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Tony Blank is cofounder of Barton & Blank, a regulatory consulting firm specializing in providing strategic and tactical regulatory support for medical devices and combination products. Immediately prior to forming Barton & Blank, Blank spent 12 years at Boston Scientific Corp. in both corporate and business regulatory leadership roles. Under his leadership of the cardiovascular regulatory teams, Boston Scientific obtained numerous regulatory approvals for cardiovascular medical devices and combination products—among these being worldwide regulatory approvals for drug-eluting stents, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) and cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-D), cardiac pacemakers and cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemakers (CRT-P), and detachable coils for peripheral embolization. Blank has likewise been an active representative for Boston Scientific, the medical device industry and the regulatory profession on numerous policy issues working with AdvaMed. Among these activities has been participation in numerous Industry Working Groups—including the Pediatric Devices, Advertising and Promotion, and Reprocessing Working Groups (each of which he co-chaired). He is very involved in developing and delivering meaningful educational programs in the field of regulatory affairs and has been a regular speaker at educational events. In addition to his time at Boston Scientific, Blank has worked with cardiopulmonary, surgical, ophthalmic, vascular access and critical care medical devices.
Alberto Velez is a consultant for Chimera Consulting North America, LLC. Velez is a recognized expert in organization development for combination products with more than 12 years of experience in applying CGMP concepts to more than 35 combination products in new product development, manufacturing and quality systems. He is a frequent speaker on combination products topics at industry meetings and has more than 30 years of varied experience in medical device and combination product quality assurance, FDA readiness, product development and organizational effectiveness in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Velez has applied the CGMP’s/QSR’s to several different divisions in the Johnson & Johnson family of companies as well as other smaller medical device companies. He has also led R&D teams to develop and launch new technologies in endoscopic surgery and enteral feeding. His educational background is in chemical engineering, industrial engineering and quality engineering.
Stephen Wilcox, Ph.D., FIDSA is a principal and the founder of Design Science (Philadelphia), a 30+ person firm that specializes in optimizing the usability of products, particularly medical devices for clients including many major multinational corporations. Wilcox is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA) Academy of Fellows. He also served for several years as Chair of the IDSA Human Factors Professional Interest Section.
Wilcox also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Industrial Design Department of Philadelphia University and the School of Design of Carnegie Mellon University, on the Human Factors Engineering Committee of AAMI, and on the ISO/IEC committee (“Working Group 4”) that wrote the standard, IEC/ISO 62366. He holds a BS in psychology and anthropology from Tulane University, a Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Penn State, and a Certificate in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has won a number of design awards, has guest edited the journal Innovation several times and has served as a judge for a number of product design award competitions.
Wilcox has given hundreds of invited addresses to various organizations, has published more than 70 articles in professional journals, and is the current Editor in Chief of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society journal, Ergonomics in Design. His book, Designing Usability into Medical Products (CRC/Taylor & Francis), co-authored with Michael Wiklund, was published in 2005.
Mark Leimbeck is the principal of UL Solutions Risk Management Practice. He has served as a subject matter expert and advisor in a number of functional areas, including risk management, quality management, project management, software application development, and engineering. During his career, Leimbeck has led and supported the implementation of various corporate improvement and development programs including quality system and regulatory compliance programs, new product development, IT systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation, and quality/lean Six Sigma process improvement projects. Leimbeck continues in a subject matter and advisory role, and participates in international, national and industry-based standards and guidance development committees. He holds a B.S. E.E.T. from Southern Illinois University and an M.B.A from the University of Chicago.
Roberta Goode is an executive with more than 25 years of experience in the medical device industry. She is currently president and CEO of Goode Compliance International (GCI), a global leader in engineering and compliance services for medical device manufacturers, specializing in process validation, design control and risk management. Prior to founding GCI in 2002, Goode held positions of increasing responsibility in R&D, manufacturing and quality engineering at Beckman-Coulter Corp., Althin Medical, Inc. (acquired by Baxter Healthcare), and Cordis Corp. (a Johnson & Johnson company), where she contributed intellectual property in the form of four U.S. patents for percutaneous cardiovascular interventional devices. She holds a master of science degree in biomedical engineering and a bachelor of science degree from the University of Miami. Additionally, Goode has an adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Miami’s College of Engineering and is an ASQ Certified Quality Engineer.
Dr. Christopher Joseph Devine is the president of Devine Guidance International, a consulting firm specializing in providing solutions for regulatory compliance, quality, supplier management, and supply-chain issues facing the device industry. Devine has 32 years of experience in quality assurance, regulatory compliance and program management. He is a senior member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), a member of the Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS), and a member of the Project Management Institute, and resides on several technical advisory boards. Devine received his doctorate from Northcentral University, with his doctoral dissertation titled, “Exploring the Effectiveness of Defensive-Receiving Inspection for Medical Device Manufacturers: A Mixed-Method Study.” Devine holds a graduate degree in organizational management (MAOM) and an undergraduate degree in business management (BSBM).
Pat Baird recently joined Philips as the head of global software standards. He is responsible for actively participating in the development of software standards and translating those standards into usable business processes. Previously he was the director of risk management at Baxter Healthcare. Drawing on 20 years’ experience in product development, he has published and presented more than 50 papers on topics such as software development, change management, stakeholder management and risk management. In addition to an MBA, he has a masters degree in healthcare quality and patient safety from Northwestern University.
Susan Alpert, M.D. is president of SFA Consulting, LLC. She previously served as senior vice president, chief regulatory officer at Medtronic and was responsible for all of the company’s global regulatory efforts. Prior to joining Medtronic, Alpert served as vice president of regulatory sciences for C.R. Bard, Inc. She also previously worked at FDA where she held a variety of positions in the Centers dealing with drugs, devices and radiological health, and foods, including six years as the director of the Office of Device Evaluation.
Alpert is a microbiologist and a pediatrician with a specialty in infectious diseases and has practical experience in laboratory research and clinical trials. She serves on the board of advisors for the Medical Technology Leadership Forum and the board of the Women Business Leaders, or organization of women leaders in the health care sector. She also serves on the Executive Committee of the Clinical Trials Transformation Initiative, one of the public/private partnerships working with FDA to streamline the development of medical products.
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