Veteran healthcare executive Brook Blackmore is now member to the leadership of Franklin meditech startup Azra AI.
Going into the pandemic, Blackmore served Hospital Corporations of America Healthcare as its senior director of navigation operations. After three and a half years in that role, she pivoted in 2021 — departing like so many in the American workforce — to Thyme Care where she acted as vice president of clinical operations. She now assumes the same position for Azra AI.
Blackmore is set to oversee strategic planning for clinical use of the startup’s proprietary software. That software — its flagship product — is an artificial intelligence-assisted platform used in over 200 hospitals nationwide, including HCA Healthcare, which is where Blackmore was able to witness the efficacy of the product she will now be helping proliferate in clinical settings.
“I have seen first-hand how this AI technology leads to a faster time to treatment for patients, increased navigator time with patients and better patient retention in a health system’s oncology program,” Blackmore said.
Azra’s platform is also in use at Inspira Health, City of Hope and the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The company announced it was marketing the new platform about two months ago. The software uses the AI to consolidate and manage the manual and repetitive processes involved in the care service progression from positive cancer diagnoses to patients actually being connected to cancer navigators and other related personnel. The market for the product exists because of the uniqueness of cancer treatment and the distinct journey on which oncological care takes patients.
Blackmore expressed excitement about joining a team with whose staff she is already familiar and at such a critical moment in the company’s growth. Chris Cashwell, Azra AI CEO, said he and the team are equally excited to welcome her aboard.
“Brook is a nationally recognized expert on clinical operations in oncology and she is already familiar with the impact of our technology," Cashwell said. "She is joining our company at a key and exciting time, and we look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together partnering with hospitals and health systems.”
Blackmore has published work in the Journal of Oncology Navigation Survivorship and earned honors from the Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators. She brings a master’s degree in nursing from Tennessee State University and a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Belmont University, but she also holds a master’s degree in business administration with a healthcare concentration, which she earned at Western Governors University.