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Healthcare Systems Engineering Symposium


What Does Healthcare Actually Cost?

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 of unraveling the mystery of healthcare costs in the United States.  A panel of professionals in the healthcare industry will be discussing their thoughts on the field and answering questions.  

Date & Location
Date: May 17, 2016
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 May 3, 2016.



Will Millhiser, PhD
Associate Professor of Management at the Zicklin School of Business,

Baruch College, The City University of New York. 

Will Millhiser co-leads the department’s Operations Management area and teaches Operations Management and Management Science to graduate, undergraduate, and executive business administration audiences (as he puts it, “teaching business students to drive value by thinking like systems engineers”).  He is the recipient of the Baruch College President's Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Zicklin School of Business Teaching Award.  Research interests are motivated by a prior career in Consumer Communication Services, the residential long-distance division of AT&T Corp.  Specifically, he is interested in the art and science of how one designs service delivery systems to balance profit and customer service. He specializes in stochastic models for optimal control of queueing systems, most recently studying how such methods improve the patient waiting experience in healthcare ambulatory care services.  Prior to arriving in NYC in 2006, he earned a doctorate in Operations Research at Case Western Reserve University, a masters in Mathematics at University of New Hampshire, and a bachelors in Industrial Engineering at Lehigh University.  He is grateful to George Wilson and George Kane in particular and Professors Adams, Groover, Odrey, Storer, and Zimmers in general for inspiring this career.    


Panel 1 - "What does Healthcare Actually Cost?"

Moderator:  Tom Huntzinger

  • Mike Johnson - Bayada Home Health
  • Anne Baum - Capital BlueCross
  • Amy Nyberg – Coordinated Health
  • Lauren Vela - Pacific Business Group on Health


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 joined the Healthcare Systems Engineering team as a Director and Professor of Practice in 2015. 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.



Anne Baum
Vice President, Lehigh Valley

Capital BlueCross


Anne Baum is the vice president, Lehigh Valley for Capital BlueCross, the leading health insurer in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. In this capacity, she is the senior leader in the Capital BlueCross Lehigh Valley office. She has over 30 years of experience in healthcare, health insurance, consulting and leadership/culture development.

Anne is a member of the board and executive committee of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scouts of Eastern PA (First Vice Chair), Northampton Community College Foundation and Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority. She is the immediate past chair of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber Foundation.  Anne also serves on the Lehigh University Health Systems Engineering Industry Advisory Board, the Downtown Allentown Community Development Initiative, and the Executive Committee for Building 21.

Anne has been featured by the EPBJ as a Community Spotlight Award winner and a Top 20 Executive under 40.  In 2005, Anne was selected as a Top 50 Woman in Business by the PA DCED and in 2006, she received the President’s Award from The Chamber. She received the Lehigh Valley SUITS award in 2009 and was selected by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as Woman of the Year in 2010. Anne received the Girl Scout’s Take the Lead Award and the Chamber Women’s Business Council ATHENA Award in 2013.  In 2015, she was named as a Woman of Influence by Lehigh Valley Business.

A native of Glenview, Illinois, Anne holds a BS in Biology from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL and MS in Health Systems Management from Rush University, Chicago, IL. She is certified by the Protocol School of Washington as a protocol and etiquette consultant. Anne resides in Lower Saucon Township with her husband and two children.


Tom Croyle
Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare (LVBCH)



The Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare (LVBCH) is a recognized leader in providing access to high quality affordable healthcare.  For over 35 years, LVBCH has been the employers’ voice on value –based healthcare issues in eastern and central Pennsylvania. 

A barrier to achieving healthcare value has been the lack of credible information about the cost and quality of care.  Transparency in health care is the exception rather than the rule.  Healthcare cost trends remain more than twice the Consumer Price Index.  Cost and quality data varies greatly and is difficult for consumers to track down.  The Coalition has further expanded its role in collecting and analyzing healthcare and quality with its own employer data analytics initiative.

