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PCOM Establishes Venture Fund To Fuel Innovation In Primary Care

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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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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.)

Michael Cassidy, president and CEO of the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA) said, “I am excited that PCOM will focus on investments to improve healthcare in Georgia and across the country. There are many opportunities for collaboration with healthcare institutions in the state.” Mr. Cassidy will represent Georgia on the fund’s advisory board. The GRA is a not-for-profit organization that grows Georgia’s economy by expanding university research capacity and by seeding and shaping startup companies around inventions and discoveries.

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 a partner at Evergreen Industries LLC.

An advisory board comprised of physicians and business operators 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.”

The fund is currently seeking investment opportunities. More information can be found by visiting www.pcom.edu/campuses/philadelphia-campus/news-and-events/pcom-news/innovation-fund-established.html or emailing Mr. Miller at dmiller@pcominnovationfund.com.