Health Connect South Celebrates Ten Years With Event Full of Industry Leaders

Rachel Elizondo

Friday, September 8th, 2023

Health Connect South, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting collaboration and innovation in healthcare, will host its tenth annual gathering on September 21. 

A unique gathering of health leaders, Health Connect South will be keynoted by CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen and expects to welcome over 1,000 attendees at The Georgia Aquarium. 

“We are honored Dr. Cohen will keynote in person this year, given the important work of the CDC throughout our country and beyond,” said Russ Lipari, Founder and CEO of Health Connect South. “The CDC is the only federal agency headquartered outside of Washington, D.C., and their leadership is very important to our region.”  

Also highlighting the gathering is Former Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Dr. Tom Price, as well as the President’s/CEO’s of Wellstar, Emory Healthcare, City of Hope, Jackson Healthcare, The Morehouse School of Medicine, Duke University Hospital, National Vision, The Healthcare Georgia Foundation, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Northeast Georgia Health System, and many more to cover a wide range of topics affecting the health industry.

Check out the detailed agenda here.

This year, Health Connect South will also feature industry leaders from CDC, HHS, FDA, Microsoft, APRA-H, Amazon, IBM, Google, Goldman Sachs, Piedmont Healthcare, United Healthcare and the Deans of the Emory School of Medicine, Mercer University School of Medicine, Augusta University/Medical College of Georgia, Kennesaw State University, Georgia State University & Georgia Southern University. 

“We are focused on highlighting the most relevant trends and needs affecting health,” said Lipari. “For our audience, hearing directly from leaders who most impact each of those areas is important.  Our focus is to hear about how leading organizations are working together and collaborating to improve all aspects of health.” 

With so many challenges facing the healthcare industry in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event aims to bring together decision-makers, innovators, and the next generation of healthcare leaders across the region. 

 “We count on the health community to protect everyone from things like a pandemic. Looking back on what we all experienced with COVID, every aspect of our health system played an important role - whether it’s identifying diseases, treating diseases, or coming up with cures. We emerged from COVID by our health community figuring out new ways to work together and we want to keep that dialog going. 

“Health Connect South was founded on the thesis that we have such a rich density of leading health assets in our state and region. By providing opportunities for them to hear from one another, we hope to spur needed dialog around collaborations.”

Over the past nine years, Lipari said they have seen attendees from 44 different states and 17 different countries come to be a part of this annual event. He said it’s common to see people coming back year after year because of how beneficial the event is, with attendees ranging from executives, doctors, managers, professors, researchers, graduate students, and more. 

“We have been very fortunate to have participation from a US president, a governor, the past five directors of the CDC, two HHS secretaries, the head of the FDA, a surgeon general, and a great number of presidents and CEOs from corporations, nonprofits, colleges, universities,” said Lipari. “We couldn’t do this without any of their leadership, and each of them has supported our mission to serve the health community as a platform to promote collaborations in health. 

“Health Connect South is made possible through the generous support of many different sponsors, and we’re very appreciative that they all come together to help this opportunity occur for our larger health community. We are incredibly indebted to each of those who have shared their time and expertise with our audience as a speaker this year and every year prior. We’re very appreciative to be able to use this platform to help lift up our health community.” 

The event will take place on Thursday, September 21 from 7:30 am to 5 pm at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. 

“I don’t think there’s any gathering with a higher density and breadth of our health leadership represented,” said Lipari. “This is a unique opportunity to be up close and personal with defining thought leaders in health.” 

To register for the Health Connect South gathering, please visit