Mission to Serve ‘Poor and Vulnerable’ Guides This Health Care Impact Investment Fund

Nonprofit Providence St. Joseph Health is the third largest healthcare system in the United States. In addition to operating healthcare facilities, the organization has launched Providence Ventures, a $150 million healthcare impact investment fund.

“We’re working to bring healthcare into the digital and consumer age to better serve patients and consumers—with a focus on the poor and vulnerable—delivering care on their terms: where, when, and how they want it,” said Aaron Martin, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Providence.

Martin identified six areas of focus for Providence Ventures’ funding: access and personalization, simplifying care, making caregiving easier, better serving Medicaid patients, powering behavioral health, and enabling new revenue streams.

So far, the fund has invested in 13 companies. Venrock, which raised $450 million in its latest fund, has co-invested with Providence Ventures on two companies: Kyruus and Lyra Health.

Part of Providence Ventures’ $150 million went to Kyruus, which solves a problem that Martin says is much bigger than people expect: knowing which providers work for your hospital. Kyruus helps doctors and providers in the system, as well as patients, to search online and find the relevant physician to get the care they need.

Funding also went to Xealth, a Providence unit that allowed doctors to prescribe digital products from Lyft rides to online training and education, to help patients get the care they need. It allows doctors to use the same process they use to prescribe medications, to prescribe digital care, which means they’re able to be more helpful to patients and improve health outcomes.

Martin points out that even if the fund doubles in value over a decade, it will have a relatively modest financial impact to an organization as large as Providence St. Joseph. What he really hopes to do is move the needle on healthcare.

Read the full story in Forbes.