March 9, 2015 at 2:45pm

Healthcare Changing Under Reform

Tim Eckels 1

The Millikin University Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, a signature program of Millikin's Center for Entrepreneurship, will continue its 2014-2015 Speaker Series on Tuesday, March 17, 2015 with keynote speaker Tim Eckels, vice president for community benefit, public policy and advocacy at Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS). 

The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the East Room of Lower Richards Treat University Center on Millikin's campus; the event is free and open to the public. 

Tim Eckels will discuss how the Affordable Care Act and actions by private purchasers are driving significant changes in the way healthcare is organized and delivered. Eckels will describe the impact of these reforms on physician practices and hospitals like St. Mary's in Decatur, Ill., which is part of Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS). The presentation will also cover how systems like HSHS have been leading many of these changes in anticipation of reform. 

Tim Eckels leads the legislative advocacy efforts of Hospital Sisters Health System's 14 hospitals and multiple physician groups in Illinois and Wisconsin. He also analyzes federal and state policies to determine HSHS positions and to inform system-wide strategies. Included in his role is the support of HSHS delivery system innovations through a grant-seeking program. Eckels also oversees community benefit for the system, which is the set of hospital outreach activities that are designed to improve access and enhance the overall health of communities. 

Prior to joining HSHS in 2009, Eckels served as vice president for public policy at Trinity Health, a multi-hospital system based in Novi, Mich. Between 1992 and 2002 Eckels served in Washington, D.C. for the Catholic Health Association as senior vice president for planning and policy development and as director of public policy. His career also includes health policy consulting with The Lewin Group of Washington, D.C. 

Eckels holds a master's degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Mass., and a Bachelor of Arts from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. 

The speaker series focuses on science entrepreneurship and how an increased emphasis on entrepreneurship can spark job creation and societal well-being. Throughout the academic year, executives from science ventures will be discussing particular aspects of their business. In addition, business leaders will be discussing broader topics of interest. 

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship was originally funded by a Millikin University Performance Learning Enhancement Grant in December 2012. Since that time, the institute has received funding from the Andreas Foundation, Coleman Foundation, 300 Below Inc., a private foundation and anonymous donors to develop the 2014-2015 Speaker Series and other institute programming. 

Formed by Dr. David Horn, Dr. George Bennett, professor of chemistry, and Dr. Casey Watson, associate professor of physics and astronomy, the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship connects external clients with faculty and students of Millikin to provide high quality services to science companies and private practices. 

In addition to the speaker series, the Institute for Science Entrepreneurship has recently garnered several accomplishments including external funding from Caterpillar Decatur to support a new course entitled "Introduction to Science Entrepreneurship," external funding and a collaboration between 300 Below Inc. and Millikin University, and a collaboration with the Community Foundation of Macon County to host a discussion on poverty. 

The Institute for Science Entrepreneurship also offers Performance Learning opportunities for students through its new Science Entrepreneurship Research Fellow Program. The program matches student interest with needs of private practices and companies in the health and natural sciences. 

For more information on the speaker series or the Millikin Institute for Science Entrepreneurship, call 217.424.6392 or visit institute-science-entrepreneurship.