Hannah Chung: She's Innovating for Kids' Health

March 13 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: A Dose of Modern Medicine

If there’s something to be nostalgic for in this modern age of all things high-tech, it’s the doctor’s house call. Long before the days of sitting for ages in a waiting room, doctors would schlep to their ailing patients’ homes. Those Little House on the Prairie days of churning butter and scrubbing clothes don’t seem very desirable, but how much of a relief would it be to never have to leave your bed during illness?

Luckily, modern health care is full of innovation. Amazingly smart people are working behind the scenes to improve the experience and create revolutionary offerings, like online portals through which patients can always access their information. And Laura Ingalls Wilder surely couldn’t make her doctor’s appointment online. But I can. For that, I’m thankful.


When choosing a health-care professional, do you care about the doctor’s gender? Back in the day, it may have been difficult to find women working at the top in the field of medicine, but in 2017, the health-care industry is full of smart women.

In fact, according to health-care trend-tracking company XX in Health, women are closing the gender gap in health care, with women making up 78 percent of workers in the current health-care industry. We’re talking doctors, pharmacists, nurses and even women working in health-care technology. Today, we’re praising these women for putting in the years of training and dedication to provide us with committed care. You make that doctor’s waiting room a little more tolerable.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Hannah Chung, Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Sproutel

Today’s Woman to Watch is one of those innovative women changing the way we approach health, particularly when it comes to our children. Hannah Chung is the co-founder of Sproutel, a unique company that creates products that help children build a foundation for healthy lives.

Believing kids are the most critical audience and present the greatest opportunity for dramatic improvements in modern human health, Hannah and her team leverage the power of play—the way children actually learn—and tap cutting-edge research to develop products that have a positive impact on children’s lives.

That’s how Hannah and the folks at Sproutel created Jerry the Bear. Jerry is an adorable, responsive plush toy for kids. But if you’re thinking Teddy Ruxpin, think again! Jerry the Bear is a platform for interactive health education wrapped in a cuddly teddy-bear package, and helps children with Type 1 diabetes understand how to manage the chronic condition.

According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, every year, 15,000 kids in the U.S. are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Hannah says kids with Type 1 diabetes can feel isolated, and long for some emotional comfort when coping with the disease. That’s where Jerry the Bear comes in. Children care for Jerry by feeding him healthy foods, administering insulin and monitoring his blood glucose levels. As children keep Jerry healthy, they unlock Sproutel’s modular diabetes curriculum, a series of 21 animated storybooks featuring Jerry. Not only does this help children gain a better understanding of their condition, it also empowers them to take charge.

Hannah’s devotion to health care stems from her childhood. When she was 11 years old, her father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, a major life change that led to Hannah’s family focusing more on healthy eating and healthy living, an experience that inspired her to become a health-care innovator.

As such a trailblazer, Hannah isn’t resting on her laurels. For Jerry the Bear, Sproutel tested 29 product iterations and worked with more than 350 kids to create a kid-approved design. And Jerry is just the beginning of a new wave of health-care education.

We are so grateful that women like Hannah are advocating for children, and can’t wait to see what innovative health-care products Sproutel comes up with next!


Today’s quote comes from late, great actress and longtime juvenile diabetes advocate, Mary Tyler Moore. She said:

“Having a dream is what keeps you alive. Overcoming the challenges makes life worth living.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

Get On The Dot in your inbox each day.
Copyright 2018 © On The Dot Woman - All Rights Reserved Privacy Policy