June 4, 2024

Novo Holdings appoints two new members to the Novo Advisory Group

Novo Holdings is pleased to announce the appointment of Joanne Burns and Philippe Houssiau to the Novo Advisory Group (NAG), an expert panel of senior industry leaders that supports Novo Holdings in analysing and monitoring its life science investments.

In addition to further strengthening the NAG, the appointments reinforce Novo Holdings’ focus on investing in the digital health/healthcare IT sector.

Kasim Kutay, CEO of Novo Holdings, said: “Joanne and Philippe both have extensive leadership experience from the Health Care and Life Sciences spectrum and strong expertise in healthcare IT. Their insights will be valuable to the NAG and we very much look forward to working with them.”

Philippe Houssiau fortifying healthcare IT leadership

Philippe Houssiau brings three decades of experience in healthcare, consulting and technology, and a strong international track record of executive leadership. As Partner and later Senior Partner with Price Waterhouse and PwC, he built and ran one of its consulting divisions globally and was a member of the Executive Committee.

After the sale of the PwC consultancy business to IBM, Philippe returned to the healthcare field. He consecutively held a variety of CEO and senior (non)-executive roles, in many cases in conjunction with  PE firms, including Agfa Healthcare, Alliance Medical, CSC/DxC, 4Ways Health, Hg Capital, Rhapsody, Mak System, Althea, and Mach7 Technologies.

Philippe currently holds five chair mandates with healthcare IT and Provider organisations in Europe and the US.

Philippe Houssiau said: “I am delighted to be joining the Novo Advisory Group. I look forward to getting the opportunity to draw on my expertise and contribute to Novo Holdings’ important mission of generating attractive financial returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation.”

Joanne Burns adding strategic vision to shape healthcare innovation

Joanne Burns is a respected leader within the healthcare IT industry, with two decades of significant strategic, operational and governance experience at companies ranging from early-stage start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Joanne is the former Chief Strategy Officer of Cerner Corporation, a role in which she was responsible for defining corporate strategy and plans with Cerner’s CEO while being known for her turnaround skills.

Before joining Cerner in 2004 as a Director in Product Development, Joanne held a position as Director of Information Technology at Stanford University Medical Center. Joanne has been acknowledged as a leader in the healthcare IT sector through her authorship, lectures, presentations, and awards, including Women to Watch in Health IT 2020, the American College of Healthcare Executives Fellowship, the HIMSS Fellowship, and Most Powerful Women in Health IT. Additionally, she has been a guest lecturer at the Wharton School and Purdue University.

Today, Joanne serves on the boards of Availity, ATI Physical Therapy, and SNOMED International.

Joanne Burns states: “I’m truly pleased to have the opportunity to join the Novo Advisory Group (NAG). My journey in healthcare IT has been driven by a passion for innovation and a commitment to improving patient outcomes. I look forward to leveraging my experience and expertise to help these organisations navigate the evolving landscape of healthcare technology while contributing to Novo Holdings’ mission and make a meaningful impact on people’s health and society.”


About Phillipe Houssiau and Joanne Burns

About Philippe Houssiau

Belgian citizen

Board positions

Philippe has extensive board experience and currently serves on the boards of medneo, RAM Infotechnology, and Corilus.


2022 – Executive Chairman, medneo

2021 – Non-Executive Director, RAM Infotechnology

2020 –  Chairman of the Board, Corilus

2021 – 2023 Non-Executive Director, Mach7 Technologies

2021 – 2022 Non-Executive Chairman, Althea

2020 – 2021 Interim Chief Executive Officer, MAK-SYSTEM

International Group

2019 – 2020 Chairman of the Board, Corepoint Health

2018 – 2020 Chairman of the Board, Rhapsody

2017 – 2020 Operating Partner, HgCapital

2015 – 2018 Chairman, 4ways

2013 – 2017 Vice President, General Manager Healthcare, DXC Technology

2010 – 2012 Group Chief Executive Officer, Alliance Medical Ltd

2009 – 2011 Chief Executive Officer, Telegentis NV

2002 – 2007 President, Healthcare Division, Agfa Gavaert Healthcare

1997 – 2002 Partner/Senior Partner, PwC

1994 – 1997 Director HR Europe, Raychem (now TE Connectivity)


Philippe holds a degree in Chemical Engineering/Biotech and a BSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences, both from Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

About Joanne Burns

US citizen

Board positions

Joanne is an experienced board professional and currently serves on the boards of ATI Physical Therapy, Availity, and SNOMED International.


2021 – Board of Directors, ATI Physical Therapy

2020 – Board of Directors, Availity

2007 – Chair Of the Board Of Directors, SNOMED

2019 – 2023 Board of Directors, Innara Health

2013 – 2019 Chief Strategy Officer, Cerner Corporation

2010 – 2013 CIO and VP, Executive Director, University of Missouri  Health Care, Tiger Institute for Health Innovation

2007 – 2010 Vice President, Product Development, Cerner Corporation

2004 – 2007 Director, Product Development, Cerner Corporation

1998 – 2003 Director of Information Technology, Stanford University Medical Center

1988 – 1998 Clinical Nurse, Stanford University Medical Center


Joanne holds a Registered Nursing Degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of San Francisco, and a ‘Women on Boards’ Program Certification from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

About Novo Holdings A/S

Novo Holdings is a holding and investment company that is responsible for managing the assets and the wealth of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The purpose of Novo Holdings is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet by generating attractive long-term returns on the assets of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. Wholly owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, Novo Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Novo Nordisk A/S and Novonesis A/S (Novozymes A/S) and manages an investment portfolio with a long-term return perspective. In addition to managing a broad portfolio of equities, bonds, real estate, infrastructure and private equity assets, Novo Holdings is a world-leading life sciences investor. Through its Seeds, Venture, Growth, Asia, Bioindustrial and Principal Investments teams, Novo Holdings invests in life science companies at all stages of development.  As of year-end 2023, Novo Holdings had total assets of EUR 149 billion.

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation

Established in Denmark in 1924, the Novo Nordisk Foundation is an enterprise foundation with philanthropic objectives. The vision of the Foundation is to improve people’s health and the sustainability of society and the planet. The Foundation’s mission is to progress research and innovation in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic and infectious diseases as well as to advance knowledge and solutions to support a green transformation of society.

Further information

Nils Eskestad, Senior Corporate Writer,