ceo colloquium

Forward-thinking Executive Shares Healthcare Goals at CEO Colloquium

Last Thursday, President and CEO of CVS Health Corporation Larry Merlo hosted the Gordon College CEO Colloquium at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston. Merlo’s pharmacy innovation company is at the forefront of a changing healthcare environment, providing more affordable medication to businesses and communities. As part of its commitment to public health, CVS was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to eliminate tobacco sales from its stores in 2014.

As host, Merlo introduced the keynote speaker, Steven Collis, chairman, president and CEO of AmerisourceBergen Corporation, who shared his wisdom in a discussion with Gordon College President Michael Lindsay. Collis’ forward-thinking understanding of healthcare distribution informs the strategic approach he brings to his pharmaceutical company. AmerisourceBergen Corporation contains 1.5 million products lines delivered from more than 30 distribution centers.

Lindsay asked the accomplished South African CEO when his first actualization of a leadership role took place. Collis shared that he had been given an opportunity in the Air Force to strengthen his team by delegating younger soldiers while completing their final graduation test. His resulting leadership style has marked his successful career.

Collis emphasized that AmerisourceBergen Corporation’s goal is to enable more patient access to medication and clinical trials by aiding other companies in their practice management—and to combat the opioid epidemic. To that end, his company is committed to reporting over-ordering of prescription drugs in the U.S. and to providing prescriber education so that less waste is produced.

Collis stressed the dire need to achieve a healthcare system that will Americans can trust. “We need to improve healthcare,” he said, “because if patients do not have access to affordable medication, they will end up in ICUs or other facilities that are not cost efficient nor immediately effective.”

The CEO Colloquium is an initiative of Gordon College and the brainchild of Peter Rollins, founder and former president of the Chief Executives Club of Boston.

By Kristiina Boettiger ’19, biology (pre-health concentration)