Ventures aims to show changemakers that an integrated, dynamic, and high-functioning health ecosystem is possible.

What does it take to break from business as usual?

What stalls progress? What drives momentum?

We are learning with six pioneering partnerships.

King County Accountable Communities of Health

location King County, WA

King County, one of the nation’s fastest growing regions, is forward-thinking and ambitious and has often been a national model around population health, economic development, and addressing health inequities.

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New blog posts, white papers, and reports added regularly. EXPLORE OUR INSIGHTS

We are exploring the issues at the heart of transformation.

What ingredients are required to generate more inclusive health value – demonstrated by improved health of populations, better care, lower costs, greater equity, and increased economic productivity?

Our veteran advisors are helping to set new standards for the field.

Advisors photo Kevin Barnett Senior Investigator
Public Health Institute
Advisors photo Natalie S. Burke President and CEO
CommonHealthACTION
Advisors photo Renée Branch Canady CEO
Michigan Public Health Institute
Advisors photo Debbie Chang Vice President
Policy and Prevention Nemours

Kevin Barnett is a Senior Investigator at the Public Health Institute. For the past two decades, he has conducted applied research and fieldwork on two distinct but related issues: the charitable obligations of nonprofit hospitals and the diversity of the health professions workforce. His current work includes a partnership with The Governance Institute and Stakeholder Health, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to build knowledge among hospital board members and senior leadership for health care transformation; a national study of hospital interventions to address food insecurity; and co-leadership of the Health Care Transformation Hub in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100 Million Healthier Lives. In addition, he leads PHI’s project Alignment for Health Equity and Development (AHEAD), which aims to make community investments smarter, more strategic, more aligned, and more effective. Barnett currently serves as the Co-Director of the California Health Workforce Alliance, a member of the Board of Directors of Communities Joined in Action, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Trinity Health System.

 

As an advisor to corporate leaders, communities aspiring to change, and everyone in between— Natalie S. Burke guides people and organizations to solutions and common language necessary to succeed and make the world a healthy place. As a strategist she focuses on strengthening the connective tissue that forms organizations and communities through building relationships, collective will, and greater equity–with a particular focus on the intersections of equity, diversity, and inclusion. That expertise guides her work to develop leaders across sectors who seek to innovate and create perspective transformation and systemic change. Her public health and health care experience includes technical assistance and capacity-building for national and global entities such as Kaiser Permanente and Cummins, Inc.; federal, state, and local governments, and numerous philanthropic entities. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Natalie is currently President and CEO of CommonHealth ACTION, a national public health organization whose focus is the 5Ms—guiding people and organizations to map, make, manage, measure, and master the change they seek and that society needs. Prior to co-founding CommonHealth ACTION, Natalie was in executive leadership at the National Association of County and City Health Officials where she directed numerous divisions and managed national public health and place-based initiatives. 

 

Renée Branch Canady serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI); an academic, government, and research institute that strives to maximize positive health conditions in populations and communities through collaboration, scientific inquiry, and applied expertise. Prior to joining MPHI in 2014, Canady served as Health Officer for the Ingham County Health Department, Canady has held faculty and in leadership positions within the College of Nursing and the College of Medicine, Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Canady earned a PhD in Medical Sociology from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Debbie I. Chang is Senior Vice President of Policy and Prevention and a Corporate Officer for Nemours Children’s Health System. In this role, she works to leverage Nemours’ expertise and experience to spread what works through national policy and practice changes to improve the health and well-being of children nationwide. Chang co-directs Moving Health Care Upstream, a national collaborative network to test, develop, and spread innovative population health strategies and was the founding Executive Director of Nemours Health & Prevention Services, an operating division devoted to using a comprehensive multi-sector, place-based model to improve children’s health in Delaware. Nemours is a founding member of the Partnership for a Healthier America and the National Convergence Partnership, a unique collaboration of leading foundations focused on healthy people and healthy places. Chang has more than 29 years of federal and state government and private sector experience in the health field.  She has held key government positions including Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and National Director of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. Chang holds an MPH in Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

 

 
Advisors photo Stacey Chang Executive Director
Design Institute for Health,
The University of Texas at Austin
Advisors photo Elliott Fisher Director
Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice
Advisors photo Kristin Giantris Managing Director
Nonprofit Finance Fund
Advisors photo Charles Kennedy CEO
Accountable Care Solutions,
Aetna, Inc.

