Hello! My name is Spiffy, I’m an interplanetary journalist. I’ve been speaking with innovators from around the world who are working on good health and well-being. One of those people is Anthony Scarpone-Lambert, the co-founder and CEO of Lumify, who has agreed to speak with me today.
Spiffy: Welcome, Anthony! Excited to have you here. What challenge is Lumify addressing?
Anthony: Thanks for having me, Spiffy—hi everyone! My name is Anthony, and I'm a Registered Nurse as well as the co-founder and CEO of Lumify. While working in an emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt frustrated by how difficult it was to access the gear and resources I needed to excel. I saw my nursing peers underutilizing resources, leading us to feeling burnt out and overwhelmed. I knew there had to be a better way! That's why I created Lumify, a digital home for healthcare workers that unifies everything we need into one web and mobile platform. With Lumify, healthcare workers can buy our gear, find continuing education, trade advice with our peers, schedule therapy, and so much more!
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Anthony: I was driven to build Lumify to solve issues that I experienced as a nurse on the frontline. A thought I often pondered was that healthcare workers care for others, but who is caring for them? My personal passion to support my fellow healthcare workers motivates me everyday to keep working hard to reach Lumify's mission of ensuring that all healthcare workers have the gear and resources we need to excel at the bedside and beyond. Starting a company, especially as a young person, hasn't been easy. There are ups and downs, roadblocks, and constant stressors. However, my unwavering want to positively impact the lives of healthcare workers has always kept me moving forward even in the most challenging times.
Spiffy: Can you tell me how you and the company are towards a more equitable world?
Anthony: This year alone, nearly two million healthcare workers have quit their jobs, and a recent survey of 1,000 healthcare workers found that 28% had quit because of burnout. To make matters more pressing, a recent report from the World Health Organization noted there is a projected shortage of 5.7 million nurses by 2030. As a nurse myself, I've seen first-hand the lacking support for healthcare workers and how this exacerbates burn out. When healthcare workers aren't supported, patient health outcomes decrease. That's why at Lumify, we're working to create a world in which all healthcare workers feel supported, allowing us to excel and provide the best care to our communities.
Spiffy: Is there a recent Lumify milestone or initiative you want to share?
Anthony: We founded Lumify a bit over one year ago; however, we've already served 55,000 healthcare workers and more than 250 healthcare systems. The company’s impact on healthcare is tremendous and we're just getting started! Studies show that when healthcare workers are supported, patient health outcomes improve. Although many healthcare startups focus on patient care directly, we understand the importance of supporting healthcare workers first in order to positively impact care on all levels.
Spiffy: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?
Anthony: Growing up, I was a performer on Broadway. I performed in two shows by the time I was 12 years old. The road was filled with failed auditions, rejections, and days where I didn't feel good enough. A particular failure I recall was my audition for Matilda. While my dancing was flawless, my voice cracked on the last note when I sang the audition song. I remember the casting directors' smiles quickly turning upside down. Soon after, I was rejected. My time on Broadway taught me an important lesson: the power of grit. Grit is a combination of passion and perseverance to achieve a goal. You don't need to be the most talented or smartest person in the room to achieve your goals. You just need to stay gritty.
Spiffy: What is something you've unexpectedly learned from someone recently?
Anthony: Recently, I learned about the Paramecium Principle from Angela Duckworth, an American academic, psychologist, and popular science author. The Paramecium Principle is based on the paramecium, a eukaryotic organism that is just a fifth of a millimeter in length. Despite being a brainless single cell, the paramecium survives and thrives using one basic principle: if things are getting better, keep swimming in that direction, and if not, change course. Dr. Duckworth connects this principle to life. If you don't have your entire life mapped out right now, that's okay! If you feel lost or stuck, try something new. If you feel like things are getting better, keep going in that direction.
Spiffy: I learned something new today! Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience?
Anthony: I have frequently faced imposter syndrome throughout my life. Imposter syndrome involves feelings of self-doubt despite accomplishments, experiences, and education. While my peers often saw me as a smart, outgoing, and talented member of the community, I often didn't feel good enough. I hope my story reminds you that no one is perfect and has it ‘all figured out’. Rather than comparing yourself to others, focus on working hard towards your goals and striving to make a positive impact on our world. You got this!
Spiffy: We all got this! Thanks for speaking with me today, Anthony—it’s been an honor!
Anthony Scarpone-Lambert, BSN, RN, is the co-founder and CEO of Lumify, the digital home for healthcare workers. Anthony grew up as a Broadway performer and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. He is the first nurse to be awarded the Penn President's Innovation Prize, and Lumify is the first fully nurse-led company backed by Y Combinator. (Nominated by Lorenzo Thione at Gaingels. First published on the Ladderworks website on June 28, 2022.)