Prime Health Innovation Summit: Takeaways & Lessons Learned

Prime Health Innovation Summit: Our Takeaways & Lessons Learned

This past week, we had the privilege to pitch our newest healthcare innovation, PARTNERme, at the Prime Health Innovation Summit. This two-day event brought together hundreds of leaders from Colorado and around the country to explore the future of healthcare and health equity innovations. We learned so much from an amazing group of speakers, presenters and panelists… and of course, we are so excited to have placed first in the Innovation Challenge competition, along with $75,000 in funding! Here is a rundown of some of the most important takeaways and lessons learned during the event from our team’s perspective.

First of All, What is The Prime Health Innovation Summit?

As we noted, the Prime Health Innovation Summit is a two-day program designed to push forward the field of health equity innovation. With a series of sessions and panel discussions, topics explored systemic racism, health equity, tele-health and tele-medicine, rural healthcare, technological innovation, social determinants of health, social connectedness, and much more. With so much ground covered, it was hard to absorb everything, but there are some major lessons learned.

Our Top Takeaways from the Prime Health Innovation Summit.

We learned a lot – that goes without saying. Here are six of the biggest takeaways we walked away with from the Prime Health Innovation Summit, along with the broader Prime Health Innovation Challenge.

Lesson 1: The challenge of COVID-19 also created opportunities for innovation & collaboration.

Bonnie Silva, from the CO Department of Health Care Policy & Financing reminded us of a goo quote by Sir Winston Churchill: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” While COVID has harmed millions, the presenters also pointed out that all moments of crisis and challenge also present opportunities to innovate and collaborate in new ways. Time spent traveling the state for face-to-face meetings has been saved thanks to virtual forms of collaboration, while partners are more eager to collaborate and share resources than ever before. It’s our hope to keep these new technology innovations alive long after we’ve solved the challenge of COVID-19.

Lesson 2: COVID-19 has an extremely disparate impact on communities of color.

The numbers don’t lie: this pandemic has been ravaging minority populations here in Colorado. Hispanics make up 22% of the state population but represent 38% of all COVID cases. People of color make up 5% of the population, but represent 10% of COVID hospitalizations. We need more innovative solutions to reduce the inequity that exists in healthcare, including the greater risk faced by minority groups of developing adverse social connectedness.

Lesson 3: The Social Health Information Exchange (SHIE) will be a huge tool in this effort.

During a great panel on Thursday afternoon, we heard from leaders in Colorado’s effort to establish a Social Health Information Exchange. This is a system that uses technology and other tools to allow data and information sharing among health care and SDoH service providers about services needed and accessed by individuals. Our work with PARTNERme is one potential way this Exchange can help connect providers, patients and SDoH resources in one technological platform. Learn more about the SHIE with this great 2018 White Paper on the topic.

Lesson 4: We all have a role to play in creating better health equity in the systems we're a part of.

Duane Reynolds shared a great session on steps healthcare organizations can take to address systemic racism. From more using more equity-conscious hiring practices to building internal support to make equity implications a priority, there are many ways we can all help to improve upon the situation. The key is getting the right people in the room, and making healthcare accessible using technology and other new innovative solutions.

Lesson 5: Startups continue to find innovative ways to improve and advance health equity

On Friday morning we heard from three leaders of new startups that aim to provide a full system of care for those in the transgender community. As co-founder Dani Farrell discussed, he knew he felt alone despite connections to family and friends. He created Tbuddy with zero funding to build a supportive community for trans masculine man, which today has connected with more than 5,000 people. Dr. Jerrica Kirkley created Plume, a healthcare company for the trans community, following her personal experience as both a trans provider and patient. Robbi Katherine Anthony started Solace for an LGBT Hack-A-Thon to support the trans community during transitions. These inspirational examples remind us of the role social entrepreneurs can and must play to improve health equity in Colorado.

Prime Health Innovation Summit

We also Pitched our New Network Science Solution, PARTNERme... & won!

The highlight of the two-day event for us was the Pitch Session Friday from 5pm until 7:30pm. We joined five other amazing finalists to pitch our innovations to improve healthcare and combat health inequity in Colorado. We’re proud of our solution, PARTNERme, which has the potential to change the way providers care for patients and take into account adverse social connectedness and personal support networks. The result is better health and well-being and more savings for providers to re-invest in their important work. We not only placed first in the Prime Health Innovation Challenge… we also won the People’s Choice Award through an audience vote. Thank you to everyone that supported us along the way!

The Prime Health Innovation Summit was a great success!

The Summit was a great success. We want to give a huge thank you to the entire Prime Health team that helped organize the program. Between the lessons we learned, networking we engaged in, and our final PARTNERme pitch, it was a wonderful opportunity to explore issues of health equity and social connectedness. Make sure you put the 2021 event on your calendar right now – you won’t want to miss it next year.

Alex Derr

About the Author: Alex Derr, M.P.A.

Director of Marketing & Communications

Alex joined VNL in 2017, originally supporting our events. He now helps manages our communications and marketing strategy and content development work. Alex creates blogs, infographics, reports, and other content while managing our web and social media presence. He also runs our email marketing campaigns, tracks analytics, and conducts market research to drive our strategy. He supports our entire team with copywriting, graphic design and research, and helps with events, webinars, demos, and other online learning. When he isn’t at work Alex spends his time climbing 14ers (30 done, 28 to go!) and blogging on his own website, The Next Summit Blog.

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