SAN DIEGO, Calif. and WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Gary and Mary West today announced that Nicholas J. Valeriani has been named chief executive of the collective West Health effort and CEO of the West Health Institute (formerly West Wireless Health Institute). The Institute is the flagship organization of West Health, a one-of-a-kind, newly organized initiative that brings together four entities: the Institute, West Health Policy Center, West Health Investment Fund and West Health Incubator under a coordinated leadership team. Valeriani will chair the executive committee of the West Health initiative, directing West Health's efforts to lower health care costs through innovative, cost-effective technologies and solutions in four crucial areas: innovative medical research, policy, investment and entrepreneurship.
"The creation of West Health and appointment of a new leader is an exciting milestone in our evolution to drive the critical changes needed to lower costs in health care delivery," said Gary West, founder and chairman of West Health. "We've built a revolutionary ecosystem that will lower costs by creating patient-centered solutions that deliver the right care at the right place at the right time, and Nick's background and leadership make him the perfect choice to move us forward under the new banner of West Health."
"I look forward to leading the West Health initiative and the important work being done by the team to address the health care cost crisis," said Valeriani, who will assume his new role on September 5. "West Health and its four entities have tremendous potential to lower the cost of health care, and I'm excited to direct this effort."
Valeriani established himself as a visionary health care leader over a 34-year career with Johnson & Johnson where he led several corporate functions and was a member of the corporation's Executive Committee as Corporate Vice President of Human Resources; Worldwide Chairman of Medical Devices & Diagnostics; and as Vice President of the Office of Strategy & Growth. He was instrumental in identifying the global health care trends that led to the creation of a new wellness and prevention business platform and pioneering opportunities in the area of digital health. Valeriani brings a unique blend of expertise in engineering, operations, medical devices and diagnostics, entrepreneurship, and non-profit leadership that make him uniquely qualified to lead West Health.
Today's announcement also highlights the newly launched West Health Incubator, located in La Jolla on the same campus as the West Health Institute, with approximately 10,000 square feet of space. It provides infrastructure, strategic guidance and access to an extensive network of key partners, allowing for the transfer to industry of research technologies developed at the Institute and elsewhere. Prior to acceptance or admission, companies in the Incubator must receive an investment commitment from the West Health Investment Fund.
"Early-stage health care companies face multiple challenges in their efforts to develop and deploy innovative technologies," said Gary West. "By offering both significant intellectual and economic capital through our investment fund, infrastructure through our incubator and access to our network of health care partners, we are de-risking technologies and creating a launch pad from which disruptive, cost-lowering technologies can reach the public."
Also as part of today's announcement, the West Wireless Health Institute has been renamed the West Health Institute to better reflect the broad work required to lower health care costs. While wireless plays an important role in lowering costs, it alone will not solve the health care cost crisis. Wireless will remain integral to the work of the West Health Institute as a core competency. Two of the Institute's major ongoing projects are centered on wireless health: the Sense4Baby™ wireless fetal monitor and the Medical Grade Wireless Utility architecture for hospitals.
ABOUT WEST HEALTH
West Health is an independent, one-of-a-kind initiative whose mission is to lower health care costs by creating innovative, patient-centered solutions that deliver the right care at the right place at the right time. Solely funded by pioneering philanthropists Gary and Mary West, it consists of four entities: the West Health Institute, West Health Policy Center, West Health Investment Fund and West Health Incubator. For more information, find us at www.westhealth.org and follow us @westhealth.
Find more information on West Health here.
SOURCE West Health