Ashlee Wisdom is a Program Director at Junto Health, an advisory firm that provides stakeholders from across the healthcare ecosystem with insights, strategic collaborations, and guidance for success. In this role, Ashlee leads Junto’s Strategic Ventures Group and works with clients on large-scale advisory projects. She’s also responsible for growing service offerings and partnerships. Junto Health enables commercial innovation that propels healthcare and improves population health by working with executives to connect them with the right partners, with investors to help them access the best deals, and with founders in assisting with the growth and scale of their digital health companies. Junto is an official PIN Collaborator and uses the network as a resource for investors who are looking to seek provider feedback on digital health startups and their technologies.
Ashlee’s background is in public health policy and she has worked for large academic medical institutions and public hospital systems. Ashlee created her own digital health startup and through that process, her eyes were opened to the innovative side of healthcare. She decided that she wanted to be in a setting that was prime for innovation, where she would be exposed to the cutting-edge technologies coming into the market that are improving health outcomes. In her quest for such an environment, she found Junto Health, and that’s how she made the pivot from the research side to the innovative side of the ecosystem.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your career?
AW: No one has given me a roadmap for my professional trajectory. My path has been entirely fueled by my own genuine interests and curiosities. I became interested in whether or not research was something I wanted to do, and what type of research I wanted to do, so that led me to a role where I was managing clinical trials. Then I wanted to master the administrative side of healthcare, and that led me into my role right before Junto where I managed grants and supported a research alliance for the Office of Population Health at New York City Health + Hospitals. After that, I became interested in healthcare innovation and I decided to look for opportunities in the space. My natural curiosity, hunger for learning, and my passion has guided my career. I can honestly say I have no professional regrets.
Q: What small things make you happy?
AW: Alone time. Time to read and to catch up on articles – I’m always hungry to learn. Whenever I have time to dive into my “to read” list or get into pieces that I’ve been saving in my bookmarks – that really makes me happy. Making time to catch up with family and friends also fulfills me. I love going to brunch and having time to recharge with the people who mean a lot to me.
Q: Who inspires you and why?
AW: This might seem random but someone who’s really been inspiring me lately would be Ava DuVernay. She’s an American film producer. I consider myself a creative person and that’s why healthcare innovation is so fascinating to me, and it’s also why I connect with Ava DuVernay. She’s been able to use her art in such an impactful way. She made the movie Selma about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement, and most recently made the Netflix series When They See Us which highlights and amplifies the voice of the Central Park Five. She’s been able to use her art form to bring light to issues that may have otherwise been forgotten, and that inspires me because I would love to use my skillset and talents to empower those who are disempowered and marginalized.
Q: What artist or band are on your most played list right now?
AW: I love Jazz. I’m a fangirl for Esperanza Spalding. Whenever I’m working, I try to have her on repeat. Someone also recently put me onto a new artist called Ari Lennox. She’s got a really smooth, soulful vibe that I enjoy.
Q: How do you define innovation?
AW: Finding a fresh or new approach to an old problem. In healthcare specifically, I would define innovation in terms of new and improved systems, technologies, policies, or methods of care that can improve health outcomes. In my experience seeking care for myself, figuring out insurance has been such a pain. I’ve been fascinated by Oscar Health and the work they’re doing to make understanding benefits and getting in touch with in-network providers easier. I’m also intrigued by CityBlock and their way of using technology to bring innovations to often overlooked populations. There are so many exciting innovations happening in healthcare right now and I’m so glad to be at the center of that action in my role at Junto.
The Physician Innovation Network thanks Ashlee Wisdom and Junto for their strategic work in improving health outcomes. PIN is proud to collaborate with Junto Health to ensure that the physician voice is included in the design and development of medical technologies.
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