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Keeping Healthcare Simple for People
Episode 434

Ivelyse Andino, CEO & Founder at Radical Health

Keeping Healthcare Simple for People

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Keeping Healthcare Simple for People

Episode 434

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Keeping Healthcare Simple for People with Ivelyse Andino, CEO & Founder at Radical Health transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Keeping Healthcare Simple for People with Ivelyse Andino, CEO & Founder at Radical Health was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast, where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today's most successful and inspiring health care leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the podcast. Today I have the privilege of hosting Ivelyse Andino. She is an Afro-Latino health equity innovator, born and raised in the Bronx and the founder and CEO of Radical Health. Elise enjoyed a fledgling career in health tech, pioneering some of its first digital health solutions, including bringing the first mobile app prescribing platform to the market and working with global clients such as the N H S and London and Kaiser Permanente. While she routinely trained oncologists on new drugs, she found herself unprepared when her mother was diagnosed with cancer. This forced her to directly and intimately confront the systemic health care disparities she knew existed in founding radical health, the first Latina owned and operated Benefit Corp. in New York City. She has sought to combine her expertise in health care and her passion as a community organizer coming from an historically marginalized community herself. It was important for Ivelyse to initially build a Radical Health by bringing together her neighbors around her kitchen table and hearing firsthand from voices including undocumented women of color, elderly young people and the LGBTQ community who are otherwise figuratively and literally never given a seat at the table to have a say in their own healthcare destiny. Through Radical Health, Ivelyse is committed to the task of transforming health care by facilitating health literacy and self advocacy, as well as forging a relationship between meaningful face to face conversations with cutting edge technology. So, you know, the themes of access and making health care equality is something that continues to come up. We touch on topics like social determinants of health, and I think we're going to be at a cross-section of a lot of these hot topics today with Ivelyse And so with that, I want to give her a warm welcome. So glad you're here.

Ivelyse Andino:
Thank you so much for having me. It really is a pleasure.

Saul Marquez:
So, Ivelyse, what did I leave out of your intro that you want to share with the listeners?

Ivelyse Andino:
I think the important pieces that we could add into that is that I'm restorative circle train. So I use indigenous practice to convene and hold workshops and sessions that really go back in to practices that have been used over and over again and we get to incorporate that into our work. And I recently in 2013 was nominated as a Roddenberry fellow for the work that we're doing this Radical Health.

Saul Marquez:
Congratulations on that. That's pretty, pretty impressive. And, you know, it's like you got to do things differently to get results. And so, you know, your story obviously highlights why you're so passionate about what you do. But what is it that got you into health care to begin with?

Ivelyse Andino:
The story is anyone's ever grown up with very little. The number one objective for me was I wanted to get out of the hood. I wanted to make a lot of money. I wanted the fancy apartment and all the things that we see on television. And that was that was my number one goal. And the way to do that was I was gonna be a doctor. And so I was gonna help people. But I also was going to make sure that I had some stability. And that was that didn't really, really work out for me. And that wasn't really the path that I was going to go on. But I still ended up in health care and ended up looking at health from different perspectives and getting to do that. Getting to see kind of the inner bellies of the beast through my work with pharma, through my work in health care. And so I guess I guess ultimately trying to get out the vote is what led me here today.

Saul Marquez:
That's awesome. You know what? That grit, that very strong desire to get out of the hood and just, you know, get a better life. I mean, hey, I grew up with not much either, Ivelyse. And it's definitely been a motivating force in my life and everything that I do. So I tell you, appreciate that.

Saul Marquez:
And so now that you've been in the business for quite some time and and doing your own thing now, what's that hot topic that you want us to focus on today for health leaders listening?

Ivelyse Andino:
Yeah. So the important thing and I I am shouting from the rooftops at every opportunity that I get. We talk a lot about innovation. We're talking a lot about, you know, transforming health, using all these new things. But what we're really missing is like equity and equity in health. And today in America, folks that are the most disproportionately affected are black and brown people, people with disabilities, our veterans. And.

Saul Marquez:
Sadly.

Ivelyse Andino:
Here, health like Right.. Yeah. Health, as as we know it is not equal. And we have people who are dying at disproportionate rate where I live in the South Bronx. Our community members die on average five years sooner than our neighbors who are less than a mile away on the Upper East Side. And this is happening across the country where our zip code and the structures and where we live are really impacting our ability in our life and how we live. And I think that really at the top of these conversations and at the top of health, it's not enough to provide quality care or provide innovation where you'll need to be talking about who is not being acknowledged and who are the most impacted by what we're doing, our work and what we're creating.

Saul Marquez:
Now, I think it's a really great call out. And you know that the not just anecdote but reality that your zip code is probably more likely to determine your lifespan than your DNA code. It's a very… thing. And so tell us about what you're doing at Radical Health and how you're creating results by doing things differently.

Ivelyse Andino:
So when I started Radical Health, I was definitely traumatized from all of my years that I had been doing. And it was really created out of a response where there are many times where I was in a boardroom, at a hospital or with a pharma client. I was often the only woman in the room and very, very often the only person of color at that table. And it was really striking to me that decisions are being made about where we were going to rollout or what policy the funding was going to go where. And there wasn't this, I guess, conscious like layer of who were we reaching, who are we not reaching and what are the ramifications of these decisions? And so when I started radical health, I really wanted to bring people into that fold. And I wasn't just asking for another seat at the table. I wanted to create our own table and invite everyone to that. So what we do at Radical Health is we took that metaphor of the table in these conversations that we get to do that in communities. So we have two core programs, one of which are our in-person trainings and workshops where we go into communities and we have meaningful conversations around health. So we cover a variety of therapeutic areas. One could say and where people are talking about their real experiences, how they define health. The big finding there is that, you know, health really is this definition at any moment, whether it's, you know, painful fall or just age or even government mandate, folks. The definition of health changes. And when we look at our communities, there aren't spaces where we can talk about what that means, where for someone who is about to be evicted, like that's a really big deal in their health or, you know, for someone who's afraid of being deported. And so we get to have these really meaningful conversations. We do that with community members. We do that with providers who are also working in communities, things that they might not be from or working in, systems that don't allow them to do what they really wanted to do, which is heal and be connected. So we do a bunch of those programs and then we integrate tap into that. So we built out a platform called Radical Relay and it is a no, you're right for health app. So what we found is through all of these conversations that we've been doing, folks really are uncertain about what they are legally or what policies are in place that they could tap into an access to. Through our app, we use A.I. and peer conversations where we give folks questions that they should ask maybe before an appointment, during an appointment or after an appointment. And that really helps them use their own agency and to make sure that they're being heard. So an example is, you know, ask for a translator if you don't understand. If you don't speak English or even ask for your lab before you go in for your physical. So you actually have some concrete information on your blood results that you can have a meaningful conversation that you get to do all of that in historically marginalized communities. And so where we integrate people, the power of people and those conversations and that really change the landscape of health as we know it.

Saul Marquez:
Fascinating. So you guys are really doing a lot to give people the insider's view into their health care and then providing resources and maybe even like digital coaching to help them be better stewards of their own health.

Ivelyse Andino:
Exactly. Exactly. You want folks who have lived right to know that they have that just your lived experience enough, you know, you know your body best and you should pick up and ask for what you need.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, there's a lot of uncertainty and there's certainly a lot of questions. And behind the scenes, fears like you mentioned, that may cause people to not get the healthcare that they that they deserve. And so give us an example of of how one of these tools has has made a positive impact.

Ivelyse Andino:
So with our circles and I think what's important is that our work ties in. We really both it's so that they're really integrated. But within some of our circles, one, we see just extraordinary engagement. So the population that we're working with, we were having an intersection. We're looking at areas that have high rates of poverty. We also matched up with high rates of incarceration because we know that that's like where where we really want to work. So in these communities, we have an 89 percent retention rate. So all of our workshops are free. They are not mandatory. You voluntarily attend, but folks who attend our workshop attend one of them will attend at least two more and leave. Yes. So these are the hardest. I mean, some might say are the hardest to reach or last mile of care. What we're really seeing folks engage, folks who've attended our workshop. We have a ninety eight percent satisfaction. I guess you'd call like a net promoter score where folks are really satisfied by the level of conversation. And then we take it a lot deeper, because I really believe numbers don't always tell the whole story. But we had one woman, we had an older woman who's about like 60 and then a younger woman who's got twenty three. And one of our circles and we're talking about just, you know, what has helped me. Have been your experiences. The younger woman talked about her diagnosis of lupus and how she was feeling and how she found a great provider that really coached her through that. And when we got to this older woman in the circle, she said, you know, I've been listening and I've been sick for a really long time. And I've gone to a bunch of doctors and I haven't figured it out. But it sounds like what the younger woman is talking about. And her symptoms, I think I might have lupus, but I have an appointment tomorrow. And we're going to. You know, I don't know. You know, I don't know what's happening, but I'm going to ask some questions. And so at the end of that circle, the two women ended up talking. They were they lived in the same neighborhood. So they were really close to another younger woman, kind of coached this woman through what she had been through. And then I saw the older woman a few weeks later, she comes up to me and she, like, squeezes me and I'm like, waffling, going on. And she's like, I have lupus. And so I of course, I'm like, oh, my God, I'm so sorry, you know, panicking. She's like, I am so grateful and I'm so happy because for so long, I didn't know what was happening to me. I couldn't find anyone but through these programs. That's how I feel connected. I have a friend who, you know, coaching me when she's younger and me. And I feel like I'm on the path towards healing and I feel so much better. And so it's those models of like super empowering and yet impactful. So I'm really lucky to be a part of it.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, that's a great story. And how else would that have happened? You know, I mean, just facilitating these these groups is core to awareness and education. And which is a missing piece in a lot of this health equity. So, Ivelyse, what would you say? Like, how do you guys interact with payers and providers? Because I see an opportunity here for them to learn about the communities that they serve or even government, right.. How do you guys interact and work?

