Design thinking in health care will be explored during GVSU event

Ryan Armbruster

By Matthew Makowski


Health care providers continuously strive to meet the needs of those they serve, and the problem-solving process of design thinking is becoming an integral part of developing those solutions.


This idea will be explored during “Design Thinking in Health Care Services” at Grand Valley State University, presented by Ryan Armbruster, vice president of innovation, research and development at Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company.


“Design Thinking in Health Care Services” will take place Jan. 23, from 6-7 pm, in Loosemore Auditorium located in the DeVos Center on the Pew Grand Rapids Campus.


In his role at Optum, Armbruster leads a design group that is focused on designing health services that provide better value and experiences for people.


Prior to his position at Optum, Armbruster co-founded and served as chief experience officer of Harken Health, a health care organization designed to provide a caring environment to health care services and experiences. He also created enterprise-wide programs to improve innovation while serving as vice president of innovation at UnitedHealth Group, including creating and leading its Design Studio. In addition, he created and directed the SPARC Design Lab at Mayo Clinic, a center for innovation in health care services.


For the past decade, Armbruster has taught health care service design and innovation at the University of Minnesota, where he earned a master’s degree in health care administration.


For more information about this event, contact John Berry, director of Grand Valley’s Design Thinking Initiative, at