November 2, 2022

Making Health Easy and Fun: Welfie (i2 Finalist)

Five Finalists Make their Final Pitch in December

One of the most efficient ways Alliance Healthcare Foundation can support population health improvement is by helping innovations succeed, scale and achieve sustainability. We believe that your zip code, race, socioeconomic status, gender or ability should not determine your life expectancy.

Through the Innovation Initiative (i2) $1 Million Challenge Grant program, we help nurture and scale sustainable solutions aimed at closing gaps in health equity. We have supported (and have continued evolving) this Innovation Initiative since its inception in 2010.

Our 12-month capacity building and mentorship of 2022 i2 candidates is coming to a close as we near the final pitch event in mid-December. Innovation Partner Nex Cubed has been a tremendous asset on the journey. A Challenge Grant awardee is expected to be announced at the beginning of 2023.

In the next set of newsletters leading up to the final pitch event, we’ll be highlighting the i2 finalists. We trust you’ll find these organizations as inspiring as we do.


dr. steven moyo

Q&A with Co-founder + CEO, Steven C. Moyo, MD

Welfie was founded by two black doctors who tired of watching patients who looked like them die sicker and younger. Welfie partners with payors and schools to help underserved families take control of their own health journeys. Everything starts with “The Welfie,” a “wellness selfie,” or self-assessment that triggers the content and, when necessary, care coordination when someone needs to navigate their health situation. That includes children.

Teaching kids to reflect on how they are feeling on every level is core to who we are. We believe that children are the most powerful agents of change in the universe. A child with a sense of purpose and agency around their own health will encourage the rest of the family to adopt better health habits that will deliver better health outcomes.

Key to this is the concept of play. Our education interventions are so fun kids don’t even know they’re learning, and they are designed to get families away from their screens and playing together. See example video.

Welfie booster troop-3

Here’s what the co-founder, Dr. Moyo, had to say recently about their i2 Journey experience so far.

AHF: What has surprised you most during the i2 program?

Dr. Moyo:  We have been delighted by how fresh and relevant the programming has been, and how closely tied it has been to helping us deliver on impact and potential. We have participated in a few accelerators, and some have offered essentially the same courses, sometimes even within the program. In one accelerator, three different instructors showed the same clip from the same TV show to illustrate a similar point. i2’s content feels immediately relevant and designed to help us succeed in health care, particularly in California and Colorado.

You have helped demystify so much in what are inherently complex systems in a way that the whole team, even those without a health care background, can understand. We would also add that we have been also grateful for the support and help the whole team has given us, from the staff to the judges. We have no doubt you bring that kind of thoughtfulness to all of the finalists, and that you genuinely want us all to win. It’s been a great experience.

AHF: Has your innovation/solution changed during your i2 journey experience? 

Dr. Moyo:  Our i2 journey has been one of simplification. This has freed us up to play more to our strengths and then map those to impact, knowing we can change lives for generations to come. i2 has really helped us dig into our core UVP, which has, in turn, really ensured our sustainability, proven directly by a partnership we are now forging with Rady Children’s Hospital. We are co-developing programming around mental health that they will fund, first in San Diego, then across the US and later, the world. That would not have happened had we not been through i2 process.

Additionally, it has freed the team up creatively. No longer are we doing things just because we think there is a market fit. We do things because we alone can deliver on a promise we believe will truly revolutionize how health care is delivered. This shift inspires us individually and as a team, and we know we can be the very best in the world at it. We couldn’t have gotten here without i2.

AHF: How has the i2 journey helped you prepare for other conversations with funders?

Dr. Moyo: We have so much more clarity around the conversations we have with funders. We used to be told we were trying to “boil the ocean.” Now, funders can see what we’re doing and see much more quickly if we’re a fit or not. Similarly, because we are clearer in our offering, we, too, can see more quickly whether or not an organization is a fit for us. And because of that clarity, that has given us confidence to not go down the roads where we don’t really like the view. We are in the drivers seat. We couldn’t say that before. It has also given us greater insights into the strategic hires we need to make and in what order. It’s hard to do that when you’re throwing spaghetti on the wall. We don’t do that anymore. Our vision is clear, our hires are purposeful, and we are now pulling in people we never dreamed we could get before.

Thank you for sharing, Dr. Moyo! Good luck in the final pitch, Welfie!


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