DtM Director of Product Development Elizabeth Johansen delivered a keynote at the Babson CWEL Disruption Dinner. Babson College President and former Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey introduced the evening. Elizabeth presented alongside impact investing pioneers Jennifer Pryce, CEO of Calvert Foundation, and Jackie VanderBrug, Senior Vice President of U.S. Trust. The Disruption dinner ushers in a new class of scholars for the Center for Women in Entrepreneurial Leadership.
Elizabeth presented on the topic, “Changing Women’s Lives by Combating Newborn Mortality.” Mothers in developing countries give birth to more children on average than mothers in the western world. Malnutrition and lack of prenatal care lead to early deliveries. Lack of newborn health training and technology lead to very high newborn mortality. Paradoxically, high newborn mortality is partly to blame for high birth rates. As families experience so much loss, they end up having many more children to better ensure they can continue their family legacy and be supported in old age. High birth rates also lead to high rates of maternal mortality, the second biggest global health problem after newborn mortality. Technologies like DtM's Firefly phototherapy and Pelican pulse oximeter can reduce newborn mortality, helping mothers to break this vicious cycle.
During the evening, Elizabeth shared the story of the Dong Anh family in Vietnam whose daughter received Firefly treatment, as well as the story of her own son’s phototherapy treatment. The talk was a hit, with a crowd of new DtM fans waiting to ask questions afterward.
Babson College is the U.S. News and World Report #1 school in the nation for entrepreneurship. The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) at Babson College educates, inspires, and empowers women entrepreneurial leaders to reach their full potential to create economic and social value for themselves, their organizations, and society.