Dr. Roman Salasznyk, a senior vice president leading Booz Allen’s life science practice and its support across the Department of Health and Human Services, has been appointed chair of WashingtonExec’s Healthcare Council for 2023-2024.
Salasznyk has over 20 years of experience in biomedical research, medical product and regulatory lifecycle development, and management and technology consulting. At Booz Allen, he leads cloud modernization initiatives, delivers cutting-edge informatics and analytics capabilities, manages a multidisciplinary team to support federal health clients and expedite medical product approvals and scientific discoveries, fosters innovative research to improve public health, and more.
As chair of the council, Salasznyk will lead conversations about today’s healthcare mission problems, how emerging technologies will integrate with the healthcare field, the government contracting industry’s responsibility to help address these challenges and solutions and more.
Below, he also shares a bit about his professional experience in the life science field, what it means to be council chair, the value of connecting industry executives with government officials, and what he hopes to accomplish in this leadership position.
Based on your extensive experience, what are some of the focus areas/hot topics you want to discuss with the council this year?
I see a significant opportunity to explore the integration of AI, edge and quantum computing, and advanced technologies within the healthcare landscape to improve patient outcomes, better detect and respond to new or emerging health threats, and deliver high-quality, affordable healthcare to the American public.
A key challenge we’re actively navigating is effectively combining these cutting-edge solutions with deep domain expertise to support our clients’ mission-critical needs and improve end-user experience. Researchers, healthcare providers, payers and regulators are all focused on strengthening mission performance and addressing strategic priorities and events across their enterprise. As leaders across the GovCon healthcare sector, the council has a responsibility to bring innovations and thought leadership to these important stakeholders and create an ecosystem that is conducive for the adoption of emerging capabilities and strategies aimed to transform their organizations.
The innovative momentum we’re seeing today differs from before, as it’s not merely about implementing technology for technology’s sake. The council’s goal should be to leverage their organization’s depth and scale to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of the government’s public health operations while addressing real mission problems.
Navigating this path requires collaboration and a deep understanding of the unique challenges in the healthcare sector that range from zero trust implementation, supply chain disruptions, enhancing disease surveillance, expediting medical product approvals and identifying biomedical innovations for unmet medical needs.
With the advent of AI and other enabling capabilities, the GovCon community has a responsibility to bring these advancements across the federal healthcare sector.
How will your personal and career experience and expertise within the healthcare community help lead the council in discussions on trending healthcare-related topics?
Two decades of experience in the life science field, including biomedical research, medical product and regulatory lifecycle development, and in management and technology consulting, has equipped me to lead the council’s discourse on current healthcare trends. As a recognized leader in spearheading high-visibility IT, data and cloud modernization initiatives for multiple federal health clients, I’ve cultivated a deep appreciation for the unprecedented challenges faced by U.S. public health agencies to support their mission-critical operations.
The healthcare community is reaching a tipping point where the velocity of advancing healthcare solutions brought on by emerging technology is reshaping the industry, making it critical that the council be ready and able to help guide organizations. The future will be ingrained with cross-disciplinary collaborations aimed toward integrating advancements in the technology, AI, cloud and cyber fields with a deeper understanding of science to drive towards better health outcomes.
What does it mean for you to be chair of this council?
My role as chair of WashingtonExec’s Healthcare Council brings me new responsibilities and a great opportunity. At Booz Allen, I am driven by a sense of purpose and empowered to live out my values. I plan to bring that same mentality to my role on the council. Primarily, I’m driven by the fact that our work extends to improving citizens’ day-to-day lives and raising awareness within the GovCon community about its critical role of supporting transformational change within the healthcare enterprise.
My role and contribution are two-fold. First and foremost, I will be a strong proponent for demonstrating the value of bringing GovCon and federal leaders and their stakeholders together to tackle high-visibility challenges and address their strategic priorities.
Secondly, I’m dedicated to championing the ultimate goal-enhancing, safeguarding and promoting public health, benefiting the broader community. This approach entails strategically curating the council’s agenda to be agile and identifying influential speakers who can contribute valuable insights and perspectives to our discussions. By doing so, we enhance the council’s impact, ensuring that both our clients and council members can amplify their capabilities to advance scientific discoveries, support innovative research, and make healthcare coverage more affordable on a national scale.
Do you feel there is great value in connecting industry executives with government officials to discuss topics facing the healthcare community? If so, why?
Absolutely. It’s a dynamic exchange that allows us to gain firsthand insights into our clients’ challenges, especially in the public sector. Moreover, connecting industry executives and government officials has a ripple effect, helping us to understand their pain points and challenges within their mission-critical operations on a macro- and micro level. Having firsthand experience leading these discussions is particularly intriguing because they are not just about expressing problems; at their core, it’s about sparking innovative solutions.
Government agencies and their respective leaders can put forth their issues and initial ideas for a potential solution, which industry professionals can take up as incubation, prototyping and capability development opportunities. It’s important to remember the greater goal we’re trying to achieve in the GovCon industry ⏤ a cross-pollination of ideas, best practices and operational efficiencies from the private sector that can be translated into strategies that elevate the public sector and lead to better outcomes for the larger healthcare community.
This synergy is a recipe for intentional progress, bringing the power of innovation to the public. The value-add here lies in the potential to connect these executives, propelling positive change across the healthcare community, and actively support modernizing their IT, data, cyber, cyber and analytics capabilities, thereby strengthening mission performance.
Do you have any unique plans yet for the council?
I’ve always loved participating in the council’s executive dinners and engaging with senior-level government officials to learn more about their roles, missions, priorities and pain points. I plan to continue establishing informal and interactive communication opportunities with officials and healthcare industry leaders and bring them together through meetups, roundtables, and fun interactive events aimed at facilitating productive dialogue and understanding.
I’d also like to enhance all council members’ experiences by creating an environment in which there is a mutual exchange of information, encouraging them to share their creative ideas and recommendations to drive more personalized outcomes for patients, empower healthcare workers and ensure the GovCon healthcare community is supporting our clients to deliver high-quality, affordable healthcare.
Ultimately, my hope is to convene different perspectives in an effort to meet the evolving needs and priorities of our clients by sharing the latest technology innovations with stakeholders, so they can automate workflows, better understand their data and make decisions in real-time that improve patient care.
What do you hope to accomplish as chair of this council, and what do you hope council members get out of your leadership?
My hope is to obtain and grow a differentiated perspective that inspires each council member to seek the impossible, investing in people to further innovation. Resource limitations, changing operating environments and stakeholder demands often constrain our clients. As chair, I seek to bridge the gap between the GovCon community and our clients by creating an ecosystem in which a collective forum can thrive. This means better facilitating dialogue with clients and building a foundation conducive to advanced technology in federal government services to support better workflows, automation and data-driven decision-making.