Highlights From StartUp Health 2019


Our most memorable moments, including Oliver Wyman's Inaugural Women in Healthcare Leadership Award.

Hayley Reta

6 min read

Thousands of innovators, scientists, entrepreneurs, and healthcare executives headed to the Bay area to attend this year's StartUp Health festival surrounding J.P. Morgan Healthcare Week (JPM) in San Francisco. The event's line-up included Dr. Jill Biden, journalist Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Christina Farr, and yes, even a rock show. Here are a few of our most memorable moments.  

Former Second Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, Addresses Cancer Care and Living Your Best Life

“This festival is one of the most ambitious healthcare events around. You’re tackling the most ambitious issues of our time – health equity, the digital revolution, mental health, and women’s health. All of these topics are critical, but one is especially personal for me and for our family – the battle against cancer,” said Jill, regarding her son Beau’s passing of cancer, and the launch of the Biden Cancer Initiative. “The average survival time after diagnosis is only 14 months. For most people, it’s one more birthday, one more New Years’ Eve kiss, a handful of moments to laugh and love and say goodbye.”

“Of all the things that cancer steals from us – strength, mobility, comfort, memories – time is the cruelest. The days spent in treatment or recovering from surgery, anniversaries or Christmases, long phone conversations, and late summer nights, pages and pages of photo albums unfilled. Our time with each other is precious and irrevocable. We can’t afford to wait another minute for better solutions, better treatment, and better cures. That’s why what you all do is so important.”

Oliver Wyman Presents Amber Cambron of BlueCare Tennessee the Women in Healthcare Leadership Award

Of the events surrounding JPM, STAT News claimed that StartUp Health festival had the strongest female representation on stage. Two of those women to grace the stage were Terry Stone, Oliver Wyman Managing Partner, and Amber Cambron of BlueCare Tennessee.

In conjunction with the event, Oliver Wyman announced new research on the state of women in healthcare leadership and presented the inaugural Women in Healthcare Leadership award to Amber Cambron, President and CEO of BlueCare Tennessee. Amber was chosen for her achievements centered around her ability to make a significant impact with at-risk residents while driving gender parity in her leadership team. 

Sanjay Gupta talks Addiction and Opioids

This year, StartUp Health launched its 11th moonshot to end addiction and the opioid crisis. CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, sat with StartUp Health’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Steven Krein, to discuss and debate the issue. Gupta shared that we Americans are taking 80–90 percent of the world’s supply of opioids. Considering this staggering statistic, Gupta shared it is no suprise US expectency has declined. Why the decline? “Deaths of despair” like those due to opioid overdose and addiction, he says.

CNBC’s Christina Farr talks AI, Female Healthcare Leadership, and More

Building on the theme of women in healthcare, Christina Farr spoke with two female executives, Dr. Heather Bell, Global Head of Digital and Analytics at Sanofi, and Jennifer Esposito, Worldwide General Manager, Health and Life Sciences at Intel. When asked about what needs to happen to get more women in executive healthcare roles, Bell claimed we need to be aware of unconscious bias, secure role models, and be explicit about gender parity. When talking to Esposito, Farr posed the question of where we might see AI really making an impact (i.e. when technology is not just a spreadsheet). According to Esposito, it will be in “less sexy” areas of healthcare like finance and administration.

Entrepreneurs, Innovators, and Rock Stars?

The closing event, co-hosted by Oliver Wyman and Red Crow Inc. was one for the records. No one wanted to miss the live performace from Jerry Harrison of the Talking Heads and The Side Deal. The band, consisting of members from Train and Sugar Ray, rocked the audience into the night. Days later, I'm certain I'm not the only one humming, And She Was


  • Hayley Reta