Empowering Health Equity: Creating a Better Future

Life Science Leadership Summit 2023 discusses what more equitable health care for all can look like.

How can existing inequalities in the healthcare system be overcome? This central question for promoting equity in healthcare was the focus of the Sustainability in Life Science Leadership Summit 2023 in Cambridge, MA, USA. The event was co-hosted for the second time by the German American Chamber of Commerce and Campana & Schott Inc. in collaboration with the German-American Business Council of Boston and Bayer. Healthcare leaders gathered to discuss how to achieve a more equitable healthcare system for all in the future.

The aim of the summit was to explore measures to further reduce the existing gap in health equity. Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the weaknesses of health systems in industrialized countries have become even more apparent, underscoring the urgency of the need for action. Healthcare parity is now seen as both a moral imperative and an economic necessity. Many companies have committed to integrating these principles throughout the lifecycle of their healthcare products and services.

Two inspiring keynote speakers provided valuable insights into health equity:

  • Soo Son, Health Equity Agent at Unlocking Eye (EX GSK & Pfizer), emphasized the critical importance of overcoming data bias. She noted that approximately 80% of healthcare decisions are currently made by men and discussed the historical underrepresentation of women in clinical trials.
  • Byron Austin, Executive Director, Head of Corporate Responsibility & ESG Management at Organon, focused his keynote on women's healthcare. He touched on topics such as access to care, community engagement, innovation, and the need for greater diversity in clinical trials. Austin emphasized that prioritizing women's health is not only a moral obligation, but also an economic imperative.

Panel Discussion: Health for All

The panel discussion, moderated by Stephanie Oestreich, Managing Director of the Myeloma Investment Fund (MMRF), brought together experts including Pamela Cyrus, Vice President, Head of U.S. Medical Governance at Bayer, Ipek Ozer-Stillmann, Vice President, Head of Global Health Economics at Takeda, and Jessica Federer, Board Member and Investor (former Chief Digital Officer at Bayer). These experts discussed various aspects of healthcare equity, including underserved populations, historically rooted mistrust in the healthcare system, and the importance of education and public awareness. The panel also deliberated on the role of politics, collaboration within the research community, and the immense potential of digital data in improving healthcare equity.

Conclusion: Significant Steps Towards Healthcare Equity

In summary, the Sustainability in Life Sciences Leadership Summit 2023 once again served as a platform for groundbreaking discussions and concrete commitments to combat inequalities in healthcare. The event called for collective efforts to work towards solutions, drive innovation, and adopt a holistic approach to ensure that healthcare equity becomes a reality for all in the near future.


Dr. Daniel Jonas

Senior Advisor Life Sciences and CEO

Bernd Schlueter

Consultant Business Transformation, Project, Program and Portfolio Management United States