BioMed SA, a nonprofit advocacy organization that promotes San Antonio’s bioscience and healthcare industry, named Heather Hanson as its new president Wednesday. She follows Ann Stevens, who retired in February after leading BioMed SA since its founding in 2005.
Hanson has over 20 years of experience in the medical device technology industry, having worked at Seno Medical Instruments, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), and Motorola. Before joining BioMed SA, Hanson was president of Corvax Solutions, a medical device development contract management and technology company she founded in 2010.
She is experienced both in senior management and the more operational aspects of biomedical research and development. Hanson is trained in mechanical engineering and holds 24 U.S. patents for medical technologies developed during her time at SwRI. Her bachelor’s degree is in mechanical engineering from Arizona State University, while her mechanical engineering master’s degree is from North Carolina State University.
Over the past 15 years, BioMed SA’s mission has focused on growing San Antonio’s biomedical sector and enhancing collaboration both in San Antonio and with stakeholders across the U.S. and globally.
Last year, the nonprofit organization completed its strategic plan to take San Antonio’s bioscience sector to the next level. Working with consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, BioMed SA’s plan includes more than 80 actionable recommendations for government and community stakeholders that will help attract, create, and grow bioscience companies as part of San Antonio’s overall plan for economic development.
“This comprehensive, yet focused, plan builds on cumulative past efforts and identifies realistic and impactful opportunities to ignite future economic growth in our sector,” Stevens said.
BioMed SA also elected Ann Beal Salamone as chair of its board of directors. She succeeds Walt Downing, executive vice president and chief operations officer of Southwest Research Institute, who now serves as BioMed SA’s immediate past chairman and ex officio board member. Plans include amending BioMed SA’s board structure to add a new ex officio position for founding president Ann Stevens.
“The COVID-19 crisis has illuminated the essential role that BioMed SA plays in our industry, and we have lofty goals for the future to help further support and grow our ecosystem,” Salamone stated.
The new BioMed SA president plans to expand upon the collaboration among San Antonio bioscience stakeholders while working to “attract new companies, investors, and conferences,” Hanson said. She seeks to increase San Antonio’s visibility, both locally and nationally, as well as boost the value provided for bioscience stakeholders.
“Given my background, I’m used to thinking about customer value and service, so our approach will be to talk to our [BioMed SA] members and nonmembers alike,” Hanson said. “I want to talk to people locally about what kinds of programs will help their companies succeed and grow.”
Hanson will develop a programming plan based on stakeholder input that will be available for the broader community, with more targeted resources for BioMed SA members.
BioMed SA also plans to launch a clinical trial task force that will “build upon the infrastructure in San Antonio to streamline the clinical trial process,” Hanson added.
“We want to make it easy, so the participants, CROs [contract research organizations], clinics, hospitals, and medical device manufacturers are all having their needs met,” she said. “San Antonio has a good population for clinical trials and we want to be the place for clinical studies.”
Hanson also will work closely with the Texas Research and Technology Foundation on developing a bioscience ecosystem asset-mapped database of San Antonio’s biomedical industry.
“San Antonio has such a unique environment for collaboration—we can capitalize on that and make a big difference,” Hanson said. “I’m looking forward to helping our industry take the next step forward in growth. BioMed SA is well-positioned to help them with that.”
Featured image is of biotech industry veteran Heather Hanson, who has been named president of BioMed SA. Courtesy image.