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Medical Alley Association serves the individuals and organizations that comprise Minnesota's health industry by influencing policy, fostering connections and providing critical intelligence to improve the quality of health around the world.

Medical Alley Association serves the individuals and organizations that comprise Minnesota's health industry by influencing policy, fostering connections and providing critical intelligence to improve the quality of health around the world.

5 Questions: Robert Kieval, Founder & Chief Development Officer, CVRx and Chair, MAA Board of Directors

Rob Kieval

1. Briefly tell us a little bit about your organization and your role within it. (Background, products, services, customers that you serve – your general responsibility) 

CVRx is a private, venture-backed emerging medical device company. Our product, the BAROSTIM NEO, is an implantable medical device used in the treatment two highly prevalent, debilitating and costly diseases: Chronic heart failure and problematic hypertension. It is available commercially outside the U.S. and is in advanced clinical trials in the U.S. I am the company Founder and Chief Development Officer.

2. What is the biggest challenge your company faces today? 

Our biggest challenge is how we can make Barostim available to all the patients who need it in time to help them. For the past 15 years, my colleagues and I have worked tirelessly to develop a therapy that is above all safe, but can also help patients cope with, recover from and avoid devastating consequences of their illness; to give patients the confidence that they are being protected but with a product that does not limit their lifestyle. Providing access for patients requires meeting the needs of multiple stakeholders, including physicians, regulatory bodies and government and private payer organizations. Amassing the clinical evidence required for establishing adoption and reimbursement is a painstaking, capital-intensive and time consuming process.

3. What do you predict will be the biggest surprise in the next five years that our industry is not yet anticipating? 

Loss of world leadership position by the U.S.

4. What do you consider to be the advantages to operating your business in Minnesota’s Medical Alley? 

Unparalleled talent pool and support industry, and the support of an organization that provides effective advocacy for the medical technology industry.

5. What are the top three skills you consider the most important to be an effective leader? 

Top 3? Always difficult. Here are a few -

The ability to establish, articulate and maintain an unwavering strategic vision for the company and your intended contribution to patient care

To care about and have an authentic relationship with employees

To know when to react and not to react to new information, to embrace change and be able act decisively amid a high level of ambiguity