A Pioneering Idea

Founders Mark Speers and Paula Ness Speers started their consulting careers at Bain & Company, where Mark was a Partner in the Healthcare Practice and Paula led the R&D Practice. They often met with senior executives of innovative healthcare companies, but were constrained by the lack of broad and deep information resources and staff with clinical and scientific expertise to cost-effectively assist these executives with truly customized and innovative strategic insights. In 1992, Mark and Paula decided to devote the rest of their careers to filling this critical gap in strategy consulting services for the healthcare industry by founding Health Advances.

Expanding Our Capabilities

In the ensuing years, Health Advances invested heavily in its infrastructure. It has built a world-class healthcare Knowledge Management center so that staff can readily access carefully vetted global resources. In addition, it has continually added consulting team members with strong medical, clinical, and business training, as well as extensive work experience in the healthcare field. Professional development continues to be a high priority and contributes to the firm’s industry-leading retention rates.

In 2008, Health Advances established an office in San Francisco in order to better serve the innovative biotech, medical device, and diagnostic companies on the West Coast. It then established offices in Zug, Switzerland to conduct work more expeditiously in Europe and hire a team of European nationals with strong language skills and an intimate knowledge of the major healthcare systems in Europe.

In 2014, the firm promoted Andrew Funderburk, Sheela Hegde, Vivek Mittal, and Susan Posner, long-time employees and industry thought leaders, to Partner. In 2015, Chief Operating Officer Karen Gershman was elevated to Partner; she oversees a vibrant staff of functional professionals and builds proprietary systems that help our consulting staff reproducibly deliver insights to our clients. In 2016, Donna Hochberg, an industry leader in the Diagnostics sector, was promoted to partner. In 2017 Wyatt Gotbetter, Gary Gustavsen, and Andrew Matzkin were promoted to partners. Rounding out Health Advances’ strong leadership team are Vice Presidents Julia Gaebler, Claudia Graeve, Kate McLaughlin, Sheldon Ng, and Tracy Walters.

Health Advances Today

Now in its third decade, Health Advances continues its strong record of growth. We advise both small and large healthcare companies around the world, with a staff of over 140 professionals, and offices in Boston, San Francisco, and Zug, Switzerland. We have worked with more than 600 companies and investors on more than 2,200 assignments.

In early 2016, Health Advances was acquired by PAREXEL International Corporation (www.parexel.com), a NASDAQ-listed professional services organization providing complementary services to its clients. Health Advances operates as an independent operating unit of PAREXEL while taking advantage of its new colleagues and capabilities when clients can benefit. For instance, Health Advances can draw upon PAREXEL’s intimate understanding of regulatory processes around the globe, the costs and risks of clinical trials, and market-specific expertise resident in over 50 countries.