4 Healthcare Companies Win Awards at ABL’s 26th Innovations in Healthcare Event + “Leader in Innovation” Robert Ross Honored for His Extraordinary Impact

Huntington Beach, CA – December 6, 2023 – Four exceptional companies were honored at the 26th Innovations in Healthcare Awards Event, held virtually on December 6, 2023. Presented by the Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization, this Event and its Awards recognize and celebrate Healthcare Industry Leaders and Innovators focused on reducing the cost of providing access to quality care. This year, ABL also recognized the importance of reducing the inequity inherent in Social Determinants of Health – and what’s being done about it by the State’s largest Foundation, The California Endowment, and startups committed to leveraging technology to make Healthcare Better for All, including the underserved.

And the 2023 “Innovators in Healthcare” Award winners are:

Kendall Lockhart, Founder & CEO of Me+U, which provides a multimedia, multidirectional communications platform that helps consumers easily access affordable, tech-enabled healthcare on their phones – 1 to 1, 1 to millions, and bidirectionally chat with real-time language translation. Formerly the worldwide product head for interactive media at Disney, Kendall is passionate about empowering enterprises (including payers) to create consumer engagement that includes the patient, their family members, providers, and pharmacists on the health team.

Joy Bhosai, MD MPH, Founder & CEO of Pluto Health, has built a smart coordination platform that unifies health information from diverse, but siloed sources. To evaluate health gaps and create personalized plans, Pluto Health, alongside its enterprise partners, works to close health gaps, with a focus on patient privacy and data ownership. Whether it’s preventive healthcare or access to lifesaving clinical trials, Pluto Health’s mission is to expand and equalize patients’ healthcare access to the right resources at the right time.

David Bell, PhD, Founder & CEO of io Health, spent ten years running Home Health and Hospice companies on a mission to double in-person healthcare productivity and perfect a workflow optimization platform. “Intuition,” io Health’s platform, enables a suite of productivity tools, such as real-time chart validation, rapid new employee onboarding and training, frictionless integration with clients’ existing systems, and performance management at scale. io also drives 5-star ratings, 90%+ Value-Based Purchasing scores, and improves bottom lines for Home Health organizations.

Neil Batlivala, Co-Founder & CEO of Pair Team, which connects underserved communities to high-quality care by partnering with local health centers and community-based organizations to address the many social barriers to achieving quality of life such as access to housing, food and transportation. Their community health platform leverages AI to implement clinical best practices for the nation’s most vulnerable Medicaid patients, starting in California.

Also at the Event, Robert Ross, MD, President & CEO of The California Endowment, gave the keynote presentation and was honored with the “Leadership in Innovation” Award. Dr. Ross came to the helm of The Endowment by way of a medical career that began as a pediatrician, caring for kids impacted by the crack cocaine epidemic. Having earned his medical degree in Philadelphia, he crossed the Delaware River to Camden, N.J., to serve as a pediatrician to children raised on Camden’s mean streets. Later, he embarked on a leadership career in the public sector, heading Departments of Public Health in Philadelphia and San Diego. This all provided an excellent background for taking on the leadership – for over 23 years – of The California Endowment. Since its founding, in 1996, The Endowment has awarded over 22,000 grants totaling over $2.9 billion provided to community-based organizations, to help eradicate the root causes of economic and social inequity inherent in the Social Determinants of Health. Clearly, Bob has advanced the Endowment’s goal of making California a healthier place to live, free from social inequality and racial injustice; and one that can become a model for the rest of the nation.

“ABL launched the Innovations in Healthcare Awards Event in 1999 – to honor the leaders of healthcare companies that were ‘reducing the cost of quality care.’ That was 11 years before the Affordable Care Act became the law of the land,” notes Mimi Grant, president of ABL Organization and founder of the Innovations event. “Since then, ‘Value’ and ‘Social Determinants of Health’ have become key words in the healthcare lexicon. And what’s primarily enabled their dramatic advance is technology. Not just in pharmaceuticals, vaccines and medical devices, but in apps in patients’ pockets – which enable patients and those who love them to interact with their healthcare providers in ways simply not previously possible. And those are the innovators we will be honoring this year.”

Past ABL “Leadership in Innovation” Award Winners

Previous “Leadership in Innovation” Award Winners have included Artie Southam, MD, EVP Health Plan Operations at Kaiser Permanente; Greg Buchert, MD, CEO of Blue Shield of CA Promise Health Plan; Joe Kiani, Chairman and CEO of Masimo; Sanjeev Arora, MD, Founder of Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes); Thomas J. Fogarty, MD, Founder of the Fogarty Institute for Innovation and 30 medical device companies; Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, CEO of NantWorks; Ken Kizer, MD, Under Secretary for Health, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs; and Leonard Schaeffer, CEO of WellPoint Health Networks. Previous ABBY Award Winners include over 100 companies that have made breakthroughs and transformative advances in medical devices, diagnostics, therapeutics, information technology, and digital solutions, as well as organizations that have applied innovative approaches and developed systems and technology for providing care and coverage, decreasing the numbers of uninsured, engaging healthcare consumers more actively in their care and health status, and reducing the cost of quality care.

About the Adaptive Business Leaders (ABL) Organization

For over 30 years, ABL Organization has provided leaders of healthcare and tech companies industry-focused, facilitated, CEO Round Tables and events, which are held both virtually and in person. Members of each Table create unique brain trusts with fellow high-level individuals who share industry knowledge, insights and experiences, and exchange valuable, career-enhancing feedback and encouragement with each other on their journeys as CEOs of high-growth organizations. If you’re looking to grow a successful healthcare or tech company, see if you qualify for Membership.


Mimi Grant, President

ABL Organization

[email protected]

# # #