MedTechVets Breakfast Panel Recap, 2023 MedTech Conference

Written by Korinne Osterhoudt

October 23rd, 2023– On October 10th, MedTechVets hosted a Breakfast Networking Panel titled, “Veteran Impact on MedTech” at The MedTech Conference in Anaheim, California.

Over 250 attendees registered for our breakfast panel. The room was packed full of people interested in learning how Veterans add purpose to the MedTech Industry.

Veterans seek purpose and fulfillment from their work, and feel a sense of loyalty to their employers. Veterans are solution-driven, particularly in dynamic and unknown environments. We are not just leaders, not just followers, and not just trained robots; Vets know how to be contributing team members from any position. Most importantly there is a lot of room for growth to increase inclusion of Vets in MedTech.

-Josh Tallman, MTV Academy Fellow

The Panelists

Our panel was moderated by Derek Herrera (Founder & CEO at Bright Uro). We covered the struggle Veterans face in their military transition and the importance of advocating for Veteran employment in med tech. We also Diversity and Inclusion, corporate brand awareness, and how the MTV Academy program helps veterans in their transition.

Our Panelist of MedTech Leaders included: Erica Jefferies Purdo (Vice President of Strategy and Operations, Global Corporate Affairs at Johnson & Johnson) and Will Cambardella (Federal Affairs Lead at Intuitive). The panel also included three alumni from the MedTechVets Academy. Nik Thompson (Commercial Leadership Associate at Abiomed), Brenna Rheinhart (Talent Development Manager Americas at Teleflex), and Devin Owens (Clinical Account Specialist at Biosense Webster). 

Veteran Impact on MedTech

We asked each panelist a series of questions about their personal experiences in MedTech. During the Q&A section, panelist Brenna Rheinhart was asked “what do you feel you and other veterans bring to the table?”

We have already dedicated time and service to others whether that is service to country or service to the highest quality patient outcomes, we want to continue to have that opportunity to serve and that is a value I think can’t be taught.

-Brenna Rheinhart, MTV Panelist

She replied, “What do we bring to the table? It’s a lot. We bring adaptability, tenacity, and hearts for service which I think most of us have already touched on. Adabaility if you look around this room, probably each and every veteran that you see has dealt with shifting priorities or changed to a timeline where we had to tell our families that we are not coming home when we thought we would.

We have incredible resilience and are able to bounce back. We take initiative and we take ownership of all the tasks that we are asked to do. And hearts of service. We have already dedicated time and service to others. Whether that is service to country or service to the highest quality patient outcomes, we want to continue to have that opportunity to serve and that is a value I think can’t be taught.”

The Power of Networking

Not only did we serve a delicious breakfast, we provided a place for Veterans to network and interact with prominent Med Tech leaders and companies. During the conference, MTV Fellow, Kenisha Health had a meaningful connection with the VP of a large MedTech Company.

“At the Veterans breakfast I unknowingly sat next to a VP at of a large MedTech company and when asked, told her about my background, current role, and reason for attending the conference.  She immediately mentioned how she could use someone with my credentials and experience on her team. By the end of the breakfast she connected with me on LinkedIn and sent a message requesting that we chat soon.“

Kenisha Health, MTV Summer 2023 Fellow

MedTechVets Impact on Transitioning Veterans

MTV was started in 2012 when Army Veteran and former Chairman, President & CEO of Abiomed Mike Minogue attended an annual meeting at Wounded Warriors. During lunch, he had the opportunity to speak with veterans and hear about their struggle to find civilian jobs. Straightaway, that afternoon, Mike formed MVPvets.

At the time, veterans in general were suffering from an extremely high rate of unemployment. MVPvets’ main focus was to initially help veterans build the skills they needed to transition into the broader life sciences industries through in-person and virtual training as well as being mentored by individuals in the industry.

The program grew to include over 3,000 veterans, mentors, and company partners by the end of the decade. Veteran unemployment rates became more consistent with other groups. In response to the change in needs for veterans, we shifted to providing more focused training programs for transitioning veterans. MVPvets was renamed MTV in order to more closely reflect its industry alignment with the Medical Technology industry.

To this date, MTV has built a robust program that focuses on all the needs veterans are faced with when trying to enter the civilian world. We have a 94% employment success rate with an 84% company retention rate. Additionally, our network contains over 5,000 veteran, mentor, and partner company contacts in just 3 years.

Our service to the veteran community is not done. We hope to revolutionize how Medical Technology views veterans to help them continue their missions and improve patient’s lives.

Wrapping Up

The MedTech Conference provides a space for the Med Tech Industry to shine and promotes innovation. Bringing together the top executives and innovators from across the world, together they explore critical topics, share visions for the future — and build them, together.

The MEDTECH VETS Breakfast was a huge hit, personally I was surprised and excited to see how many people were in the room.

-Marc Chauvette, MTV Academy Fellow

Thank you to The MedTech Conference for inviting us back to showcase MedTechVets and promote our cause that Veterans positively impact the Med Tech industry. We are grateful to everyone in attendance at our panel and for the connections made.

We hope to see you next year!

About MedTechVets

MedTechVets is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit serving Veterans during career transition and

Our Vision is to build a bridge to help Veterans find meaningful employment in the Medical Technology Industry. We provide personalized career transition services, mentorship, and career development guidance. We serve Veterans who plan to enter the MedTech, Life Sciences, Pharmaceutical, or Medical Device industries. MedTechVets is proud to be endorsed by Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed).

<span>WRITTEN BY </span>Korinne Osterhoudt

WRITTEN BY Korinne Osterhoudt

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