LaVarne Burton, President and Chief Executive Officer, American Kidney Fund 

LaVarne Burton is President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Kidney Fund (AKF), a national nonprofit organization whose mission is to fight kidney disease and help people live healthier lives. Burton has led AKF since 2005. She established the AKF’s Quality of Work Environment Initiative — an ongoing effort to involve employees in defining workplace values and practices. Before joining AKF, Burton was a senior partner at Martin & Associates, a consulting firm for the health care industry and to major health information management and technology companies. She also served as President of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, worked with congressional committees to develop Medicare Part D, and served as Executive Secretary to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where she managed policy development and regulations and was advisor to the Secretary of the federal government’s largest domestic agency. Other roles in her past include Deputy Assistant Secretary for Budget Policy at HHS and Senior Analyst to the Budget Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

Burton is the immediate past Chair of the National Health Council (NHC) Board of Directors, and Chair-Elect of Kidney Care Partners. She was born in Augusta, 

Georgia, and earned a master’s degree from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Howard University. 

John Nosta, Founder, NOSTALAB

First and foremost, John Nosta is a thinker entrenched in the world of technology, science, medicine, and innovation. As the founder of NOSTALAB, a globally recognized innovation think tank, he embodies an inspired vision of transformation that resonates across industries and intellectual spheres.

Unwilling to accept the status quo, John’s contrarian perspective focuses sharply on the future. A leading voice in the convergence of technology and humanity, he defines, dissects, and deliberates global trends in technology. Ranked among the leading global influencers in innovation and technology, he has been honored with titles ranging from “most admired” to “top disruptor” in various fields including technology, AI, innovation, life sciences and the pharmaceutical industry.

John’s prowess as a speaker has earned him popularity across the globe, where he presents vibrant and insightful perspectives on the future of innovation. His focus on guiding companies, NGOs, and governments through the dynamics of exponential change is complemented by his keen understanding of the diffusion of innovation into complex systems, particularly in technology, AI, and LLMs.

His writing contributions are frequent and influential, with over 500 articles published in Fortune, Forbes, Psychology Today, Bloomberg, and prestigious peer-reviewed journals like The American Journal of Physiology, Circulation, and The American Journal of Hematology. In 2018, John’s intellectual contributions were honored with a Ph.D., honoris causa, from various international institutions, and a diploma of honor from the Bolivian government for advancing health technology.

His associations with renowned entities like World Health Organization, Roche Advisory Council, Google Health Advisory Board, and ARK Invest further solidify his influence and credibility in the scientific and technology communities.

John’s career is built on the “science of innovation,” a harmonious blend of strategy and creativity that generates market inflection points. Recognized for translating complex medical and scientific concepts into accessible material, his communicative talent bridges gaps between consumers, clinicians, and scientists.

Earlier in his career, John co-authored significant research in cardiovascular physiology, focusing on cell volume regulation, acute myocardial infarction, ventricular arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac death. His professional acumen extends into his business background.  He has held key positions at major agencies like Ogilvy CommonHealth, including roles such as Chief Creative Officer, Chief Strategic Officer, and Unit President.

John Nosta’s career paints a rich tapestry of intellectual curiosity, disruptive thinking, and innovative leadership. His important influence on technology, medicine, and creative strategy continues to shape and guide the future, placing him at the forefront of global thought and innovation. His multifaceted career encapsulates a tireless pursuit of knowledge and creativity that transcends traditional boundaries, establishing him as a true luminary in his field.

Michael Osso, President and CEO, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the world’s largest public foundation dedicated to creating a world free from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Since being named Chief Executive Officer and President in August 2015, Michael Osso continues to lead the mission and operations of this national organization headquartered in New York, New York, focusing his efforts on ensuring the foundation plays the essential role of leader, convener, and innovator for the IBD community. Osso began his association with the foundation in 2013 when he joined its senior leadership team as Chief Business Development Officer.

Osso has spent his professional career advancing the missions of nonprofit organizations. Before joining the foundation, he spent seven years at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, first as the Executive Director of its New York City Chapter and then as Senior Vice President of Revenue at its national office. Before his work in the health arena, Osso was the Executive Director of Careers through the Culinary Arts Program and worked for a variety of cultural organizations, including the Mark Morris Dance Group, José Limón Dance Foundation, and City Center Theater. He is a proud graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Randall Rutta, CEO, National Health Council

Randall “Randy” Rutta joined the National Health Council (NHC) in February 2021 as the organization’s Chief Executive Officer. Rutta leads the NHC, as it enters its second century, with the goal of effecting change across the entire health system and promoting increased access to affordable, high-value, sustainable health care. The NHC brings diverse organizations together to forge consensus and drive patient-centered health policy, and Rutta inspires NHC staff to implement a Board-driven strategic plan, public policy, and advocacy efforts. 

Prior to joining the NHC, Rutta was President and CEO of the American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA). AARDA initiated and hosts the 40-member National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups and is a longtime member of the NHC. He also served as AARDA’s Federal Policy Consultant. Before AARDA, Rutta served as President and CEO at Easterseals, a global nonprofit dedicated to the health, well-being, and success of people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and families. His career experience has been in acute care, health care quality assurance, and health policy development and implementation.  

Rutta holds a master’s degree in politics from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Minnesota. 

Jeff Todd, President and CEO, Prevent Blindness 

Jeff Todd is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prevent Blindness, the leading eye health and safety organization in the U.S. dedicated to preventing blindness and preserving sight across all age and eye conditions. He joined the organization in 2003 as Director of Public Health and later served as Chief Operating Officer until becoming President and CEO in April 2018. His contributions to the organization include establishing the Center for Vision and Population Health, launching the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health, fostering an annual national summit as a forum for the exchange of ideas relating to vision and public health, and overseeing the development of leading public health research — which has become widely used to capture the prevalence and cost of vision problems across the U.S. 

In addition to his work at Prevent Blindness, Todd is currently Chair-Elect of the Board of Directors of the National Health Council. He also chairs the NHC’s Public Policy Committee, the Advisory Committee to the Prevent Child Injury coalition, the Executive Committee of Vision 2020 USA, and the Advisory Board to Jonas

Children’s Vision Care at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a past chair of the Vision Care Section of the American Public Health Association, has served on the Board of Directors of Chicago-based Howard Brown Health Center, and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. 

Todd earned a juris doctor degree from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, an Executive Education Certificate from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, a master’s degree in communications from Butler University, and a bachelor’s degree in business from Indiana University Bloomington. 

Harold Wimmer, President and CEO, American Lung Association

Harold Wimmer has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Lung Association — the nation’s leading organization dedicated to saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease — since 2013. Fostering a culture of innovation and a distinct mission-first approach, Wimmer directs the executive operations of the association to deliver high-impact services and initiatives to improve the lung health of all Americans. His work with the American Lung Association began in 1978. Today, under his leadership, the organization has evolved to meet emerging and urgent lung health issues and deepened its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion both internally and for the communities it serves.  

Prior to leading the American Lung Association, Wimmer served in key executive positions in the association in Illinois and the upper Midwest region of the country. He also serves as the Treasurer of the National Health Council, Co-Chair of the Advisory Council to the World Resource Institute Electric School Bus Initiative, and Advisory Member to the International Union on TB and Lung Disease. In the past, he served in an advisory role to two presidential administrations on issues including COVID-19 and youth vaping.

Wimmer earned a master’s degree in health administration and policy and a bachelor’s degree in community health from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. He remains an active alumni member at the University of Illinois, serving on the Applied Health Sciences Alumni Board.