Healthcare Systems Engineering
Optimizing Healthcare

Healthcare Systems Engineering Symposium

You are here


Transforming the Future of Healthcare through Systems Engineering

Sponsored by: Lehigh University HSE in collaboration with Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare

The Healthcare Systems Engineering (HSE) and Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISE) symposium will discuss challenges in the field and how the HSE master’s degree program is producing graduates that are working to adapt to the call for transparency and gain traction in effecting positive change.  A panel of professionals in the healthcare industry will be discussing their thoughts on the field and answering questions.

Date & Location
Date: April 28, 2015
Time: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, 5:00pm to 6:00pm Networking Reception - Beer, Wine and light fare.
Location: Wood Dining Room, Iacocca Hall
Lehigh's Mountaintop Campus - Directions

Cost: Free


*For planning purposes, we ask that you complete this registration by April 18, 2015.


Panel 1 -"Overcoming the Challenges of Transparency in Healthcare"

Moderator:  Tom Huntzinger

  • Greg Kile - Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • Dale Prestipino - Accolade
  • Bob Johnston – East Penn Manufacturing
  • Avi Mukherjee – Geneia

Panel 2 - "Is Healthcare Systems Engineering Gaining Traction in Effecting Positive Change"

Moderator:  Tom Cassidy

  • Dale Lucht - Lehigh Valley Health Network
  • Mike Ziolowski - PwC
  • Sal Strods – Welch Allyn
  • Gary Sieck - Mayo Clinic


Dr. Tamás Terlaky
Chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering and
George N. and Soteria Kledaras ’87 Endowed Chair Professor

His education includes M.Sc. Mathematics (1979, Eötvös University, Budapest), Ph.D. Operations Research (1981, Eötvös University, Budapest) , CSc (1985) and DSc (2005) from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Prior to his appointment at Lehigh University he taught at Eötvös University, Budapest, Hungary; Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands; McMaster University, ON, Canada. At McMaster he also served as the founding Director of the School of Computational Engineering and Science.

Professor Terlaky has published four books, edited over ten books and journal special issues and published over 160 research papers. Topics include theoretical and algorithmic foundations of operations research (e.g., invention of the criss-cross method), design and analysis of large classes of interior point methods, computational optimization, worst case examples of the central path, nuclear reactor core reloading optimization, oil refinery and VLSI design optimization and robust radiation therapy treatment optimization.

Professor Terlaky is Founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Optimization and Engineering. He has served as associate editor of seven journals and has served as conference chair, conference organizer, and distinguished invited speaker at conferences all over the world. He is general Chair of the INFORMS 2015 Annual Meeting, a former Chair of INFORMS' Optimization Society, Chair of the Continuous Optimization Steering Committee of the Mathematical Programming Society and Fellow of the Fields Institute, Canada. He has received the MITACS Mentorship Award for his distinguished graduate student supervisory record. His research interests include high-performance optimization methods, optimization modeling and optimization problem solving in engineering sciences.

Ana-Iulia Alexandrescu
Director and Professor of Practice
Healthcare Systems Engineering Program

Lehigh University

Ana has recently joined the Healthcare Systems Engineering team as a Director and Professor of Practice. She brings 5 years of experience in product development, analytics, IT and consulting in the healthcare space, spanning patient, provider, and payer areas. She worked with a number of startups in the Lehigh Valley while a student and then a Teaching Assistant in the Integrated Business and Engineering Honors program, as well as on a data mining project for Bayada Home Health. Following her graduation, she joined a boutique IT consulting firm in New York, Netsoft, where her responsibilities included product management, business process re-engineering, requirements definition and business and systems analysis. Her company was later acquired by EPAM Systems, a global provider of software engineering and IT product development services, and Ana transitioned into EPAM’s Healthcare Business Unit.  

Ana earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Integrated Business and Engineering from Lehigh University, and subsequently completed the Master of Science in Industrial and Systems Engineering also at Lehigh University.


