Supporting health care innovation from a different branch
Dear Health Care Innovation Community,
Four years ago, I took the helm of Cambia Grove. At that time, the founding team had done a phenomenal job to establish one of the first health care innovation hubs in the Pacific Northwest, bringing much needed attention to the growing health IT industry in Washington state. Cambia Grove became best known for Reverse Pitch Days, packing the house with entrepreneurs eager to help solve health care’s hardest challenges. Organizations across the country caught wind of the Reverse Pitch Day program and developed similar models to support innovation. Momentum was building across the country and the Cambia Grove was doing what it was intended to do - serve as a catalyst to support innovation towards a more person-focused and economically sustainable health care system.
When I took the helm of Cambia Grove, after being an external advisor for the first two years, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing from the equation. One-to-one match making was working for those involved, but why did it take an entire program to connect one startup with one health care entity? Why were startups that were able to pilot in a single system, failing to scale? Ultimately, why is it so hard to make change within the health care system?
For the past four years, I have been working to answer these questions with my team, our Innovation Councils, our many advisors and the incredible community. It is these questions that fueled the creation of the Impactful Innovation Exchange, the Innovator Fellowship, the TRAILS Competition, the 5 Points of Health Care™ conference and countless other programs. Additionally, it is these questions that drove the creation of our recently released Health Care Innovation Advancement Framework – a hypothesis that states that in addition to supporting the creation of amazing businesses, impactful health care innovation will only succeed if it is also supported by an ecosystem that optimizes infrastructure, incentives and culture.
The past four years have been packed with some incredible memories. It is not often that one has the opportunity to build a program to support real, tangible and impactful changes to a system that impacts every single person nationwide. Further, it is not often that one has the opportunity to build this type of program with teammates, advisors and community members who have ultimately become friends. I am honored to have been part of this work.
At the end of August 2021, I will be passing the baton to Julie Anderson to lead the Cambia Grove. Julie has been a cornerstone to the success of our work. Joining the team in 2018, Julie began by creating and leading our Solutions Lab, focused on breaking down barriers to innovation in the health care system. She has recently expanded her leadership, taking on the development and implementation of Cambia Grove programming and projects. I look forward to Julie’s continued leadership at the Cambia Grove and I can’t wait to see what her and the team accomplish next.
As for me, I will continue to support the health care innovation ecosystem, just from a different branch. Starting in September, I will be joining Echo Health Ventures as a managing principal. Up until now, my career has been focused on the macro level change that must take place to enable a stronger health care innovation ecosystem. I look forward to taking the next step to support the micro level advancement of innovation to create a better health care system for all.
The health care innovation community is full of incredible people who are passionate about changing the system to serve our family, friends, neighbors, and communities across the country. This work is more important now than ever before. I am honored to be among such amazing people. Thank you for your work. The world needs it.
I look forward to staying in touch.