Kicking off HLTH 2023 with Lisa Suennen’s Hot Takes || EP. 137

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Laurie McGraw is speaking with Inspiring Woman Lisa Suennen, veteran healthcare leader and commentator.  Also, founder of CSweetner, now a part of HLTH supporting the advancement of women in healthcare.

Kicking off HLTH 2023, Lisa provides her views on 5 key topic areas at the conference – what’s exciting and where we might be a bit more skeptical. Hear Lisa’s Hot Takes on:

  1. Stand-alone technology is useless
    Pay attention to the important convergence of technology with services or medical devices. Today, addressing important areas (workforce burnout; administrative overhead).  Still key to making it all work:  Interoperability and workflows.
  2. AI, the 60 y.o. overnight sensation, needs to stay in its lane (today that is)
    AI in practice is limited but still promising. Reducing burdensome admin overhead on very busy clinicians; detecting fraud; streamlining scheduling – start there.  HOLD UP on clinical applications until we gain confidence in what is more “sketchy” data today.  That said, in 25 years, expect AI to be ubiquitous and not a stand-alone thing.
  3. Mental Health – the new thing that’s not at all new
    Lisa sees promise in solutions targeted to specialized or unique populations. Opioid addiction is very different than teen depression or loneliness. She is quick to point out that a more holistic approach is still needed v point solutions..
  4. Big Tech and Healthcare ….and Impacting the Quadruple Aim
    Quadruple aim is just not the business model of Big Tech v quarterly earnings. Lisa sees Microsoft as ahead of the pack today, yet she remains skeptical that the impact will match the marketing.  That doesn’t mean she is not hopeful that it will!
  5. Weight Loss and Food as Medicine
    A very promising area with misaligned incentives today. A multidimensional approach is needed, and we simply MUST do something about our food…

Of course, we had to close out on the state of play for women in healthcare.  I forced Lisa to choose something positive to highlight.  Harder than it should have been!  The pockets of progress are there , but she was quick to point out that women have still lost more of the jobs of late and recent reports on the state of funding which show further declines in progress.  Sticking with the positive though, Lisa highlights the new focus and investment in Women’s Health.  Promising indeed!!

Thank you Lisa for sharing these views and pointing out some of the key topic areas for HLTH 2023.

Guest bio:

30+ Years of Healthcare and Team Leadership – living in the center of the Venn diagram between healthcare, entrepreneurship, and technology. Very comfortable coloring outside the lines.

I love to lead and work alongside creative, exceptional talent to build high value healthcare enterprises that thrive in a transforming world.

I have worked in and/or with all sides of the healthcare continuum (digital health/health IT/payer/provider/ health services /medical device/pharma); I have also worked on multiple sides of the business equation (executive/operations leadership, venture investor, strategy consultant, board member). As such, I think of myself as having a sort of Rubik’s Cube of healthcare knowledge that I can apply to new situations in a highly flexible way. From a practical standpoint, it means that I have an unusually broad perspective on the interplay among the different healthcare disciplines, the economics that drive them and the incentives that make buyers/decision-makers pay attention.

I combine that knowledge with a broad skill set in executive and operational leadership, strategy/BD, sales & marketing, partnering, and fund-raising to deliver results, whether it’s launching a new company or product, developing new go-to-market and partnering strategies, building a team and ensuring esprit de corps, accelerating growth in existing and/or new markets or raising capital. I’m keenly aware of the need for balancing strategy with the pragmatic realities of money and markets – a need that applies across early stage, growth and established companies. I draw energy from things that are new, different, transformative but also actionable.

What I’ve Done: Executive/Operating Leadership, Venture Capital Partnership (Corporate Venture and Independent Funds), Strategy Consultant, Board Member, Advisor to companies large and small

Other Activities: Advisor to Startup Companies, Venture Valkyrie blog (, Faculty at UC Berkeley/Haas, Frequent public speaker. Founder,

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