Connecting Business with Healthcare

PROVO, Utah – Dec 04, 2019 – BYU alumni, students, and healthcare professionals attended the first ever BYU Healthcare Industry Network Conference (HINC) held on 15 November 2019 at the Utah Valley Convention Center.

Over four hundred attendees, an amount that exceeded expectations, listened to keynote speaker and former UnitedHealthcare CEO Steve Nelson who spoke about changes needed in the healthcare system.  “My belief is that we cannot be interested in incremental change,” says Nelson. “We need to be about transformative change.”

The conference allowed alumni to build their networks, continue their education, and employers to recruit BYU students into healthcare professions.

Nelson spoke about how the healthcare industry is a “wicked problem”, a problem so complex, with conflicting stakeholders, conflicting incentives, and no real solution in sight. Nelson shared that to combat this issue the healthcare industry needs to simplify healthcare, modernize healthcare, and redefine what it means to have access to healthcare.  “It's a daunting task, but it's not hopeless,” says Nelson. “We should be hopeful because there's a lot of solutions out there right now, we just need to get more aggressive with them.”

Nelson stated the importance of holding a conference such as the HINC which connects the business world with the healthcare industry.  “Being passionate about healthcare, I am happy there continues to be an effort to be relevant, because we need leaders and we need fresh thinking,” says Nelson.

Healthcare industry initiative chair and School of Accountancy professor Bill Tayler headed the conference initiative, knowing the importance of connecting the business world with the healthcare industry.

“As we get our alumni and friends better connected with each other and with BYU, they are better able to help our current students who are interested in becoming part of this exciting industry,” says Tayler.

At the conference, BYU economics alum Dan Burton, CEO of Health Catalyst, a healthcare data warehousing and analytics company, led a Health Catalyst panel consisting of himself, board member and audit committee chairman Jack Kane, and chief people officer Linda Llewelyn, about the power of attracting and retaining talent.  

In addition to the panel, ten presenters spoke at breakout sessions discussing topics ranging from impacting healthcare with supply chain and product innovation to digital applications in healthcare.

“There were great breakout sessions,” says healthcare professional Georgia Bennion who works in Salt Lake City. “Learning how to best set yourself up for success in the healthcare industry is something that I will definitely take back with me to the workplace.”

The conference allowed attendees to network with professionals from across the United States. “The conference gave me the opportunity to network with executives and healthcare leaders from a wide variety of healthcare settings. It's been enjoyable to be able to speak with them and benefit from their expertise,” says healthcare professional Nina Ferrell who also works in Salt Lake City.

The initiative to further connect BYU Marriott alumni to the healthcare industry began when former BYU Marriott Dean Lee Perry invited faculty interested in healthcare to start talking about ways BYU Marriott could help students interested in the industry. Tayler jumped at the opportunity. "Our current BYU Marriott leadership has continued to support and encourage efforts in the healthcare space,” says Tayler. “I have always looked for ways to tie my research, teaching, and consulting work back to healthcare. I love the thought that the work I do on the business side of healthcare can translate into saving lives.”

With the success of the first HINC, the second annual conference is already in the works to be held 1-2 October 2020. “The conference shows that BYU is ready to expand our presence in the healthcare industry,” says Tayler. “We enter BYU to learn and go forth to serve. What better way to serve than to focus our strength and energy on the healthcare industry.”

Keynote speaker Steve Nelson speaks to conference attendees.
Keynote speaker Steve Nelson addresses conference attendees. Photo Courtesy of Clarity Lane.
The Health Catalyst panel spoke about attracting and retaining talent.
The Health Catalyst panel spoke about retaining talent. Photo Courtesy of Clarity Lane.
HINC attendees listened to various presenters throughout the daylong conference.
HINC attendees listened to various presenters. Photo Courtesy of Clarity Lane.

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kate Monroe