Stacey Chang serves as the Executive Director of the Design Institute for Health, a collaboration between the Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. The Design Institute for Health is a first-of-its-kind institution dedicated to applying design approaches to solving systemic health care challenges as an integrated part of a medical education and training program. Until 2014, Chang served as the Managing Director of the Healthcare Practice at IDEO, a global design and innovation firm. He holds a BS from MIT and an MS from Stanford University, both in engineering.

 

Elliott Fisher is Director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the John E. Wennberg Distinguished Professor of Health Policy, Medicine, and Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. His research has focused on exploring the causes and consequences of regional and provider-specific differences in spending and quality and on developing policy approaches to slowing the growth of spending in healthcare while improving quality. He was one of the originators of the concept of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and worked with colleagues to carry out the research that led to their inclusion in the Affordable Care Act. In 2013 he was named as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives by Modern Healthcare magazine.

 

Kristin Giantris is a Managing Director at Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), where she directs their national Advisory Services practice. She leads the design of innovative funding and financing initiatives, oversees the development and delivery of consulting products and services for NFF’s nonprofit clients and manages business development and relationships with a number of strategic, national partners. Giantris’s professional experience combines over 20 years of economic development and debt financing in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Prior to joining NFF, Giantris was a Vice President at Citigroup Global Markets in debt origination. She holds an MA in Public Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Kenyon College.

 

Charles Kennedy is a recognized expert in health care and health information technology. He was a founding commissioner of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), the first organization recognized by the federal government to certify EMRs. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Accountable Care Solutions at Aetna, Inc., where he focuses on collaborating with high quality health systems to implement new accountable care models that are designed to drive higher quality, greater coordination, and an overall better patient health care experience. Kennedy is currently the health insurance industry representative on the HIT Policy Committee, a Federal Advisory Committee that is guiding Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policies to allocate $40 billion in federal funding for HIT deployment.

 
Advisors photo Matt Leighninger Director
Yankelovich Center for Public Judgement, Public Agenda
Advisors photo Barbara Masters Independent Consultant
California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative
Advisors photo Adolfo (Fito) Valadez Chief Medical Officer
FirstCare Health Plans

Matt Leighninger leads Public Agenda’s work in public engagement and democratic governance and directs the Yankelovich Center for Public Judgement. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC), an alliance of major organization and leading scholars working in the field of deliberation and public participation. Over the past 20 years, Leighninger has worked with public participation efforts in over 100 communities across 40 states and four Canadian provinces. Leighninger serves on the boards of e-democracy.org, the International Association for Public Participation, the Democracy Imperative, and the Participatory Budgeting Project, and is a Senior Associate for Everyday Democracy. His first book, The Next Form of Democracy, is a firsthand account of the wave of democratic innovation that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s; his most recent book, co-authored with Tina Nabatchi, is a comprehensive look at participation theory, history, and practice and explains how we can transition from temporary engagement projects to stronger democratic infrastructure.

 

 

 

Barbara Masters is an independent strategy, policy, and evaluation consultant with over 30 years of experience in philanthropy, local government, Capitol Hill, and advocacy. As a consultant, Masters helps foundations and non profits research, analyze, and develop health policy-related issues, focusing in particular on systems transformation and prevention. She led efforts to design and is now managing the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative. Prior to starting her consulting practice, Masters was the Director of Public Policy at The California Endowment, where she led efforts to institutionalize public policy strategies throughout the foundation’s activities and helped develop methods to evaluate advocacy and policy change activities. Masters holds a BA in Molecular Biology from the University of California-Berkeley and an MA in Biology from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

 

Adolfo (Fito) Valadez has over 15 years of executive and senior leadership and management experience. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for FirstCare Health Plans, where he provides leadership and strategy as part of the executive management team for a regional provider sponsored health plan with over 1950,000 members and $600 million revenue company. Previously, he served as the Assistant Commissioner for Prevention and Preparedness Services at the Texas Department of State Health Services, as well as Medical Director and Health Authority for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department. Dr. Valadez was a pioneer in bringing system science to support local leaders in the area of comprehensive chronic disease prevention. He holds an MPH in Minority Health Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health and an MD with honors from The University of Texas at Galveston. Dr. Valadez completed his residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and is board certified in internal medicine.

