2nd Annual Reimagine Aging Conference


Time Session Presenters
1:00-1:30 Registration & Exhibits
1:30-1:45 Welcome & Introductions Event Emcee
Carolyn Pare
President & CEO
Minnesota Health Action Group
1:45-2:15 Keynote Address

Reimagine Aging with the help of Technology: Today’s Landscape and Opportunities for Harnessing Tech to Enhance the Lives of Older Adults.

Learn about the latest data on comfort and engagement with different types of technology as it is relates to different age brackets–because there are significant differences between the Greatest Generation, Silent Generation and Boomers. How older adults could and should be leveraging the latest technologies to keep them happy, healthy and safe will also be addressed as well as how older adults and their caregivers can and think about the continued evolution we will see in the coming years.

Jennifer Willey
Chief Business Officer
2:15-3:00 Reimagine Aging Panel and Discussion: An interactive panel representing business, employers, government, and academia will share their insights on technology and engage the audience in thinking about the future where we Reimagine Aging. Moderator
Carolyn Pare
President & CEO
Minnesota Health Action Group

Jennifer Willey
Chief Business Officer

Joe Gaugler
Long-Term Care Professor in Nursing
University of Minnesota

Dr. Julia Halberg,
M.D., M.P.H., M.S., F.A.C.O.E.M.
Vice President, Global Health and Chief Wellness Officer
General Mills

Emily Piper
MN Department Of Human Services

3:00-3:15 Break & Exhibits
3:15-4:15 Breakout Sessions (4)
CareNextion: Online Tool for Caregivers, Independence for Seniors

This session will demonstrate how www.carenextion.org will change the way seniors find resources to live independently as well as show how informal caregivers can be organized and successful with this free online tool that helps families manage coordination of care, gain access local resources, and obtain phone support.

Krystal Wiebusch
Senior Community Services
Thinking Differently with Aging2.0

Aging 2.0 is out to change the conversation in aging.  It is an international organization with more than 400 events in 20 countries supported by more than 150 corporate Alliance members. Its goal is to stop talking about local, clinical and siloed approaches and start talking about collaborative, lifestyle oriented and opportunity driven innovation.  In this session you will learn how Aging2.0 is different, about upcoming events and how you and your team can get involved to stay on the leading edge of #changingaging

John Fraser
Chief Technology Officer
Walkasins: A Wearable Sensory Prosthetic That Can Help Improve Gait, Balance, Function and Quality of Life

Walkasins is the first Wearable Sensory Prosthetic for patients with peripheral neuropathy who have balance problems. A thin insole placed in the shoe measures foot pressure and a leg unit placed around the ankle provides tactile cues about balance that the wearer learns to use as a new balance sense. This seminar will discuss how new and emerging technologies are allowing development of medical grade wearables that can help improve function, participation and quality of life. Data will be shared from a patient who has used Walkasins daily for several months. The report shows dramatic improvements in gait and balance function as well as self-reported decreases in leg cramps, pain and medication use. The device is expected to be available for prescription following FDA registration early 2018.

Lars Oddsson
President and Co-founder
RxFunction Inc.
Reimagining Senior Living Technology Experience Through Empathy

Reemo embarked on a mission to reimagine the senior living experience. Their trick was how to bridge the gap in new-age technology like wearables and home automation with seniors, who have unique design challenges. Once they started living at senior living homes and ingratiating themselves in the experience through human-centered design, they learned more than ever before and it translated into a great user experience (i.e. seniors actually used wearables and home automation!). In this session, they will explore the design process they used to approach this, along with what worked and what did not. They will share their experience so that others in this space can help advance the thinking in senior living and how to use technology.

Al Baker
4:15-4:30 Closing & Door Prize


Carolyn Pare – President & CEO, Minnesota Health Action Group | Emcee

Carolyn is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Minnesota Health Action Group, a coalition of more than 50 public and private employers dedicated to health care market reform. In the 25 years since its formation, this Minnesota-based coalition has introduced a number of nationally recognized innovations in health care contracting, delivery, quality and consumerism. Action Group members are committed to supporting a health care system that delivers the care consumers need at the right time, in the right place, and at the right price.

Carolyn was previously a director of Human Resources, responsible for Benefits, Risk Management, and Human Resource Information Systems at Target Corporation. She is currently Chair of the Consensus Standards Approval Committee and serves on the Cost and Resource Use Standing Committee for the National Quality Forum. Carolyn is past Chair of the National Business Coalition on Health and served on the NCQA Standards Committee for eight years. She also participates as a member of the National Advisory Council to the California Health Benefits Review Program, sits on the Multi-Payer Alignment Task Force for Minnesota’s Accountable Health Model, and has served as interim Program Director of the Minnesota Chartered Value Exchange.

Carolyn has a BS in Environmental and Public Health from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire and over 35 years of experience in occupational health and safety, risk management, and health care.

