BioForward’s Annual Wisconsin Biohealth Summit Showcases Industry’s Commitment to Healthcare Innovation, Diversity & Talent

MADISON, Wis.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#biohealthawards19BioForward, the member-driven association that serves as the voice of Wisconsin’s biohealth industry, held its annual Wisconsin Biohealth Summit on October 2nd at the Overture Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

The 2019 Biohealth Summit had over 500 attendees and featured two keynote sessions, and in a new format had two panel discussions, six fireside chats, an industry-specific career fair, a social media blitz, and virtual reality demonstrations from 3Data and ARCH Virtual.

The annual Wisconsin Biohealth Summit is one of the largest biohealth events in the Midwest and this year the focus was on exploring the transformation of biohealth through technology and creativity.

Morning keynote speakers Dr. Elizabeth Burnside from the UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and Karley Yoder from GE Healthcare discussed how we are at the new frontier of utilizing imaging and artificial intelligence in healthcare and how by deciphering biomedical big data, we can engineer new healthcare paradigms.

Wisconsin’s thriving biohealth industry was evidenced by the contributions of leadership and innovation exhibited by the recipients of the 2019 Wisconsin Biohealth Awards at the Summit. During a lunch ceremony, Dr. Thomas “Rock” Mackie, Chief Innovation Officer at UW Health and Director of the Isthmus Project, and Laura Johnson Douglass, President, and CEO of Eufaeria Biosciences and Next Generation Clinical Research, were awarded the Hector F. DeLuca Scientific Achievement Award and Wisconsin Biohealth Business Achievement Award, respectively.

As an introduction to Phase II of BioForward’s talent initiative and campaign, animation videos featuring Catalent, Exact Sciences, and Shine Medical were featured demonstrating the broad depth and diversity of job opportunities in the Wisconsin biohealth industry, as well as focusing on the stories of member companies that truly impact the world. The 2019 Breakthroughs in Biohealth Converge in Wisconsin Report from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation was distributed the day of the event, with attendees getting insight into why biohealth companies choose Wisconsin.

The Summit also featured panel discussions and fireside chats covering topics including brain health, a showcase of young biohealth companies, SBIR grants, the science of nutrition, gene editing, and healthcare policy and legislative analysis. The remaining presentations focused on talent with a professional development chat hosted by Women in Biohealth, and a chat and keynote presentation with Ryan Jenkins, internationally-recognized speaker and author, about changes coming to the workforce.

“The annual Wisconsin Biohealth Summit has historically celebrated our industry, but this year’s event truly highlighted the breadth and strength of the biohealth industry in Wisconsin and the efforts of BioForward and our members to attract, cultivate, and retain talent now and into the future,” said Lisa Johnson, CEO of BioForward. “We must continue to celebrate our industry’s successes and redefine Wisconsin’s image as a leader in the biohealth industry and the go-to place for young biohealth talent.”

BioForward’s initiatives continue to grow while supporting the needs of member companies. Initiatives include a national hub for biomanufacturing through the Forward BIO Initiative, talent attraction, connecting women through Women in Biohealth, supporting healthtech in Milwaukee through HealthTechMKE and ensuring continued growth and success for Wisconsin’s biohealth industry. For more information on BioForward initiatives, please visit

To learn more about BioForward’s annual Wisconsin Biohealth Summit, visit the Summit website here.

About BioForward

BioForward serves as the independent voice of Wisconsin’s biohealth industry, providing services and resources to support the growth of our industry throughout the U.S. and the world. BioForward is the only Wisconsin organization representing over 220 biohealth member companies including biotech, biopharma, medical device, healthcare systems, diagnostics and digital health, as well as research institutions, and service providers. Learn more about BioForward Wisconsin and their initiatives for 2019-2020 at


BioForward Wisconsin

Rissa Guffey


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