washington related to health care.
  • Learn the lessons of success and challenges from leaders at Walgreens and Prime Therapeutics as they partnered to form a new specialty pharmacy and mail services company, Alliance Rx.
  • Understand how the Institute for Functional Medicine and the Cleveland Clinic are collaborating to improve wellness.
  • Explore how the internet of things and wearables have been successful in working with the medical community to improve patient care.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from these leaders and network with industry peers.

Partnership and Collaboration: The Next Generation Health Care Model
November 10, 2017
7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
University of St. Thomas
Minneapolis Campus

Partners and Sponsors

2017 Conference Partners 

CliftonLarsonAllen Logo - Future of Health Care Partner

CliftonLarsonAllen's 3,600 people are dedicated to helping businesses, governments, nonprofits, and the individuals who own and lead them. From offices coast to coast, our professionals practice in specific industries to deliver audit, tax, consulting, and outsourcing capabilities best aligned with our clients' needs. Integrated wealth advisory services address their personal financial goals, and our international resources help organizations successfully enter and compete in all markets, foreign and domestic. For more information, visit Investment advisory services are offered through CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors, LLC.


‌‌Fredrickson & Byron Logo - Future of Health Care Partner

Fredrikson & Byron has a strong reputation for its involvement and leadership within the health care industry. The firm’s Health Law Group has significant experience in all aspects of representation of health care businesses, such as formation, operation and governance of business entities, joint venture arrangements, systems integration agreements, internet and new technology issues, mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property acquisition and protection, marketing and compliance with state and federal regulations.

We actively work with our health care clients to help them achieve their strategic objectives in a world of constantly changing laws, technology, and business models. The Health Law Group provides a monthly webinar series to keep industry executives up-to-date on developments that affect their organizations.
Fredrikson & Byron is a 240-plus attorney law firm based in Minneapolis, Minnesota with offices in Bismarck and Fargo, North Dakota; Des Moines, Iowa; Monterrey, Mexico; and Shanghai, China. 

2017 Conference Sponsors

Keynote Sponsor:  

Lockton logo - 2016 Future of Health Care Sponsor


Distinguished Sponsor: 

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Logo - 2016 Future of Health Care Sponsor


 Supporting Sponsor: 

Preferred One Logo - 2016 Future of Health Care Sponsor 


Would you like your logo here? Please contact: Brian Godfrey, Executive Education, at (651) 962-4608 or


 2017 Conference Schedule


7:00 - 7:25 a.m.

Check-In and Continental Breakfast


7:30 - 8:45 a.m.

Functional Medicine and The Cleveland Clinic

Functional medicine models partner the patient with the provider to work together to address the cause of disease for each individual. It promotes optimal wellness with a systems-based approach to the prevention, diagnosis, and comprehensive management of complex chronic disease. Learn how The Institute for Functional Medicine has partnered with The Cleveland Clinic to improve outcomes of chronic disease and lowered health care costs.

Tom Blue
Director of Strategy at the Institute for Functional Medicine

8:45 - 9:00 a.m.

Break and Networking

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.

Strategic Alliances – AllianceRx Walgreens Prime

In 2016, Prime Therapeutics (Prime), a Minnesota-based pharmacy benefits manager, and Walgreens announced a unique collaboration. The relationship consists of two parts: A long-term agreement making Walgreens the core participant in Prime's national preferred network, and development of a combined central specialty and mail services company. The collaboration helps both companies improve pricing, elevate the member experience and improve health outcomes while reducing plan health care costs. AllianceRx Walgreens Prime launched in April 2017 as the third largest specialty pharmacy in the country and one of the largest home delivery pharmacies. Learn how this alliance began, how it furthered the strategies of both companies, what this collaboration means for patients, and initial results for the new company launched earlier this year. 

Alec Mahmood
CFO of Prime Therapeutics

Brad Fluegel
SVP of Walgreens

10:00 - 10:30 a.m.

Break and Networking

10:30  - 11:30 a.m.