Tom Cassidy
Area Director
BAYADA Home Health Care

Tom is currently an Area Director for Bayada Home Healthcare based in Moorestown, NJ with responsibility for Operational Quality Assurance, Patient Satisfaction, Project Management Office and Procurement. Bayada is a full-service home health care provider serving 20,000 patients in 18 states.

Prior to joining Bayada, Tom worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, UPS, Nutrisystem, Answerthink and Alliance Consulting.

Tom graduated from the ISE Department in 1987, received his Master’s of Engineering from Penn State and was named the Delaware Valley Young Engineer of the Year in 1999.

Tom recently completed his final term on the ISE Department Advisory Board, including a term as director.


Tom Croyle
Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare (LVBCH)

The Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare has been a recognized leader in providing access to high quality affordable health care for over 30 years.  A barrier has been the lack of credible information about the cost and quality of care.  As a result, the Coalition has further expanded its role in collecting and analyzing health care cost and quality data. 

The Coalition is designated as a Regional Rollout Organization for the Leapfrog Group’s annual hospital quality survey which provides critical information to consumers, employers and other purchasers of health care throughout the region. 

In partnership with the National Business Coalition on Health, the Coalition is currently conducting an evaluation of health plans in the region utilizing NBCH’s “eValu8” tool to heighten the focus on quality and effective plan management.

With more than 30 years of experience in human resources and employee benefits, Croyle is a graduate of Penn State University and hold a M. A. in human resource management from St. Francis University. 


Tom Huntzinger
Vice President
Emerson, Reid & Company


Tom has nearly 25 years of experience in the Healthcare Industry. He has worked in healthcare administration, reinsurance, sales, marketing and consulting during that time.  Emerson, Reid & Company the largest group health insurance General Agency in the Northeastern US. Tom works with health insurance agents in Eastern Pennsylvania as a liaison between agents and health insurance carriers.

Tom has served on the Healthcare Legislative Committee of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce for over twelve years, and served as the Chair for more five of those years. He also served as a member of the Chamber’s Public Policy Committee and Board of Governors for five years.

Tom is a frequent moderator, panelist and speaker at workshops, seminars and other forums relating to healthcare issues.



Bob Johnston
Benefits Manager
East Penn Manufacturing

Bob Johnston is the Benefits Manager at East Penn Manufacturing, located in Lyon Station, PA, a post he has held for the past 16 years.  He is a Member of the Board at the Lehigh Valley Coalition on Healthcare, a regional employer purchasing coalition located in Bethlehem, PA.  Bob serves as a member of the Coalition’s Purchasing Committee, and as Chairman of the Coalition’s Quality Committee.  He has been actively involved with the Coalition since 2000.

In addition, Bob serves on the Board of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, the statewide agency charged with the collections and reporting of hospital and physician cost and quality data.


Gregory Kile
Senior Vice President, Insurance and Payer Strategies at Lehigh Valley Health Network
Kile previously served as the Senior Vice President, Chief Innovation Officer at Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania. In this role, Mr. Kile provided operational leadership over the Clinical and Provider Operational areas as well as strategic direction for provider integration. He also oversaw AllOne Health Management Solutions, Inc., a subsidiary of AllOne Health Group.

Prior to joining Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Mr. Kile served as Chief Executive Officer of Lehigh Valley Physicians Hospital Organization, a physician hospital organization encompassing over 1,100 physicians and a not-for-profit multi-corporate healthcare system, including an 800-bed acute care teaching hospital. As CEO, Mr. Kile was responsible for business planning, strategic direction, expansion and operations of the organization. Mr. Kile led the development of a preferred provider organization (PPO) network representing more than 3,400 physicians, 18 hospitals and 252 ancillary facilities servicing an eleven-county area in eastern Pennsylvania.

Mr. Kile is a member of the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations, serving as co-chair of the public policy committee; the American College of Healthcare Executives; and the Medical Group Management Association. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the American Heart Association; The Burn Prevention Network; and the Cetronia Ambulance Corp.


