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How User-Centered Design and Development is Helping Karin Underwood Make a Massive Impact in Healthcare with Verano Health

Karin Underwood is the Founder and CEO of Verano Health, an accessible mobile platform to provide life-changing diabetes self-management training to low-income Americans with chronic disease. She’s spent a lifetime embedded in social impact, from high school service trips all the way to living in Kenya for two years post-college with the One Acre Fund. Karin joins Cause & Purpose to detail her exciting journey as a nonprofit tech entrepreneur and share countless lessons-learned from a lifetime of firsthand experience interfacing directly with the communities she wants to help. Long before she founded Verano Health and graduated from the Fast Forward nonprofit tech accelerator, Karin Underwood was diving headfirst into service projects with her church and high school. Working with childcare centers, orphanages, and halfway homes for women at this formational time showed her that the world was so much bigger than her comfortable upbringing. The shining example for Karin came while she was in college working with homeless populations in St. Louis. The director of the center where she worked came to a meeting one day without her laptop. When asked what happened, her director said that her house was broken into and had many things stolen. Her response to all this was: “It’s OK, because I’m sure they needed it more than I did. I’m lucky enough to have the resources to get a new computer and replace these things.”“That moment had a huge impact on me. It was compassion in the face of great loss, and it showed me the kind of person I wanted to become.”Inspiration from her mother’s work in healthcare, on-the-ground service in East Africa, and time in the trenches with community health clinics would help her become that person. In this episode, you’ll hear:Heartfelt stories of impact from Karin’s time on the frontlines with patientsWhat a healthcare system of the future could look like in the U.S. About the importance of user-centered design and developmentHow to successfully introduce tech and innovation to people who really need itEditor's Note: In this episode, Karin refers to her company as CoachMe Health. They have since rebranded to Verano Health.

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Solving Climate Change By Empowering Campaigns with Climate Cabinet Executive Director Caroline Spears

Caroline Spears is the Executive Director at Climate Cabinet, which began as a volunteer-based team in 2018, when a Texas state legislature candidate asked for climate talking points and policy solutions that were relevant to her district. They realized that this need was not unique: many candidates want to run on strong climate platforms but don’t have the time to simultaneously run a full-time campaign and do cutting-edge policy analysis. Thus, Climate Cabinet Action was born. Climate Cabinet Action has supported candidates and pushed climate on the campaign trail in four campaign cycles, including 2018 state legislature races, 2019 presidential primaries, 2020 state and congressional races, and 2021 Virginia House of Delegates elections. In 2020, they worked with 100 campaigns. Caroline grew up in Houston, Texas which is known for great food and for being the energy capital of today. She grew up with conservationist and pro-oil conversations happening around her and she took note of the tensions. She remembers evacuating for Hurricane Rita and the effects of Tropical Storm Allison. She saw the realities of climate change around her and saw her city grow an awareness of what that really meant. As she got into high school, Caroline took a specific interest in climate change as she tried to process and sort through all of the conflicting research she was hearing about what worked and what didn’t. She was fascinated by the combination of science and social science. In college she focused on answering these questions, even changing her major just before graduation and extending her graduation by two years to be able to take every climate class offered.

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