Northwestern to host first Higher Health Symposium

April 15, 2016

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.—A conference dedicated exclusively to providing solutions to employers’ rising health-care costs will take place April 19 on the campus of Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington.

The daylong Higher Health Symposium is a partnership between Northwestern and Minnesota health-care leaders including: AdvaCare Clinics, Corporate Health Systems, Ergotron, Optum and Trig. The partners designed the event to help businesses explore innovative solutions to skyrocketing health costs for employers and employees. Programs will challenge conventional thinking and highlight new opportunities for employer-sponsored care.

The symposium will feature a keynote speech from Jerry Kill, the former head football coach at the University of Minnesota, who will share details of his personal battle with epilepsy and his efforts to motivate people from all walks of life to improve their health.

“We’re pleased to have this event on our campus to help offer real solutions to the health-care issues affecting employers and their people,” said Dr. Chris Cassirer, Northwestern’s President and CEO. “Northwestern is our region’s only university dedicated solely to health education and care. Working with our partners, we have developed innovative options, and we’re excited to share them with the business community.”

Dr. Joseph Sweere, a professor in Northwestern’s College of Chiropractic, said: “If you’re an employer today, health care is one of your biggest expenses. It’s time for organizations to take a different approach to employee wellness. We’re giving business leaders actionable ideas and tools to curb costs.”

The symposium is directed at executives and human resources professionals, but all business people are invited. Attendees will receive four continuing education credits through the Society for Human Resource Management.

In addition to Cassirer, Sweere and Kill, health and wellness professionals presenting will include:

  • Al Hofsted, Vice President of Consulting at Corporate Health Systems
  • Carrie Schmitz, Research Manager at Ergotron
  • Betsey Banker, Ergotron Wellness Industry Manager
  • Dr. Chad Henriksen, Coordinator of Ergonomics at Northwestern’s H.C. Sweere Center
  • Bob Hanlon, Founder and Owner of Corporate Health Systems and Trig
  • Dr. Dennis Lenselink, Clinic Director of AdvaCare Clinics and “To Your Health” radio show producer
  • David Elton, Senior Vice President of Clinical Programs for Optum Physical Health
  • Dr. Dennis Rodden, who practices and is an administrator at AdvaCare
  • Dr. Merlin Brown, who practices at Southdale Internal Medicine

 The Symposium is from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Northwestern campus, 2501 W. 84th St., Bloomington. For more information or to register, go to

About Northwestern Health Sciences University

For more than 75 years, Northwestern Health Sciences University, based in Bloomington, Minn., has provided world-class professional education and research as well as comprehensive health and wellness services. Its more than 130 faculty members annually teach about 6,500 students pursuing degrees and continuing education in accredited programs in chiropractic, acupuncture, therapeutic massage, Chinese medicine, nutrition and other health treatments. Northwestern has more than 7,500 graduates throughout the U.S. and in 21 countries. For more information, please visit

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