Summit Attendees View Health Care Challenges Through a New Lens–Blog by Carolyn Pare, Action Group President and CEO


Attendees of The Action Group’s 2018 Employer Leadership Summit had an opportunity to explore the role of purpose in creating vibrant, high-performing, healthy organizations. The capacity crowd included a hand-selected assembly of distinguished speakers, panelists and innovators, as well as a full complement of sponsors and exhibitors who eagerly helped attendees understand how to solve for today’s health care benefit challenges.


Through our Annual Employer Benefits Survey, we learned that meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse workforce is a top priority for most employers. The Summit allowed dedicated time for examining these needs and discovering reasonable and affordable purpose-driven solutions for optimal health.


“This was my first time attending the Summit. It was so much awesome to take in!”
Summit Attendee

“When employers regard compassion as a strategic business concern, innovation, service quality, collaboration, engagement, and retention improve,” said keynote speaker Monica Worline, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Enliven Work. “True leaders are architects of possibility, and all of us can learn to unlock boundless potential in ourselves, in others, and in our organizations when we imagine and act with that as our purpose.”


“At first, I didn’t see the ‘news value’ of someone diagnosed with a terminal illness. As it turned out, Bruce Kramer set my soul on fire. He held up a mirror to the rest of us: Fear, joy, lessons learned, getting comfortable with mortality. He challenges us to examine our own lives to discover what gives us meaning and purpose. For Bruce, it was about living life with intention, purpose, love, and joy.”
Cathy Wurzer, Author, Documentary Filmmaker, Host of Morning Edition for MPR News

In addition to Monica’s fresh perspective on what contributes to making a healthy organization, we looked through a new lens to solve for the tough issues of our time. How can we bring our best work to life and our best life to work? What can employers do to address the alarming rate of obesity and the catastrophic opioid epidemic? Can we live more abundantly by defining and embracing our purpose? What does the unrest in the health care industry mean for Minnesota employers? And how can we think like the top health care innovators to break the mold and accelerate marketplace change?


“The opioid epidemic is the worst health care crisis in our nation’s history. The number of deaths is equivalent to a jumbo jet going down every three days.”
David Calabrese, B.S., Pharm.D., Chief Pharmacy Officer, OptumRx

As several attendees noted in their Summit evaluations, “All the presentations were excellent! Very informative!” I invite everyone to visit our Summit page to view meeting materials, including a photo gallery, and available presentations. I also welcome the opportunity to further discuss meeting topics and evidence-based solutions in greater detail — or to put you in touch with our presenters — to help you put purpose-driven solutions to work on behalf of your organization.


“If we don’t take an aggressive stance toward trying to disrupt the status quo, rising health care costs will never be under control. Employees will not be able to afford health care anymore.”
François de Brantes, Independent Consultant and Former Executive Director of HCI3

The member-led Action Group is much more than a health care purchaser coalition; we are part of a movement to create a better health care system, which will take all of us pulling in the same direction. We are continuously helping tackle complex issues of importance to all employers: Health policy, price transparency, value-based benefits design, improved quality and patient safety, and eliminating low- and no-value care.


“No one should go through caregiving alone. Panic and fear take hold as a family member’s health status changes. Through our fully integrated platform, we identify working caregivers and provide them with the tools and consistent support they need to relieve the anxiety of balancing work with caring for loved ones.”
Michael Walsh, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer off Cariloop and Winner of the Innovator’s Showcase

My hope is that the Summit served as a catalyst for planning and implementing meaningful programs and services, and that the time we spent together enlivened your work and provided important networking so we can all keep moving forward, making health care better, together.

The Summit Photo gallery, presentations and materials can be found here.


Carolyn Pare is the Action Group’s president and CEO

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