Ivelyse Andino:
Yeah. So this is really sweet. We I'll say that one of the challenges that ultimate question a bit, but one of the challenges that I had when we first started was that I thought I was gonna build a company the same way I had participated in others. I thought I would have an idea raise some venture capital, go to the hospital system, and it would just be the easiest thing because we're improving how we're saving money. We have engagement. This is pretty straightforward, right? Turns out it wasn't. No one wanted to fund us. No one could even see what we were doing or the impact. And so early on, we could not make the payer a hospital system kind of, you know, laugh at us and said, no way, we're not going to do that. And so what we did was we ended up going outside of the healthcare system. We started working with government. We started working with education and nonprofit. And really we really look at like social determinants of health. All the other places, the food, the community. And that's where we actually started getting momentum and traction and folks who really believed in it and then were willing to participate. And so to say to answer your question, we've come a long way since then. We're currently chatting with providers. We are working. We're having conversations with payers about, you know, implementing both the services and the tech component that folks can really understand, you know, who their communities are, what how they how the community needs to find what they want and what they need. So we can see much better, improved outcomes.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. That's super, super interesting. And I feel like the forward thinking executives usually like the chief innovation officers or in some forward thinking chief medical officers at these systems are starting to connect the dots and start to do more on, you know, social determinants. I saw a post recently by Ross Sheath Right.. Has he did this announcement that Atrium Health has committed 10 million dollars to affordable housing. And so I'm starting to see more of this. These dots being connected and kudos to you and your team for staying with it and finding those those pathways of engagement and then, you know, slowly getting into the areas where you initially thought you would be playing. But I think it's it's your work is impactful. And, you know, even thinking about some of the some of the employers that might, you know, the larger employers that might be employing the community there. So tons of good being done by you Ivelyse that major kudos, you're a community leader, a health care leader. What would you say is is one of the proudest things that you've experienced to date?

Ivelyse Andino:
So I think if I look at it personally, my personal proudest moment, I am a girl from the Bronx. I mean, I think I've been a who through any other lens. I really should not be where I am today. And so, one, you have been really successful in my career. I'm super proud of that. But I think to feel like look at a model of health, look at health care and create something that employees we employ folks in the community, people who do not have all the pedigree, who do not have all the letters behind their name, but who are so powerful, so brilliant and really effective at what they do. That is probably one of my, like, incredible achievements. But we get to look at how differently we get the challenges this time and we get to do it with those that have been the most impacted, disproportionately impacted as a way to look at things moving forward. And so and while doing that. Improving health outcomes in a variety of ways. I'm incredibly proud of that.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, I know. That's that's huge. You know, and, you know, you say, you know, you shouldn't be here, but you should. And and it's a good thing that you are because these communities do need representation. And without without folks like you and without the companies that are being built around this focus, it wouldn't happen. So I want to recognize you for for year, your courage in going this route, because you could have stayed at… You know, you could you could have hit the easy button and you could have made some money and been like, yeah, I'm good. I made it. But instead, you're you're reaching out and helping others make it, helping others get help. And that that's truly, truly admirable.

Ivelyse Andino:
Thank you so much.

Saul Marquez:
So what would you say is the most exciting project you're working on today?

