Michael W. Wood, M.S., M.P.H.
Michael is an industry veteran consultant and entrepreneur of over 30 years in the employee/patient health improvement segment serving large employers, health plans and health care providers/systems. In 1983 he co-founded CareWise, developing the first commercial nurseline, which was combined with biometric testing, health risk appraisals, blood pressure control, self-care books, “wise buying of health care” education and wellness. CareWise held the Montana Power Company’s trend to zero for three straight years in an 18% trend environment that the state of Montana had during the same period.
Michael was instrumental in the formation of the first health case managers association, and pioneered the development of early condition management programs. Seen as an industry visionary with practical execution capabilities, he is often quoted in the national media and sought after by many consumer health service companies for advice and strategic counsel. Michael began his 30+ year career in the trenches of public health departments, first in a very poor urban ghetto where he learned to deal with high-risk pregnancy management, sexually transmitted disease, drug & alcohol abuse, family planning and basic nutrition; and later in a middle-class, mountain community with typical American chronic diseases and maladies. He also consulted with Alaskan health education projects serving Native Alaskans and the general population.
After CareWise, Michael was the chief business architect of Aetna’s Informed Health line of business, which included a nurseline, early disease management programs, high-risk pregnancy management and new wellness initiatives. He received an award from Aetna’s own HR department for exemplary customer service and results. From there, he did a 3 year stint at Mercer (employer consulting), 3 years at Accenture (large health plan consulting) and finally spent his most recent 9 years at Towers Watson. Michael was a leader in innovation and intellectual capital development at TW, where he was a Senior Consultant and worked with household names Fortune 500 companies, hospitals and miscellaneous industry employers. He was an official representative of Towers Watson for the National Business Group on Health, one of the authors of the TW-NBGH biannual survey Staying @ Work and a frequent interviewee of the national media.
David Feffer has been a health care executive and entrepreneur for over 45 years with a focus on finance, planning and delivery of health care services. During much of his career he has concentrated on the development of concepts, delivery mechanisms and companies to improve patient-physician interactions and assist individuals become more effective decision makers and make changes regarding their health and health care. Mr. Feffer provides healthcare consulting services (in collaboration with industry expert colleagues) with a focus on supporting innovative organizations to successfully develop and bring to market technologies and services that have the potential to provide significant value and impact, resulting in meaningful improvements in people’s health status/outcomes and the way in which healthcare is more efficiently and effectively organized and delivered.
In 1983 he co-founded Health Incentives/CareWise, the first telephonic nurse decision support company and served as its CEO. In 1993 he joined Aetna Health Plans to found and head Informed Health, an independent subsidiary company of Aetna. Following Aetna, Mr. Feffer joined Health Dialog in 1997 (as one of the first 4 employees) as a partner and Senior Vice President with responsibilities, throughout the company’s growth, for development of products and services, business development and development of strategy. Mr. Feffer’s experience has included serving as an Administrative Officer with the Pan American Health Organization for family planning and maternal and child health programs; Director of the Welch, West Virginia Field Service Office for the United Mineworkers Health and Retirement Funds; Health Officer in Missoula Montana; co-founder of Health Development Associates to develop health and social services for areas impacted by energy development in Montana; and head of his own consulting firm. After leaving Health Dialog in 2009, Mr. Feffer has been an advisor for MedAppropriate, Pack4U and Array Health and served on the Board of Directors of North Valley Hospital (a critical access hospital) in Whitefish Montana, where he served as Vice-Chair. He is on the Board of Directors for Calico Energy, an energy data management company. In 2009, Mr. Feffer founded and served as Chair for the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation. He has served on the boards of ZAF Energy Systems, ViZn Energy and a number of non-profit organizations. Mr. Feffer received a BA in history and international affairs from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1971 and an MSPH in Health Administration from the University of North Carolina School of Public Health in 1975. He is a full-time resident of Whitefish, Montana.
With over 20 years experience in the health care field, Cathy is well versed in employee health benefits, product and program development, consumer research, and emerging trends. She is a frequent speaker on emerging trends and the development of new technologies and products in the health care industry.
