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Management consulting firm Culture Shift Labs (CSL) has launched a groundbreaking initiative to shake up the healthcare ecosystem.
Andrea Hoffman, CEO of CSL and a leading voice in diversity and inclusion in tech, made the official announcement at over the weekend at her firm’s signature event Culture Shifting Weekend Silicon Valley.
Speaking at their Sports, Tech and Wellness Think Tank at LinkedIn’s sprawling headquarters in Mountain View, Hoffman said CSL and key strategic partners are actively building the nation’s largest database of healthcare & wellness disruptors from underrepresented groups.
“Continuing on our problem-solving abilities we have launched an initiative to address institutionalized racism in the healthcare industry,” CSL founder Hoffman said. “With the support of Dignity Health, we are building the nation’s largest database of doctors, disruptors, and technologists of color in the health & wellness industry so that companies no longer have to say, ‘I can’t find them’.”
“With the support of two other partners, Gilead and Stanford Health Care, we plan to move the needle to ensure that more experts get a seat at the innovation table. We call this a single solution to solve multiple problems, the same way my firm has built the nation’s largest database of black subject matter experts and venture capitalists,” Hoffman added.
The idea is to bring together disruptors who are using innovation and cutting-edge technology to improve the most pressing health and wellness challenges, Hoffman added. It is to ensure underserved communities receive the R&D grants and investments they need to build, test, and scale their solutions. In addition, this will also provide an ecosystem with access to board positions, c-suite job opportunities, and a seat at the innovation table, among other things.
As the project gains momentum Hoffman says she plans to facilitate pop-ups across the country to build community and deepen relationships. “We’ll do a mapping exercise to find out where the need and opportunity is,” Hoffman said in an interview with UrbanGeekz.
Initiative Will Eventually Become A Venture Fund
To bring all this genius together, Culture Shift Labs has teamed up with Gilead, Dignity Health, and Stanford Health Care. Other partners are Asha Collins, Ph.D. of Genentech and Michael Penn, Jr., MD Ph.D., a startup advisor and healthcare/biotech expert.
“This is one step along a journey to aggregate innovators of color, provide access, and partnerships with everyone who wants to serve those communities and bring them together in these interdisciplinary kinds of ways,” Dr. Penn said. “The other major piece that we’re working on is to provide capital, that’s dollars to both create solutions and fund entrepreneurs. This will be a venture fund.”
"We are building the nations largest database of doctors, disruptors, and technologists of color in the health & wellness industry so that companies no longer have to say, 'I can’t find them'.”
The launch partners are asking prospective candidates to apply to join the database to hear about invite-only gatherings that could potentially lead to investment and grant opportunities. Grantmakers, corporations, and investors interested in D&I health equity are also encouraged to reach out to explore ways to get involved with this trailblazing enterprise.
Last Saturday’s think tank at LinkedIn’s campus brought together leading innovators to exchange ideas to drive advances in healthcare for communities of color and the wider population. Participants included D.D. Johnice, Sr. Director, Community + Social Innovation, Kaiser Permanente; Sarah Mensah, GM Sportswear APLA at Nike; Brandee Waite, MD, Director, Sports Medicine, UC Davis, among others.
Culture Shift Labs has always been at the forefront of highlighting multicultural talent working to revolutionize healthcare as we know it. Innovators who have participated in Culture Shifting Weekend over the years include Lloyd Dean, CEO of Dignity Health; Dr. Hadiyah Nicole Green who is working on groundbreaking cancer research; Jeff Dachis, CEO & founder of diabetes platform OneDrop; and Dr. Keith Black, a renowned neurosurgeon and scientist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, among others.
Photos Courtesy of Culture Shifting Labs: main image Dr. Veronica Jow, MD, Motion Clinical.
Follow Kunbi Tinuoye on Twitter at @Kunbiti