Jennifer Willey – Chief Business Officer, Independa | Keynote Address & Panelist

Jennifer Willey brings more than 20 years of experience at the intersection of technology and health–building innovative, strategic partnerships across digital media, marketing, content and programs.  As Chief Business Officer at Independa, an interactive, ‘smart’ TV platform providing connected care for older adults (and their caregivers) seeking to “thrive in place,” she is responsible for commercial and consumer growth.

She most recently served as Vice President of Consumer Strategy and Partnerships for WebMD.  Willey has a proven track record of fostering innovation, driving growth, and building long-term strategic relationships in a variety of roles for companies like Yahoo, AOL/Huffington Post, Sharecare, RealAge, Everyday Health and TV Guide. Prior to joining the digital media industry, Willey was a Management Consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, specializing in the media industry.  Willey started her career as a TV News Anchor and Reporter at CBS and ABC affiliates in South Carolina and New York.

Willey has served on the Boards of the Consumer Health Products Association and the NY Chapter of the Alliance for Women in Media.  She is the founder of numerous women’s business empowerment networks, an advisor and mentor to CSweetener (an executive mentoring platform for women) and has been a presenter and panelist at a number of industry conferences and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.  Willey is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.

Joe Gaugler – Long-Term Care Professor in Nursing,  University of Minnesota | Panelist

Joseph E. Gaugler, PhD is Long-Term Care Professor in Nursing at The University of Minnesota. Dr. Gaugler’s research examines the sources and effectiveness of long-term care for chronically disabled older adults. A developmental psychologist with an interdisciplinary research focus, Dr. Gaugler’s interests include Alzheimer’s disease and long-term care, the longitudinal ramifications of family care for disabled adults, and the effectiveness of community-based and psychosocial services for chronically ill adults and their caregiving families. Underpinning these substantive areas, Dr. Gaugler also has interests in longitudinal and mixed methods.

Dr. Gaugler currently serves as Editor for the Journal of Applied Gerontology and on the editorial boards of Journals of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, Journals of Gerontology: Social Sciences, and Psychology and Aging. He was awarded the 2003 Springer Early Career Achievement Award in Adult Development and Aging Research, the 2011 M. Powell Lawton Distinguished Contribution Award for Applied Gerontology from the American Psychological Association (Division 20: Adult Development and Aging), the 2011 Dean’s Award from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing, and the 2015 Gordon Streib Distinguished Academic Gerontologist Award from the Southern Gerontological Society. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Julia Halberg, M.P.H., M.S., F.A.C.O.E.M. – Vice President, Global Health and Chief Wellness Officer, General Mills | Panelist

As vice president, Global Health and chief wellness officer of General Mills, Dr. Julia Halberg leads the company’s global approach to preventive care, health education, well-being programming, and medical advocacy. She joined General Mills in 2001 as the director of Health Services.

Halberg earned her medical degree from the University of Connecticut. She received a master’s degree in biology/ecology and a master’s of public health degree in epidemiology from the University of Minnesota.  Halberg completed residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in occupational medicine where she is board certified.

Halberg has published extensively on several topics, including shift work, blood pressure, and circadian rhythms. She is a fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and served on their board of directors for 6 years.

At the University of Minnesota, she is an adjunct assistant professor in the department of environmental and occupational health where she mentors environmental/public health Ph.D. candidates, medical students, and occupational medicine residents. Halberg serves on the boards of Way to Grow, the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety (MCOHS) and the Institute for Clinical Services Improvement.

Emily Piper – Commissioner, MN Department Of Human Services | Panelist

Official Government Photo

Emily Johnson Piper is commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services. DHS is the state’s largest agency, serving well over 1 million people with an annual budget of $18 billion and over 6,000 employees throughout the state. The department administers a broad range of services, including health care, economic assistance, mental health and substance abuse prevention and treatment, child welfare services, and services for the elderly and people with disabilities. DHS also provides direct care and treatment to more than 10,000 clients every year.

Prior to joining DHS, Piper served as general counsel and deputy chief of staff in the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith. In this role, Piper represented and advised the governor, lieutenant governor, cabinet and state agencies on legal matters involving the state of Minnesota. As general counsel to the governor and lieutenant governor, Piper worked closely with DHS on many of the agency’s most high-profile legal matters and policy initiatives. Piper also served as chair of the State Board of Investment Proxy Committee and the State Board of Investment Administrative Committee. The State Board of Investment manages approximately $76 billion of state pension and other assets.

Prior to joining the Office of the Governor and Lt. Governor, Piper served as deputy commissioner and chief of staff for the Minnesota Department of Commerce. In this role, Piper oversaw the department’s staff, its divisions and its biennial budget. While at the Commerce Department, Piper worked with agency leadership in regulating, among others, Minnesota’s insurance, real estate, banking and energy industries. In addition to this work, during her tenure as chief of staff, Piper was charged with leading several strategic reform and legislative initiatives for the department, including implementation of health reform, organizational realignment to better serve consumer needs and Minnesota’s response to the state’s 2014 propane shortage. Prior to serving as deputy commissioner and chief of staff, Piper served as general counsel for the department.

