Medical Industry Leadership Institute Publications

MILI Newsletter

MILI's newsletter features news for students, affiliates, and the medical industry community.  Check here for MILI and faculty news, student updates, and affiliate profiles.

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May 2024 Newsletter Highlights

Check out the full newsletter and click the below for highlights.

Michelle Sotak

I have been lucky to work in many areas of healthcare, including marketing, market access, and health economics across the medical device, diagnostics, and pharmaceutical industries. Currently I am Director of Market Access for ZOLL Respicardia and previously spent a lot of time at both Optum and Abbott.

I am a dual Gopher, with an MPH and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. I am also working on a master's degree in international health technology assessment and reimbursement from the University of Sheffield in the UK.

What is the most interesting thing you have read or seen this week?
I recently read a paper by authors at Stanford who analyzed how long it took new medical technologies to reach Medicare coverage after FDA authorization. It was really eye opening to see concrete data about how long it takes technologies to be broadly available – this study showed it takes an average of six years for even some insurance coverage to be available.

If you could dedicate your life to solving one problem, what would it be?
It relates to what I just mentioned - I am really passionate about increasing patient access to new technologies, whether that’s through changing policy, obtaining coverage/reimbursement or helping someone navigate a complex insurance process. There’s so much great innovation out there and I find it really frustrating that not everyone can access it depending on where they live or who pays for their healthcare. 

How are you currently engaging with MILI and why do you find it valuable?
MILI was a huge part of my Carlson experience. I try to make an effort to keep engaged with the MILI community because I’ve found it incredibly valuable in my own career. In fact I found my current role through a MILI connection! Over the years I have really enjoyed getting to meet other members of the MILI community. I live in Chicago now, so I primarily engage virtually with MILI Women and Allies and with the mentorship program. I will put in a plug for the MILI Community Platform as a great way to connect with others interested in the medical industry – if you haven’t checked it out, definitely sign up. My current job brings me to Minnetonka quite a bit so hopefully I will see some of you at some upcoming MILI events! 

This spring, MILI was honored to host the 15th Annual Carl Platou Leadership Competition. The competition pays tribute to the legacy of Carl Platou, a visionary healthcare executive who was inducted into the 2009 Minnesota Business Hall of Fame. 

The competition recognizes the leadership skills and innovative thinking of three MBA students. Nancy Platou Steinke, Carl’s daughter and competition judge said "We had another year of highly qualified candidates. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about their accomplishments through their applications and interviews. These candidates reflect my Dad's life's purpose of bettering humanity through the healthcare sector while honoring his love for the U of M, and growing through life challenges. I wish them all the best in their promising professional careers."

Along with Nancy, the two other judges, Valuation Lab instructor and previous Platou Award Winner Matt Stoll and chair of the MILI Executives in Residence, Thom Gunderson reviewed written responses and interviewed nominees. They had a difficult time choosing winners as all nominees were extremely impressive. Third place was awarded to Mollie Dube, ’25 MBA and second place Angela Botiba, ’24 MBA/MHA. This year’s winner was Jim Palmer ‘24 MBA. Jim said, “It is an absolute honor to be awarded MILI's Platou Award. Mr. Platou was a healthcare innovator, leader, and decorated WWII veteran. His vision, impact, and devotion to community and service are especially inspiring to me as a veteran transitioning into the healthcare and medical technology industry.”

In case you haven’t heard, MILI is excited to share that the University of Minnesota's 2024 BAHM team won first place in the prestigious International Business Alliance for Healthcare Management (BAHM) Case Competition! 

The team’s winning proposal, "Revitalizing Employee Network & Ensuring Workforce Stability," delved into the challenges of labor shortages plaguing the healthcare industry. Their recommendations emphasized the importance of adequate investments in compensation and benefits, coupled with enhanced leadership involvement, revamped staffing structures, and expanded career mobility opportunities. Their work is featured in the latest issue of the Health Management, Policy & Innovation (HPMI) journal.
Team members Angela Botiba, MBA/MHA, DivineMercy Bakare, MD/MBA, and Erika Schlosser MBA/MHA worked tirelessly for weeks on their research and presentation. We are so happy that all their hard work was rewarded and proud to have them as a part of our MILI community.

MILI Mentors of the Year
Mentors are nominated by mentees to honor their time, guidance, and generosity over the course of their year together. These mentors’ invaluable advice gave mentees the encouragement to help them further their careers and reach their professional goals. The efforts of the winners and all 38 of this year’s MILI mentors helped make this program a huge success!

Samantha Abbott has been an extraordinary mentor, a guiding light, and a trusted friend to her mentee, Via Rao, during her initial year at Carlson. Despite a busy schedule and expanding family, Samantha has made extraordinary efforts to be available to Via, offering support and championing her cause. Samantha’s mentorship has not only catalyzed Via’s professional development but also instilled in her a sense of self-assurance in her capacity as a female business leader.

As his mentee, James Palmer, put it “Dan Gilbertson embodies everything that the MILI mentorship program was designed for.” Even while living in Europe, Dan has been a mentor in the program for five years. His generosity with his time, willingness to share knowledge, and readiness to assist whenever needed have been instrumental in James securing an internship this summer. Dan’s guidance has not only helped James prepare for his summer internship but also instilled in him the confidence to present his best self, a quality James believes is the most crucial aspect of mentorship.

MILI Overachiever:
This award recognizes individuals who have surpassed expectations in supporting their classmates, colleagues and MILI community.

We're delighted to present Angela Botiba with this award in recognition of her remarkable leadership and contributions. Angela's leadership as president of MILIsa, her instrumental role in organizing the interschool gala, collaboration on AI in healthcare initiatives, and her involvement in the winning BAHM case competition team truly set her apart. Her unwavering dedication to MILI, coupled with her impressive academic achievements and advocacy within the community, make her a truly outstanding leader and colleague. 

MILI Inspiration
This award recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond in dedicating their time and efforts to further the MILI community. They have selflessly worked to support and provide guidance to not only students and Affiliates, but MILI as a whole.  

We're proud to honor Michelle Sotak as our MILI Inspiration this year. Despite living in Chicago, Michelle has shown exceptional commitment and leadership within the MILI community. As a mentor for five years, she offers invaluable guidance to students. Michelle also played a pivotal role in initiatives like the MILI Women and Allies group and the MILI Online Community Platform, ensuring their success with her tireless efforts, even aligning her travel plans for in-person meetings. Her dedication sets a shining example, and her contributions are crucial to our success. We eagerly anticipate her continued involvement and leadership.

MILI Case Study eStore

MILI recently launched an online store featuring case studies focused on business practices and strategies in the healthcare industry. Through case studies, students are provided an opportunity to examine, analyze, and practice their skills using real-world scenarios. Case studies are written by Carlson School faculty and are available to the public for purchase. Instructors can purchase the Teaching Guide to assist in their assessment of students' work (confirmation of teaching position required). 

Learn More


MILI Working Paper Series

This series was written by Carlson students, alumni and friends on topics relevant to the medical industry.  All papers have completed a review process prior to being posting, but full responsibility for the content of the paper remains with the author(s). Their views do not necessarily reflect those of MILI.

See the Archives for previous papers.

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