Provider and Payer Partnership: Allina and Aetna

What is the business case for strategic partnerships – specifically those between a provider and a payer? Learn what prompted the partnership between Allina and Aetna, how collaboration between a for-profit payer and a non-profit provider is working and where there have been obstacles. Gain insight into how these types of partnerships can shape the future of health care.

Penny Wheeler
President and CEO of Allina Health 

11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. 

Luncheon Speaker: The Future of National Health Policy

From senior leader at United Health Group to overhauling after the initial roll-out to leading the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Andy Slavitt has first-hand knowledge of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. With continued focus in Washington on heath policy, hear about the future for health care from a policy perspective and what will be on the Congressional agenda in the foreseeable future.

Andy Slavitt
former Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) 

12:45 - 1:15 p.m.

Health Care and the Internet of Things 

Connecting humans to the internet of things has led to wearable technologies – including those providing health related information and reminders. Discover how one wearable technology company, Myant, is designing everyday apparel to collect data and improve quality of life. Their products have many uses including heating up the clothing if cold, sending reminders to increase activity, measuring heart rate and other biometrics, recognizing signs of cardiac arrest and even connecting to the wearer’s calendar to correlate stressful events to biometrics. This information can be sent to the user’s doctor to aid in patient care. Learn how they are working to make a stronger connection between the user and their physician.

Myant Technologies 

1:15 -2:15 p.m.

Digital Health Strategy at the Mayo Clinic

The Mayo Clinic is known for collaborative physicians who work together to provide an integrated experience and patient focused solutions. Learn how the Mayo Clinic is using this strength to build their digital health strategy, partner with data focused companies such as IBM Watson and smaller start-ups and work with the State of Minnesota as investments are made for this destination medical center.

Cris Ross
CIO of the Mayo Clinic 

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.

Break and Networking

2:30 - 3:30 p.m. 

Fairview and Health East Merger

The merger between Fairview and Health East created the Twin Cities’ largest network of hospitals and clinics and stretched Fairview’s reach into the east metro. Understand what led to this merger, what has worked well and what barriers have surfaced. With an academic medical center, the University of Minnesota Medical Center falling under the Fairview umbrella, learn how the organization partners with the community and local health systems and payers like Preferred One.

James Hereford
President and CEO of Fairview Health Services 

3:30 p.m.

Closing Remarks


2017 Conference Speakers

*more details to come

Tom Blue
Director of Strategy
Institute for Functional Medicine

Tom is an entrepreneur focused on accelerating the application of modern science in the every-day practice of medicine. 

He is the Director of Industry Strategy & Partnerships for the Institute for Functional Medicine and co-founder of LeadHealth, the first organization to utilize Functional Medicine to reduce healthcare costs for self-insured employers.

In 2015, he successfully launched a medical cost sharing community as an ACA exempt, physician-integrated alternative to health insurance. The following year, he was recognized by Forbes as one of the ten would-be signers of the Employers’ Declaration of Independence from health insurance.

An international speaker on the future of healthcare, Tom serves on the boards of Nudge and Living Matrix and serves on the Leadership Council of the Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute.


Brad Fluegel
Senior Vice President

Brad Fluegel is senior vice president - chief healthcare commercial market development officer for Walgreen Co., based in Deerfield, Ill.  Fluegel is responsible for all commercial healthcare activities, including sales and contracting, biopharma relationships, retail clinics, clinical affairs, new service development and market planning. Previously, Fluegel was Chief Strategy and Business Development officer for Walgreens, responsible for corporate strategy and business development.

Fluegel joined Walgreens in October 2012 after previously serving as executive in residence at Health Evolution Partners. Before that he was executive vice president and chief strategy and external affairs officer of Wellpoint, among the nation’s largest health benefits companies. While at Wellpoint, Fluegel was responsible for long-term strategic planning, government affairs, corporate communications including public relations, corporate marketing, corporate development, international expansion, innovation and new business ventures.

