The Origin of the Providence Strategy & Innovation Team

Aaron Martin

The Pacific Northwest is home to companies who have transformed their industries, disrupting established models to bring new and improved products and services to customers. The Sisters of Providence, who came to the Pacific Northwest over 150 years ago, brought change through their belief in health care as a basic human right. Inspired by these pioneers, the Providence Strategy & Innovation team aspires to bring innovation and meaningful change to modern healthcare.

Aaron Martin, senior vice president of Strategy & Innovation joined Providence in early 2014 and is leading this transformation. Aaron came from Amazon, where he led the team that transitioned traditional publishers from a physical books business to Kindle and led the team that launched Amazon’s self-publishing business which helped to disrupt the publishing business.

Aaron and the Providence leadership team quickly landed on three transformative opportunities: digital and consumer, bringing genomics to the bedside, and creating a culture of innovation within our organization.

First, we are building an online experience to be on par with other industries such as travel or ecommerce. We’re using small batch innovation to conduct tests to determine patient needs, allowing for better products with a focus on convenience. We’re hiring software development engineers and collaborating with innovative new technology companies via Providence Ventures to help us get there. Our platform will be consistent, well-designed, and make navigating and accessing our services easy. The technology will be service oriented architecture so that we can adopt new services quickly and change rapidly with customer expectations.

Personalized, on-demand care is our second area of focus in digital. This means knowing who our patients are, anticipating their needs and responding to how, when and where they want our healthcare services delivered. Today, with new services we’ve launched like our online telehealth platform Health eXpress, we’re starting down this path and learning.

Finally, beyond on-demand healthcare, our goal is to build relationships with patients between episodes of care and engaging the patient and their family and support network (in some cases helping them build it) to help them stay healthy. This fits our corporate vision of building healthier communities, together.  

To achieve these goals, we’ll need to disrupt the current way of doing things – which is never easy. This is a big jump for any industry incumbent, so Providence is recruiting people from technology and consumer organizations both as employees and partners. The magic we’re seeing is when we pull healthcare and technology people into the same room and get them talking. Join us!