Ivelyse Andino:
So my my favorite right now is Radical Relay, our tech platform. So we are we broke it off using A.I., using Watson and then using the power of peer. And we're doing this specifically for women of color who are pregnant and going through budget. And so we know today that black women die eight to one compared to white women in the US through maternal mortality and morbidity. We know that, you know, the United States is the most dangerous place, the most dangerous developed country in the world to give birth. And so I met an excuse at all. Yeah, we should all be up in arms. But I guess what we get to do now is this just really you know, we know that like a set of pieces that we know that this maternal mortality, we're women. Women are dying. Doesn't have any bounds when we look at education or safety economics status is because a lot about Beyoncé and Serena Williams, who both had emergency C-sections and just really, really challenging birth. And so for me, it's really exciting that we get to use our app. And we built up this technology to really address that, to use technology in a way that is not just sexy and cool, but really having it making a difference in the lives of women for the lives of people who are giving birth. But then also like all the future generations of children that, you know, get to get to move along and have, you know, present parents who hopefully have much better, much better experience Beyonce, Serenca and I even myself.

Saul Marquez:
And that's definitely a very exciting work and an area that needs a lot of attention. And so the more people that that get focused here and with the access that you have to the communities that you have Ivelyse, it's it's going to be active. Truly exciting. Yeah. And so we're if folks want to learn more about you and your company. Where do they go?

Ivelyse Andino:
When they say you can visit us on our website at www.radical-health.com. On Twitter and Facebook, Instagram @weareradhealth

Saul Marquez:
I love it. So we're going to leave that those touch points in the show notes, folks. Just go to outcomesrocket.health in the search bar type in radical, you'll find that their time for the lightning round that. Are you ready for it?

Ivelyse Andino:
Yes.

Saul Marquez:
All right, Ivelyse. Here we go. What's the best way to improve health care outcomes?

Saul Marquez:
Have more black and brown peoples and filthy disabilities on your boards, on your staff, have them represented at all areas.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. What is the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Ivelyse Andino:
Call this conference room decisions that happen in isolation. So basically making decisions in isolation without any contrary input or collaboration.

Saul Marquez:
How do you stay relevant as an organization despite constant change?

Ivelyse Andino:
You're always in the hood. I guess. We are always we try to just listen and we create faith within our organization for accountability, and so that way, no matter how things change, we're accountable to the people that we serve. And just being a nurse, like with on the ground, real people listening and sharing.

Saul Marquez:
What's an area of focus that drives everything at Radical Health?

Ivelyse Andino:
So we have one overarching theme that our staff I mean, everyone, our board member, everyone that we work with. And that really is vulnerability. So we all lead with our own personal vulnerabilities. And, you know, even as an organization, to say that we do not have it all together, but we are really committed to leading with that. And that our vulnerability is our greatest strength.

Saul Marquez:
I think that's powerful. These next two are more on a personal note for the listeners to get to know you. What would you say is your number one health habit?

Ivelyse Andino:
Oh, that's a really good question. My number one health habit. It really is at least like quality time. That is with people. That is that either we love or inspires me to grow. But really having meaningful conversation that spending quality time with the people that are important to me in my life.

Saul Marquez:
And what is your number one success habit?

Ivelyse Andino:
More recently, I've gotten into. I have no notification, no notifications on my iPhone. On social media. Everything is off. And I moved all of my apps like the third page. But when I opened my phone, I'm only given three options. I can call someone like with my boys. Yeah, I can take a photo or I can medicate. But the only three options that I have.

Saul Marquez:
That's awesome. I love it. Yeah. You know what? That's that's an area that I've really focused on, too. It's my phone is the design workflow is is such so that I don't easily access email and all of my notifications are. Yeah. And it's helped a ton.

Ivelyse Andino:
Totally different. You can be present. I think that is I guess ultimately Right. my successes be present in what I'm doing and do it fully and then the rest will come.

Saul Marquez:
Love that, love that you release. Super great stuff and appreciate you sharing. And so Radical Health is up to a time. And then I'm glad that we got a chance to for everybody to listen to you Ivelyse and and the things that her company and then the people of that area, her company are up to in areas of need with regard to health care. So Ivelyse, leave us with the closing thought and then we could say goodbye.

Ivelyse Andino:
Closing thought is there is a proverb that says until the lion tells the side of the story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. And I think that when we think about health care and outcomes, we tend to make generalizations from a very top down. These communities need or they want. I think when we look at health and health outcomes, we really need to be listening to the stories of the people and let them tell their stories so that it's not obscured by our positions of power and what we believe to be true.

Saul Marquez:
A great message. And with that, folks just want to give Ivelyse a big thank you and a call to action to everybody listening. Go to radical-health.com or check them out on Twitter @WeAreRadHealth so you could learn more. It's certainly an outstanding group of individuals making a difference for communities that need the most help. And so with that, at least I just want to give you a thank you on behalf of all of us.

Ivelyse Andino:
Thank you so much. I am so grateful. Thank you.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resourses, inspiration and so much more.

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