Health Innovators Collaborative Seminar

Under the Boughs - Crossing the Abyss: Using Innovation and Financial Incentives to Drive the Shift to Value

Speaker Details:

Lee Huntsman
President Emeritus
University of Washington Department of Bioengineering

Lecture Details:

January 19, 2017
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Cambia Grove - 1800 9th Ave 2nd Floor in Downtown Seattle


Lee Huntsman, UW President Emeritus and Seattle health care visionary, will lead a panel discussion titled “Crossing the Abyss: Using Innovation and Financial Incentives to Drive the Shift to Value.”

Dr. Huntsman and the panelists will discuss how multiple forces are pushing the health care system to become more efficient, and the implications of those changes for innovators.


  • John Espinola MD, MPH – EVP, Healthcare Services, Premera Blue Cross
  • David E. McCune MD, MPH – Colonel, United States Army; Research Consultant, Regional Health Command – Pacific

Registration details

Register in advance for $5 entry to the event ($10 at the door).


While the debate about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has captured public awareness about the state of our health care system, even more fundamental challenges are emerging.  Purchasers are increasingly demanding that fee-for-service be reinvented or replaced.  Such a transformation of financial incentives would have far-reaching implications for all parts of the health care ecosystem and create a need for new approaches to innovation.

The military and Veteran’s Administration have been in a capitated sort of system and buffeted by expectations of doing more with less for a very long time. Payers (like Premera Blue Cross) have a front line perspective on the pressures being exerted on providers, the demands of purchasers and the difficulty of bringing true innovation to bear on cost.

Speaker Bio:

Trained in electrical engineering at Stanford University, Huntsman earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the University of Washington as a research assistant professor in the Center for Bioengineering in 1968. In 1980 he became Director of Bioengineering, a position he held for 16 years.

Huntsman also served as associate dean for scientific affairs in the UW School of Medicine from 1993 to 1996, a role in which he provided broad scientific and graduate education leadership. His duties included participation in executive decision making during a time when the School was confronting a variety of competitive pressures both in research and clinical practice. Throughout the years in Bioengineering and Medicine he maintained an active research program focused on the application of engineering principles to biology and medicine. His laboratory received continuous NIH funding. Huntsman is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.

Dr. Huntsman became Acting Provost of the University of Washington in 1996 and Provost in 1997. Beginning in November 2002, he became Interim President and then President of the University of Washington. He was named President Emeritus by the University of Washington Board of Regents in July 2004. Today, he provides leadership in a variety of scientific and policy initiatives underway at the University and in the state of Washington and as a member of various for profit and nonprofit boards.