By Sue Siegel, CEO, GE Ventures & healthymagination

Healthymagination embodies GE’s commitment to improve human health across the world, and 2016 was a year marked by its impact.

In collaboration with colleagues from GE Healthcare, GE Ventures and the GE Foundation, we fostered powerful new partnerships, developed exciting new business models and championed thought leadership at the highest levels. In doing so, we’ve been able to amplify our impact and drive creative solutions to some of the world’s toughest health challenges.

Our ongoing healthymagination commitment includes:

  • Brain Health. Through our “Brain Trust” we convened key global thought leaders working to advance brain health research. We’ve also continued our support of the “Neurodata Beyond Borders” initiative launched by the Kavli Foundation with researchers from the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute/Janelia Farm, New York University and CalTech to begin developing the protocols and procedures necessary to share neurodata across many research platforms.
  • HealthyCities Leadership Academy. This year, we continued progress in our HealthyCities Leadership Academy, a program that encourages U.S. communities to work together to develop population health improvements. We awarded nine winners of the HealthyCities Leadership Academy Open Innovation Challenge an initial award of $25,000 in prize money to help develop population health improvements through partnerships with public and private entities. Throughout the next year, the winners will complete a year of collaborative learning and will receive support to tackle population health challenges in their communities. We also demonstrated international thought leadership by developing recommendations for population health in conjunction with the World Innovation Summit for Health. Our co-authored report, Designing Strategies for Population Health, was presented to an audience of Health Ministers and influential healthcare leaders last year with the aim of scaling population health strategies around the globe.
  • Social Entrepreneurship.In partnership with Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, GE launched a new pilot program to develop social entrepreneurs in sub-Saharan Africa who are tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems in the field of maternal and child care. GE was thrilled to graduate 14 social entrepreneurs who completed the healthymagination Mother & Child program. Over the course of the program, participants attended a three-day, in-person workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by a six-month, online accelerator curriculum that included weekly, in-depth mentoring from top Silicon Valley-based executives and local GE business leaders. The program was designed to help the social entrepreneurs acquire new business skills, to examine their strategic priorities and to articulate new business models that demonstrated impact, growth and long-term financial sustainability.

Looking ahead, GE will continue to drive its healthymagination commitment to improve the quality, access and affordability of healthcare around the world. In conjunction with our colleagues and esteemed partners, we look forward to convening great minds and catalyzing new innovation as we strive to make a lasting impact on human health for years to come.

GE Leadership

Sue Siegel

CEO, GE Ventures & healthymagination

CEO, GE Ventures & healthymagination

Sue Siegel leads two of GE’s growth and innovation initiatives as CEO, GE Ventures & healthymagination. GE Ventures invests in and partners with the start-up ecosystem across Healthcare, Energy, Software, and Advanced Manufacturing. Healthymagination harnesses innovation and partnership inside and outside GE to improve the quality, access and affordability of healthcare.

Sue has more than 30 years of experience in corporate and venture capital. Previously, as a financial VC, Sue led investments in personalized medicine, digital health, and life sciences at Silicon Valley-based Mohr Davidow Ventures. Before venture capital, she drove strategy and technology development as well as new market growth at Bio-Rad, DuPont, Amersham, and Affymetrix. As President and a Board Member of Affymetrix, Sue led the company’s transformation from a pre-revenue start up to a global, multi-billion dollar market cap genomics leader.

Sue has served on over two dozen private and public corporate boards. She currently serves on the Boards of the National Venture Capital Association, Stanford Hospital Board’s IT Committee, Harvard Partners’ Innovation Advisory Board, the Cleveland Clinic’s Innovation Council, University of California’s Innovation Council, and she also serves on the Executive Committee of Santa Clara University’s Center for Science, Technology, and Society’s Advisory Board. She is a President’s Circle member of the National Academies of Science, a member of YPO-WPO, Women Corporate Directors, and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. In the bestselling business book Multipliers: How The Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter, Sue was a featured “Multiplier.” She was recognized as one of “The 100 Most Influential Women in Silicon Valley”.

Sue lives in Silicon Valley with her husband and her two sons. When not working, you might find her hiking the scenic trails of Northern California.

Alan Gilbert

Director, Global Government and NGO Strategy, GE healthymagination

Director, Global Government and NGO Strategy, GE healthymagination

Alan Gilbert joined GE’s healthymagination in June 2011 as director of Global Government and NGO Strategy. In this role, Alan shapes, champions and messages GE’s positions on healthcare policy, reform and business objectives, and communicates them to internal and external stakeholders.

