California Healthcare Institute Adds Executives from Genzyme and Medtronic to Board of Directors

New board appointments extend CHI’s network and bring new industry expertise in medical devices and rare diseases

LA JOLLA, Calif., Jan. 23, 2015 – California Healthcare Institute (CHI) announced today the election of two senior leaders to serve on its board of directors: Stephanie Okey, head of North America, Rare Diseases and senior vice president, general manager U.S. Rare Diseases business for Genzyme, and Tony Semedo, senior vice president, Medtronic & president, Aortic & Peripheral Vascular. CHI is a nonprofit, public policy research organization, representing leading California academic institutions, including biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical firms.

“CHI is committed to educating policymakers and industry stakeholders on the value and importance of the California life sciences ecosystem. The addition of these two leaders and their respective organizations to our board demonstrates our continued resolve to nurturing biomedical innovation in California,” said CHI President and CEO Sara Radcliffe. “Stephanie and Tony bring a wealth of expertise to the table, and will uniquely positioning us in strengthening CHI’s efforts to shape policies in Washington and Sacramento that advance California’s leadership in life sciences.”

Stephanie Okey is the head of North America, Rare Diseases and senior vice president, general manager U.S. Rare Diseases business for Genzyme, a Sanofi Company. She has 28 years of industry experience, 26 of those years in biotechnology. She spent over 7 years at Genentech, Inc. and 18 years with Genzyme. Okey has had launch or commercialization experience with eight orphan disease therapeutics; one with REMS designation, and four large market therapeutic agents. She has significant experience in the commercialization of orphan disease products and bringing therapeutic agents to health care providers and patients in a patient centric business model. Okey holds a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree in immunology and medical microbiology from Wright State University.

Tony Semedo is senior vice president, Medtronic and president, Aortic & Peripheral Vascular. In his current role he has global responsibility for strategic direction and day to day operations for the Aortic & Peripheral Vascular business. Semedo joined Medtronic in 2002, as Vice President of R&D for Medtronic [AVE] Vascular for the Coronary, Peripheral and Endovascular businesses. In 2005, Semedo moved to Japan as the Co-Business leader for the Medtronic Japan Cardiovascular business which includes the Coronary & Peripheral, Endovascular, Structural Heart Disease and Revascularization & Surgical Technologies businesses. Prior to joining Medtronic, Semedo held various management and leadership positions with Alaris Medical Systems and Eli Lilly & Co. Semendo began his career with Abbott Laboratories as a Product Development Engineer. Semedo holds a bachelor’s degree in plastics engineering from the University of Massachusetts.

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Photos available upon request

About CHI-California Healthcare Institute
CHI represents more than 275 leading biotechnology, medical device, diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies, and public and private academic biomedical research organizations. CHI’s mission is to advance biomedical research, investment and innovation through effective advocacy of policies to improve public health and ensure continued vitality of the life sciences sector. CHI’s website is Follow us on Twitter @calhealthcare, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Will Zasadny
Manager – Communications; California Healthcare Institute