James Leininger ($1.34B)

While working in the emergency room, James Leininger founded Kinetic Concepts Inc. in 1976. Kinetic Concepts offers a range of advanced wound care products, including a negative pressure technology and the Graftjacket Regenerative Tissue Matrix. Kinetic Concepts was acquired in 2011 by Apax Partners, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, and the Public Sector Pension Investment Board in a transaction worth $6.1 billion. In September 2014, Kinetic Concepts was combined with LifeCell Corp. and Systagenix Wound Management Ltd. to form Acelity.

Leininger earned his medical degree from the Indiana University Medical School. He served in the Army Medical Corps during the...

March 27th, 2015
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Judy Faulkner ($2.8B)

Judy Faulkner founded Epic Systems Corp. in 1979 and is the company's chief executive officer. Epic is a private company known for its electronic health record (EHR) software. The Epic EHR is used for the medical records of 180 million patients and concentrates on 315 health organization customers.

Before founding Epic, Faulkner taught computer science at the University of Wisconsin. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and sits on IOM's Roundtable on Value and Science-Driven Health Care.

In early March, Modern Healthcare reported that Faulkner plans to leave her wealth to a charitable...

March 27th, 2015
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Elizabeth Holmes ($4.6B)

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos in 2003 after dropping out of Stanford University’s School of Engineering. The Theranos technology allows dozens of diagnostic tests to be run using just one drop of blood from a fingerstick. Fortune reported in 2014 that Theranos is valued at more than $9 billion.

Walgreens has partnered with Theranos; the lab testing platform is available at pharmacies in the Phoenix, AZ, and Palo Alto, CA, areas.

In an interview with TEDMED, Holmes said she believes “Theranos is a new...

March 27th, 2015
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Gary Michelson ($1.55B)

Gary Michelson is a prolific inventor, with more than 250 U.S. patents and over 750 worldwide issued or pending patents for devices and procedures to treat spine and orthopedic problems. It was some of these patents that led to his wealth—after years of litigation with Medtronic, he was awarded a $1.35 billion settlement.

He founded The Michelson Twenty Million Minds Foundation (20MM) to replace expensive college textbooks with an open architecture digital platform. Michelson is also passionate about stray animal causes, founding the Found Animals Foundation to care for these animals. He is also offering a $25 million prize to the inventor of a non-surgical pet sterilization...

March 27th, 2015
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Alfred Mann ($1.18B)

Alfred Mann's long-standing contributions to the medical device industry include founding 17 companies to treat a wide swath of diseases, including blindness and diabetes. Several of Mann's companies were acquired by large companies, including the diabetes company MiniMed Inc., the neurostimulation company Advanced Bionics Corp., and pacemaker company Pacesetter Systems Inc.. MiniMed was acquired by Medtronic in 2001, Advanced Bionics was purchased by Boston Scientific in 2004, and Pacesetter is now part of St. Jude Medical. .

Until earlier this year, Mann was chief executive officer of MannKind. He is now the company's executive chairman. MannKind won FDA approval in 2014...

March 27th, 2015
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The Stryker Family and John Brown

      

From left to right: Ronda, Pat, and Jon Stryker; John Brown

Sibling heirs Ronda ($3.7B), Pat ($2.2B), and Jon Stryker ($1.93B), as well as long-time company chief executive officer John Brown ($2B), all became wealthy through Kalamazoo, MI-based Stryker Corp...

March 26th, 2015
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Neal Patterson ($1.92B)

Neal Patterson co-founded Cerner Corp. in 1979 and developed the company from one system into one of the biggest names in health IT. Cerner now has annual revenue of $3.4 billion and a market value of $25 billion. According to the Cerner Web site, the company’s technology is used at more than 18,000 health care facilities across dozens of countries.

Patterson cofounded the First Hand Foundation to help needy sick children, and, drawing on his childhood growing up on a farm, is involved with the American Royal Association, an agricultural nonprofit. He is also a coowner of the Sporting Kansas City MLS soccer team. Patterson earned both his bachelor’s and master’s...

March 26th, 2015
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Reinhold Schmieding ($4.1B)

Reinhold Schmieding started Arthrex in 1981, after working for an American medical device company in Germany. In an interview with the Naples, FL Chamber of Commerce, Schmieding said he passed up medical school to start Arthrex because he saw a need for surgical tools to be used in arthroscopic surgeries.

More than 8500 products have been developed at Arthrex, including orthobiologics, tools and devices for use in joint procedures. The devices are used in more than 100 countries around the world, according to the company....

March 26th, 2015
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Gayle and Carl Cook ($5.8B and $6.6B)

Carl and Gayle Cook, pictured with the late William Cook

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William and Gayle Cook founded Cook Group Inc. in 1963. Their son Carl became the company’s chief executive officer in 2011 upon his father’s death; Gayle sits on the company's board of directors. Cook Medical, based in Bloomington, IN, sells a large range of medical products, including endovascular stent grafts for abdominal aortic aneurysms, bioengineered tissue grafts, OB/GYN products, and antimicrobial catheters.

Cook Group includes a number of other non-medical subsidiaries. The private company had approximately $2 billion in revenue in 2010.

March 26th, 2015
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Hansjoerg and Amy Wyss ($6.1B and $1.85B, respectively)

Hansjoerg Wyss, a native of Switzerland, founded Synthes USA in 1974 to start selling Synthes products in the United States and Canada. Synthes osteosynthesis products were trademarked and created by a collaboration between Swiss surgeons and the Straumann Institute starting in 1960.

The company became known for orthopedic and soft tissue implants and devices. Synthes was acquired by Johnson & Johnson in 2012 in a transaction worth $19.7 billion. Wyss's daughter Amy also made her fortune from her involvement and stock holdings as a director of the company.

One of Hansjoerg's major philanthropy areas is land conservation....

March 26th, 2015
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