DPharm: Disruptive Innovations Speakers
Way to Wellville
Esther Dyson (@edyson) is executive founder of Wellville (@WaytoWellville), a ten-year nonprofit project devoted to defining, refining and evaluating models for investing in community health (not health *care*) that return profits to investors and health to the participants and their communities. Wellville advises the five US-based Wellville communities on accelerating their own health initiatives, in Clatsop County, OR; Lake County, CA; Muskegon County, MI; North Hartford, CT; and Spartanburg, SC. Dyson is the W2W lead for Muskegon, and is actively involved in overall policy and fundraising for the project.
Wellville favors implementation over innovation: applying approaches known to work, at scale in small communities where scale is relatively easy to achieve in terms of both resources and political buy-in. Each community sets its own priorities and goals around issues such as obesity/diabetes, mental health, dental health, smoking, addiction, high care utilization and overall human capacity and health disparities; W2W assists in finding partners and funders and in managing accountability.
Aside from that full-time role, Dyson spends her extra time investing in and nurturing start-ups, with a recent focus on health care (somewhat constrained to avoid conflicts with Wellville). On the health side (trial-focused companies starred), she is an investor in 23andMe (also a director), 4D Healthware, Basil Health, Big Health, Boundless, Care.Coach, Clover Health, Eligible, Enso, *Hawthorne Effect, Health Loop, HealthCelerate, HealthTap, i2Dx, Joany, Kurbo, Medesk, MedicaSafe, mEquilibrium, Nanowear, NeuroGeneCES, Nuna, Omada Health, PatientsLikeMe, PatientsKnowBest, Prognos.ai, *Proofpilot, Resilient, Sapiens DS, StartupHealth, Supportiv, Syllable, Tega Pharmaceutical, Tocagen, *Turbine.ai, Valkee, Virgo, Vital Score, Wellpass (director) and Zipongo.