Ballad Health forms alliance to boost healthcare innovation

Johnson City, Tenn.-based Ballad Health has partnered with East Tennessee State University Research Corp. to create an innovation and entrepreneurship alliance, the health system said April 14.

The Appalachian Highlands Rural Innovation and Entrepreneurship Alliance aims to translate research into business opportunities and investment to accelerate early stage development to support the enhancement of healthcare delivery. 

"When we created Ballad Health, we made a commitment that this new organization would leverage the regional strength of the Appalachian Highlands, reaching across all our communities in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia to enhance opportunities to turn good ideas into thriving businesses and economic opportunity," said Alan Levine, Ballad Health chairman and CEO. "This center will not only leverage good local ideas into business opportunities for the region, but it will attract ideas from all over the world, which will support the enhancement of healthcare delivery and innovation, while also creating an ecosystem for those transformative ideas to grow and be put into practice all over the world."

Ballad Health is also creating a regional investment fund to support rural healthcare, which will be open to other investors and entrepreneurs interested in innovation within the alliance. The health system has donated $1 million toward the fund. 

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