LVBCH is a member of the Leapfrog Group and is designated a Regional Rollout Organization for the Annual Hospital quality survey which provides critical information to consumers, employers and other purchasers of healthcare throughout the region.

In partnership with the National Business Coalition on Health, LVBCH conducts an evaluation of health plans and pharmacy benefit managers in the region utilizing NBCH’s “eValue8” tool to heighten the focus on quality and effective management of employers’ healthcare dollars.

With more than 30 years of experience in human resources and employee benefits, Croyle is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and holds an M. A. in human resources 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.




Michael P. Johnson is the Practice Leader for Home Health at BAYADA Home Health Care in Moorestown, NJ. The Home Health Practice is comprised of 90 offices in 15 states that provide care to over 11,000 clients weekly through a multidisciplinary team approach delivered by over 4,000 clinicians (RN, PT, OT, SLP, MSW, HHA) and staff. 

The Practice leadership team has been engaged for several years with numerous Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) and Bundled Payment Care Initiatives (BPCI) partners in Pennsylvania and across the country. 


Dr. Johnson has served as a member of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, a Steering Group member for the AQA Alliance, and as a consultant on the development and testing of quality measurements for use in the Physician Quality Reporting System. He has also served in multiple elected and appointed roles within the PPTA and APTA over the past 20 years.  He holds a BS in Physical Therapy from Northeastern University (Boston), an MS in Orthopedic Physical Therapy from MCP Hahnemann University (Philadelphia) and a PhD in Health Policy from the University of the Sciences (Philadelphia). 



Amy Nyberg
Chief Intergration Officer
Coordinated Health Systems


Amy Nyberg has dedicated her career to making health care simpler and more efficient by simultaneously working with senior leadership on organizational strategy and with frontline staff on process improvement. She has worked as a health care executive for over 20 years with expertise in strategy, process and technology innovation, analytics, and health care economics. She has served as a consultant nationally, and held executive positions at health systems in Colorado, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and now at Coordinated Health based in Allentown. Amy earned a Bachelor’s in English Literature at Arizona State University, where she received many honors for Policy Debate, and later earned an MBA in Health Administration from the University of Colorado.  Amy grew up in the Southwest, and she and her husband Bill and their 2 sons enjoy all the outdoors, arts, sports activities, and excellent education offered in the Lehigh Valley.




Lauren Vela
Senior Director of Member Value
Pacific Business Group on Health (PBGH)

As Senior Director of Member Value, Lauren works directly with the large purchaser members of PBGH to facilitate collaboration and to support their purchaser-driven initiatives impacting healthcare delivery in the US.

To that end, Lauren manages the processes of translating PBGH’s ground-breaking work in transparency and accountability into workable solutions for PBGH member organizations. Prior to this role, Lauren was the Executive Director of the Silicon Valley Employers Forum (SVEF), a coalition of high tech employers that benchmark benefit designs and collaborate for improvement. During her SVEF tenure, Lauren systematized the group’s benchmarking practices and served as a facilitator and strategist for their joint projects with regard to both US-based and international employee benefit programs.

Prior to the SVEF role, Lauren enjoyed a twelve-year tenure with PBGH serving in three distinct areas; multi-stakeholder health information exchange, provider group organization improvement, and employer value-based purchasing. To this day, SVEF and PBGH maintain a strategic alliance and Ms. Vela works closely with purchaser members of both groups.

Prior to her work with SVEF and PBGH, Lauren was employed by organizations in the workers comp, TPA, and mental health fields where she held positions in product development, operations, marketing, and provider relations.

Lauren earned an MBA from the University of Houston and has completed all necessary coursework for her Dr.PH. with a focus on managed health care and health economics.





•    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

•    2:45pm: Speaker:  Will Millhiser, PhD

•    3:45pm: Panel #1 “What Does Healthcare Actually Cost?"

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

  • 5:00pm to 6:00pm Networking Reception - Beer, Wine and light fare.

Contact Information

Linda Wismer
Healthcare Systems Engineering

Abby Barlok
Industrial and Systems Engineering