Meet Jane Chen: Co-Creator of Low-Cost Infant Incubators

August 29, 2008

Jane Chen’s words of advice to women reading this “Following the Fellows” series are, “Follow your passions, and dare to dream to change the world.” This advice might sound hollow coming from some, but from Jane Chen, 2007–08 Selected Professions Fellow, it rings true.

Jane graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Pomona College, and moved to Hong Kong to work as a management consultant. After reading a series of New York Times articles about the 1990s AIDS crisis in China, she left her job to work for a nonprofit that aided children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Jane returned to the United States to enroll in Stanford’s MBA program, where she took a course called Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability. When Jane first applied for the AAUW fellowship, she knew she wanted to do something related to international development and healthcare, but didn’t know exactly where those interests would lead her. This class offered a challenge that addressed Jane’s interests. Her multidisciplinary team of public policy, business, and engineering students was charged with creating an incubator that would cost less than 1 percent of what incubators currently cost—as much as $20,000 in the United States. Jane and her team were able to do better than that. They created an incubator for $25.

Embrace Global)

Embrace co-founder Razmig Hovaghimian's infant daughter poses with the incubator prototype (Image credit: EmbraceGlobal.org)

Embrace, the company created to distribute the incubators, became incorporated this spring and began planning its product launch in India. The AAUW fellowship allowed Jane to focus on the project and take on a new role: Embrace CEO. “I am now pursuing a passion and trying to create social change by working for a nonprofit organization,” she says.

Jane’s vision doesn’t end with incubators. The Embrace team’s long-term goal is to create other low-budget healthcare products for underdeveloped countries. As Jane continues to follow her own advice of following her dreams, we can look to her as a role model of innovation and tenacity. If you are interested in learning more about or supporting Embrace, visit www.embraceglobal.org.

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This is article #6 in the Following the Fellows Series.

By:   |   August 29, 2008

2 Comments

  1. Ruth Wahtera says:

    Thanks for sharing Jane Chen’s story. Our branch is hosting a public forum on health care this fall because of our concerns about costs, quality, and access. It’s people like Jane who will help us find our way to solutions. I’m glad AAUW plays a part in making it happen.

    And, thanks, Jane and Embrace. May this be the first of many designs for extreme affordability!

  2. […] Chen (2007–08 Selected Professions Fellow) told us back in 2008 that she believes everyone should “follow [their] passions and dare to dream to change the […]

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