Florida Health Innovators: Paving the Way for Health Entrepreneurs

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Most every community is built from stories. They are the oral histories we pass down, the reputations that hold us accountable, and the identity we present to outsiders. But the healthcare community is a little different. Healthcare is based on meticulous observation. We have brilliant scientists running empirical tests for journal articles; IT experts detailing endless security audits; executives publishing voluminous reports on mortality and profit. Storytelling tends to get lost in the mix.

When I started Florida Health Innovators in 2014, I didn’t realize storytelling would be the ultimate purpose of the organization. As a health tech entrepreneur at the time, I was frustrated. Like many entrepreneurs, I was determined to solve problems. I’d worked in research labs at UCF’s Institution for Simulation and Training where I studied the problems – and opportunities – faced by a healthcare system undergoing massive change. I knew that Central Florida was uniquely equipped for these challenges with some of the nation’s largest hospitals, the most prestigious research centers and billions of dollars of ongoing investment in healthy communities. Yet, somehow, no matter how hard I looked I couldn’t find anyone talking about the challenges entrepreneurs face on the health innovation journey.