Prior to Wellpoint, Fluegel was senior vice president of national accounts and vice president, enterprise strategy at Aetna, Inc. In this role, he led the national accounts business and was responsible for developing and executing on strategies that expanded Aetna’s position as a leader in the large employer market. As head of enterprise strategy, Fluegel worked closely with Aetna’s executive committee and board of directors to advance the company’s medium- and long-term business strategies, and ran an internal consulting group responsible for driving management process and operating efficiency across the enterprise.

Earlier, Fluegel was CEO for Reden & Anders (Ingenix Consulting) and Tillinghast-Towers Perrin, a clinical, actuarial and management consulting practice that served all sectors of the health care industry. While there, he negotiated the sale of Tillinghast Health to Ingenix.  Fluegel also held several roles in strategy, planning and product development and management at Harvard Community Health Plan and organized and led audits, feasibility studies and related projects for health care clients at Arthur Andersen & Co.

In addition to his duties at Walgreens, Fluegel currently serves on the Board of Directors of Metropolitan Jewish Health System (New York, NY), Health Integrated, Inc. (Tampa, FL), Performant Financial Corporation (Livermore, CA), Premise Health (Brentwood, TN) and Option Care (Bannockburn, IL). 

Fluegel earned a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor of arts in business administration from the University of Washington.  He also serves as a lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.


James Hereford
President and CEO  
Fairview Health Services

James Hereford is president and CEO of Fairview Health Services. Based in Minneapolis, Fairview is a $4.4 billion non-profit, integrated health system affiliated with the University of Minnesota. Fairview’s 24,000 employees and 2,600 aligned providers provide exceptional clinical care, from prevention of illness and injury to caring for the most complex medical conditions. Fairview has proudly served its communities for 100 years and currently cares for more than 625,000 people annually. 

James provides strategic direction and ensures operational effectiveness for Fairview’s entire continuum of services, which is unmatched in the region. It includes 40+ primary care clinics, a wide range of specialty services, retail and specialty pharmacy, home care, senior services, an integrated provider network and community outreach programs. Fairview owns seven hospitals, including University of Minnesota Medical Center and University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, as well as regional health insurer PreferredOne. Fairview also is a founding member of specialty pharmacy network Excelera and many other unique partnerships that advance our vision of driving a healthier future.

Prior to joining Fairview, James served as chief operations officer at Stanford Health Care. Previous roles included chief operations officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and a series of leadership roles with the Group Health Cooperative in Seattle.

James holds bachelor's and master's degrees in mathematics from Montana State University. He has taught courses with Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, University of Washington’s Master of Health Administration program and The Ohio State University’s Masters of Business Operations Excellence program. He is a frequent writer and presenter on the topic of lean management systems and transformation.


Alex Mahmood
Prime Therapeutics

Alec Mahmood is chief financial officer (CFO) for Prime Therapeutics (Prime). Mahmood has direct responsibility for all financial matters as well as enterprise strategy, network development, trade relations and facilities oversight. He also holds leadership roles governing Prime’s strategic alliance with Walgreens. Mahmood is accountable for Prime’s coordination with AllianceRx Walgreens Prime.   

Mahmood has more than 20 years experience in health care management and financial leadership in for-profit and private equity organizations. In addition to his financial expertise, he has significant experience creating impactful corporate strategies and developing strategic partnerships. The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal named Mahmood a 2017 CFO of the Year honoree. 

Prior to joining Prime, Mahmood served as CFO for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota. He also spent 10 years with the leading private equity firms, Blackstone Group, and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS). In addition, Mahmood has held financial leadership positions with Coventry Health Care and Health Net.

Mahmood received a Master of Health Administration, with a concentration in finance, from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in history and pre-med from Creighton University in Omaha.

Christopher Ross
Mayo Clinic

Cris Ross has 30 years prior experience in healthcare, technology, and government.  Prior to joining Mayo Clinic he held technology and business leadership roles with Surescripts, MinuteClinic, and UnitedHealth Group.  Previously he held various roles as a tech entrepreneur, financial manager, and Congressional aide. 

