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Get to Know the 2018 GIA Finalists: Empower Through Health

October 1, 2018

Seven ventures will compete in the Global Impact Award finals on Monday, October 29th. Up to $50,000 will be awarded to one or more ventures.

Since the announcement of the 2018 finalists in April, all finalists have been paired up with industry mentors and have been polishing their pitches and Opportunity Summaries.  Each week leading up to the finals in October, we will introduce one finalist team individually. Check back each week for a new profile!

This week is all about…

Empower Through Health

Empower Through Health:


Industry: Non-profit

Total Number of Employees: 3

When They Formed: January 2018

Total Funding (as of September 2018): $65,000

What problem are you solving?
Mid-level providers at rural health centers in developing countries work without supervision and often commit medical errors. A scalable solution can be developed to guide their clinical decision making while improving their clinical knowledge. This could potentially reduce the number of deaths in rural areas of low-income countries.

How do you solve the problem?
Empower Through Health’s Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) algorithm will be developed to assist mid-level providers (nurses, midwives, and nursing assistants) provide consistently high level medical care to the pediatric (under five years) population. It will be tablet-based and tailored for the Ugandan context.


About the Founding Team:


Jae Lee

Jae Lee, Co-Founder & CEO, Empower Through Health. Source: Empower Through Health

Yang Jae Lee (AB ’16; MD Candidate ’21)

Co-Founder and CEO

As CEO, Jae helps develop the idea and team, and will take part in its implementation. He has an Applied Baccalaureate (AB) in International and Area Studies and Biology from Washington University in St. Louis. He is also working towards his medical degree at WashU.


Ki Yun "Kay" Park

Ki Yun “Kay” Park, Chair of Technology Committee, Empower Through Health. Source: Empower Through Health

Ki Yun “Kay” Park (BSAS ’17)

Chair of Technology Committee

As Chair of Technology Committee, Kay helps develop the idea, organizes the project, and helps with its implementation. She has a BSAS Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.


Wayne Warner

Wayne Warner, Research Consultant, Empower Through Health. Source: Empower Through Health

Wayne Warner (PhD ’18)

Research Consultant

As the Research Consultant, Wayne helps develop the idea and will take part in its implementation. He has a BS in Microbiology and Biochemistry from California State University, Los Angeles and a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.


Scott Blackwell

Scott Blackwell, Field Director of Operations, Empower Through Health. Source: Empower Through Health

Scott Blackwell (BS ’16)

Field Director of Operations

As Field Director of Operations, Scott helps develop the idea, and will work on the ground in Uganda in its implementation. He has a BS in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis. He is also working towards his medical degree at University of Tennessee Health Science Center.


Dylan Bassett

Dylan Bassett, Technology Contributor, Empower Through Health. Source: Empower Through Health

Dylan Bassett (BS ’17)

Technology Contributor

As Technology Contributor, Dylan refines technological aspects of the approach to the project and helps with system development. He has a BSAS in Anthropology and Economics & Strategy from Washington University in St. Louis.



What has been your biggest lesson learned since starting your venture? 

Jae Lee (JL): Mindfulness in knowing what should be done, and having the conviction to not have second thoughts and invest in a project 100%.

Kay Park (KP): Thinking about the big picture, the value of teamwork.

Wayne Warner (WW): The value of having a vision, communicating it effectively and inspiring others to join in.

Scott Blackwell (SB): Receiving input from a variety of people with different backgrounds, experiences, and skillsets immensely enhances the strategic vision of a project.

Dylan Bassett (DB): With enough focus and a diversity of perspectives, complex problems become approachable.


What do you love about being an entrepreneur?

JL: Opportunity to follow an idea from conception to execution. Ability to think of different approaches of how to improve other people’s lives.

KP: Opportunity to be creative, work with brilliant minds, and transform ideas into reality.

WW: Opportunity to use entrepreneurial skills to improve health care systems in developing countries.

SB: Freedom to follow my own path in conceiving of and pursuing my own vision for a better world.

DB: The opportunity to improve the human experience for others.


What words of advice do you have for those who are interested in starting a business?

JL: Surround yourself with trustworthy and competent people.

KP: declined to comment

WW: Identify a need, develop a solution, work with passion, flexibility and perseverance while inspiring others to lean in to your vision.

SB: Learn to recognize a good idea, and surround yourself with people who will challenge your preconceived notions and drive you to be your best.

DB: Learn as much as you can about the academic research landscape, to understand what has been done and what might be done in the future.


Like what you see? Follow along Empower Through Health’s journey: