2017 Wisconsin Biohealth Summit Presented by BioForward Wisconsin – Past Events

Wisconsin Biohealth Summit




As medicine and technology continue to converge, the future of healthcare solutions is on the horizon presenting new opportunities, challenges, and shifts in today’s healthcare industry. BioForward Wisconsin’s annual summit featured keynote and panel sessions highlighting the emerging trends in this new era of healthcare solutions and brought together experts with insight to these trends.


  • Full-day event built with our attendees in mind, including dedicated networking time, business development opportunities, professional development workshops, and insight into where the biohealth industry is going
  • Keynote Speakers. Foxconn Medical Group and Samsung Healthcare, from the health and technology industry spoke on the future of healthcare followed by question and answer sessions
  • Chances to meet and network with industry peers, executives, investors, and researchers from organizations including GE Healthcare, FUJIFILM, UW-Madison, Illumina, Covance, Medical College of Wisconsin, The Dohmen Company, Aldevron, Exact Sciences, and more!
  • 5 Panel Sessions covering topics from personalized medicine, success stories from Wisconsin, attracting and retaining talent, to healthcare legislation and advocacy updates
  • Afternoon Networking Reception with networking, signature cocktails,  hors d’oeuvres, and live music!


Envisioning the Future of Healthcare Technology 

Foxconn Medical Group

Foxconn Technology Group recently announced commitment to Wisconsin through the selection of Southeastern Wisconsin for their high-tech manufacturing plant and technology campus. Foxconn has a history of investments in healthcare and bioscience initiatives, and with Foxconn’s decision to invest in Wisconsin for display manufacturing comes the possibility of research partnerships, medical manufacturing, investment and employment for Wisconsin’s concentration of STEM-educated workforce.

Hear from the Charlie Alvarez, Senior Advisor to the President for Foxconn Medical Group on using technology to enhance healthcare, their initiatives within healthcare technology, and what they envision for the future for Foxconn and Wisconsin’s biohealth industry. 

Meet the Keynote: Charlie Alvarez

Charlie Alvarez, was born in New York and calls Miami Beach home. He began his career with PSS/World Medical (now McKesson) in 1990
after graduating cum laude from Florida State University with a B.S. in Communications. At that time, PSS was an $11M medical equipment distributor and has now grown to over $5B in sales. Charlie was PSS’s youngest Vice President running sales & operations for the Eastern
and Northern Regions based in New York. His last position was Vice President of Corporate Development with responsibilities in sales, marketing, and pioneering new markets.

He joined start-up U.S. Imaging Solutions with an investment from Huizenga Holdings in November of 1999 as President with a goal of pursuing his entrepreneurial dream. Charlie grew revenues from $1M in 2000 to over $12M in 2003 in a very competitive business and market.

In April of 2003 Charlie joined PDSHeart as Executive Vice President of Sales, responsible for expanding the sales force to cover the entire continental U.S. He successfully hired, trained and grew the sales force from 6 reps and $3M in revenues in 2003 to 40 reps and over $25M in 2006. In March of 2007, PDSHeart was acquired by CardioNet (now BioTelemetry). Charlie led the road show for a capital raise of over $110M of institutional financing for CardioNet’s acquisition of PDSHeart. Charlie joined CardioNet as Executive Vice President of Sales. CardioNet is the world’s leading supplier of Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry. Charlie was responsible for leading the direct sales force and expanding the CardioNet product offering to hospital systems and cardiologists across the country to over $100M in sales.

In 2008, Charlie co-founded Watermark Medical a privately held sleep diagnostics and therapy company focused on improving the clinical outcomes of patients with sleep disorders and other chronic diseases. Charlie was President of Watermark through the acquisition of SleepMed in 2013. At SleepMed, Charlie built a leading and innovative sales company that focused on selling diagnostic home sleep testing devices and therapy to hospitals and physician offices in the US through both a direct sales force and through leading medical product distributors. Under Charlie’s leadership, the company grew to over $90M in sales in 2014.

In 2014, Charlie was recruited to run and grow sales and marketing at Sotera Wireless, Inc. a San Diego based medical device company dedicated to the development, marketing and sale of a new generation of comprehensive vital signs monitoring. As Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Sotera Wireless, Charlie’s mission is to improve patient safety by enabling nurses & clinicians to detect early signs of deterioration in virtually any care setting. Sotera enables early intervention and rapid response, all without limiting the patient’s freedom of movement through body worn sensor technology. Charlie has grown sales to over $10M in revenue through 2016.

In 2017, Foxconn Corporation became the majority shareholder in Sotera Wireless. Foxconn asked Charlie to join the Foxconn Healthcare Group, M Group, to become the Senior Advisor to the President and help launch Foxconn’s entry into the US Healthcare market.

With more than 25 years of healthcare knowledge, he has the leadership and experience to transform an industry and build a leading healthcare company.

What’s Next for U.S. Healthcare? The Impact on the Biohealth Industry and Consumers

Wisconsin’s healthcare systems generate $26 billion annually in economic impact, paralleling the 1,600 biohealth companies that call Wisconsin home.  As the healthcare debate on Capitol Hill continues, the future state of healthcare and the larger biohealth community remains unknown. Hear from a panel of government affairs experts on their predictions, perspectives, and insights on upcoming healthcare reform legislation, including the impact on state and federal policy and the biohealth industry.


  • Rachel Roller, Senior Vice President, Community and Government Relations, Aurora Health Care
  • Brian O’Connor, Vice President of Alliance Development, AdvaMed
  • Patrick Plues, Senior Director of State Government Relations, BIO

Connecting and Collaborating with Women in Biohealth

The Women in Biohealth initiative has launched in Madison and is kicking off this initiative with some of Wisconsin’s leading women in biohealth on an introductory panel. Topics will include emerging trends, attracting women to biohealth, exploring career options, transitioning from academia to industry, encouraging workplace diversity, and more. Join this session as WIB covers topics concerning women in biohealth and exploring what’s next for their initiative.


  • Jo Handelsman – Director, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery
  • Haiying Grunenwald – Associate Director, Scientific Research, Illumina
  • Shoba Anantha – Product Marketer, Illumina
  • Katrina Pitas – Vice President of Business Development, SHINE Medical Technologies

2017 Hector F. DeLuca Scientific Achievement Award

Dr. Lynn Allen-Hoffmann, Founder and former CEO of Stratatech Corporation, now a Mallinckrodt company; current Senior Vice President of Regenerative Medicine at Mallinckrodt; and Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at University of Wisconsin-Madison,will receive the Hector F. DeLuca Scientific Achievement Award, celebrating her exceptional success in developing regenerative medicine products that have the potential to transform the standard of treatment for burn care and wound healing and founding Stratatech, acquired by Mallinckrodt in 2016.


2017 Wisconsin Biohealth Business Achievement Award

Cynthia LaConte, CEO and President of The Dohmen Company, will receive the Wisconsin Biohealth Business Achievement Award, honoring her achievements and vision to create a more efficient, effective and easy to use health experience. Under Cynthia’s leadership Dohmen Life Science Services was founded and is now recognized as the leading business process outsourcing company serving the life sciences industry. Cynthia has also fostered Milwaukee’s emerging high-tech healthcare industry through the growth of Dohmen’s Red Arrow Labs.

How the Customization of Healthcare Will Change the Face of the Industry

Precision medicine involves the tailoring of specific treatments, products, and medical decision-making to the individual based on genetic and biological markers. Hear from a panel of leaders in this field how the technology and mindset of precision medicine has the potential to change everything we know about healthcare.


  • Matt Anderson – Medical Director of the Diagnostic Laboratories of the Blood Center of Wisconsin  (Moderator)
  • Ulrich Broeckel – CEO, RPRD Diagnostics
  • Mercedes Ames – Applications Scientist, Biomax Informatics AG
  • Kari Wisinski – Medical Oncologist, UW Carbone Cancer Center
  • Christian Capitini – Medical Oncologist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Wisconsin 2025

The Wisconsin 2025 panel provides a unique insight into some of Wisconsin’s most successful biohealth companies and institutions. These companies choose to call Wisconsin home and are critical in developing the future of Wisconsin’s biohealth industry. Hear what it takes to create and nurture successful companies that are leading the way in healthcare products, delivery, and solutions. Each have a unique perspective on innovation related to services, products, and business models that you do not want to miss.


  • Jon Denissen, Vice President – Global GMP Laboratories, PPD
  • Shree Kalluri, Founder, CEO and Chief Customer Officer, Forte
  • Konstance Knox, CEO, Coppe Healthcare Solutions
  • Jay Mason, Founder and Strategic Advisor, Intellivist

Belonging in the Workplace Encourages Success

In this panel, hear from Wisconsin biohealth company professionals as they discuss the importance of belonging in the workplace.  When employees feel a sense of belonging and identification with the organization, they are naturally motivated to help it succeed. This sense of belonging keeps the team engaged, drives a sense of purpose and ultimate retains and attracts the best talent.  As an employee learn how you can attain a sense of belonging in your organization to make work rewarding, enjoyable, and purposeful. As an employer, learn how local companies foster a sense of belonging to keep their team engaged.


  • Jennifer Garber – Sr. Manager, Human Resources, Exact Sciences (Moderator)
  • James Dias – CEO, Wellbe
  • Kristin Taplick – Sr. Manager HR – Global HR Partner, Covance
  • Sarah Condella – SVP, Human Resources, Exact Sciences

Dr. David Rhew, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Healthcare and Fitness, Samsung Electronics America

New healthcare innovations are transforming clinical care and improving the healthcare delivery process for patients and providers alike. Wearable devices are helping healthcare providers track patients’ progress outside of clinical settings. Virtual reality is creating new forms of therapeutic treatment options for clinicians, including pain management.

In this presentation, Dr. Rhew will explore how digital health innovations are creating new ways to increase patient engagement and improve patient outcomes while decreasing costs. He will discuss recent results from clinical trials to demonstrate the effectiveness of these technologies.

Dr. David Rhew is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Head of Healthcare and Fitness for Samsung Electronics of America. David received his Bachelors of Science degrees in computer science and cellular molecular biology from the University of Michigan. He received his MD degree from Northwestern University and completed internal medicine residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. He completed fellowships in health services research at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and infectious diseases at the University of California, Los Angeles. Dr. Rhew has served as CMO and Vice-President for Global Healthcare at Samsung SDS; Senior Vice-President and CMO at Zynx Health Incorporated; clinician/researcher in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System; and Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Rhew has served on the National Quality Forum’s (NQF) Steering Committee for Pulmonary and Critical Care quality indicators and is currently on the NQF Consensus Standards and Approval Committee. He co-holds six U.S. technology patents that enable the authoring, mapping, and integration of clinical decision support into the electronic health record. Dr. Rhew’s interests include measurably improving the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care and applying technology to engage patients and consumers in their health.

Join us at the close of the day on the second floor atrium of Madison’s Overture Center for a chance to network with attendees in an energetic atmosphere filled with delicious food and drink recipes designed with the 2017 Biohealth Summit in mind – The Forward Old Fashioned and The Isthmus Cocktail!

Sponsored by:



2017 VENUE


Overture Center for the Arts is a stunning architectural landmark in the heart of Madison’s thriving cultural arts district. In addition to housing ten resident organizations and presenting more than 200 performances, art exhibitions, and educational and community events each year.

201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703