He currently directs U.S. health policy for healthymagination; leads open innovation challenges on traumatic brain injury and has directed a similar innovation challenge on breast cancer; helps develop outreach and thought leadership around cancer, neurodegenerative, and other disease marketing initiatives; and is the leader of GE’s strategic partnerships and initiatives to change healthcare cost and quality trends to bring better health to more people in the communities in which GE operates.

Alan joined the GE team after working at the intersection of healthcare policy and politics for over two decades in Washington, D.C. Before opening his own consulting practice in 2009, he was senior vice president and counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), creating and implementing all federal legislative strategy for the country’s largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

In 2002, Alan was selected by President George W. Bush to be a domestic policy advisor, leading the White House and the Administration’s healthcare agenda and creating a health information technology initiative and infrastructure. Earlier, he served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tommy Thompson. Alan also worked in the U.S. Senate as chief health counsel to former Senator Judd Gregg (New Hampshire), and was a key health advisor to several members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Alan lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two children. He earned his law and BS degrees from Louisiana State University.

Risa Stack

General Manager, GE Ventures, Incubations

General Manager, GE Ventures, Incubations

Risa Stack leads incubations for healthymagination, which develops and invests in new opportunities in healthcare and energy. Risa joined the GE Ventures team from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where she was a partner. Prior to KPCB, Risa was a principal at J.P. Morgan Partners.

Throughout her VC career, Risa has invested in over a dozen companies, such as Veracyte (NASDAQ:VCYT), Trius (acquired by Cubist), Corthera (acquired by Novartis), Ilex Oncology (acquired by Genzyme) and Triangle Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Gilead). Risa was also the founding CEO and a board member of several precision medicine companies, including CardioDx and Nodality. Before joining the venture capital industry, Risa worked as a derivative specialist on the Chicago Board of Trade, where she traded futures and options on government securities. Risa is a member of the steering committee for the Coalition for 21st Century Medicine and is on the advisory board of the Personalized Medicine Conference. She was also named as one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Business” by the San Francisco Business Times. Risa holds a degree in genetics and development, with distinction, from the University of Illinois, a PhD in immunology from the University of Chicago, and was a member of the second class of Kauffman Fellows.

Rafael Torres

GE Ventures, Healthcare Leader

GE Ventures, Healthcare Leader

Rafael Torres leads the Venture Capital team for healthcare investments and directs portfolio strategy. Under Rafael’s leadership, GE Ventures has invested in multiple successful healthcare businesses, including Nanostring (NASDAQ: NSTG) and Veracyte (NASDAQ: VCTY).

Previously, Rafael was the global healthcare leader for GE Equity, GE’s private equity platform, where he built a practice with over 30 investments, including ParadigmHealth (Alere), Navinet (Horizon Blue Cross) and Euromedic (BAML Capital). Rafael has had a variety of board roles, including with CardioDx, InSightec, Navinet, ParadigmHealth and LipoScience. In previous roles at GE, Rafael served as an operating executive in the integration of GE’s largest healthcare acquisition, Amersham, and in the M&A team of GE Healthcare. He has been a judge in GE’s Assembling Tools to Fight Cancer challenge and is featured in leading healthcare publications including The Gray Sheet, Medical Device Daily and MedCity News. Before joining GE, Rafael held various positions at The Boston Consulting Group, AT Investments and Citibank. Rafael received his MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in economics from Universidad del PacÍfico.

Rafael lives in Silicon Valley with his wife and two boys. He notes that when his four-year-old son needed a CT scan before his appendectomy, he asked the radiologist if it was a GE scanner. Could it be in the blood?

Robert Wells

Executive Director for Strategy, healthymagination

Executive Director for Strategy, healthymagination

Robert leads the healthymagination team in exploring key opportunities to increase the quality, accessibility and affordability of healthcare, including through the Brain Health Initiative and the Healthy Cities Program. Prior to joining GE, from 2009 to 2012, Robert served with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris as head of the biotechnology unit in the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry.

There he covered a broad range of policy-related topics in various emerging fields, such as innovation in human health and biomedicine, industrial biotechnology, synthetic biology, biosecurity, and the development of knowledge networks and markets using intellectual property. Robert did his undergraduate work at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and holds a JD from the Wake Forest University School of Law. He resides in Boston with his wife and daughter.

