We celebrate the top Health and Wellness leaders of 2017
Longtime readers of Minnesota Business will note a change in this year’s awards in the health sector. We’ve transitioned from our previous concept of “Leaders in Health Care,” to honoring innovators in both health and wellness.
In 2017, innovation is the coin of the realm. Much of Minnesota’s modern identity is anchored in its distinguished history of medical innovation, from breakthrough treatments at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota to advances credited to the medical device industry. Innovation has brought investment, jobs and prosperity to the state and burnished its worldwide reputation as a progressive place for businesses to thrive.
Today, health is more broadly defined. It’s not just the prevention, treatment and management of disease but now includes means and methods of promoting and maintaining wellness — emotional and spiritual as well as physical.
As always, these innovators are physicians, researchers and engineers; added to their number are software and website developers, designers, nutritionists, educators and practitioners who are disrupting the way services are delivered.
So this year, we add new categories to acknowledge the companies and entrepreneurs adding new heat to the region’s status as a health and wellness hot spot.
We’re excited about today’s startup pioneers, on the journey to become the giants of tomorrow.
And, not to sound too self-congratulatory, but we think our updated vision for honoring and acknowledging these emerging leaders represents an innovation, too!
Geneticure is challenging and disrupting the practice of status quo medicine and changing the outcome for patients diagnosed with chronic diseases. Its mission is to save millions of lives and billions of wasted health care dollars by replacing one-size-fits-all treatments with personalized solutions. Founded by scientists from the Mayo Clinic and two brothers from Rochester, Geneticure develops genetic tests that personalize therapy for each patient based on his or her unique DNA.
Software Web Application
Consulting with a health care provider no longer means paying a visit to an office. Telemedicine allows the patients to use the phone, video chats or online connections. Zipnosis offers a complete virtual care platform and partners with health systems to deliver personalized care to patients. Zipnosis is a pioneer in telemedicine, and delivers a wide choice of virtual care, from simple acute care to chronic condition management.
Health + Wellness Campaign
Winner: Chef Marshall O’BRien Group
The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group offers “Smart Nutrition Solutions,” a website and workbook of how to prepare tasty, nourishing foods that will help people achieve better health outcomes and well-being. The Group works with families, child care providers, schools, fire and police departments, and corporations to create customized wellness and nutrition strategies.
Excellence in Facility Design
Families with seriously ill children at the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital now have extra support. The Blythe Brenden-Mann Foundation Wellness Center offers families complimentary integrative health and wellness programs, salon services and a fitness area. Research suggests caregivers who practice self-care are better equipped to help their ailing child.
Health Care Executive
Winner: Andrea Walsh, HealthPartners
Andrea Walsh brings a natural optimism to her work as president and CEO of HealthPartners, where she leads a team of 25,000 people, including 1,800 clinicians. When she talks about her business philosophy as head of the nonprofit health system, Walsh not only discusses her competitive drive to achieve goals, but also mentions the importance of making time for joy, fun and laughter every day. Walsh has a deep passion for equity, citing the need to eliminate health disparities as a key mission.
StemoniX uses stem cells taken from patients to determine the effectiveness of medications before they take them. Testing is done in the lab rather than inside a patient’s body. That eliminates what founder Ping Yeh calls “guinea pig medicine.” “One of the leading causes of death is adverse reactions to FDA-approved drugs,” Yeh notes. StemoniX technology is also being used by pharmaceutical researchers at universities to test the efficacy of new medications.
Winner: Cindy N. Kaigama - Multicultural Initiatives Director, American Heart Association
Cindy Kaigama works to improve the health of people who are often overlooked. She understands the obstacles that can make it difficult for some community members to afford and have access to quality health care. With passion and empathy, Kaigama seeks to develop comprehensive, cost-effective health care that includes preventive care. She inspires individuals to be proactive about their health, while also working to improve the system.
Winner: Chef Marshall O’Brien - Founder, Chef Marshall O’Brien Group
Marshall O’Brien learned to cook in his mother’s kitchen, at about the time he learned to read. He is a connector to inspire families to improve their quality of life though nutrition. A regular guest on local TV, Chef Marshall is also a cookbook author, sports nutrition expert, consultant, corporate wellness presenter and advocate for healthier school meals for children.
Excellence in Data Analytics
NovuHealth, a consumer engagement company, combines performance analytics, behavior science and comprehensive technology solutions to help health plans connect with members to activate engagement, enhance outcomes, decrease costs and — ultimately — improve the nation’s health system. Their purpose is to partner with health plans to improve plan performance by incenting individuals to get the care they need to stay healthy.
Winner: Russell Herder GBC
Russell Herder is a strategic creative firm that has served every sector of the health and medical industry for more than three decades. It provides messages and resources that transcend cultures, differentiate brands and improve public health. Its work is informed by data, relationships and experience. As a Certified B Corporation®, staff are given paid volunteer leave to serve those who may otherwise be unable to engage the team.
Wellness or Fitness Center
Winner: Alchemy 365
In the dictionary, “alchemy” is defined as “the seemingly magical process of transformation.” The founders of fast-growing Alchemy 365 apply that concept to fitness. Using an innovative blend of intense conditioning, yoga, cardiovascular and strength training, Alchemy 365 offers a full schedule of group fitness classes to help its members to transform their bodies while achieving their fitness goals and renewing their minds. Created by a group of veteran Twin Cities fitness professionals, the boutique fitness business has quickly expanded to four locations in the Twin Cities market and plans to take its unique concept to multiple cities across the nation. How do they help their employees stay healthy? That sounds like a trick question to them. The answer is that quite simply, they allow employees to take part in all of their fitness services. That sounds like a health environment, all the way around — as in 365!
Winner: Fairview Health Services
Fairview has innovative programs that prioritize physical and mental health for its patients and it staff of employees. Fairview offers customized programs with supervision and support to people living with with a range of health conditions that can affect their ability to exercise. Fairview relies on more than 215 Wellness Ambassadors to embed well-being into its culture. The nonprofit health system also offers a range of fitness and weight management options, and has mapped indoor and outdoor walking routes in its sites to encourage active breaks.
Mental Health Innovator
Winner: Learn to Live
Learn to Live empowers people to manage their mental health through online assessments, programs, member coaching and other resources that address stress, anxiety, depression, social anxiety and insomnia. Access to effective mental health solutions is a huge problem for the majority of sufferers. Learn to Live must continue to provide innovative ways to increase access, while also addressing the tremendous social stigma that prevents so many sufferers from finding the help they need.
Excellence in Professional Services
Winner: Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner
With a motto of “patent protection for high technology,” the Minneapolis firm of Schwegman Lundberg & Woessner provides intellectual property services while promoting innovation and creativity. Experienced in creating patents in the medical device and life science sectors, the majority of Shwegman attorneys have technical and industry experience as scientists or engineers.
Excellence in professional services - IT
Winner: SUCCESS COMPUTER CONSULTING
For more than 20 years, SUCCESS Computer Consulting has helped organizations realize the true promise of technology by providing network-managed service support, cloud services, help desk, information security, technology strategy consulting, business intelligence, and collaboration and communication technologies. Its purpose is to ensure that customers realize — and are excited about — the promise of technology. SCC makes these promises to customers: (1) Delivery on time and on budget. (2) Each function has enough capacity to be available for emergencies. (3) Services are delivered with the full breadth and depth of its team.