Piper began her career as an attorney with McGrann Shea Carnival Straughn & Lamb Chartered in Minneapolis, working on civil litigation including health care and insurance law. Piper earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and her juris doctor degree from University of St. Thomas School of Law. Piper lives in Golden Valley with her husband and four children. In her spare time, Piper has served on several community boards and commissions.

Krystal Wiebusch – LSW, Senior Community Services | Breakout


Krystal Wiebusch is a licensed social worker with Senior Outreach & Caregiver Services here at SCS.  She has worked with older adults and their caregivers since 1996.  She graduated from Saint Cloud State with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work in 2006.  Krystal just celebrated her five year anniversary working with SCS.  Krystal is proud of her work that helps seniors and their caregivers stay successful in their communities.



John Fraser – Chief Technology Officer, Lifesprk | Breakoout

John is the Chief Technology Officer for Lifesprk, a whole person senior care company focused on helping clients live the healthiest and most independent life possible.  He is also the Minneapolis Ambassador for Aging 2.0, an organization accelerating innovative senior focused solutions worldwide backed by more than $6Billion in venture capital.

Prior to entering the health sciences and services space, his career started as a 12-year-old entrepreneur building hardware and software solutions for Texas Instruments and RCA.  Recruited by a manufacturing firm at 16, he produced vision guided robotics and inspection algorithms for top companies such as Seagate, Western Digital, Samsung, and IBM.

Tired of the sterile lab, John entered the financial services market to design and implement the first digital document signature solution for a top North American bank using tablets saving 10’s millions through paper, time and error reduction.

John’s passion for helping people and optimizing processes brought him into the health sciences and services space where his focus is on improving employee and client experiences through technology while advocating for a responsible and innovative change in how we care for seniors in our society.

Based out of Minneapolis Minnesota, you’ll occasionally see John put his technology away to rock climb, scuba dive, or camp in the Boundary Waters and Quetico Provincial Park.

Lars Oddsson – President and Co-founder, RxFunction Inc. | Breakout

Lars Oddsson is an experienced biomedical scientist, an inventor, a visionary leader and an entrepreneur. He is President and Co-founder of RxFunction Inc., a medical device start-up company based on Dr. Oddsson’s invention that commercializes Walkasins™, an external lower leg prosthesis that replaces lost sensory information from the feet due to neuropathy to help patients improve balance function and mobility. Dr. Oddsson currently serves on the Board of Directors of LifeScience Alley, the Alley Institute and the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce. He has a broad background in neurophysiology, engineering, rehabilitation sciences and technology development, has served as principal investigator on federal as well as private foundations grants and he has authored numerous research articles in the areas of biomedical engineering, neuromotor control and rehabilitation science. He is a Senior Fellow of the IEEE and he holds several patents. Dr. Oddsson has previously held academic appointments at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, Boston University, MIT and Harvard Medical School.

Al Baker – Co-founder, Reemo | Breakout

Alex “Al” Baker is a Minnesota-born entrepreneur with experience in a variety of industries including healthcare technology and the Internet of Things (IoT). Al has worked for institutions such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in IT Applications, UnitedHealth Group in Corporate Strategy, and eventually started his own health tech company, Reemo.

Al co-founded Reemo with the mission to help those with limited mobility and aging in place by using wearable and in-home technology. Al is a product-focused leader and spends time introducing himself and his development team to their end-users through human-centered design thinking – to the degree that Al spent over 200 hours in senior living homes.

After the development of multiple partnerships, such as Mayo Clinic, Samsung Electronics, Teradata, Cox Communications, and Microsoft, the Reemo platform has generated over $500,000 in sales the past 9 months with under $1.1M in equity financing. After 5 years, Al stepped down as CEO of Reemo to serve on the Board of Directors and to pursue new opportunities in product development in the healthcare industry.

Al also spends his time in philanthropy. He serves on the Corporate Committee Board for the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, and also co-founded a non-profit called the Dan Baker Foundation. The Foundation aims to raise money for communities who are struggling with the effects of the opioid epidemic and also act as a voice in the legislature to develop bills that appease both the industry and communities affected.

He received a B.S. in Economics from the University of Minnesota and has been featured in Minnesota Business Magazine’s “35 Under 35,” and Alpha Kappa Psi business group’s international 40 Under 40. Al has spent most of his career speaking and writing on the topics of product design in healthcare and IoT across the globe, including conferences such as HIMSS, CES, Deutsche Telekom, Health:Further and BMW Headquarters as a keynote speaker. Al enjoys spending time outdoors fishing, golfing, snowboarding, and running near the Mississippi River.


If you are interested in sponsorship, contact Deb Taylor at 952-767-7885.

Click here to download a printable 2017 Sponsorship Opportunities Guide


Innovations Sponsor

Supporter Sponsors

   Laurie Lafontaine Family Foundation          

Door Prize Sponsor

In-Kind Media Sponsor