Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) announced it has committed through its Foundation the allocation of $5 million to a new venture capital fund designed to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in the health care field, with a specific focus on primary care.
The Primary Care Innovation Fund is the first such endeavor in the College’s 117-year history and will invest in companies with established products and services that are healthcare-related and focused on primary care. PCOM is the first osteopathic medical school to establish such a fund.
The establishment of the fund underscores the College’s mission of advancing knowledge and intellectual growth broadly, and its commitment to the well-being of the community through leadership and service, said Jay S. Feldstein, DO ’81, president and CEO of PCOM.
“The osteopathic philosophy focuses on prevention and maintaining wellness, and seeing the patient as a whole person—not just their symptoms. Through the Primary Care Innovation Fund, PCOM can extend that philosophy by investing in innovative opportunities nationally to improve and maintain patients’ quality of life,” said Dr. Feldstein.
He added that he was hopeful the more than 13,000 osteopathic physicians and other health care professionals whom PCOM has educated could benefit from these innovations by addressing the quality, access and affordability of health care for their patients.
The fund will also provide myriad benefits for the College’s students, faculty, staff and alumni by opening doors financially to those who have a product or service appropriate for funding, and connecting those individuals to learning and networking opportunities within the investment community. The fund will focus on producing financial returns and as a result, offers the College a potential revenue stream that is not tuition-based.
Investments from across the country will be considered, with a focus on the Philadelphia and Atlanta, Georgia, metro areas. (PCOM’s branch campus is located in Suwanee, Georgia.)
Dean Miller, a private equity and venture capital investor with strong regional and national ties to the healthcare and technology sectors, will manage the fund. Mr. Miller also serves as president and CEO of the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital & Technologies (PACT) and as partner at Evergreen Industries LLC.
An advisory board comprised of physicians and business executives from Philadelphia and Atlanta will assist Mr. Miller in determining the feasibility and market demand for each potential investment. PCOM’s Executive Committee will serve as the Fund’s Board of Managers and, along with Mr. Miller, will make the final determinations on investments.
“The primary care clinician is the point person for chronic conditions that patients face,” said Mr. Miller. “To that end, it is a natural fit for PCOM to lead the way in promoting innovation within primary care by investing in companies that can address and prevent those conditions.”
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained more than 15,000 highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach, treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers the doctor of osteopathic medicine, doctor of pharmacy and doctor of psychology degrees and graduate programs in mental health counseling, school psychology, physician assistant studies, forensic medicine, organizational development and leadership, and biomedical sciences. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, education and service to the community and, through PCOM’s Healthcare Centers, provide care to the medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations.
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