Named one of Windsor & Essex County’s top 40 community leaders under 40, and of Crain’s Detroit Business’s “20 in their 20s” Class of 2018.

Zain Ismail is a health innovator, connector, and intrapreneur, with experience leading innovation in health systems in Canada and the United States.

Drawing on a diverse set of experiences, Zain is on a mission to humanize the health system through innovation. Drawing from Zain’s background and affinity for hospitality and customer service, Zain is working to implement innovative practices into the health system as a way to improve the patient experience and deliver value. Zain is also interested in developing novel business models using design principles to increase access to care, and create “customer focused experiences” found in other industries like retail, banking, and hospitality.

Currently, Zain serves as Principal Consultant, Strategic Support Services at Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) in Detroit, Michigan, United States, partnering with HFHS’s executive and senior system leadership to execute on corporate strategic initiatives across HFHS’s five hospitals and health plan in Southeast Michigan. Specific areas of focus include specialty service lines growth, digital health, and community health strategy development and execution.

Prior to joining HFHS’s Strategic Support Services, Zain served as Manager of innovation, partnerships, communication, and development at Erie Shores Healthcare (ESH) in Leamington, Ontario, Canada. In that role, Zain worked to improve local access to care, particularly in the area of mental health and addictions services, and positioned Erie Shores Healthcare as a leading and innovative rural community hospital in the province of Ontario. Zain was a member of a team that developed a “first in the province” community hub for mental health and addiction service adjacent to ESH’s emergency room, that was inspired by entrepreneurial coworking spaces. In addition, under Zain’s leadership, ESH successfully partnered with an early stage medical device company in Michigan, generating new revenue streams for ESH’s foundation, and creating the body of evidence needed for the company to pursue further commercialization activities.

In addition, Zain is a founding member of the Detroit Windsor Med Health Innovation Cluster and a facilitator, mentor, and speaker for Hacking Health Windsor Detroit, and Hacking Health Global.

Zain holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor (Canada) and has completed an Executive Program in Health Systems Innovation at the Ivey Business School at Western University (Canada). Zain is a continuous learner and has completed a number of health innovation and entrepreneurship courses through Coursera.org in collaboration with the University of Michigan, Duke University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Virginia.

In 2015, Zain was awarded the inaugural Positive Professional of the Year Award by the Leamington Chamber of Commerce for his role leading stakeholder relations for Erie Shores Healthcare, the Erie Shores Health Foundation and the Hospice of Windsor Essex County’s Erie Shores Campus.

These Detroiters are introducing newcomers to their city – via text

A couple week ago I had the chance to catch up with SECOND WAVE Michigan to share my experiences as an ambassador for Let's Detroit. The Detroit Regional Chamber’s Let’s Detroit program lets people submit questions about the area to local experts – volunteer...

A forward to direct primary care

I was sitting in my office in Leamington, Ontario, Canada, when I received an email from Nicole Mangis, founder of Brut Detroit and a well-known member of Detroit’s entrepreneurial and startup community. The email was a “request to connect with” type of email (my favorite kind)– this was my first introduction to Dr. Paul Thomas and Plum Heath.

Shifting Points

In January, I attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada for my second time. I spent most of my time gravitating towards CES's health and wellness offerings, and I attended the Digital Health Summit conference track. The Digital Health Summit...

No Coaster Needed – Episode 4 – Zain Ismail, Bringing a Hospitable Heart to Health Care

A couple of weeks ago I sat down with my old college buddy Jacob McCourt, host of "No Coaster Needed," a podcast highlighting people with interesting stories connected to the Rose City— Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Jacob and I go way back; we first met "au Bois de...

‘Global Perspectives in Health Systems Innovation’ – Post-Conference Reflections

Approximately 120 participants including doctors, private and public hospital leadership, academics, industry, state officials, entrepreneurs, students, and the US and Canadian consulate gathered in the ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Andares for this inaugural event. The event focused on rallying healthcare innovation stakeholders and encouraging collaboration in the Mexican State of Jalisco.

‘Consumer digital’ in healthcare isn’t coming

Consumer digital in healthcare isn't coming. It's here. I have had the pleasure and the privilege of working with health systems and healthcare stakeholders both in Canada and the United States. One topic that is at the forefront of the health leader's mind is this...

My Story




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