Dale Lucht
Director SPPI (Lean Transformation and Management Engineering)
Lehigh Valley Health Network

Dale Lucht is a senior executive with a track record of achieving business objectives through the application of lean practices at the tool, strategic and cultural levels of an organization. Dale is the Director SPPI (Lean Transformation and Management Engineering) for Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), a network of hospitals and physician clinics employing over 1,000 physicians and 10,000 employees. Dale has a B.S. Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University and an MBA from Drake University.



Avi Mukherjee
Chief Technolody Officer

Avi Mukherjee is the Chief Technology Officer of Geneia and its Product Innovations organization. He has accountability for creating, launching, supporting, and managing the Geneia products that are bringing the radical technology shift in health care.

Avi is a high performance healthcare executive with extensive experience in transforming fragmented organizations into high performing teams that can achieve aggressive financial and product goals in competitive market and business scenarios. Continued success in envisioning, designing, developing, marketing, and selling healthcare technology products and services from product vision through design through product launch to end-of-life.

Avi’s primary focus is building product teams to work on transformational white space opportunities spanning health care business and technology. As one of Geneia’s leading innovators, he founded Theon, the cutting-edge, health care analytics platform that facilitates practice transformation and payment reform models (PCMH/ACOs).

Since the mid 2000s, he has excelled in numerous leadership positions in the areas of product management, clinical interoperability, mobile health, clinical analytics, and risk mitigation strategies. He has developed products and applications for provider organizations including the Mayo Clinic, the South West Medical Association, the WellMed Physician Practices, and the Lifeprint group of primary care physicians. He also brings valuable experience in strategizing solutions for UnitedHealth Group/Optum, National Health Services (UK), Aetna, HealthNet, Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico, and other payers with diverse contracting models including fee-for-service, capitated, and risk delegated contracts (ACO, P4Q).

Avi is a graduate in Computer and Electrical Engineering from the University of Kalyani in India and holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Booth School of Business, University of Chicago.  He also served as a Research Assistant in the Applied Science Program at Concordia University, Canada.


Dale Prestipino
EVP & Chief Privacy Officer

Dale is Executive Vice President, Founding CIO and Chief Privacy Officer of Accolade, a Healthcare company created to engage consumers in healthcare decision-making and to lower the cost of healthcare for individuals and the employer organizations they work for.

Accolade has been recognized by Forbes as Top 25 Most Promising Companies, Inc. 500's Fastest Growing Private Healthcare Companies, Inc.'s Hire Power Award for Top Job Creator, and's Top Workplace for 3 consecutive years.

Dale created Accolade’s application, data management, analytics, and IT infrastructure platforms as the CIO and now heads Accolade’s Privacy and Security organization.

Prior to Accolade, Dale was the CTO for Computer Sciences Corporation’s Healthcare Group, pioneering CSC's entry into the Health Information Technology market. He established cross-sector solutions that drove convergence within the healthcare ecosystem. Dale's vision and leadership for health data analytics and consumer engagement solutions as a consultant and industry executive have created value for his clients and has been instrumental in the success of Accolade.

Dale has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University.

He is on the College of Health Professions Advisory Council for Western Governors University, where he led the establishment of the Health Informatics degree programs. He is a member of the American Medical Informatics Association, President of the Conestoga High School Football Booster Club, and a Friends Fitness Youth Partnership mentor.


Gary Sieck
Chairman, Physiology and Biomedical Engineering
Mayo Clinic

Dr. Gary Sieck is the Dean for Research, Academic Affairs and Professor and Chair of the Department of Physiology and Biomedical Engineering in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He is also the Program Director of the Biomedical Engineering Program in the Mayo Graduate School.

A Nebraska native, he received a BS in Zoology and Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics (1976) from the University of Nebraska. He completed postdoctoral training at UCLA (1976-1980) before joining the faculty at the City of Hope National Medical Center and the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at UCLA. In 1987, he moved to the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California, and in 1990, he joined Mayo Clinic.

