Additional Speakers Added to VM Global Summit Program


(L to R) Janine Grasso, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn and John Whyte.

NEW YORK—A leading health care economist, a prominent public health expert and a blockchain technology business strategist are the latest speakers to join the program for the upcoming Vision Monday Global Leadership Summit, Decoding the Consumer: The New Science of Customer Behavior. “A major focus of the Summit is the new convergence of health care and retail,” said Andrew Karp, Vision Monday’s lens and technology editor. “These Summit speakers will help us understand how patients are morphing into consumers, and how both health care and retail companies are gathering and leveraging customer data in new ways in order to learn about their preferences and then create better, more personal experiences for them.

"And our blockchain experts will discuss how this emerging technology is enabling data to be shared more effectively and securely across both business and health care organizations,” Karp said.

Jane Sarasohn-Kahn is a health economist, advisor and trend-weaver to organizations at the intersection of health, technology and people, especially consumers, patients and caregivers. One of the most sought after speakers in her field, she founded THINK-Health after working with health care consultancies in the U.S. and Europe.

Sarasohn-Kahn’s clients span the health care ecosystem: technology, pharma and life sciences, providers, plans, retail, financial services and consumer goods. She founded the Health Populi blog in 2007. She advises on strategy via environmental analysis, scenario and strategic planning.

Sarasohn-Kahn is a frequent speaker and also contributes to the Huffington Post and Tincture, and to the Washington Post Health Care Rx panel. She and Health Populi have been named A Top 100 Health Blog to Follow in 2019 Feedspot, One of the Top 100 Most Influential Economists in the World, Richtopia, September 2018, One of HealthTech’s 30 Must-Read Health IT Blogs, CDW, A Top Twitter Account to Follow in Digital Health, March 2018, among other accolades.

John J. Whyte, MD, MPH is chief medical officer for WebMD. He leads efforts to develop and expand strategic partnerships that create meaningful change around important and timely public health issues. Prior to WebMD, Dr. Whyte served as the director of professional affairs and stakeholder engagement at the Center for Drugs Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Dr. Whyte worked with health care professionals, patients, and patient advocates, providing them with a focal point for advocacy, enhanced two-way communication, and collaboration, assisting them in navigating the FDA on issues concerning drug development, review, and drug safety. He also developed numerous initiatives to address diversity in clinical trials.

Dr. Whyte also worked with the Discovery Channel as the chief medical expert and vice president, health and medical education. In this role, Dr. Whyte developed, designed and delivered educational programming that appealed to both a medical and lay audience. This included television shows as well as online content that won over 50 awards including numerous Tellys, CINE Golden Eagle, and Freddies. Dr. Whyte is a board-certified internist and continues to see patients.

Janine Grasso is vice president strategy, operations and ecosystem development for Blockchain IBM Industry Platform. Grasso’s current strategic role is to develop, identify and scale the Blockchain Ecosystem for IBM. In this role, she is responsible for the strategy and execution on how IBM works with partners, start-ups and universities around the globe.

Additionally, Grasso is responsible for the sales operations and strategy of the Blockchain business unit. She has held many leadership positions across IBM during her 20 years with the company. Most recently, she led business development for one of IBM’s largest software units. Her responsibilities included identifying and closing several key strategic and IP partnerships, acquisitions and ecosystem programs across the analytics unit. Prior to that, she had several executive positions where she was responsible for large matrixed teams, acquisition integration and portfolio management.

The Summit program will also feature three other speakers who have already been announced: Deborah Weinswig, one of the world’s most notable experts in the intersection of retail and technology and founder and CEO of Coresight Research; Justine Santa Cruz, SVP of enterprise & retail at Satisfi Labs; and Dr. Roger Smith, PhD, chief technology officer for the AdventHealth Nicholson Center.

"Today’s consumers want it all: unlimited choice, unsurpassed convenience, personalized service and undeniable value,” said Marge Axelrad, SVP, editorial director of Vision Monday. “They demand it from the brands they identify with, and from the stores and sites they love and the health care providers they trust,” she said. “The rules of engagement have changed, and business leaders need to unlock the data behind this fundamental shift among consumers and patients. This has proved to be a daunting task, but new tools, techniques and tactics offer solutions, which the VM Summit will identify.”

Early-bird registration is now open for this exclusive live event, to be held Wednesday, March 20, 2019 at the Times Center here, just prior to Vision Expo East that week.

Platinum sponsors of the VM Global Leadership Summit are Essilor and Luxottica. The Gold sponsor is Healthy Eyes Advantage. Silver sponsors are CareCredit and VSP Global.