Intercede Health Executive Board Chair co-founds Austin Healthcare Council

Austin Healthcare Council brings together big names in city's medical, biotech fields

Feb 1, 2017, 8:09am CST

The expansion of hospital systems in the Austin area and the proliferation of startups challenging traditional models of health care has boosted Central Texas' reputation as a nexus of medical care and innovation.

It has also created a dizzying number of executives and companies to track. The newly formed Austin Healthcare Council brings together some of the biggest names in the sector is an attempt to solve that problem.

The nonprofit will be lead by President Gus Cardenas, a longtime strategic consultant and former financial executive, along with co-founders Bill McLellan, chief development officer at Family Eldercare and a former board member at St. David’s Medical Center, and Dr. Philip Sanger, managing partner of venture capital firm TEXO Ventures.

The Austin Healthcare Council will serve as a forum for health care providers and executives to communicate and collaborate. Among the group's top priorities are improving care for the sickest Austinites.

Cardenas, McLellan, and Sanger all serve on the eight-member board for the AHC. The other members are:

  • Dr. William Rice, senior vice president for clinical innovation at St. David’s HealthCare (chairman)

  • Mini Kahlon, vice dean for strategy and partnerships, Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin (vice chairwoman). Read more about Kahlon in this recent ABJ profile.

  • Dr. Norm Chenven, founder of Austin Regional Clinic

  • Laura Howard, principal/southwest advisory health market leader at Ernst & Young

  • Emma Cartmell, partner at Exsede Health Consulting.

AHC plans to form a 50-member executive board of health care leaders to outline the biggest issues facing the Austin metro and its medical providers. Cardenas said he is seeking entrepreneurs, physicians, medical device executives, pharmacists and higher-education leaders to sign up.

Companies and organizations that have already committed to joining include Austin Community College, the Texas Life-sciences Collaboration Center in Georgetown, Baylor Scott & White Health, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, Dell Medical School, St. David’s HealthCare and big-data startup CognitiveScale Inc. A representative of Seton Healthcare Family is expected to join as well, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

The Council held a launch event Jan. 31 with a keynote address by Bill Frist, former U.S. senator from Tennessee who is also a board-certified surgeon. He spoke about how the creation of the Nashville Healthcare Council, which now counts more than 4,000 members, positively impacted that city and its medical community.

Will Anderson, Digital Editor, Austin Business Journal

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