2021 Speakers

Corey Belken

Corey Belken, Pharm D., joined the Health Transformation Alliance (HTA) in January 2019 as Vice President of Strategic Business Initiatives, focusing on optimizing specialty pharmacy spend, direct to manufacturer and other clinically opportunities for HTA members. Corey has approximately twenty years of managed care pharmacy experience focused on specialty pharmacy, pharmacy benefit management, drug manufacturing and consulting for large and jumbo employers. In addition, Corey has held various leadership roles in business development, clinical services, and consulting for Express Scripts/CuraScript, The Burchfield Group, Artemetrx, Archimedes and Genentech prior to joining the HTA. ​

Dr. Belken holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from The University of Minnesota, where he continues to be involved as an instructor and preceptor and a Bachelor’s of Science from Wartburg College.

He will be speaking on how to navigate drug spending through medical benefit, Thursday, April 15 at 11:00 AM EST.


Ronny Gal

Aaron (Ronny) Gal, a long term analyst of the biopharma industry consults via his company MoTo Bioadvisors. In addition to his consulting, his main occupation is as senior analyst at Sanford Bernstein covering US Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology for institutional investors. Prior to joining Bernstein, Ronny spearheaded Canon’s business development in life sciences. He also spent six years with the Boston Consulting Group. Ronny was awarded a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a BSc from Emory University.

Ronny will be speaking on how to navigate the drug spend through medical benefits on Thursday, April 15 at 11:00 AM EST.


Darcy Gruttadaro, J.D.

Darcy Gruttadaro joined the APA Foundation in 2017 as the director of the Center for Workplace Mental Health. As director, she is developing and implementing the Center’s strategic direction and continued growth. In this role, she will develop strategic relationships and collaboration with employers, business groups representing employers, colleague organizations and other key stakeholders. Before joining the Center, Ms. Gruttadaro served in multiple senior level positions with the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). This work focused on initiatives to expand access to effective mental health services and supports for people impacted by mental health conditions. Ms. Gruttadaro has extensive experience in advocacy, policy and programmatic approaches to expanding evidence-based practices, improving early intervention, securing insurance coverage for mental health services and building a broader array of effective services and supports that promote resiliency and recovery.
Prior to NAMI, Ms. Gruttadaro worked with national organizations representing managed care organizations in analyzing state and federal insurance laws and regulations. She also practiced law with the Harris Beach law firm, concentrating her legal practice on health care and mental health related issues. She served as a law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York. Ms. Gruttadaro earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Clarkson University and a JD from Western New England University School of Law.

Ms. Gruttadaro will be speaking about mental health on Wednesday, April 14 at 10:00 AM EST.


Nadia Haque

Nadia Haque is a Biomarker Testing Account Executive at Genentech, where she works with members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team to ensure cancer patients have access to an accurate and timely diagnosis in order to benefit from personalized therapy. Prior to joining Genentech, she served as Senior Content Management Consultant in Pharmacogenomics with Wolters Kluwer, and a strategic consultant to the Henry Ford Medical Group CEO. She has also held positions as Director, Precision Medicine at Henry Ford Health System, and held pharmacy management and research positions at Henry Ford Hospital.

Nadia holds a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree from Wayne State University, and a Masters in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan. She remains active in the pharmacy profession, having published multiple times in the peer reviewed literature, and serving regularly on national committees, and currently on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Society of Health System Pharmacists. She is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist, and a Fellow of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

Ms. Haque will be speaking on how to prepare for the personalized medicine revolution on Thursday, April 15 at 10:00 AM EST.


Bret Jackson

Bret Jackson is the president of the non-profit Economic Alliance for Michigan (EAM). Founded in 1982, the EAM is comprised of businesses and unions working together with one clear objective, the continued growth of Michigan’s economy by creating an atmosphere that inspires job growth and maintains Michigan’s competitiveness for attracting new companies and talent. EAM’s membership provides health benefits to an estimated 900,000 lives, creating a powerful voice in the health purchaser industry.

Bret began working at the EAM in 2007 as legislative director. In 2010, he was elected vice president and became the organization’s third president in January 2011. Bret oversees all EAM activities including policy development, research, education, administration, membership, and advocacy. He developed and manages the EAM Health Purchaser Forums, Oncology Symposium, and other various health purchaser roundtables.

With the EAM as The Leapfrog Group’s Regional Leader for Michigan, Bret is a leader in advocating for patient safety in the State of Michigan and completed The Leapfrog Group’s Bruce Bradley Fellowship in 2017. He serves as chair of the Health Policy Affinity Group and on the Board of Governors for the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. In 2020, Bret was appointed to the National Quality Forum Patient Safety Standing Committee.

