Venture teacher describes role at Cedars-Sinai


Will Sherwood/Chronicle

HW Venture Teacher Anne Wellington displays the face shield she helped manufacture at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center as part of a HW Venture presentation in Ahmanson Lecture Hall. While at Cedars-Sinai, she also helped produce hand sanitizer.

Abigail Hailu and Will Sherwood

In its first in-person event of the 2021-22 year, HW Venture invited Cedars-Sinai Accelerator Managing Director and Directed Study: Venture teacher Anne Wellington to speak with club members in Ahmanson Lecture Hall on Oct. 6. Wellington discussed the importance of entrepreneurship skills and using creativity to design solutions in the healthcare world.

Wellington, who previously worked at medical equipment supplier Stanson Health and as an independent health technology consultant, said her journey to her current position at Cedars-Sinai was unexpected. She said students’ work paths may not always be clear, especially when one pursues entrepreneurship.

“When I tell people my career path, everyone says it sounds like it was really well thought out,” Wellington said. “It makes sense only in retrospect, but at the time, it felt like chaos and like I did not know what I was doing next.”

Wellington said the pandemic put pressure on the supply chain for healthcare products and that Cedars-Sinai needed items such as hand sanitizer and face shields.

“For a lot of hospitals, this was a scary time,” Wellington said. “We didn’t know how many patients we were going to get at the time, and there [were] a lot of supplies that we needed that suddenly were really hard to get.”

Wellington said the ability to adapt is an asset in the workplace because it can help with tackling difficult problems.

“Oftentimes at work you are faced with a challenge or adverse events,” Wellington said. “Being able to think that you can handle and solve the problem can be very empowering.”

HW Venture co-leader Sophia Rascoff ’23 said Wellington made the presentation more personal by providing examples from her own life.

“She did a great job bringing in real-world examples and her own experiences into her presentation,” Rascoff said. “I hope the students who attended the event are inspired by her work and see the potential for innovation in their own lives.”

Rascoff said HW Venture plans to invite other speakers to join its 2021-22 speaker series in the coming months.

“Throughout the year, we hope to bring in more speakers who highlight the importance of utilizing entrepreneurial skills and demonstrate the intersection of their respective industries,” Rascoff said. “In [Wellington’s] case, [these industries are] medical care and business.”

HW Venture marketing co-leader Ava Weinrot ’23 said she appreciated the importance Wellington placed on remaining determined even when success seems out of reach.

“The most meaningful piece of [Wellington’s] presentation for me was her emphasis on being persistent,” Weinrot said. “I think that usually when people don’t get the result they want right away, they give up, but [Wellington] showed how beneficial failure can be in finding the most successful solution. If she hadn’t failed in some of her efforts, she would have never created some of the innovations that her team made.”

Weinrot also said she enjoyed Wellington’s discussion of humility and welcoming criticism.

“I think the way she spoke about asking for feedback was super valuable,” Weinrot said. “I think people are afraid to ask for feedback because they are afraid of criticism, but criticism is so much more helpful than praise in designing items that actually help people and achieve goals in the real world. I learned a lot from her in that regard.”