He has served as thesis advisor for 16 Ph.D. students and as a member of numerous Ph.D. thesis committees. He has mentored 51 postdoctoral fellows and 19 visiting scientists as well as numerous undergraduate and high school students. He received the Mayo Research Educator Award from 2001 to 2004 and the Dean's Recognition Award in 2006. In 2007, he was recognized as a Mayo Distinguished Investigator.

Outside of Mayo, he serves as president of the American Physiological Society and president-elect of the Association of Chairs of Departments of Physiology. He is an elected fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. Previously, he served as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Thoracic Society, and the National Council of the American Lung Association. He was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Applied Physiology and currently serves as a member of several editorial boards. He is a member of the Physiology and Pathobiology of Cardiopulmonary Disease Study Section at NIH. In the past, he was a member of several other NIH study sections including Respiratory and Applied Physiology (RAP), Integrative Functional and Cognitive Neuroscience (IFCN-5), Sensory Motor Integration (SMI), and Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH, chair). He was also a member of the Veterans Administration Merit Review Board for Respiration.

Dr. Sieck's research focuses on neuromuscular physiology. In skeletal muscle he has explored neuromuscular plasticity related to spinal cord injury and muscle weakness associated intensive care, age-related sarcopenia, etc. In airway smooth muscle, he has examined abnormalities in intracellular calcium regulation and excitation-coupling associated with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In all these areas, he has been well funded by multiple grants from the NIH.


Sal Strods
VP, Research & Development and Enabling Technologies
Welch Allyn, Inc.


Sal Strods has nearly 32 years of leadership experience in the development of diagnostic and therapeutic systems and solutions for the healthcare industry. He is currently Sr. Director, Diagnostic and Enabling Technologies at Welch Allyn. Welch Allyn is one of the world’s leaders in research, development, and manufacture of diagnostic and physiologic monitoring solutions for frontline caregivers.

In his current position, Sal is responsible for developing advanced product technologies and concepts to a point where they are ready for product development. These advanced technologies and concepts are developed through both organic development and external partnership. The R&D organization under his leadership is located in Skaneateles New York and Beaverton Oregon.

Mr. Strods held prior positions of Vice President, R&D Global New Product Development, Vice President, R&D Acute Care, and Senior Director Program Management. He established the Welch Allyn Singapore Emerging Countries Development Center (SECDC).

Mr. Strods holds a BS in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Albany, and a MS in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University. Mr. Strods is married with three grown children and resides in Skaneateles, New York.


Michal Ziolowski
PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC

Mike is a Manager in PwC's Health Industries Advisory Practice with a focus in the Payer sector. He is located within PwC's New York Metro Market in the 300 Madison building. Since joining PwC in Sept 2010, Mike has been engaged on a number of clients, most recently providing Project Leadership and Management for a core claims system implementation at a local New York City Managed Long Term Care (MLTC) Payer. Mike came to PwC with industry experience working at Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of NJ for over six years. In his tenure there, Mike held several roles including Senior Analyst, Supervisor and Manager. With four years of direct management experience, Mike was responsible for day to day Operations, Business and Systemic enhancements, and future long-term planning.


•    2:00pm: Registration

•    2:15pm: Welcome Ana Alexandrescu, Director Healthcare Systems Engineering, Lehigh University

•    2:30pm: Opening Remarks- Dr. Tamás Terlaky, Department Chair of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Lehigh University
                    Mr. Tom Croyle, President, Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare

•    3:00pm: Panel #1 “Overcoming the Challenges of Transparency in Healthcare

•    3:45pm: Panel #2 “Is Healthcare Systems Engineering Gaining Traction in Effecting Positive Change

•    4:30pm: Closing Remarks Ana Alexandrescu, Director Healthcare Systems Engineering program, Lehigh University

Contact Information

Linda Wismer
Healthcare Systems Engineering

Abby Barlok
Industrial and Systems Engineering