 

Our veteran advisors are helping to set new standards for the field.

Advisors photo Kevin Barnett Senior Investigator
Public Health Institute

Kevin Barnett is a Senior Investigator at the Public Health Institute. For the past two decades, he has conducted applied research and fieldwork on two distinct but related issues: the charitable obligations of nonprofit hospitals and the diversity of the health professions workforce. His current work includes a partnership with The Governance Institute and Stakeholder Health, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, to build knowledge among hospital board members and senior leadership for health care transformation; a national study of hospital interventions to address food insecurity; and co-leadership of the Health Care Transformation Hub in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s 100 Million Healthier Lives. In addition, he leads PHI’s project Alignment for Health Equity and Development (AHEAD), which aims to make community investments smarter, more strategic, more aligned, and more effective. Barnett currently serves as the Co-Director of the California Health Workforce Alliance, a member of the Board of Directors of Communities Joined in Action, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Trinity Health System.

 
Advisors photo Natalie S. Burke President and CEO
CommonHealthACTION

As an advisor to corporate leaders, communities aspiring to change, and everyone in between— Natalie S. Burke guides people and organizations to solutions and common language necessary to succeed and make the world a healthy place. As a strategist she focuses on strengthening the connective tissue that forms organizations and communities through building relationships, collective will, and greater equity–with a particular focus on the intersections of equity, diversity, and inclusion. That expertise guides her work to develop leaders across sectors who seek to innovate and create perspective transformation and systemic change. Her public health and health care experience includes technical assistance and capacity-building for national and global entities such as Kaiser Permanente and Cummins, Inc.; federal, state, and local governments, and numerous philanthropic entities. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Natalie is currently President and CEO of CommonHealth ACTION, a national public health organization whose focus is the 5Ms—guiding people and organizations to map, make, manage, measure, and master the change they seek and that society needs. Prior to co-founding CommonHealth ACTION, Natalie was in executive leadership at the National Association of County and City Health Officials where she directed numerous divisions and managed national public health and place-based initiatives. 

 
Advisors photo Renée Branch Canady CEO
Michigan Public Health Institute

Renée Branch Canady serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI); an academic, government, and research institute that strives to maximize positive health conditions in populations and communities through collaboration, scientific inquiry, and applied expertise. Prior to joining MPHI in 2014, Canady served as Health Officer for the Ingham County Health Department, Canady has held faculty and in leadership positions within the College of Nursing and the College of Medicine, Program for Public Health at Michigan State University. Canady earned a PhD in Medical Sociology from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Public Administration from Western Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in Public Health Nutrition from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 
Advisors photo Debbie Chang Vice President
Policy and Prevention Nemours

Debbie I. Chang is Senior Vice President of Policy and Prevention and a Corporate Officer for Nemours Children’s Health System. In this role, she works to leverage Nemours’ expertise and experience to spread what works through national policy and practice changes to improve the health and well-being of children nationwide. Chang co-directs Moving Health Care Upstream, a national collaborative network to test, develop, and spread innovative population health strategies and was the founding Executive Director of Nemours Health & Prevention Services, an operating division devoted to using a comprehensive multi-sector, place-based model to improve children’s health in Delaware. Nemours is a founding member of the Partnership for a Healthier America and the National Convergence Partnership, a unique collaboration of leading foundations focused on healthy people and healthy places. Chang has more than 29 years of federal and state government and private sector experience in the health field.  She has held key government positions including Deputy Secretary of Health Care Financing at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and National Director of State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) at the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. Chang holds an MPH in Public Health Policy and Administration from the University of Michigan and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

 

 
Advisors photo Stacey Chang Executive Director
Design Institute for Health,
The University of Texas at Austin

Stacey Chang serves as the Executive Director of the Design Institute for Health, a collaboration between the Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at the University of Texas at Austin. The Design Institute for Health is a first-of-its-kind institution dedicated to applying design approaches to solving systemic health care challenges as an integrated part of a medical education and training program. Until 2014, Chang served as the Managing Director of the Healthcare Practice at IDEO, a global design and innovation firm. He holds a BS from MIT and an MS from Stanford University, both in engineering.

