Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship Selects Fifth Class

July 11, 2019

Fellowship Catalyzes Innovative Leaders to Improve U.S. Health Care

Contact: Rima Cohen
Executive Director
Health Innovators Fellowship
(202) 736-3555

Washington, DC, July 11, 2019  – Twenty one senior health care leaders were chosen to join the Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellowship’s fifth class and the program’s network of health care entrepreneurs and innovators from across the United States. These leaders will embark on a two-year Fellowship that will strengthen their leadership and challenge them to develop new approaches to improve the health and wellbeing of Americans.

Fellows from this class hail from all parts of the country and work across the health care ecosystem, with expertise ranging from mental health and medicine to health care technology and venture capital. They represent business, nonprofit, and government organizations.

“It is more important than ever to invest in the ability of our health care leaders to work across the deep divides in our country to address our nation’s complex health care challenges,” said Rima Cohen, executive director of the Health Innovators Fellowship. “We’re thrilled to welcome these diverse, inspiring, and resilient individuals into the community of Aspen Institute Health Innovators Fellows and the Aspen Global Leadership Network to support their efforts to lead with even greater courage and purpose.”

The Aspen Institute launched the Fellowship in 2015 in partnership with Prisma Health, South Carolina’s largest not-for-profit healthcare system and an advocate for healthy living initiatives across the state.

“Remarkable leadership talent from across the U.S. is represented in this cohort of Fellows,” said Spence M. Taylor, MD, president of Prisma Health—Upstate. “As an academic health system committed to innovative care, we are excited to continue our partnership with the Aspen Institute and witness the power of the Fellows’ collective talents in leading the charge to transform health care.”

The Health Innovators Fellows will spend four weeks over the course of two years exploring their leadership, core values, desired legacies, and vision for the health care system. All Fellows commit to launching a leadership venture that will stretch and challenge them and have a positive and lasting impact on health care in the U.S. The Health Innovators Fellows join more than 3,000 other entrepreneurial leaders from over 60 countries to become members of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN).

The members of the fifth class of Health Innovators Fellows are:

Alain Litwin, Executive Director, Addiction Research Center/Vice Chair, Academics & Research, Prisma Health, Greenville, SC

Asha Collins, Head of US, Country Clinical Operations, Genentech and Roche, Orinda, CA

Benson Hsu, VP, Population Health, Sanford Health, Sioux Falls, SD

Carmen Peralta, Chief Medical Officer, Cricket Health, San Francisco, CA

Carter Dredge, Chief Transformation Officer, SSM Health, St. Louis, MO

Dale Cook, Co-founder & CEO, Learn to Live, Minneapolis, MN

Deborah Gordon, CEO, Consuming Health, Cambridge, MA

Elizabeth Coté, Chief Mission Officer & Medical Director, MyHealthMath, Portland, ME

Elli Kaplan, Co-founder & CEO, Neurotrack, Redwood City, CA

Greg Yap, Partner, Menlo Ventures, Palo Alto, CA

Jason Grinstead, CEO, Metasense Analytics, Tampa, FL

Jay Bhatt, Senior VP & Chief Medical Officer, American Hospital Association, Chicago, IL

John Damon, CEO, Canopy Children’s Solutions, Jackson, MS

José Bauermeister, Director, Penn Program on Sexuality, Technology & Action Research/Presidential Professor, Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Nursing & Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA

Jung Choi, Chief Business & Strategy Officer, Global Blood Therapeutics, Menlo Park, CA

Kirsten Axelsen Carmel, VP, Strategy & New Business Assessment (former), Pfizer, New York, NY

Megan Ranney, Founding Director, Emergency Digital Health Innovation Program, Alpert Medical School of Brown Univ./Chief Research Officer, AFFIRM, Providence, RI

Michael O’Neil, Founder & CEO, GetWellNetwork, Bethesda, MD

SreyRam Kuy, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Quality & Safety, South Central VA Network, Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Missouri City, TX

Tracy Michael, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Medical Command, Alexandria, VA

Wendy Nembhard, Director, Arkansas Center for Birth Defects Research & Prevention/Chair, Dept. of Epidemiology, Univ. of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR

Photos and bios are available at:

The Health Innovators Fellowship was created in 2015 to strengthen the leadership of innovators across the U.S. health care ecosystem and to connect, inspire, and challenge them to create new approaches to improve the health and wellbeing of Americans. Using the Aspen Institute method of text-based dialogue and building upon the Institute’s commitment to values-based, action-oriented leadership, this two-year program offers successful health care leaders a unique opportunity to clarify their own core values and explore questions of effective and enlightened leadership with a diverse group of peers with whom they may not ordinarily interact. The Aspen Institute controls the content of the Fellowship and the selection of Fellows.

Prisma Health, South Carolina’s largest not-for-profit health organization, is committed to academic and clinical research excellence and focuses on educating the next generation of physicians, nurses, dentists, and other medical professionals. Prisma Health is comprised of two affiliates—Greenville Health System as its Upstate affiliate and Palmetto Health as its Midlands affiliate. Its objective is to improve the health of all South Carolinians through improved clinical quality, access to care, and patient experience, while also addressing the rising cost of health care.

The Aspen Global Leadership Network is a growing, worldwide community of entrepreneurial leaders from business, government, and the nonprofit sector—currently, more than 3,000 Fellows from 60 countries—who share a commitment to enlightened leadership and to using their creativity, energy, and resources to tackle the foremost societal challenges of our times. All Fellows share the experience of participating in one of the 14 Aspen Institute leadership initiatives in the United States, Africa, Central America, India, the Middle East, or China.

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners.


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