Health, Education and Innovation; Lessons from Mount Sinai

The interdependency between health, education and innovation has long been at the heart of Westmead Hospital.

Opening in 1978 as a University of Sydney Teaching Hospital the hospital has evolved to not only serve the local Western Sydney community, but to provide comprehensive, specialised and complex services to the people of New South Wales and the nation.

Today, Westmead is undergoing a $3 billion-dollar investment program to become one of the largest health, education, research and training precincts in Australia. With partners across government, universities and the private sector, the 75-hectare precinct will house four major hospitals, three world-leading medical research institutes, two university campuses, a research-intensive pathology service and the Westmead Innovation Centre.

This major investment in the Westmead Precinct has the potential to reshape the region and change the face of the community.

From bench to bedside creating, connecting and curating a health education innovation precinct takes more than investment in hard infrastructure. To be sustainable, a precinct demands a people and place centred approach.

Recently, Cities Leadership Institute facilitated a Roundtable with some of the Westmead precincts partners and Brent Stackhouse, Vice President at Mount Sinai Health System, New York, to discuss some of the insights, imperatives and inspirations for health education innovation precincts.

Brent is currently Vice President and investment manager for Mount Sinai Ventures, the venture investments arm of the Mount Sinai Health System. His role includes generating deal flow and screening new opportunities, as well as managing the existing portfolio of venture investments. Brent's priorities include telehealth, urgent care, ambulatory surgery centers, health information technology and system transformation for population health.

Combined with his previous experience managing strategic partnerships for Mount Sinai Health Systems, and as Executive Director of Strategy with the NYC Department of Health, Brent was well placed to share insights and experience with the Roundtable.

Here are five key takeaways:

Community connection - linking physical design of the precinct is equally important as delivering health benefits and engaging the community

Collaboration - from precinct vision, governance and research to administration and finance a multi-disciplinary multi stakeholder approach is required to develop a culture of innovation

Scale matters -inter hospital and inter precinct co-operation will enable greater innovation through the development of a national eco-system

Pathways - there needs to be mechanisms and resources dedicated to support innovation from co-creation through to commercialisation

Metrics - clear mutually beneficial metrics that define success and progress need to be agreed and monitored

For Mount Sinai, health education innovation is less about getting it ‘right’ first time and more about investing in both people and place to enhance the heath and well-being of the community.

For Westmead, this co-investment starts now.


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Level 23, 45 Clarence Street

Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

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