It is not often that you get to meet someone who is truly doing something different. Marketing content loves to toss around words like disruptive and game-changer, but when you meet someone who really is disruptive – you are not likely to forget it. When I walked away from my initial meeting with Jen Horonjeff I knew that she was the real deal.
Jen Horonjeff and her business partner Ronnie Sharpe have come together to create something that is truly unique in the healthcare landscape. The organization that they have started, Savvy Cooperative is a new breed of business called a “Platform Coop.” “A platform co-op is a digital platform — a website or mobile app that is designed to provide a service or sell a product — that is collectively owned and governed by the people who depend on and participate in it.” Writes Maria Sutton on Shareable.net
Jen explains that this is the ideal structure for the type of platform that Savvy is: A web based tool to enable scientific and market researchers in healthcare to connect directly with patients. The patient community (The savvy crowd as Jen calls them) can share their experiences to help drive patient driven solutions in healthcare, while also sharing in the profits of the cooperative as members.
Talking to Jen about Savvy – her passion and energy were palpable. Jen grew up with Juvenile arthritis and has been active in the Arthritis patient community for years. Through her life experience and her connections to that patient community she saw a need. She described getting calls frequently to be in focus groups, take surveys and connect with academic researchers because her name was known. She knew that the people who were requesting her time had little access to patient communities and she wanted to find a way to make things easier both for them and for patients. Often the patients who become vocal patient advocates can be overwhelmed by multiple requests because they are the visible and accessible person to the industry.
The Savvy Cooperative is a breath of fresh air in an industry that struggles with true patient engagement and involvement – and holds the potential to bring patients to the table in a meaningful way in the world of Healthcare. Check out Jen’s own writings about Savvy on Medium. Membership to the Coop will be launching this month, so be sure to check it out.