In recent years Cathy has worked with health care specialty companies bringing new products to market including Quantum Health, a care management company that provides a Benefit Center for large employers, Employer Direct Healthcare a high quality global case rate network for scheduled procedures, Qliance, an enhanced primary care practice that guarantees access to employees and dependents of client companies, Accolade, a consumer services company that provides Personal Health Assistants to employees of major US corporations, HealthEquity, a consumer driven health care company focused on helping their members understand the financial side of health care and HealthAllies a network company serving the uninsured.
When HealthAllies was acquired by UnitedHealth Group, Cathy worked with a number of subsidiary companies including Uniprise, UnitedHealth Care, Ovations, and GoldenRule to research and bring to market a number of new integrated products.
Prior to HealthAllies, she was at Towers Perrin, serving in a number of leadership roles including leading the total health management practice and co-leading the health care strategy practice. During her tenure, she focused her consulting efforts on e-health projects, participating in the e-initiatives core teams for both Tillinghast (a health plan and industry consulting firm) and Towers Perrin (consultants to Fortune 500 employers). Prior to joining Towers Perrin, she led the Integrated Benefits Practice at Aon (formerly Alexander & Alexander).
Cathy was a founder and Board Director of the Integrated Benefits Institute and a founder and board director of the National Disability Management Employers Coalition.
Kurt Miller is an independent Health Industry consultant with over 30 years of experience. He works with both established and early-stage Healthcare companies on a variety of strategic, operational and technology-related programs. He focuses on helping these organizations establish business and operating strategies, design and develop new products, services and operating capabilities, and guides senior leadership teams through various growth and transition stages.
He has experience across all segments of the Health Industry – both domestically and internationally - including Health, Wellness and Care Management companies, Commercial and Government Payers and Integrated Delivery Systems, as well as NGOs focused on various Healthcare needs and issues. His primary areas of focus and expertise include Health and Wellness, Population and Disease Management, Customer Relationship Management and Digital Health.
Prior to his work as an independent consultant, he was a senior partner in Accenture’s Health Industry Group, where he led he Global Health Management practice. In this role he had responsibility for directing and overseeing research, thought leadership and product development for Health and Wellness, Care and Disease Management and Consumer Digital Health solutions. He also had business development, relationship management and engagement leadership responsibilities for various clients, projects and business ventures - where he helped his clients and business partners develop and implement strategies that increased revenues, reduced medical costs, improved health outcomes and enhanced consumer experiences. He also led new venture planning and launch activities with several healthcare startups and early stage companies. Prior to his Health Management leadership role he was responsible for developing and leading Accenture’s World Class Healthcare practice, which focused on large-scale clinical transformation and care delivery reengineering within provider settings.
In addition to his for profit experience, Kurt also led Accenture’s Commitment to Healthy Communities - a program focused on driving meaningful and sustainable improvements in Children’s & Maternal Health through the use of both corporate and individual pro bono resources. He is a thought leader in the area of Consumer Centric Healthcare, and has been a guest speaker on a variety of health care topics at numerous regional, national and global health care conferences. He has published a wide variety of articles on various healthcare topics, and co-authored a best-selling book titled “Changing Health Care: Creating Tomorrow’s Winning Health Enterprise Today.”
He is actively involved in the non-profit Healthcare sector, serving as a hands-on board member with Healthy LifeStars, an organization whose mission is to educate and motivate children to lead active, healthy lives.
Gary Smithson, M.D., M.B.A.
Gary is an accomplished health care executive with more than 30 years of business and clinical experience as a healthcare consultant and board-certified pediatrician. While a senior consultant at Towers Watson and Deloitte Consulting, Gary’s areas of in-depth experience covered wellness, disease management, cost and quality transparency, telemedicine and provider organizations including accountable care organizations, onsite/near-site health services and patient centered medical homes.
Currently, Gary works with employer sponsors of health care benefits, health systems, mature health care companies and start-ups, addressing overall strategy, sizing market opportunities, understanding competitive landscapes and the implications of health care reform. He also helps companies refine their product offerings and designs and demonstrate program value to key stakeholders.
Gary was the founder and managing partner of a multi-physician private practice, Glendale Pediatrics, in Glendale, CA (1981-1996) and through an academic appointment at the University of Southern California, is an active volunteer teaching resident physicians in the continuing care clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
Dr. Smithson received his BA from Kalamazoo College, MD from the University of Cincinnati and MBA from the University of California, Irvine. He completed his pediatric resident training at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.