Suzet McKinney

Principal and Director of Life Sciences, Sterling Bay


Anna Labno

Director of the Healthcare Industry Team at KKR Capstone

Contagion— It’s the end of the world as we know it... and we could use some help in feeling fine (Part III)

Series: It’s the end of the world as we know it... and, if we’re being honest, we could use some help in feeling fine. From pandemics to nuclear war, from planet-pulverizing meteors to a city-smashing monster, these films explore all the ways we’re risking destruction. This series is curated in partnership with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, keepers of the Doomsday Clock. Join us as we discuss the end times—and how we can avoid them.

As a fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart. With a stellar international ensemble cast including Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, and Marion Cotillard, Soderbergh’s action thriller takes on a new, chilling effect in our “post-COVID” world. Followed by a discussion with Suzet McKinney, principal and director of Life Sciences, Sterling Bay, in conversation with Anna Labno, director of the healthcare industry team at KKR Capstone.

Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago, IL

Film Synopsis

Director Steven Soderbergh’s disaster thriller follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days.

When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minnesota from a Hong Kong business trip, she attributes the malaise she feels to jet lag. However, two days later, Beth is dead, and doctors tell her husband (Matt Damon) that they have no idea what killed her. Soon, many others start to exhibit the same symptoms, and a worldwide pandemic erupts. Doctors try to contain the lethal microbe, but society begins to collapse as a blogger (Jude Law) fans the flames of paranoia.

About the Speaker

Dr. Suzet M. McKinney is a public health expert, medical executive, thought leader, strategic thinker and nationally recognized expert in emergency preparedness and response. As Principal and Director of Life Sciences for Sterling Bay, Dr. McKinney oversees relationships with the scientific, academic, corporate, tech, and governmental sectors involved in the life sciences ecosystem. She also leads the strategy to expand Sterling Bay’s footprint in life sciences nationwide. She previously served as CEO and Executive Director of the Illinois Medical District, where she managed a 24/7/365 environment that included 560 acres of medical research facilities, labs, a biotech business incubator, universities, raw land development areas, four hospitals and more than 40 healthcare-related facilities. Within two years of leadership, Dr. McKinney accomplished a financial turnaround of the IMD, successfully retiring more than $40 million in debt.

In 2020, Dr. McKinney was appointed by Illinois Governor JB Pritzker as Operations Lead for the State of Illinois’ Alternate Care Facilities, a network of alternate medical locations designed to decompress the hospital system during the COVID-19 pandemic. She worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and multiple construction, architecture and project management teams to prepare five facilities to open for overflow patient care.

Dr. McKinney is also an experienced on-camera expert who has frequently discussed healthcare disparities and racial inequities amplified by the pandemic, climate-related emergencies, biological and chemical threats and natural disasters. She’s been featured on CNN, ABC, NBC Nightly News, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Crain’s Chicago Business and The Chicago Tribune.

Anna Labno is a Director at KKR Capstone, where she works with the group’s health care industry team. She was previously Managing Director and Partner at the Boston Consulting Group’s Chicago office. She has worked across all health care sectors with a strong focus on innovation including data analytics/AI, digital-driven innovation, and novel treatment modalities such as gene/cell therapy. She has supported both commercial and public sector healthcare innovation and is passionate about responsible use of new technologies to enhance health and wellness. Labno serves as an advisor to the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Chicago and MATTER incubator. She holds a BS degree in biology and physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and PhD in biophysics from UC Berkeley.