Council News

September 12, 2011

Straight to the Source (Nashville Medical News)

Straight to the Source (Nashville Medical News)
by Cindy Sanders | Sep 12, 2011

Timing is everything.

When the Leadership Health Care delegation departs for New York City on Sept. 22, the group of Nashville executives will have the opportunity to gain insight into the financial markets in the wake of the recent debt crisis and credit rating downgrade.

Leadership Health Care, an initiative of the Nashville Health Care Council, seemingly has a crystal ball when it comes to planning the highly anticipated annual visit to Washington, D.C. and biennial trip to Wall Street. A local delegation was on site in the nation’s capital within days of sweeping healthcare reform legislation being signed into law, and in New York in the midst of the 2007 financial crisis and in 2009 as decision-makers were contemplating the way forward out of recession.

“In these uncertain economic times, you certainly cannot beat firsthand information,” said Judith Byrd, director of LHC. “It’s a unique opportunity to provide expert overview of the financial landscape.” She continued, “The delegation provides the future leaders of Nashville’s number one industry the chance to hear from some of the country’s most respected financial executives and, in turn, exposes those financial leaders to Nashville’s outstanding healthcare expertise.”

The LHC 2011 Delegation to Wall Street, the organization’s third foray to the hub of the nation’s financial district,
is slated for Sept. 22-23. Byrd anticipated 70 Nashville healthcare leaders would make the trip.

Edward W. (“Ted”) Lomicka, assistant treasurer for Community Health Systems and a member of the LHC Board, has attended both previous trips to New York and is looking forward to the 2011 event. “The delegations we have really are at salient moments. In 2007, the credit markets were changing over to more of a restrictive climate in advance of recessionary contraction. In 2009, folks were contemplating the path the nation would take as it began to move out of the recession.”

This time, he continued, “It will be interesting to get people’s take on the downgrade of U.S. sovereign debt from AAA to AA+ by Standard & Poor’s.”

Lomicka added the event’s lineup of speakers should help delegates gain insight into the current deal-making climate and get a feel for how receptive the market is for various strategic opportunities. “It really is an opportunity for the group of Nashville leaders to have meaningful interaction with some of the most noteworthy names in international finance.” He continued, “The panels they put together are excellent, and it really gives a very good broad brush of the perspective regarding the capital markets.”

For all the outside expertise delegates hope to gain, Lomicka said attendees also could look forward to another vital benefit of the trip – networking opportunities with other members of the Nashville healthcare community.

The event kicks off with a welcome reception and banquet sponsored by the Nashville Health Care Council and featuring keynote speaker John Seigenthaler, former special correspondent for NBC News and the CEO of Seigenthaler Public Relations/New York. Other speakers and panelists during the event include: Charles Ditkoff, vice chairman Global Corporate & Investment Banking for Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Russell Herakovich, managing director, GE Healthcare Financial Services; Darren Lehrich, managing director, Deutsche Bank Securities; Kevin O’Brien, managing director, CCMP Capital Advisors; Phillip Pfrang, national managing partner for Life Sciences & Health Care, Deloitte; Jeff Rosichan, vice chairman, Equity Capital Markets, Deutsche Bank Securities; and Robert Teitelman, editor-in-chief of The Deal.

Byrd noted Teitelman was the final speaker for the two-day event and would outline future trends impacting healthcare.  She added the full slate of experts includes investment bankers, leading analysts, private equity investors and other key players. Byrd noted the city’s reputation as the hub of U.S. healthcare, which was recently touted by the Wall Street Journal, is the reason LHC is able to plan an agenda packed with highly respected experts in the financial field.

Ultimately, Byrd concluded, “The attendees will return to Nashville with a valuable assessment of the public markets, healthcare deal-making, and trends including the conditions for raising private equity, mid-market financing, debt financing, and exit strategies.”

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