Bret will be speaking on what a post-COVID healthcare world will be for purchasers and employers on Friday, April 16 at 11:00 AM EST.


Ford Koles

Bradford S. Koles, Jr. is an Executive Director and the national spokesperson for the Advisory Board Company, a for-profit, publicly-traded research, technology and consulting firm. The Advisory Board serves more than 4,400 leading hospitals and health systems. Mr. Koles is one of the firm’s preeminent thought-leaders in the area of health system economics and strategy, heading the faculty at the annual series of Chief Executive Officer meetings. He is also the keynote speaker at the annual series of Health Care Advisory Board meetings, the firm’s flagship program. Mr. Koles is one of the best known and most requested speakers in the health care industry.

Mr. Koles is a health care economist by training with a wide-range of expertise in the provider industry. He has been a dominant figure in the evolution and communication of every major Advisory Board Company research initiative since 1994, leaving him conversant in the history and current status of all the significant reform initiatives: coverage expansion, vertical integration and physician partnership models, managed care and payer contracting, horizontal integration and system economics of scale, quality-based competition and consumerism. Mr. Koles has been with the Advisory Board for twenty-four years. Previous to his employment with the Advisory Board Company, he worked as a management consultant for both the Hay Group and Ernst & Young. Mr. Koles received his Master’s Degree in economics from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Kenyon College.

Mr. Koles will the opening keynote speaker on Tuesday, April 13 at 10:00 AM EST, addressing ways COVID-19 has impacted the healthcare delivery system.


Craig Kramer

Craig Kramer is Mental Health Ambassador and Chair, Global Campaign for Mental Health, in Neuroscience External Affairs at Janssen R&D, a Johnson & Johnson company. In this capacity, Craig leads a Johnson & Johnson team that seeks to transform mental health care globally by raising awareness, reducing stigma, promoting research, improving access, and ensuring better patient outcomes. Key initiatives include a global leaders’ coalition to champion proven, scalable reforms, and a CEO roundtable to develop “next-in-class” workplace mental health practices.

Prior to this role, Craig held a variety of positions in global corporate and government affairs at Johnson & Johnson and worked as a lawyer in the U.S. Congress, a Washington, D.C., law firm, and an international human rights organization. Craig is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, the University of Michigan School of Law, and Harvard Business School’s General Management Program.

Mr. Kramer will take us on a patient’s journey through the mental health care system on Wednesday, April 14 at 11:00 AM EST.

Demmy McBride

Demmy McBride leads U.S. Health & Welfare Benefits at Ford Motor Company. She also serves in a leadership role on Ford’s global wellbeing team.

Demmy joined Ford in 2015 and has 19 years of health care industry experience. Prior to Ford, Demmy spent 13 years at Truven Health Analytics (now IBM Watson Health). During her tenure at Truven, she served as the account executive for many large employer clients, both private and public sector.

Demmy earned a B.S. degree in Geological Sciences and English from the University of Michigan.

She will be part of the Navigating Drug Spend Through Medical Benefit on Thursday, April 15 at 11:00 AM.


Brenda Motheral

Brenda Motheral BPharm, MBA, PhD is the CEO & Co-Founder of Archimedes, an industry leader in specialty drug management solutions. Over the last 20 years, Dr. Motheral has held executive leadership positions in research, product development and strategy in the pharmacy benefit and population health management industry. Her work has focused on leveraging data analytics for cost containment and quality of care initiatives, identifying and designing new clinical programs, and implementing large health services programs.

Dr. Motheral has worked with more than 30 plan sponsors in the last two years on the analysis, design and implementation of specialty drug solutions. She has published more than 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has received national research awards from the Academy for Managed Care Pharmacy and the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research. Dr. Motheral holds a Ph.D. focused in health economics from The University of South Carolina, a Master of Business Administration degree and a bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from The University of Kentucky.

In 2011, Dr. Motheral became president of Artemetrx and oversees the vision and operation of Artemetrx Specialty Drug Solutions™ and Artemetrx Health™ to bring innovation and thought-leadership to the pharmacy and medical benefits industries. She previously held the position of executive director of Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute as well as leadership management positions at Healthways and Express Scripts. She also worked at Aetna as a relationship manager and at Union Bank as the vice president of benefits.

Dr. Motheral will speak on Tuesday, April 13 at 11:00 AM EST about biosimliars.


Jason Parrott

Jason Parrott is Senior Manager of Global Healthcare & Well Being Strategy of The Boeing Company. Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and top U.S. exporter. Jason joined Boeing in October 2012. Before that, Jason joined AT&T in 1994, and held progressive roles over 18 years in Human Resources.