 
Advisors photo Elliott Fisher Director
Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice

Elliott Fisher is Director of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice and the John E. Wennberg Distinguished Professor of Health Policy, Medicine, and Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. His research has focused on exploring the causes and consequences of regional and provider-specific differences in spending and quality and on developing policy approaches to slowing the growth of spending in healthcare while improving quality. He was one of the originators of the concept of accountable care organizations (ACOs) and worked with colleagues to carry out the research that led to their inclusion in the Affordable Care Act. In 2013 he was named as one of the 50 Most Influential Physician Executives by Modern Healthcare magazine.

 
Advisors photo Kristin Giantris Managing Director
Nonprofit Finance Fund

Kristin Giantris is a Managing Director at Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF), where she directs their national Advisory Services practice. She leads the design of innovative funding and financing initiatives, oversees the development and delivery of consulting products and services for NFF’s nonprofit clients and manages business development and relationships with a number of strategic, national partners. Giantris’s professional experience combines over 20 years of economic development and debt financing in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Prior to joining NFF, Giantris was a Vice President at Citigroup Global Markets in debt origination. She holds an MA in Public Affairs from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and a BA in Political Science from Kenyon College.

 
Advisors photo Charles Kennedy CEO
Accountable Care Solutions,
Aetna, Inc.

Charles Kennedy is a recognized expert in health care and health information technology. He was a founding commissioner of the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology (CCHIT), the first organization recognized by the federal government to certify EMRs. He currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Accountable Care Solutions at Aetna, Inc., where he focuses on collaborating with high quality health systems to implement new accountable care models that are designed to drive higher quality, greater coordination, and an overall better patient health care experience. Kennedy is currently the health insurance industry representative on the HIT Policy Committee, a Federal Advisory Committee that is guiding Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) policies to allocate $40 billion in federal funding for HIT deployment.

 
Advisors photo Matt Leighninger Director
Yankelovich Center for Public Judgement, Public Agenda

Matt Leighninger leads Public Agenda’s work in public engagement and democratic governance and directs the Yankelovich Center for Public Judgement. Previously he was the Executive Director of the Deliberative Democracy Consortium (DDC), an alliance of major organization and leading scholars working in the field of deliberation and public participation. Over the past 20 years, Leighninger has worked with public participation efforts in over 100 communities across 40 states and four Canadian provinces. Leighninger serves on the boards of e-democracy.org, the International Association for Public Participation, the Democracy Imperative, and the Participatory Budgeting Project, and is a Senior Associate for Everyday Democracy. His first book, The Next Form of Democracy, is a firsthand account of the wave of democratic innovation that emerged in the 1990s and 2000s; his most recent book, co-authored with Tina Nabatchi, is a comprehensive look at participation theory, history, and practice and explains how we can transition from temporary engagement projects to stronger democratic infrastructure.

 

 

 
Advisors photo Barbara Masters Independent Consultant
California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative

Barbara Masters is an independent strategy, policy, and evaluation consultant with over 30 years of experience in philanthropy, local government, Capitol Hill, and advocacy. As a consultant, Masters helps foundations and non profits research, analyze, and develop health policy-related issues, focusing in particular on systems transformation and prevention. She led efforts to design and is now managing the California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative. Prior to starting her consulting practice, Masters was the Director of Public Policy at The California Endowment, where she led efforts to institutionalize public policy strategies throughout the foundation’s activities and helped develop methods to evaluate advocacy and policy change activities. Masters holds a BA in Molecular Biology from the University of California-Berkeley and an MA in Biology from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

 
Advisors photo Adolfo (Fito) Valadez Chief Medical Officer
FirstCare Health Plans

Adolfo (Fito) Valadez has over 15 years of executive and senior leadership and management experience. He currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer for FirstCare Health Plans, where he provides leadership and strategy as part of the executive management team for a regional provider sponsored health plan with over 1950,000 members and $600 million revenue company. Previously, he served as the Assistant Commissioner for Prevention and Preparedness Services at the Texas Department of State Health Services, as well as Medical Director and Health Authority for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department. Dr. Valadez was a pioneer in bringing system science to support local leaders in the area of comprehensive chronic disease prevention. He holds an MPH in Minority Health Policy from the Harvard School of Public Health and an MD with honors from The University of Texas at Galveston. Dr. Valadez completed his residency at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts and is board certified in internal medicine.

 
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