San Antonio Business Leader Catherine Burzik Wins Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions to Medical Tech Industry

By Iris Gonzalez
Catherine Burzik received her Lifetime Achievement Award during the MedTech Conference in Boston September 25. Courtesy photo.

San Antonio business leader and entrepreneur Catherine (“Cathy”) M. Burzik will receive the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award from Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) for her many contributions to the medical technology industry. Burzik will receive the award, the highest honor given to someone who has worked in the medical device industry, during the MedTech Conference in Boston September 25.

Catherine Burzik is a seasoned senior executive and has successfully led life sciences companies. Those receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award stand out in leadership, innovation, discovery, commercialization, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, venture capital and capital formation, as well as sustained contributions to the medical technology industry. She continues to play major roles in the community and is being recognized for her lasting contributions to the medical technology industry.

When she became president and CEO in 2006 of Kinetic Concepts (KCI), a leading medical device company (today known as Acelity), she was recognized for her leadership in distinguishing the company in the fields of wound care and regenerative medicine.  She led a major global expansion, including the $1.7 billion acquisition of LifeCell, a premier regenerative medicine company. The San Antonio business leader executed the private sale of KCI to Apax Partners in 2011, in which KCI sold for $6.1 billion or nine times the company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization, EBITDA is a measure of a company’s operating performance).

She began her career as a software developer, working in the early stages of dry slides at Kodak Clinical Chemistry. She eventually rose to become CEO and president of Kodak Health Imaging Systems. Burzik served as president of J&J’s Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Division, overseeing the merged businesses of J&J’s blood safety products and her former employer Kodak’s Clinical Chemistry products. From there, she became president of Applied Biosystems, a firm that pioneered the sequencing of the human genome and the measurement of gene expression that is enabling the personalized medicine revolution.

In all, Burzik has led six different companies over more than four decades and made significant contributions to biology and life sciences, medial technology and health care.

She serves or has served on the board of directors of numerous companies including Becton Dickinson, Haemonetics, Xenex, Gemini BioProducts, Allscripts, Bausch & Lomb, ViroXis, and Cordis. Burzik is currently Chairman of the Boards of Directors of the American College of Wound Healing & Tissue Repair as well as StemBioSys, Inc. and Gemini BioProducts.

“Cathy has been on the cutting edge of innovation since her first job out of college as a software engineer,” said Scott Whitaker, president and CEO of AdvaMed. “From imaging to diagnostics, to DNA sequencing and regenerative medicine, she has successfully led companies across the spectrum of our industry. And throughout her long and distinguished career she has always been guided by the desire to put technology at the forefront of health care, all with the aim of helping patients.”

The business leader provides advisory and consulting services to several San Antonio start-up companies in the medical sector. Burzik also invests and advises public, private, venture-backed and private-equity backed businesses in the medical device, diagnostic and life science tool sectors.

“It is a privilege to be involved with businesses whose products enable clinicians to dramatically change outcomes for patients,” Burzik said. “And, the pace of breakthrough innovations in the medical field is accelerating…offering great promise for improved health for people globally.”

Burzik previously chaired the Canisius College Board of Trustees and the San Antonio Branch of the Federal Reserve Board of Dallas. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Advanced Medical Technology Association from 2007 to 2012, where she chaired the Wound Healing Sector.

Burzik and her husband, Francis, are known for their support of education and the performing arts through the Catherine and Francis Burzik Foundation. In 2013 the Foundation funded the endowment for the Burzik Professorship in Engineering Design at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).

“Cathy Burzik has been such a generous supporter of the San Antonio biomedical community and the College of Engineering at UTSA, providing critical funding and mentorship for our faculty in technology and entrepreneurship,” said Dr. JoAnn Browning, Dean of the UTSA College of Engineering.  “Endowments like the Burziks’ help propel our programs toward excellence by providing resources that benefit faculty research and teaching activities which, in turn, benefit the college and its students’ experiences.”

“Cathy is a great corporate citizen of the community,” said Cece Abel, Director, Catherine and Francis Burzik Foundation. “You can’t tell she’s retired, she’s just as busy now as when she was CEO of KCI.”

Featured image is a courtesy image of Catherine Burzik, who will receive her Lifetime Achievement Award during the MedTech Conference in Boston September 25.

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