Meet the Healthymagination Advisory Board

Andy von Eschenbach

MD, Former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

MD, Former Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D. currently serves as President of Samaritan Health Initiatives, Inc. and as an Adjunct Professor at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. From September of 2005 to January 2009 he served as Commissioner of Food and Drugs, where he championed an agenda to modernize the FDA by process improvement of the regulatory pathway for drugs and medical devices and by fostering creative projects, including FDA’s Critical Path Initiative (designed to bring modern tools of science to the product development process); work plans like the FDA’s Food Protection Plan; and most especially the nurturing of the workforce through initiatives, such as an Agency-wide fellowship program and development of a new integrated campus for the Agency in White Oak, Maryland.

Dr. von Eschenbach joined FDA after serving for four years as Director of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at the National Institutes of Health where he set an ambitious goal to eliminate the suffering and death due to cancer by rapid acceleration and integration of the discovery-development-delivery continuum. While at NCI, he committed resources to ensure the application to oncology of nanotechnology, genomics, proteomics, bioinformatics, and other emerging technologies.

Dr. von Eschenbach entered government service after over three decades as a physician, surgeon, oncologist and executive that included numerous leadership roles from Chairman of the Department of Urologic Oncology to Executive Vice President and Chief Academic at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. An internationally renowned cancer specialist and author of more than 300 scientific articles and studies, he has served in numerous leadership roles, including serving as one of the founding members of the National Dialogue on Cancer. In 2006, Dr. von Eschenbach was named one of Time magazine’s “100 most influential people to shape the world,” and in both 2007 and 2008, he was selected as one of the Modern Healthcare/Modern Physician’s “50 Most Powerful Physician Executives in Healthcare.”

Dr. von Eschenbach earned a B.S. from St. Joseph’s University in his native Philadelphia and his medical degree from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He served as a Lt. Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. After completing a residency in urologic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, he was an instructor in urology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He completed a Fellowship in Urologic Oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

He has been married to his childhood sweetheart, Madelyn, for over 40 years, and they are proud parents of four children and elated grandparents of seven.

Michael Johns

MD, Chancellor, Emory University

MD, Chancellor, Emory University

Dr. Johns is the University of Michigan’s interim executive vice president for Medical Affairs, as well as a professor in the schools of Public Health and Medicine at Emory University.

From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Johns served as Emory University’s fifth chancellor. From 1996 to 2007, he led Emory’s Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, which includes Emory Healthcare, the schools of Medicine, Nursing and Public Health, and the Yerkes Primate Center. Prior to his roles at Emory, Dr. Johns was dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and vice president of the Johns Hopkins medical faculty.

Dr. Johns is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), the Commonwealth Fund Task Force on Academic Health Centers, and the Association of Academic Health Centers, among others. He also serves on various private-sector and philanthropic boards, including Johnson & Johnson, the Genuine Parts Company and the Georgia Cancer Coalition. He was recently appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Defense as a member of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) Board of Regents.

In 1969, Dr. Johns graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan Medical School. He remained at Michigan for his internship and residency. He joined the Medical Corps of the U.S. Army and was assistant chief of the Otolaryngology Service at Walter Reed Army Medical Center from 1975-1977.

Helen Darling

Strategic Advisor at the National Business Group on Health (NBGH)

Strategic Advisor at the National Business Group on Health (NBGH)

Helen Darling currently serves as Strategic Advisor at the National Business Group on Health (NBGH). She served for over 12 years as President and CEO of NBGH, a national non-profit, membership organization devoted exclusively to providing practical solutions to its employer-members’ most important healthcare problems and representing large employers’ perspective on national health policy issues. Its 392 members, including 69 of the Fortune 100 in 2014, purchase health and disability benefits for over 50 million employees, retirees and dependents.

The Business Group’s Institute on Health Care Costs and Solutions is devoted to finding practical solutions from a business perspective to the nation’s growing crisis of rapidly rising costs and affordability of care, on top of continuing problems of patient safety and quality. In 2009, Helen was given the World at Work’s highest honor, the Keystone Award, in recognition of her contributions to human resources and benefits. In 2012, she was given NCQA’s Health Quality Leader Award. She was named in 2011, 2012 and 2013 as one of “100 Most Influential People in Health Care” in the United States by Modern Healthcare and One of the Top 25 Women in Health Care in 2011 and 2013. She was selected in 2003 as a National Associate to the National Academy of Sciences, in recognition of her contributions to the Institute of Medicine. She was given the President’s Award by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2010.

