It was never my intention that a great financial milestone very few founders achieve also meant a confrontation of two pandemics: COVID-19 and racism.
I do know with every fiber of my being that CareAcademy was made for a moment such as this.
Today marks a tremendous milestone for CareAcademy in raising an oversubscribed Series A round in the midst of a greater awareness of the hardship faced by Black Americans and a global pandemic. When I think about the last two and a half years for our team, and what led us to these unprecedented times, I feel a mix of emotions: grateful, humbled, and hungry.
When we set out to fundraise our Series A, it was clear that CareAcademy and our mission to educate, upskill, and empower the direct care workforce was part of a larger trend:
The number of individuals aged 65+ projected to double from 703 million in 2019 to 1.5 billion by 2050, home care is one of the fastest-growing markets within health care. It’s estimated this year that health care in the home is a $303 billion market globally with a dire shortage of workers.
My vision for the future of health care and the opportunity for CareAcademy is that if we enable people to care for the needs of an increasingly aging population, the impact would be transformative for the quality of care they receive. We believe as a company that “great home care equals great health care.”
On March 11th, the WHO declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Horrifically, COVID-19 has torn through communities that already faced the greatest health risks, including those living in nursing homes, and black and brown communities.
It’s estimated that 42 percent of all US Coronavirus related deaths have occurred in nursing homes. Deaths from COVID-19 in some cities are twice as high in Black and Brown communities. This coronavirus swept through this country and revealed disparities in our healthcare system that exist because of systemic racism.
Institutionalized racism and injustice has reared its head in the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. Those fractures and the deep gulf of inequality have all ignited our country, forcing all leaders and Americans to confront and affirm the humanity of Black people.
I must admit from a place of vulnerability that as a Black CEO and founder, a former direct care worker, and as an American, I have been overwhelmed by what this moment means.
How do we give back to our community and speak truth to power? How do we as a company that aims to be a world-changer demonstrate that it is possible to “ do good and do well,” and create a return for our stakeholders?
CareAcademy has affirmed all of our shared vision, stood as allies, and checked in with each other. They have executed and performed brilliantly creating COVID-19 support within a week of March 11th for nearly 100,000 views and certificates that have helped people get back to work.
Through this Series A fundraise, we align ourselves with investors and partners who also envision a brighter future, and believe what can emerge are world-changing and financially successful companies. I would like to thank our investors, who include Kesha Cash and her team at Impact America Fund, Rethink Impact, Wanxiang Healthcare Investments, Steve Case’s Revolution Rise of the Rest Fund, Techstars Ventures, Rethink Education, Jewel Burks-Solomon, and ECMC Group.
We have certified more than 110,000 direct care workers, most of whom are black or brown themselves. CareAcademy believes that NOW these workers are more essential than ever. By 2023, we will be the company that leads by accelerating the growth of this field by certifying 1 Million direct care workers.
These are bold statements in a moment that calls for bold vision and execution.
We are galvanized to embark on this journey and for CareAcademy to lead the way.
If you are in the business of home care, home health, or the broader health care system and want to be part of our vision, please reach out to me and my colleagues to learn more.
I look forward to shaping a more hopeful and just future with you.
Stay safe, stay uplifted, and let’s get to work!