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Kevin Moore is an angel investor.

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Q&A: Merck exec on how investing in startups can increase care access

Jun 24, 2022

Plus: NYC Health + Hospitals unveils new virtual reality simulation program to decrease maternal mortality Meet more 2022 Notable LGBTQ+ Leaders who work in health care Prem Tumkosit serves as a managing director of Merck’s Global Health Innovation Fund, where he’s responsible for identifying investment opportunities in digital health, specifically “next horizon” technologies. The $500 million fund has made more than 60 digital health and health care IT investments. Tumkosit, who previously worked at Accenture Strategy and Credit Suisse, says his personal identities as a gay man and the son of Thai immigrants inform the kinds of ventures he chooses to back. That means startups that increase access to care among historically underserved communities. What about health care motivates you? There are two dimensions. One is growing up with immigrant parents. It was really hard for my parents to navigate the health care system as non-native speakers of English and people who weren’t fluent. And two is identifying as a gay man. Access to innovative medicines really transformed things like HIV/AIDS into manageable chronic conditions. The LGBT community has really witnessed the positive impact of health innovation. How can startups expand access to LGBTQ health care and address disparities? Our thesis in that space is that people will often engage with the health care system for very specific questions. In the case of the LGBTQ community, it’s often a question of sexual health. Our goal is to look at assets that can take that initial inquiry and connect individuals with the broader system. How is the current state of the market affecting your decision-making processes? We are being a bit more selective in how we look at some of those companies. It’s becoming increasingly important for us to see companies with revenue, with a path to profitability. Is that becoming a permanent shift? I hope this does become a more permanent rubric for the industry. Having more people ask those hard questions of startup companies, and even more mature companies, will help the whole industry be a lot more sustainable. How do you parse idealism in the health care space from what actually might make a difference? There is a seductive storyline that a lot of health care problems can be solved by tech. While tech can be a helpful tool, it’s not the only thing that will win the day. Companies that have a good understanding of practice economics, provider culture, what patients are really looking for and how to build strong networks within their markets are the ones that we tend to gravitate toward. Are there any subsectors within digital health that are overlooked? It used to be that you were only a precision medicine company, only a diagnostic company or only a drug-development company. Now there’s a blur between some of those lines. It’s harder to tell a simple story for some of those companies, so there is a lack of investment in some of those spaces. What does New York need to do to better compete with Boston and San Francisco? I used to never have meetings with startup companies in New York when we started out investing in the space several years ago. Now I’m finding that there is increasingly a healthy ecosystem of companies based in New York City. We’re seeing more incubator activity and accelerator programs. It’s a matter of continuing and supporting those initiatives and making it easier for startups to afford to have space in the city.—Maya Kaufman NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island moves to build $20M endoscopy suite Citing outpaced demand for endoscopy services, NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island plans to build an outpatient endoscopy suite with six procedure rooms near the hospital, a project expected to cost nearly $20 million and be completed in under two years. Six procedure rooms are in the hospital, but priority is given to inpatients, resulting in wait times of three months for outpatients requiring the procedure, according to the filing submitted on June 15. The new suite, which would be on the seventh floor of 211 Station Road in Mineola, would reduce wait times. NYU Langone needs the expansion to meet a growth in demand for endoscopy services, said Dr. Andrew Brotman, executive vice president and vice dean for clinical affairs and strategy and chief clinical officer. “Our endoscopy suites in Nassau County are pretty much at capacity, resulting in wait times that we think are not acceptable,” he said. “Building out a separate ambulatory suite is something that we’ve done throughout our system.” While higher-risk patients would still be treated inside the hospital, most patients would be able to receive treatment at the new outpatient facility, Brotman said. The hospital is experiencing 10% growth in endoscopies each year. That stems from a general increase in colonoscopies in the past decade and a growth in more complex endoscopies that can remove tumors and other