WHAT HFA DOES
Health for America (HFA) at MedStar Health is building a cadre of young innovators—with actionable skills and knowledge in health, design, entrepreneurship, and leadership—who create novel, sustainable, and scalable health solutions.
HFA provides insights into the uniquely complicated, highly regulated healthcare ecosystem, which requires innovators to navigate complex business models, a multitude of stakeholders, and clinical validation.
HFA fellows learn how to leverage design thinking techniques (e.g., shadowing, prototyping) to build solutions “with and not for” end users, incorporating their input and improving care outcomes.
HFA offers comprehensive training in lean startup principles and other creative techniques that are essential to innovating in highly complex care delivery systems requiring scientific knowledge.
HFA facilitates the development of individual leadership skills, provides a toolkit to develop and achieve goals, and assists fellows in creating a compelling personal brand.
HFA grants fellowships to interdisciplinary talent within three years post-bachelor’s degree. It is embedded in MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2) to make a difference on three levels:
Motivating next-generation leaders to focus on health
Creating novel solutions that improve health outcomes
Increasing innovation capacity in the health system
The 11-month program is structured into three phases—exploration, ideation, and implementation—to ensure HFA fellows maximize learning, identify opportunities, and build a novel health solution. Their experiential learning is complemented by a rigorous curriculum.
HFA was founded in 2012 and integrated into MI2 in 2016. HFA fellows are assigned a health topic each year and work closely with MedStar physicians and other clinical experts focused on it. MI2 also collaborates with 1776, a Washington, D.C.-based global startup incubator and seed fund, to provide educational, business, and investment opportunities, as well as mentorship and workspace.