On May 13, 2015, at the office of the design innovation agency Mad*Pow in Boston, over 100 healthcare innovators and leaders gathered to celebrate the individuals chosen as this year’s MedTech Boston “40 Under 40 Healthcare Innovators.”
Amy Cueva, Founder and Chief Experience Officer at Mad*Pow and one of the 40 Under 40 honorees, kicked off the event with a speech about the future of innovation in healthcare. “I can tell you what is working in healthcare, and that is the Boston health innovation community, as evidenced by you all here,” she said. “We are a community of disruptors.”
Cueva shared her ideas for healthcare: first, drawing on an interdisciplinary team to make a shared vision for what the healthcare experience could be, and second, offering some design training to hospitals and providers in exchange for access to physician consultants for projects.
Jenni Whalen, managing editor of MedTech Boston, and Shreya Iyer, writer for MedTech Boston, announced the names of the honorees and gave those in attendance their awards.
Andrea Ippolito and Gajen Sunthara, both former Boston healthcare innovators who have now moved to Washington, D.C. as grantees of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Presidential Innovation Fellowship, came up for the event. Sunthara is currently working on healthcare interoperability, improving communications between health systems and allowing patients to more easily obtain information. “I feel like I’m coming back home,” said Sunthara after the awards ceremony. “This is where healthcare innovation and scientific breakthroughs happen.”
Ippolito, who is also a PhD student in engineering systems and the co-founder of Hacking Medicine at MIT, is at work on innovation for the VA Health system. She is working on using 3D printing to improve prosthetic and assisted technology for veterans.
Fatima Cody Stanford, MD, an obesity medicine physician-scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and 40 under 40 honoree, is graduating with her 3rd graduate degree this year—an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School, adding to her MD and MPH. Stanford is working at the intersection of multidisciplinary, multi-sector approaches to obesity and plans to impact domestic obesity policy with her research. “The first thing we need is better education of clinicians at the medical school level and clinicians in practice,” she said.
Erika Pabo, a Brigham & Women’s Hospital clinician and Chief Medical Officer at the collaborative digital health company Twine Health, was also honored at the event, in addition to Twine Health co-founder John Moore. Pabo joined Twine Health partly because of the ability to change things at a fast pace. “The pace of change at a small startup is really different, and I felt my ability to push how we deliver care was going to be greater at a startup,” said Pabo. She continues to see patients for two half days each week at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “My patients keep me grounded to the real challenges that patients face,” she said.
The evening ended with more drinks, dessert, and snacks, as well as a surprise cake for Ippolito and her fiancée, who had just picked up their marriage certificate that day.
Vidya is the founder of Doctors Who Create (doctorswhocreate.com), which brings together people who want to change the culture of medicine to reward and encourage creativity. She is a first-year medical student at the University of Pennsylvania and is passionate about using the power of innovation and storytelling to improve clinical care.
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