Tom Sullivan | January 12, 2022
With the next Summit taking place April 6-8, 2022, in Laguna Niguel, CA, we spoke with new Health Evolution Senior Vice President Rob Lazerow, who develops the content for Health Evolution’s events, about what executives who participate should anticipate this year.
Lazerow joined Health Evolution after more than 15 years at the Advisory Board, most recently serving as Managing Director, where he led development of research and events for health care executives that spanned a wide range of strategy topics.
Looking toward the Summit in April, Lazerow discussed how our eight imperatives emerging post-pandemic lay the foundation for discussions that begin at the Summit and continue throughout the year, the work the Forum is undertaking, the expansion to a second hotel and more.
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How will the 2022 Summit be different than years’ past?
Thanks for chatting today, Tom, and for welcoming me to the Health Evolution team. From my perspective, it’s critical to stay true to what makes the Summit such an incredible experience each year. So we’ll have plenty of what Summit veterans love—a truly executive gathering, provocative conversations, peer-to-peer dialogue, cross-industry representation, and ample time for networking.
Above all, we remain committed to convening safely again this year. Similar to the 2021 Summit in August, we’re instituting a strong set of safety precautions that include proof of vaccination, showing a negative test result, simulcasting Main Stage sessions outdoors, and spacing out indoor seating. We’ll continue to refine these measures based on the latest guidance from the CDC, state, and local health departments.
In terms of what might be different this year, we’ll have even more CEOs of payer, provider, and life science organizations in attendance. And we’re going to spread events across our two hotels – the Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel and the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Spa – to create a more unified campus experience. The hotels are adjacent and they’re both spectacular properties.
Leading up to the 2021 Summit, Health Evolution outlined eight imperatives emerging post-pandemic. How do those shape the discussions at the live event?
The eight imperatives are the foundation for the vast majority of our work with the Health Evolution community. There are certainly other topics we’ll address across 2022, but I expect the Venn diagram between the eight imperatives and discussions at the Summit to be fairly tight. I’d look for two things in the agenda. First, imperatives that we discussed last year but have new manifestations this year. And second, the imperatives we haven’t discussed at the Summit in the depth they deserve.
Rob Lazerow, SVP, Health Evolution
What are the CEO-centric themes planned for the 2022 Summit?
Executives who join us in Laguna this April can expect a mix of present-day and future-focused conversations. Workforce shortages are the critical flareup related to strengthening system resilience right now, so we’ll discuss competing for talent amid “the Great Resignation.” We also want to expand our immediate focus on mental and behavioral health. We’ll examine how to strengthen our fragile mental health care system and harness the latest innovations.
Taking a longer view, we’ll explore how consolidation trends—especially the hot market for primary care partnerships—will change the strategic landscape across the next five years. We also want to launch a conversation about health care’s role in confronting climate change—and how unfortunately that’s not as distant of a challenge as we might expect. We’ll also take a look at the business of big data, both the realities to date and potential moving forward. And to pull the pieces together, we’ll tee up conversations about how CEOs prioritize and balance all of these ambitions—especially ones that push the boundaries of organizations’ core business. So essentially, what’s the new leadership agenda?
Finally, we’ll touch on policy questions across the Summit with the Biden administration entering its second year, the midterm elections rapidly approaching, and a debate about risk-adjustment heating up.
Forum Fellows, a collaboration of more than 200 CEOs in the Health Evolution community, convened as part of the 2021 Summit. What is the Forum planning for 2022 Summit? And how will those topics inform Main Stage discussions?
Health Evolution’s Forum is really the year-round extension of the Summit, and it’s ideal for CEOs who want to continue the conversation and roll up their sleeves to find solutions to health care’s most important and intractable challenges. So, we should see the Forum advancing themes from last year’s Summit and informing the agenda for this year’s. We currently have cross-industry Roundtables and Work Groups focusing on health equity, next-generation IT, and new models of care delivery.
For this year’ agenda, mental health is a perfect example. We’re designing both a Main Stage discussion for the Summit in April and ongoing conversations across the year. We also want to celebrate big achievements from the Forum this past year, including the launch of the Health Equity Pledge, which has already been signed by nearly 50 organizations.
Similar to last year, we’re going to convene our Forum Fellows for some dedicated, invitation-only events at the Summit. We plan to expand on the risk adjustment dialogue our New Models of Care Delivery Roundtable has been having across the past few months, so that’s another example of the interconnection.
I’m also excited to share that we’re introducing a second annual event this year, which we’re calling Connect. We’re hosting Connect in Nashville on September 14-16, 2022. Similar to Summit, Connect will be a highly curated, invitation-only event. However, a broader group of C-suite executives will be eligible to attend, and we’ll examine more immediate challenges and push for actionable takeaways. Having our in-person gatherings twice each year will help maintain momentum, activate more leaders, and get to scalable solutions faster.
Following that, the Summit is known for inspiring CEOs to return to the organizations they lead and continue collaborating throughout the year with peers leading other health plans, health systems and life sciences companies. What points of inspiration will CEOs take away from the 2022 Summit?
I’ve worked with health care executives for the past 15 years, and I can’t think of a harder time to be a CEO and balance so many daunting priorities. By the time we gather in April, CEOs will have been leading their organizations through the pandemic for two full years. During this time, we’ve seen firsthand how our health care system is one of our nation’s last lines of defense. If that’s not enough, CEOs are addressing some of the most complex societal challenges in a highly polarized environment. Put these together and today’s leaders are facing fundamental questions about the boundaries of their organizations’ core business and how to set a strategic course for the next three-to-five years.
I’m confident that CEOs will leave the Summit with new ideas for advancing near-term priorities and a clearer understanding of the intersection points between the longer-term challenges. Leaders will ultimately leave Laguna inspired to lift up from the immediate pressures, look at a longer time horizon, and refresh their leadership agendas. They’ll see how bold, proactive moves can reduce the extent of future crises and make an outsized impact on the communities they serve.