complications that were previously done through surgery. Four of the proposed six endoscopy rooms would handle the volume of current outpatients who would no longer be seen at the hospital, and the additional two rooms would be built for anticipated growth. The proposed build would include five pre-op private rooms and 12 bays for pre- and post-procedures. NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island has 591 beds. It is part of the NYU Langone network, which operates six inpatient hospitals and more than 530 outpatient locations. —James O’Donnell NYC Health + Hospitals unveils new virtual reality simulation program to decrease maternal mortality  NYC Health + Hospitals has launched a virtual reality simulation program that will help obstetrics teams and other staff at all sites prepare for hemorrhages during delivery, one of the main causes of maternal mortality. The hospital system made the announcement last week, but H + H has been using in-person simulations to train doctors for crisis situations since the Institute for Medical Simulation and Advanced Learning at Jacobi launched its first simulations in 2012. Health + Hospitals launched a maternal mortality initiative with City Hall in 2018 that used in-person simulation to train doctors in obstetric hemorrhage. Now the virtual reality program will allow more obstetrics teams across sites to be trained faster and access the training anytime. H + H helped develop the program, which Health Scholars, the virtual reality training company H + H collaborated with, reports cost $60,000. Obstetric hemorrhage is a “never event” that happens rarely, but it’s one that might require a response from many hospital teams, said Dr. Wendy Wilcox, H + H’s chief women’s health service officer. “There’s a fine line between a normal delivery and a severe hemorrhage,” she said. “Some patients bleed and bleed. The entire hospital, including the blood bank, pharmacists, anesthesiologists and others need to know what an obstetric hemorrhage is.” In the virtual reality simulation, staff will put on a headset and encounter a lifelike hospital setting, talking to avatars of patients and other doctors as they would real people, Wilcox explained. The training will run staff members through the clinical scenario of a hemorrhage in eight to 12 minutes so they know exactly how to treat one, she said. It took three years to get everyone trained in certain situations through in-person simulations at Jacobi; the 2018 initiative with City Hall, which installed six simulation centers into trauma sites, took a year to get approximately 90% of necessary staff trained in in-person hemorrhage simulations. The virtual reality program will run at all H + H sites and will be more efficient and potentially cost-effective, Wilcox said, because staff can access the training at any time and hospitals don’t have to spend money on certain mannequins needed for in-person simulations. Wilcox aims to increase the training’s cadence so staff members can retake it every six months or so and keep their knowledge fresh. The virtual reality application will cost $8,750 per year to administer to 250 users for about three years, Health Scholars said. At any time, approximately 1,500 staff members work in obstetrics across all 11 NYC Health + Hospitals sites. The hospital system is working on severe hypertension and sepsis VR training programs to help respond to other events that contribute to maternal mortality. —Jacqueline Neber Meet more 2022 Notable LGBTQ+ Leaders who work in health care New York has long been the site of many milestones in the LGBTQ+ movement, and today remains an epicenter of diversity and activism. According to the American LGBTQ+ Museum, the metropolitan area is home to more than three quarters of a million LGBTQ+ adults, more than any other region in the country. This year, Crain’s selected 95 individuals who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning or queer and who are outstanding professionals in their industries and communities. More than 30 members of the class work in health care. These five bring their expertise to youth development, hospitals and more. Read about the full LGBTQ+ leaders class  here. Kelsey Louie, Chief executive officer at the Door; Chief executive officer at Broome Street Academy Louie leads The Door, a youth development organization, and Broome Street Academy, its charter high school. As chief executive of both organizations, he oversees their budget, operations and fundraising and programmatic initiatives. In also leading their racial equity and inclusion work, Louie boasts expertise in LGBTQ issues, HIV/AIDS prevention and care, behavioral health, addiction services and homelessness. He previously was chief executive at the Gay Men’s Health Crisis and chief operating officer and program officer at the Harlem United Community AIDS Center. Louie is on the boards of the National Minority AIDS Council, the Network of Social Work Management and Cause Effective. Kerry McCarthy, Vice President for Philanthropic Initiatives, New York Community Trust McCarthy manages the communications and philanthropic advising departments at the New York Community