Aug 3, 2017

Stryker adds former health system CEO (and customer) to board

Christy Radecic / AP

Medical device manufacturer Stryker has added Mary Brainerd to its board of directors. Brainerd, the retired CEO of HealthPartners, a $6 billion not-for-profit hospital and health insurance system in Minnesota, will get an annual $60,000 retainer fee and about $500,000 worth of stock options, according to a federal filing posted by Stryker.

The kicker: Stryker sold $17 million worth of medical devices to HealthPartners between January 2016 through May 2017.

Why it matters: Many health care executives — at both not-for-profit and publicly traded companies — hold cushy positions on the boards of other companies. That isn't problematic in a vacuum, but it could raise questions about conflicts of interest if executives' organizations do business with the companies where they hold board power.

Update: A HealthPartners spokesperson said the system uses "competitive bidding processes for major contracts, and these are complex, evidence-based decisions made by purchasing leadership, not the CEO."

More industry examples: Brainerd's appointment to Stryker's board isn't unique. Here are some other examples of current and former not-for-profit health care executives who sit on the boards of for-profit health care companies that could have business arrangements:

  • Lloyd Dean, CEO of Dignity Health: former board director at Navigant, a health care consulting firm. (More controversially, Dean has been a long-time board member at Wells Fargo.)
  • Kevin Lofton, CEO of Catholic Health Initiatives: board director at Gilead Sciences, a pharmaceutical company known for its high-priced HIV and hepatitis C medicines.
  • William Roper, CEO of the University of North Carolina Health Care: board director at dialysis chain DaVita and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.
  • Martha Marsh, former CEO of Stanford Health Care: board director at medical device company Edwards Lifesciences, medical supplies provider Owens & Minor and health care staffing firm AMN Healthcare.
  • Nancy Schlichting, former CEO of Henry Ford Health System: board director at pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance.
  • John Forsyth, CEO of Wellmark: board director at medical supplies and drug company Baxter International.
  • Denis Cortese, former CEO of Mayo Clinic: board director at Cerner, a company that sells electronic health records and billing software to hospitals and doctors' practices. (Cerner lost its Mayo Clinic contract two years ago.)
  • Ellen Zane, former CEO of Tufts Medical Center: board director at medical device company Boston Scientific.
  • Kenneth Samet, CEO of MedStar Health: board director at Evolent Health, a technology and consulting company for hospitals and health plans.
  • Diane Holder, CEO of UPMC Health Plan: board director at Evolent Health.

Go deeper

Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck plows into Minneapolis protesters

Authorities closed major roads at 5 p.m. local time in Minneapolis for the march. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Minnesota authorities said in a statement they're investigating as a criminal matter what happened with a truck that "drove into demonstrators" on a Minneapolis bridge Sunday evening while the eight-lane road was closed for a protest.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck."

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Local news footage captured a tanker truck appearing to drive toward protesters at a peaceful demonstration in Minneapolis, forcing demonstrators to quickly get out of the way of the incoming vehicle on Sunday evening.

The big picture: Protests have continued across the country for six days, as demonstrators call for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd and other other black Americans who have died in police custody or who have been killed in racist attacks.

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").