Caregiving: A Vicious Cycle



By Summer Knight, MD, MBA

February 6, 2017

As our population ages, an increasing number of employees (23% in 2015 and rising according to a study published by the Statista) are finding themselves assuming the role of Caregiver.  By and large, most of these Caregivers are unpaid. This creates creating a situation that not only impacts their families, but also their roles as company employees.


All the planning and foresight intelligence cannot adequately prepare a family for such a scenario. The impact is far reaching, not just in terms of the care recipients illness, but also on the family itself – family roles can suddenly change or intensify, personal care and social interactions must be considered and life structure can change drastically. From a financial perspective, for both the care recipient and the Caregiver, there can be a significant loss of ability to work and loss of opportunities due to the situational constraints.


Shockingly, this translates to an average loss of nearly $304,000 per Caregiver over the lifetime of their caregiving duties. For the employers, caregiving leads to $38.2 billion dollars in lost productivity and $13 billion dollars in the associated healthcare costs due to the enormous stress and illness often associated with caregiving.

This is a public health and welfare concern that reaches far beyond the health insurance conversation. Good, hard-working Americans can be completely caught off guard due to caregiving, leading them into financial and time distress. This in turn leads them into emotional distress, which leads to a higher incidence of medical issues and loss of productivity. A vicious cycle.





AARP Understanding the Impact of Family Caregiving on Work:


70% want Telehealth: Convenience is Key



By Summer Knight, MD, MBA

January 30, 2017

With the stresses of today’s fast-paced world and work environments, convenience is often a major factor for consumers when making everyday decisions on where and how to spend their hard-earned dollars and time. Healthcare is no exception. Not only do consumers want quality healthcare, but they want (and need) to have it so that it fits into their daily and often busy schedules. Enter the concept of ‘telehealth’ or ‘healthcare via the internet’.


A recent study revealed that of the polled healthcare consumers who had a primary care physician, or ‘PCP’, over 60 percent showed a strong interest in seeing their doctor via a video platform. In addition to this strong consumer interest in telehealth, the study also revealed some other interesting facts:




Health consumers are becoming increasingly interested in finding ways to more conveniently access their healthcare options. They are also seemingly more open to taking advantage of telehealth services for other things like chronic health issues and following up with their doctors after initial visits. The healthcare providers and services groups might want to put developing a solid reliable telehealth platform in place on their ‘to do lists’ for the upcoming year.


Convenience. It’s what today’s healthcare consumers want.

A New Healthcare Alliance: Consumer Engagement in the New Healthcare Economy



By Summer Knight, MD, MBA, and David Sorin, Esq.




October 5, 2016

There are two types of leaders in healthcare today. There are those who believe the dramatic changes in healthcare will not occur during their tenure, and hence continue to focus on the traditional “business as usual” fee-for-service (FFS) model. The other, proactive, type of leader recognizes that change is not just on the horizon, but is happening now. They are actively addressing the future for their organizations and the individuals and populations they serve. These leaders recognize that a key to evolving with the new healthcare economy is to understand clearly the forces shaping change and consequential transformational healthcare trends a ecting the industry. These proactive leaders recognize that in light of the major changes, they must take positive steps to form an alliance with the healthcare consumer-customer. Care will transform to be delivered in a manner suited for today’s consumer needs, and consumers will behave in a more involved and engaged manner to share in the responsibility for their own healthfulness.


March 6, 2014

What does Transformation feel like?

By Summer Knight, MD, MBA

After the Heroic Success call, I was asked an intriguing question: What does Transformation feel like? Hmmm…


I loved that question because it has many different feelings. Sometimes it’s as subtle as a slow transition, a coming around, to a new way of thinking. Other times it can be like a clap of thunder, a burst of lighting, with a “nirvana” aHa moment that stops you and makes you want to grab other people and share the light.


But sometimes transformation doesn’t feel good. That’s why many people shy from stretching and reaching. They want to stay in their comfort zone. Because sometimes transformation feels like a slap in the face. For example, when evidence is put forward that shakes a long held belief you have that you’ve based many life decisions. You think, “I ALWAYS thought this way, and now I cannot deny I was wrong.”


Usually if embraced and realized its about our human growth and often times our spiritual growth, transformation whether it is that beautiful light coming down from the sky to anoint you with your new aHa or that splash of cold water in your face that shocks you into transformation, it causes us incredible growth. Sometimes growth is tough, it hurts, but in the end the wisdom it brings gives us a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world we are a part.

Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare

Health Tech is one the hottest growing sectors right now and we’re in desperate need of new solutions for the American healthcare system. It is broken and in need of our best and brightest minds, and innovations. Are the solutions in high tech or high touch?


As part of Philly Tech Week, deliver me wellness (, and WHYY will be hosting an award winning documentary: “Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue the American Healthcare System.” The film will be screened at WHYY, 150 N. Sixth St., Philadelphia, on April 25 at 6:30 p.m. There will be a panel discussion, followed by audience participation after the movie.


The panel will be moderated by Dr. Summer Knight, MD and MBA. Known as “The Innovation Doctor,” Knight is a lifelong innovation catalyst and currently serves as the National Medical Executive focused on innovation at Cigna.

Representing the medical, corporate and military sectors, the panelists include:


+ Lucinda Duncalfe, CEO of Real Food Works

+ Joseph E. Ellis, Sr., CLU, Senior Vice President of CBIZ

   Benefits & Insurance Services

+ Margaret Sheehan, L.Ac. of Chester County Herbs and


+ Anne Slattery, Wellness Administrator of Fox Rothschild


To make successful inroads we need to understand the issues. To help participants better understand these issues, the panelists will reflect on how they are working within their specific sectors on the various aspects of health care identified in the documentary. They will share their perspectives about creating “escape fires” to spark change in Philadelphia’s health and wellness communities.

April 25, 2013

April 5, 2013

Interpersonal Acceptance of Acknowledgment in the Innovation World

Today, I was listening in as a company was announcing its top sales and account team member award recipients. To acknowledge their accomplishments, they are being rewarded with a bit of pampering, pomp and circumstance.


Hearing the name of one of the people I work with announced, I sent a simple note of congratulations over email to which he sent a note back. “Thanks Summer—I’m guessing they lowered their standards!!!”

I couldn’t let that go. None of us should ever let that go.


Many people – maybe even you – do not pause to acknowledge when a job has been done well. Have you every heard, “Great job!” and hear the response, “Oh, it was nothing.” Have you ever responded that way? If you have, you are not only disserving yourself, but also disserving the person who noticed. Please never speak negatively of yourself.

Here’s what I ask you to consider whenever you receive a compliment: You are a beautiful human being. Other people notice this about you. Let them and continue to show us your light which serves as a beacon for all of us to up level ourselves. Enjoy the reward of acknowledgment. Take a moment and congratulate yourself – pause or throw a party. You are admired and loved by your colleagues, friends, and family. That’s a tribute to you – honor that.


With love and admiration,

Dr. Summer Knight


March 13, 2013

StartUp Village Office Hours with Entrepreneurs at SXSW

Last week I had the opportunity to represent Cigna at StartUp Village at SXSW. During our three days, Entrepreneurs discussed their needs and how large corporations could help them to succeed. There were no outrageous requests, as a matter-of-fact, they were fairly simple. They asked for mentoring, answers to questions about regulations and the health care industry, how to raise capital with corporate partners, and how to grow their business through customer acquisition: Counsel, Customers, Cash! That about sums it up.

We wanted you to experience the office hours, so we ask some of the Entrepreneurs to share after a session who they were and their company, what they needed from large corporations and why. Watch the exciting video interviews with Entrepreneurs at the SXSW StartUp Village.







A bit about SXSW Interactive:


More than just the hottest place in the country for music and film, SXSW is where forward-thinking corporations take part in a trade show to meet up with creative thinkers, test ideas, and come up with new ways to do business.


Note: All entrepreneurs were aware these videos would be posted on YouTube and share publically. They were told to only share non-proprietary information that could be shared globally and at Cigna


December 3, 2012

Big Companies: Pay It Forward

As an entrepreneur and a medical executive with a focus on innovation for a Fortune 200 health service company, I’ve been on both sides of the employment aisle. I’ve come to understand the importance of “pay it forward” now more than ever before.


We stand at a crossroads today — with all eyes on the U.S. economy — and choices about how to propel ourselves into a prosperous future. It’s clear that big companies can and must help small companies succeed, as most of the jobs growth in our country is driven by startups. According to data from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, young companies under five years old accounted for nearly all of the net job growth in our country between 1980 and 2005.



December 1, 2012

Startup Symbiosis

How are established publicly traded businesses partnering with amazing startups? Dr. Summer Knight describes how she educated and converted a large F100 company to both support entrepreneurs as well as tap into their ideas to develop mutually beneficial relationships.


If you are as serious as we about igniting transformation in healthcare contact us:


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