Seattle is growing a strong health innovation community and the 2016 recipients of the Health Innovation NW Innovator of the Year awards prove it. Successful innovation in an industry as complex as healthcare requires a combination of imagination, customer focus, collaboration, and perseverance. This year we are recognizing a remarkable set of individuals who exemplify these qualities:
This award recognizes individual achievement in conceiving new ways of solving problems in the health sector via new methods, ideas, products, services, or business models. The 2016 awardee is Dr. Ingrid Swanson Pultz.
Ingrid Swanson Pultz, Ph.D is the Chief Scientific Officer at PvP Biologics. Dr. Pultz co-led an undergraduate team in 2011 that conceived of the KumaMax project that identified an enzyme that could be used for improved digestion of the gluten protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. As a post-doc, and then as the Principal Investigator of her own lab (the Pultz Lab) at the UW Institute of Protein Design, she built upon this work generating next-generation enzyme candidates using computational protein design. She and her colleagues designed and tested a synthetic enzyme to digest gluten before it gets to the small intestine, where it causes inflammation for people with Celiac Disease. At PvP Biologics, Dr. Pultz is working towards getting FDA approval for this new drug for sufferers of Celiac Disease.
Customer-Focus in a Startup Company
This award recognizes an individual member of health innovation startup team who maintains focus on the customer and builds deep, long-term relationships by better understanding, anticipating, and fulfilling customer needs. The 2016 awardee is Jared Munir.
Jared Munir, M.Eng. is a Technical Account Manager at Translational Software. Mr. Munir provides customer support to the clinical labs who are customers of Translational Software’s interpretive reports. He was nominated by many customers whose testimonials describe exceptional performance. Typical comments describe “unwavering commitment to help anyone in our organization regardless of their need for technical background”, “even through email, Jared gives off a sense of cheerfulness that helps the laboratory work through these issues without added frustration or stress”, and “exemplifies the exact type of mentality, attitude, and focus on customer care that every business dreams to achieve.” These customer stories bring to life the impact that is possible by working at an individual level to achieve better results.
Customer-focus in a Healthcare Delivery Organization
This award recognizes an individual working for a healthcare delivery organization who maintains focus on those served, builds deep relationships, and fulfills stated and latent needs.The 2016 awardee is Kim Wicklund.
Kim Wicklund, MPH, is Manager, Patient Engagement at Group Health Cooperative. Ms. Wicklund spearheaded the Plain Language Initiative at Group Health where she led a multidisciplinary group that collaborated to remove jargon from patient-facing communications and advocated for making plain language a Group Health communication standard. She also provides leadership around shared decision-making and self-management support for chronically ill patients. The “Living Well with Chronic Conditions” program has been successful for many years. However, her team observed that for many patients with chronic illnesses, the very action of coming to Group Health for a program meeting was infeasible. To this end, she sought funding through an internal grant mechanism to test the feasibility and acceptability of an online version of this self-management program. That program has since served over 1300 Group Health members.
Collaboration of Healthcare Institutions with Startups
This award recognizes exemplary performance by an individual with a healthcare institution who established effective relationships working with innovators in startup companies.The 2016 awardee is Dr. Douglas Maurer.
COL Douglas Maurer, DO, MPH, FAAFP practices full-service Family Medicine to a diverse patient population at Madigan Army Medical Center. A practicing physician and teacher, with a full-time job, Dr. Maurer makes time to meet with, support and perform research with early stage health companies. This provides growing companies with access to and understanding of a large real-world healthcare system. Dr. Maurer’s work provides an inspiring example of how an individual in a large organization can champion and collaborate with innovators to advance progress in healthcare.
Collaboration Across Healthcare Institutions
This award recognizes exemplary performance by an individual within a healthcare institution who has put aside organizational boundaries and established effective relationships with innovators in other institutions. The 2016 awardee is Dr. Lisa McFerrin.
Lisa McFerrin, Ph.D. is the Bioinformatics Project Manager for Seattle Translational Tumor Research at Fred Hutch. Her progressive work on developing Oncoscape creates a collaborative platform and community that unites the clinical, genetic, and computational fields to advance the understanding of cancer biology and improve patient care. Lisa’s work has been truly forward-thinking in recognizing that the future of healthcare will rely on bioinformaticists working hand in hand with researchers and clinicians. Oncoscape under Lisa’s management is helping to create an open source tool that unifies researchers, clinicians, programmers and patient data across the world to work together and learn from each other to speed translational research and cure cancer.
Perseverance in Healthcare Delivery Innovation
This award recognizes exemplary performance by an individual within a healthcare institution who has demonstrated tenacity over time and has transformed challenges into opportunities. The 2016 awardee is Dr. Sunita Mishra.
Sunita Mishra, MD, MBA is the Medical Director, Innovation for Providence St. Joseph Health. For over 15 years that she has practiced medicine she has brought a visionary quality to her work, from her advocacy of evidence based protocols in a medical group in Singapore in the 1990’s to her current role leading innovation strategy at a large care delivery system. Initiatives that have been rolled out with her partnership include the new Express Care service that has provided more convenient access to over 20,000 patients, offering virtual visits, home visits, and retail clinics. Dr. Mishra has also advised digital health startups in their go-to-market strategies. She is interested in learning how we can use technology to make healthcare more consumer centric and how health systems can use technology to enhance their care delivery.
Perseverance in Health Transformation Advocacy
This award recognizes long term individual achievement in the advocacy of human-centered transformation of the healthcare system. The 2016 awardee is Dave Chase.
Dave Chase is the co-founder of the Health Rosetta Institute and the Executive Director of “The Big Heist”, a satirical film about the need for change in the healthcare system. Mr. Chase has been a change agent in healthcare for over 20 years, from his role growing Microsoft’s healthcare vertical, through his journey as the founder of a patient-engagement company, Avado, and its successful exit to WebMD in 2013. Dave is a passionate advocate in the battle to fix the broken American healthcare system. He understands it inside and out and writes provocative pieces for Forbes and on LinkedIn. He’s honest about the journey as an entrepreneur, and yet supports innovative businesses through his role as a VC at Quad Aim Fund and Cascadia Capital. He’s the champion of Health Rosetta, an open source project aimed at creating a new health ecosystem.
Please join us as we celebrate another great year in Seattle’s health innovation community by honoring these individuals and by also recognizing the efforts of everyone involved in working for better health and better health care. Our Holiday Party is Thursday evening from 5:30-8:00 at the SURF Incubator, 999 Third Avenue, Seattle WA 98104. Prior registration is appreciated at this link.