The Commonwealth Fund’s Breakthrough Health Care Opportunities Program

Mitchell Blutt

Mitchell Blutt

The founder and CEO of healthcare investment firm Consonance Capital , Mitchell Blutt also serves as a clinical assistant professor of medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. A pioneer in health care investing, Mitchell Blutt is a member of the board of directors of a number of nonprofits, among them, The Commonwealth Fund.

The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation with a century-old history. It aims to improve health care by supporting research on social and health issues, and funding grants that will lead to better health care practice and policy, for marginalized populations in particular. One of its programs, Breakthrough Health Care Opportunities, recognizes that the United States health care system is falling short by many measures and seeks to improve this by providing funding for creative solutions.

Currently, Breakthrough is funding two initiatives that have the potential to disrupt the present health care status quo and bring about positive change. The first of these, The IT-Enabled Consumer, aims to empower patients to manage their care through access and use of their health care data. The second initiative, Incentives 2.0, taps into the power of behavioral economics to rethink provider incentives for future care.


Penn Medicine Researcher Gets $4M to Study Traumatic Brain Injuries


 Douglas H. Smith, MD pic

Douglas H. Smith, MD

An accomplished physician and investment professional, Dr. Mitchell Blutt has spent more than a decade as the head of Consonance Capital, an investment firm in New York City that was one of the first of its kind to specialize in healthcare-related equity opportunities. In addition to this role, Dr. Mitchell Blutt serves on the boards of a number of nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and he formerly served on the board of trustees of Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

A prominent Penn Medicine researcher will receive a $4 million dollar grant to help study new methods of diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injuries. Douglas H. Smith, MD, the Robert A. Groff Professor of Neurosurgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, will use the funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to look for similarities among patients who suffer these types of injuries in the hope of developing new methods of brain injury prevention, identification, and treatment. Traumatic brain injuries affect some 2.5 million Americans each year, and Dr. Smith says that the current methods of diagnosing and treating them are still not up to par with other areas of modern medicine. He hopes this study will make an important contribution toward closing that gap.

NYAM Talks Health and Economic Benefits of Locally Grown Food


Iago Galdston Lecture

New York Academy of Medicine

A pioneer in the health care investment field, Dr. Mitchell Blutt serves as chief executive officer of Consonance Capital in New York City. With more than three decades of experience in the field, he oversees the company’s private and public equity investment divisions. Outside of his work, Dr. Mitchell Blutt maintains membership in the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM).

According to a recent report by NYAM, allocating more money to purchasing fresh food grown in New York State could not only be an economic boon for the state’s farmers, but also provides an opportunity to improve the health of residents in a number of public settings. Childcare facilities, adult care centers, food pantries, and other public-facing entities often rely on tax dollars to help fund a portion of their operations. By spending that money on fresh, New York-grown food, the agencies could help the people who depend on their services realize a decreased risk of developing chronic diseases.

The state spends nearly $1 billion each year on food for these institutions. Only 10 percent of that amount, however, goes to purchasing foods that are locally grown in New York. In the report, NYAM recommends that figure be upped to 25 percent, which not only will bring more fresh-grown food to New Yorkers, but will also help spur the state’s farming industries through local investment.


Weill Cornell Researchers Announce Dissolvable Medical Device

Weill Cornell Medical College pic

Weill Cornell Medical College

Dedicated to the advancement of medical science, Dr. Mitchell Blutt has promoted and supported research in both the public and private sectors. Dr. Mitchell Blutt leads as CEO of healthcare investment group Consonance Capital and serves on the Dean’s Council of Weill Cornell Medical College.

In July of 2017, researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College announced the creation of a dissolvable device that could decrease the risk of damage to internal organs during the closing phase of surgery. The device was developed largely due to the practice experiences of Dr. Jason Spector, a plastic surgeon and professor at Weill Cornell. Noting that medical science at the time offered no way of protecting the vital organs during surgical wound closure, thus leaving many patients at risk of internal damage, he consulted with biomedical engineering professor Dr. David Putnam.

Dr. Putnam reported that his graduate student, Nicole Ricapito, had developed a material that was not only strong enough to protect intestinal tissue and flexible enough to pass through a minimally-invasive surgical incision, but also capable of dissolving in the patient’s body. Drs. Putnam and Spector used this compound, made of polyethylene glycol and dihydroxyacetone (DHA), to craft a device that effectively protected mouse intestines during abdominal suturing and then rapidly dissolved in the abdominal cavity.

The researchers found that because DHA and polyethylene glycol both dissolve when exposed to water, the device would break down in less than three hours with no lasting effects. Encouraged by these results, the researchers are currently moving toward pre-clinical testing, to ensure that the technology is safe and effective enough to introduce into the commercial market.