#181: Dr. Kenneth Dion: A Boundary Spanner & Entrepreneurial Catalyst


Jason A. Duprat, MBA, CRNA

Jason A. Duprat, MBA, CRNA

April 15, 2021


Jason A. Duprat, Entrepreneur, Healthcare Practitioner and Host of the Healthcare Entrepreneur Academy podcast talks with Dr. Kenneth Dion, Assistant Dean for Business Innovation and Strategic Relationships at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. He shares tips for entrepreneurs as he talks about Decision Critical, Inc. from its foundation to its acquisition. He also discusses his role at Johns Hopkins promoting intellectual property, revenue creation and catalyzing change. 



  • Consultancy is a great opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs to be exposed to a variety of different experiences.
  • Conduct an environmental scan and understand what the end-user really wants. And if regulation can help to drive a revenue stream for your business, go for it.
  • Delivering a great product while maintaining great customer service can be a challenge but it’s important for the growth of a startup.
  • As the President and CEO of Decision Critical Inc., Dr. Dion built a learning management system. Competitor systems were closed and he provided a revolutionary open-source system by partnering with content vendors. He also led the way for healthcare professionals to create and publish an electronic professional portfolio. 
  • Thanks to technology, marketing is easier to do today but pay attention to quality in order to best support growth strategies and do your due diligence on salespeople.
  • On transitioning after the sale of a company: keep flying the plane and get outside counsel, including someone you trust and a great attorney.
  • During his sabbatical, Dr. Dion realized he wanted to give back to the profession that had been good to him. 
  • He was invited to join Johns Hopkins School of Nursing because of his entrepreneurial mindset. 
  • As the Assistant Dean, Dr. Dion considers himself a boundary spanner who catalyzes people. 
  • Dr. Dion believes nurses are in a great position to solve problems in healthcare. His advice is to surround yourself with people who know a different domain to build a great team.



  1. When opportunities present themselves, you have to walk through the door. You need to listen to your gut. There are signposts along the way and they will help point you in the right direction.
  2. The healthcare industry needs competent (not compliant) professionals. Decision Critical filled that gap and brought the synergy model of nursing together by tracking in-depth information about clinicians.
  3. It’s okay to do well while doing good. If you make some money, do some philanthropic work. You have the opportunity to move your profession forward. 



“Slow to hire, quick to fire.” – Dr. Kenneth Dion

“Stay involved… be a philanthropist and a great leader.” – Dr. Kenneth Dion


“A Journey into the Heroic Environment” by Robert Lebow: https://www.amazon.com/Journey-Heroic-Environment-Revised-Expanded/dp/0761509046

“The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki: https://www.amazon.com/Art-Start-Time-Tested-Battle-Hardened-Starting/dp/1591840562

Sigma Theta Tau: https://www.sigmanursing.org/

National Student Nurses’ Association: https://www.sigmanursing.org/

Dr. Kenneth Dion on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenneth-dion-0b44901/

Dr. Kenneth Dion on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kennethdion

Dr. Kenneth Dion on John Hopkins School of Nursing’s faculty directory: https://nursing.jhu.edu/faculty_research/faculty/faculty-directory/kenneth-dion

#HealthcareEntrepreneurAcademy #healthcare #entrepreneur #entrepreneurship #podcast #nursing #synergy #catalyst #philanthropy

Jason A. Duprat, MBA, CRNA

Jason A. Duprat, MBA, CRNA


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