An Introduction to Innovation


Moving to the west coast for graduate school from New York, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I, of course, had heard of Silicon Valley and large tech and innovation centers in places like San Francisco but wasn’t expecting the amount of health care innovation that Seattle had to offer. 

I originally started my undergrad program studying psychology with every intent to avoid taking science and math courses, but I quickly realized in order to have a closer understanding to psychology I would need to study physical science. Studying the intersection between psychology and biology sparked my interest in health care and without knowing much about the vast amount of careers someone could pursue in this field, I decided that I wanted to go to medical school. Although I later had a change of heart about taking the pre-med route, I continue to be deeply invested in ensuring people are receiving the best care possible whenever they need it. I was, however, having a hard time navigating what sector of health care I want to work in. 

My internship at Cambia Grove was not only a great introduction to the health care landscape of Washington, but also an opportunity for me to have an outside glimpse of priority issues faced by the 5 Points of Health Care™. During my time at Cambia Grove, I have met and collaborated with people I never expected – founders of biotech companies, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nursing Scholars, national data interoperability experts, health policy advocates and more. 

Throughout my time at Cambia Grove I have gained professional and interpersonal skills that are invaluable to my future career. I quickly learned that interns at Cambia Grove are not the fetching coffee type, but instead provide meaningful input to existing work and contributing to the shape of future direction. I was especially inspired by our Executive Director, Maura Little, who encourages myself and the whole team to speak our minds and takes into consideration everyone’s feedback no matter how small (for our team retreat, hot topics ranged from long term strategic impact to what kind of coffee we should offer). It gave me the feeling that my time here was meaningful and that my opinion mattered to the team as a whole. 

This summer at Cambia Grove allowed me to form a unique perspective on current health care issues and the future of health care. It also positioned me to start my Master of Public Health degree this coming fall at the University of Washington. It showed me that innovation is happening in ways that I would have never thought of and that it can start with any inspired individual working in the health care field.

My advice to anyone looking to innovate is to innovate with an open mind. Listen to all sides of the issue and take into consideration a number of perspectives. People who are working in health care are from such a diverse pool of personal and professional backgrounds and are more often than not a great resource for innovation.

About Emily Dusic

Emily was the Summer 2019 Programs and Operations Intern at Cambia Grove. She assists Jessica Hauflaire in working on projects that bridge the gap between startups and the traditional health care sectors.

Emily graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 2017 with a concentration in psychology and biology. She is starting her MPH at the University of Washington this coming fall. Her interests in health care include the intersections of physical and psychological wellbeing, long term effects of trauma, and epigenetics. 

In her free time, Emily enjoys being outside with her two dogs, exploring the Seattle food scene, and binging true crime podcasts. She is excited to be a part of a community that empowers people to take an active role in different areas of health care.