He is Chairman of the Board for Midwest Business Group on Health, and board member of Employer Health Innovation Roundtable, Integrated Benefits Institute, and Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute.

Jason earned an M.B.A. and M.S. in Management and Organizational Behavior from Benedictine University, and Bachelor of Science degree from Illinois State University.

Mr. Parrott will be speaking on how to navigate the drug spend through medical benefits on Thursday, April 15 at 11:00 AM EST.


Natalie Pirkola

Natalie Pirkola, PharmD, MBA, received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Wayne State University. She is a Board Certified Ambulatory Care Pharmacist, Board Certified Advanced Diabetes Manager, Certified Diabetes Educator, Certified Geriatric Pharmacist, and a Certified Asthma Educator. Currently, Natalie oversees vendor management and PPO plans for Ford Motor Company.

She has experience in hospital pharmacy, community pharmacy, administration, and education. She was active in community pharmacy-based medication therapy management, immunization, screening, and education services at Kroger Pharmacy, Oakland Southfield Physicians, an independent physician association, before coming to Ford Motor Company.

Natalie has a master’s degrees in Population Health Management from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare Leadership from Oakland University.

Ms. Pirkola will be speaking about how to unlock the biosimilars market on Tuesday, April 13 at 11:00 AM EST.


Wendell Primus

Wendell Primus is the Senior Policy Advisor on Budget and Health issues to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Prior to this appointment in March, 2005, Dr. Primus was the Minority Staff Director at the Joint Economic Committee. Prior to that position, Dr. Primus was the Director of Income Security for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. He previously served in the Clinton Administration as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy at the Department of Health and Human Services. In that position, Dr. Primus was primarily responsible for policy development and for the conduct of research and evaluation on issues relating to income assistance, employment and related human services programs.

Dr. Primus has also served as Chief Economist for the House Ways and Means Committee and Staff Director for the Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Resources. During his fifteen-year tenure at Ways and Means, he was responsible for editing thirteen editions of the Committee’s “Green Book.” Dr. Primus received his Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University.

Dr. Primus will be speaking on Friday, April 16 at 10:00 AM EST about the Washington D.C. Healthcare Agenda.


Frederick Schnell

Frederick M. Schnell, MD, FACP brings the physician perspective and practice management experience to his role as Medical Director. Dr. Schnell is helping community oncology practices address the future of oncology payment reform. The rapidly changing landscape of cancer care delivery in the United States demands insight like his to craft the future strategies for community oncology.

Board-certified in internal medicine and medical oncology, Dr. Schnell practiced for 34 years at Central Georgia Cancer Care where he served as CEO. His primary focus areas related to breast and genitourinary cancer.

Dr. Schnell is a past president of both COA and the Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology. He is currently the Medical Director of the Georgia Center for Research and Oncology Education, a prior member of the Board of Directors of the Patient Access Network Foundation and served for eight years as a member of the Board of Directors and the Chief Clinical Officer, Cancer Clinics of Excellence. He was named the Distinguished Cancer Clinician award from the Georgia Cancer Coalition.

Dr. Schnell received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University. He completed his internship and residency at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals, followed by a fellowship in medical oncology and hematology, also at Emory University. Additionally, he served in the National Health Service Corps, United States Public Health Service.

His academic appointments include Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, GA, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Hematology and Oncology at the Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA.

Dr. Schnell will be talking about personalized medicine on Thursday, April 15 at 10:00 AM EST.


Mike Thompson

Michael Thompson is the president and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions (National Alliance), the only nonprofit, purchaser-led organization with a national and regional structure dedicated to driving health and healthcare value across the country.

Prior to joining the National Alliance, Mike was a Principal at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for 20 years. He is a nationally recognized thought leader for business health strategies and health system reform. Mike has worked with major employers and other stakeholders on sustainable cost reduction, integrated health, wellness and consumerism, retiree health, private health exchanges and health reform. Known for developing and promoting collaborative cross-sector health industry initiatives, Mike participated on the steering board of the World Economic Forum’s “Working toward Wellness” initiative and co-founded the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC). Prior to PwC, Mike served as an executive with diverse roles with Prudential Healthcare for over 17 years.

Mike is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries, serving on the Health Practice Council, and chairs the Medicare Sub-Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA). He is also widely recognized as a leading national advocate for mental health and wellbeing and was past president of the New York City chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). Mike previously was an active member of the board of the Northeast Business Group on Health for 11 years.

Mr. Thompson will end the conference on Friday, April 16 at 11:00 AM EST, to help us answer the question, “What does post-COVID healthcare look like for purchasers?”