Trust, which connects residents with nonprofits to build equitable and healthy communities. She builds out new tools and services to help donations become more effective. In addition, she works on external communications including annual reports and earned media, conveying the organization’s past and present impact and helping attract new donors. Since the advent of the pandemic, she has stewarded tens of millions of dollars in grant-making to provide relief to hard-hit arts and social services nonprofits. Juan Mejia, Senior vice president and chief operating officer, New York-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital Mejia is responsible for all operations at the Lower Manhattan campus of New York-Presbyterian. He leads a management team and a workforce of more than 1,000. He also leads corporate initiatives including efforts related to quality improvement, diversity, inclusion and patient experience. He has led the growth of services, including introducing robotic technology to operating rooms for minimally invasive surgical procedures. Mejia is the senior lead sponsor for all efforts designed to ensure that the hospital is a safe and affirming place for LGBTQ patients and employees. Kevin Moore, Assistant director for LGBTQ clinical services, NYU Langone Health Moore oversees NYU Langone’s systemwide initiative to advocate for and educate about the clinical and cultural needs of its LGBTQ patients. He helped write several hospital policies regarding the needs of transgender and gender nonbinary people, and he has educated staff on the importance of gender affirmation and the use of preferred pronouns. On the clinical side, Moore guides patients through the preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative periods of gender-affirming surgery. He is a board member at the Out Foundation, OutHealth and the Transgender and Gender Nonbinary Advisory Council. Paul Nagle, Founding executive director, Stonewall Community Development Corp. Nagle boasts more than three decades of experience in nonprofit administration and LGBTQ activism. He is now executive director of Stonewall Community Development, whose mission is to provide New York City’s LGBTQ senior citizens with safe, affordable homes and health services. He previously was founding executive director of All Out Arts, presenting plays, concerts and exhibitions by LGBTQ creatives. Nagle created the initial development strategy for the Brooklyn Community Pride Center and raised its first grants. He previously was involved in efforts to help arts organizations in Lower Manhattan rebound after 9/11.—Crain staff AT A GLANCE NEW FACILITY: Biotech company Regeneron has broken ground on its new $1.8 million research and manufacturing facility in Tarrytown, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday. The expansion is expected to create at least 1,000 new jobs over five years, and Empire State Development is supporting the project with up to $100 million in performance-based Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits. BRONX DEFENDERS: The city Department of Social Services awarded advocacy organization The Bronx Defenders $2 million to extend their contract for the Homeless Prevention Law Project to June 30, 2023, the City Record reported Thursday. The Bronx Defenders’ work will go toward preserving affordable housing and stabilizing neighborhoods to protect tenants from displacement and potential homelessness. BLOOD THINNER IS BACK: Modern Healthcare  reported Wednesday  that CVS Health is bringing blood thinner drug Eliquis back into its formulary beginning July 1 after Caremark negotiated a lower-cost deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb. CVS announced last year that Eliquis was leaving its formulary; the decision was met with opposition from patients, medical societies and advocacy groups. Eliquis cost $529 for a one-month supply this past January. It is unknown how much CVS will pay for it. WHO'S NEWS: The "Who's News" portion of "At a Glance" is available online at  this link  and in the Health Pulse newsletter. "Who's News" is a daily update of career transitions in the local health care industry. For more information on submitting a listing, reach out to Debora Stein:  [email protected] . CONTACT US: Have a tip about news happening in the local health care industry? Want to provide feedback about our coverage? Contact the Health Pulse team at [email protected]

Kevin Moore Investments

2 Investments

Kevin Moore has made 2 investments. Their latest investment was in 8vdX as part of their Seed VC on May 5, 2022.

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Kevin Moore Investments Activity

investments chart

Date

Round

Company

Amount

New?

Co-Investors

Sources

5/27/2022

Seed VC

8vdX

$3M

Yes

2

12/10/2020

Series B

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$99M

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10

Date

5/27/2022

12/10/2020

Round

Seed VC

Series B

Company

8vdX

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Amount

$3M

$99M

New?

Yes

Subscribe to see more

Co-Investors

Sources

2

10

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