Darling serves on: the Committee on Performance Measurement of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (co-chair for 10 years); the Medical Advisory Panel, Technology Evaluation Center (Blue Cross Blue Shield Association); the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable on Value and Science-Driven Health Care; and the Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee. She is Chair of the Board of Directors of the National Quality Forum and a Director for the Congressionally created Reagan-Udall Foundation. She is featured on CNN, CNBC, ABC, and NPR on trends in health care costs and benefits. She is also widely quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Business Insurance, and many other journals.

Previously, Darling served as practice leader at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, and directed the purchasing of health benefits and disability at Xerox Corporation for 55,000 U.S. employees, plus their dependents and retirees. Before joining Xerox, Darling was a principal at William W. Mercer. Earlier in her career, Darling was an advisor to Sen. David Durenberger, the ranking Republican on the Health Subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee. She directed three studies at the Institute of Medicine for the National Academy of Sciences. Darling received a master’s degree in demography and sociology and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in History and English, cum laude, from the University of Memphis.

Professor Lord Ara Darzi

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham PC, KBE

Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham PC, KBE

Professor Darzi holds the Paul Hamlyn Chair of Surgery at Imperial College London, the Royal Marsden Hospital and the Institute of Cancer Research. He is Director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London and Chair of Imperial College Health Partners. He is an Honorary Consultant Surgeon at Imperial College Hospital NHS Trust.

Research led by Professor Darzi is directed towards achieving best surgical practice through innovation in surgery and enhancing patient safety and the quality of healthcare. His contribution within these research fields has been outstanding, publishing over 800 peer-reviewed research papers to date. In recognition of his achievements in the research and development of surgical technologies, Professor Darzi has been elected as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering; a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences; and in 2013, was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.

He was knighted for his services in medicine and surgery in 2002. In 2007, he was introduced to the United Kingdom’s House of Lords as Professor the Lord Darzi of Denham and appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Health. Upon relinquishing this role within central government in 2009, Professor Darzi sat as the United Kingdom’s Global Ambassador for Health and Life Sciences until March 2013. During this appointment and beyond, Professor Darzi has developed his status as a leading voice in the field of global health policy and innovation. Professor Darzi was appointed and remains a member of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council since June 2009.

Dr. Nancy Snyderman

NBC News Chief Medical Editor

NBC News Chief Medical Editor

Dr. Nancy Snyderman is Chief Medical Editor for NBC News, reporting for Today and Nightly News with Brian Williams. Snyderman is an award-winning journalist and has garnered several of the industry’s most distinguished honors including Emmy’s, DuPont, Edward R. Murrow, and Gracie awards.

She has reported on wide-ranging topics affecting all strata of society and has traveled the world extensively, reporting from many of the world’s most troubled areas.

Dr. Snyderman also serves on the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and The Forman School in Litchfield, Connecticut. She is on faculty in the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining NBC News, Snyderman served as Vice President of Consumer Education at Johnson & Johnson, where she focused on the importance of digital health. Before that, she served as the medical correspondent at ABC News for 17 years, contributing to 20/20, Primetime and Good Morning America. She was a frequent substitute co-host on Good Morning America.

Snyderman attended medical school at the University of Nebraska and continued with residencies in Pediatrics and Ear, Nose, and Throat Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh. She joined the surgical staff at the University of Arkansas in 1983 and began her broadcasting career shortly after at KATV, the ABC affiliate in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Snyderman’s medical work has been widely published in peer review journals and she is the recipient of numerous research grants. She was awarded a Kellogg fellowship in 1987. She is a New York Times bestselling author, having written five books. She also writes a monthly column for AARP magazine.

Snyderman lives in Princeton, New Jersey and is the mother of three children. She is an avid equestrian and hiker.

Don Berwick

President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI)

Donald M. Berwick was President and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) for nearly 20 years. In July 2010, President Obama appointed Dr. Berwick to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a position he held until December 2011.

Berwick was formerly Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Health Care Policy at the Harvard Medical School, and Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Berwick has served as vice chair of the US Preventive Services Task Force, the first “Independent Member” of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, and chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. An elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Dr. Berwick served two terms on the IOM’s governing Council and was a member of the IOM’s Global Health Board. He also served on President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Healthcare Industry.

Berwick is a recipient of several awards and author of numerous articles and books, including Curing Health Care and Escape Fire.