New initiative, advisory board dedicated to ASU's health-related activities

ASU is transforming "siloed" health-related departments with the recent New Health Solutions Initiative, a high-profile initiative and advisory board that will advance the university's myriad health-related research, education and clinical programs.
Photo by: ASU College of Heatlh Solutions


ASU is looking for some bragging rights when it comes to innovation in health and health care.

The university has introduced a high-profile initiative and advisory board that will help garner attention, support and guidance for ASU health-related projects. The New Health Solutions Initiative (NHSI) Advisory Board is an alliance initiated by President Michael Crow’s office. Its members will serve as ambassadors for ASU’s research and education programs in the health space as well as provide high level input, resources and connections to potential external partners.

“All aspects of health research and delivery are changing at breakneck speed,” said Wellington Reiter, a senior advisor to the president. “Accordingly, it is imperative that ASU have direct access to the leaders in these professional and business sectors. The creation of this distinguished advisory board will provide the many faculty and students at ASU engaging in this work with expertise, advice, partnering opportunities, and investments in their efforts.”

ASU’s health offerings can be found across programs, from the Colleges of Health Solutions and Nursing and Health Innovation, to the Biodesign Institute, life sciences, psychology, sustainability, nutrition and exercise, engineering, health law and business.

“By bringing the Board together and focusing on specific themes, we can provide opportunities for the diverse health related entities to work together, and continue to break down the silos of the past,” said Dr. Mitzi Krockover, director of the NHSI.

“Even though Arizona State University does not have a medical school, we have the opportunity to work with clinical partners such as Mayo Medical School and others to advance our myriad health-related research, education and clinical programs and make a substantial impact on our world,” Krockover said.

The first meeting of the NHSI Advisory Board took place on May 28, where ASU leaders in health related areas, AZ Tech transfer, and the Foundation presented to the board. Charlie Arntzen, faculty member and most recently named No. 1 Creative Person by Fast Company Magazine, also made a presentation illustrating his work in the context of how the ASU environment made it possible for him to achieve his success in creating an Ebola vaccine grown in plants.

According to Krockover, ASU faculty and leadership have been working with the NHSI to provide feedback, input and support, and were extremely helpful in planning for the first meeting.

“We will continue to meet with leadership so that there is ongoing dialogue about priorities and the work of the Board, as their participation is also key to the success of the Initiative,” Krockover said.

The NHSI Advisory Board will include community leaders, entrepreneurs, subject experts, clinical partners, providers, philanthropists, large employers and members of the public sector, all of whom have a keen interest, even passion, in working with ASU to address key health issues. Going forward, the initiative will pair its board meetings with public forums featuring prominent invited experts as well as ASU faculty. Presenters will illuminate key issues in health and healthcare and engage in solution-oriented conversations in hopes of establishing ASU as a powerful convener of health talent.

“We’re going to be looking at big overarching problems in health systems,” said Angel Brandwein, assistant director of the New Health Solutions Initiative. “It’s exciting because this group will be taking on some of the most pressing issues in health care today, and considering real solutions.”

The Initiative has also been charged with establishing a web portal, Health@ASU, which will showcase the university’s health activity. The site will serve to link enterprises across campuses and disciplines, and will highlight the depth and breadth of what is happening at ASU in the health sphere.