He is chairman of the Board of the eHealth Initiative, and serves on the Boards of Directors of the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Zipnosis, an emerging telehealth vendor.  He was a member of the Health IT Standards Committee for the U.S. Department of Human Services from 2009-2016.

He has a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Minnesota and MBA degree from the Yale School of Management.


Andy Slavitt
former Administrator
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)


Penny Wheeler
President and CEO
Allina Health

Penny Wheeler, MD, became the president and chief executive officer of Allina Health in 2015.  Setting the overall strategic direction for Allina Health, Dr. Wheeler focuses on ensuring that the organization delivers exceptional care and supports the health and well-being of all those served.  Prior to her current role, Dr. Wheeler served as chief clinical officer for nine years, and in 2013, added the role of president. 

Dr. Wheeler currently serves on the boards of Portico Healthnet, an organization dedicated to helping uninsured Minnesotans receive affordable health coverage and care, the Greater Twin Cities United Way, Health Catalyst, The University of St. Thomas, and the Minnesota Community Measurement board, a regional health quality collaborative, which she also served as the Board Chair.  

A board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. Wheeler served patients at Women's Health Consultants in Minneapolis.  Minnesota Business magazine named Dr. Wheeler the 2012 Outstanding Health Care Executive, largely based on her ability to form internal and external care collaboratives that benefit community health.  In 2015, Modern Healthcare magazine recognized Dr. Wheeler as one of the top 25 women in health care.  In July 2015, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton appointed Dr. Wheeler to the Minnesota Taskforce for Health Care Financing. 

Allina Health is one of the nation’s leading health systems and was named one of the top five large health systems in the country.  The organization is made up of 14 hospitals, 90+ clinics, 26,000+ employees and several related health care service companies including home health, hospice, transportation, medical equipment and retail pharmacy. 


2017 Conference Logistics

Group Registration:

Organizations benefit when they send three or more to this conference. We offer a 10% discount on each registration.  

To receive your group discount, please follow these steps:

  • Email ExecEd@StThomas.eduwith the billing contacts information, including
    • Name, title, work or home address, phone number, and email address where the invoice should be sent.
  • Indicate if the billing contact will be attending the conference in addition to serving as the group contact.
  • Provide the full name, title, work or home address, phone number, and email address for all attendees of the conference from your organization.
  • We will invoice the billing contact for the group's registration within two business days.
  • Let the Registrar know if you want to have attendees billed separately, and they will provide you a discount code for your attendees to enter when registering.

Note: Only one discount rate may be applied to the conference fee.

Conference Cancellation & Substitution Policy:
  • Cancellations received on or before November 9, 2017 will be charged a $150.00 processing fee.
  • Cancellations received on or after November 10, 2017 will not be refunded. Participants can choose to 1) send a substitute in their place 2) forfeit their registration fees.

University of St. Thomas Minneapolis campus
Schulze Hall Auditorium
46 South 11th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Driving Directions and Parking

Download a PDF with directions and parking information »


University of St. Thomas students and program participants receive a special rate at the DoubleTree Guest Suites, across the street from the Minneapolis campus. This discount is subject to availability.

  • To make a hotel reservation online, please visit the Downtown Minneapolis DoubleTree website, complete the form and verify the St. Thomas special rate (corporate account) code 560078526.
  • You can also call the front desk at 612-332-6800 or the reservation line at 800-245-8011 to make your reservation and to provide them the code UST-P14.
  • If you encounter a problem, please contact MacKenzie Kennedy, DoubleTree Account Manager and mention you are with the University of St. Thomas Executive Education group and she should be able to help you resolve your problem.

MacKenzie Kennedy, Account Manager
DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Minneapolis
Phone: (612) 492-2203 

Contact Us

Questions? Please let us know. 

Executive Education
University of St. Thomas
Opus College of Business
TMH 166
1000 LaSalle Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55403-2005

Phone: 1 (651) 962-4600 or
1 (800) 328-6819 ext.2-4600

Conference Information

For conference information, please contact our customer service staff at 
1 (651) 962-4600 or email