Catalyze Innovation that Advances Health

History of HFA

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The HFA program has concluded. Learn about other innovative initiatives and careers by following MI2 social media channels on Twitter and Facebook.

Health for America phases

History of the Fellowship

MI2 with Ken Samet

Health for America (HFA) started as a standalone nonprofit in 2012, co-founded by Madhura Bhat and Dr. Kapil Parakh. Their goal was to accelerate the pace of health innovation, while giving the next generation of healthcare leaders and innovators the right educational foundation in health broadly, as well as human-centered design and lean startup methodology.

In January 2016, MedStar Health expanded its commitments to innovation and education by making HFA a fellowship program within the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2). Read more in the related press release.

The HFA program concluded in mid-2018 after shaping the early careers of 17 innovators, in addition to benefiting the many collaborators that made it possible.

Program Structure

HFA’s curriculum was designed to help fellows develop actionable skills and knowledge across the following four program pillars: health, design, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Fellows’ learning was organized into three phases: exploration, ideation, and implementation. This enabled fellows to prioritize deep dives into select content and report on their progress at meaningful milestones in the fellowship.

The last fellowship class realized this model through individual assignments to an “internal startup” working with MI2. They split their time between serving ongoing needs for their assigned team, as well as completing the HFA curriculum in an effort to create a solution that improved outcomes in their domain. Physician, executive, clinical, and other expert mentors guided the fellows’ work. Fellowship classes prior to this worked as their own team full-time to create a solution, versus being individually assigned to internal startups part-time.

Leaders and Collaborators

Members of the HFA leadership team at MI2 included:

  • Jeff Collins, HFA leadership team member
  • Mandy Dorn, HFA Director and leadership team member
  • Leatt Gilboa, HFA leadership team member
  • John Lock, HFA leadership team member
  • Amanda Newman, HFA Strategic Advisor, leadership team member, and alumna
  • Dr. Mark Smith, HFA Executive Sponsor and leadership team member

Additionally, HFA was supported by a nationwide network of mentors and other collaborators, including 1776, providing fellows with education and collaboration opportunities, as well as mentorship and workspace.

Past Program Coverage