MaineHealth Innovation builds connections to drive diversity of thought, educates to produce creative problem-solvers, and funds to accelerate ideas. By leveraging the ideas, insights and expertise of all care team members to develop novel solutions to our unmet care needs, we are working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.

November 2023 | View Archived Issues


  • Fall Cohort Update
  • Start Summit Excites and Inspires
  • MaineHealth's Precision Medicine Council in National Forum
  • Call for Applications Bonfire Fund, Due Jan 9
  • Opportunities - Connect, Educate & Fund
  • Intellectual Property 101
  • New MaineHealth Innovation Team


Vice President

of Innovation


A Note from Susan

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation, MaineHealth

Simply, thank you.


Thank you all for contributing to the innovation network of amazing and talented colleagues who bring fresh eyes to our unmet care needs and who come together to make our communities the healthiest in America!


As a testament to the hard work of the MaineHealth Precision Medicine Council members and working groups (see Council members below), Chris Thomson, Anne Breggia and I were invited to represent MaineHealth in Becker Hospital’s Precision Medicine Roundtable along with a dozen colleagues from across the nation. It was a great hour of learning and connecting.


How cool is it that new Department of Medicine colleagues bring expertise in drones, interest in artificial intelligence and experience with Doctors Without Borders! Thank you to Aji Djamali and team for the opportunity to build relationships at the first orientation session. 


Speaking of fresh eyes, please join me in welcoming three new colleagues to MaineHealth Innovation!


Erin McCue bridges the worlds of science and art with a decade of experience in fostering multidisciplinary collaborations, international teaching and neuroscience research at Bowdoin College. Beyond her artistic endeavors as a fine woodworker and as an entrepreneur, she has successfully managed two local start-ups. Erin joins us as Innovation Program Coordinator, bringing her talent of meeting people where they are and her keen eye for detail and problem-solving expertise to the forefront.


Carla Muniz is an expert in business innovation strategies and a social entrepreneur who brings international experience empowering organizations through designing and implementing successful human centered design projects. Carla and her team achieved the “Partners for Education 2023” award for the impact and results for a rural education project from the Ministry of Education of Peru! Carla brings her superpower of empathy and joins us as an Innovation Specialist who is committed to fostering innovation capacities and knowledge within MaineHealth. 

Katrina Jacobson brings 7 years of administration experience as the Administration Specialist III! She is new to Maine and hails from Minnesota. Most recently she was working for a law firm and was in the fast-paced environment of mergers and acquisitions. Welcome!


Let’s continue to inspire and create impact!


With kindness and excitement,


Fall Cohort Update

Welcome Fall 2023 Innovation Cohort!

Hannah Taylor & Kate Campbell | Southern Maine Health Care (SMHC)

  • The Central Line Dressing Kit: Step-by-Step

Alyssa Reeb & Melissa Kazdoy | Mid Coast Parkview Health (MCPH)

  • Centering Pregnancy for MaineHealth

Allison Schmidt, MSN, RN, Peter Igneri, PA-C, Allison Sanford, BS, RT(R)(VI) & Kelly Ernst, PA-C | Maine Medical Center (MMC)

  • Percutaneous Nephrostomy Program (including Intro Kit)

Sara Nelson (PI), Madeleine Puissant, Tania Strout, Isha Agarwal, Jeff Holmes, Malvina Gregory, Marin Johnson & Irit Altman | Maine Medical Center (MMC) -

  • Developing Cultural Humility in the ED through a Simulated Experience for Interprofessional Learners in the Health Professions

Rebecca Brown | Maine Medical Center (MMC)

  • Part-time Mindfulness Nurse

Start Summit Excites and Inspires

By Karen Budd, Innovation Manager, MaineHealth

Dive in, plunge, go do it!

It was inspiring to see innovation in action and MaineHealth Care Team members actively involved!

MaineHealth's Susan Gatti, Vocational Employer Relations Specialist, Michael Nozdrovicky, Senior Director Nurse Academic Affairs, and Liam John, MD. First Year Resident

participated in an Innovation Summit alongside diverse members of the community, from undergraduate students to retired seniors, who were tasked to come up with novel products or services that support older Mainers in remaining in their homes or communities.


The event, coordinated by Moriah Folsom, Program Manager, began with a panel of experts, including MaineHealth’s Dr. Julia Redding, specialist in geriatric medicine, who framed some of the key opportunities and challenges facing aging Mainers, including social isolation, transportation, housing and healthcare access. Eight teams pitched their ideas to a panel of judges that included MaineHealth Program Manager Kristen Dorsey. Ideas included an app-based platform that matches students with older adults with extra bedrooms, an adaptive AI solution that serves up monitoring and reminders, an app for connecting old and new Mainers to address physical and emotional challenges of aging at home and an ergonomically designed walker.


Susan Gatti participated to learn more about how to support her own aging parents and found the experience both challenging and gratifying. Susan was intellectually stimulated and learned to collaborate quickly with a team she’d never met before who had diverse backgrounds. Her advice to anyone interested in Innovation is, "Dive in, plunge, go do it. You’ll meet interesting people and work on creative ideas.”

Michael Nozdrovicky was impressed by how much work his team accomplished at a rapid rate and that the results were very doable and tangible. He also found it very helpful to pitch a solution.

“It was like a breath of fresh air, an opportunity to be creative and think about health care through a kaleidoscope rather than a microscope,” says Liam John, MD. Liam was curious to learn more about the Innovation process and working with a diverse team to tackle healthcare questions and practice new skills. He was energized by connecting with people who were imaginative and wanted to think creatively about solving healthcare challenges. He adds, “It was an opportunity to share my skill set outside direct patient care, gain exposure to design thinking and learn how to take an idea and run with it while getting real feedback on the fly, all in a safe, experiential space.”

MaineHealth Innovation in collaboration with Community Health Improvement sponsored the first healthcare event hosted by the Roux Institute along with cosponsors, Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, University of New England and Maine Technology Institute.

MaineHealth's Precision Medicine Council

The MaineHealth Precision Medicine Council provides the guidance and resources to five working groups in oncology, cardiology, pediatrics, benign hematology and environmental and lifestyle factors to support their efforts in providing the most current and technologically advanced personalized care to their patients.



  • Anne C. Breggia, PhD, Director, Center for Applied Science and Technology, MaineHealth Institute for Research and Chair, MaineHealth Precision Medicine Council


  • Scot Remick, MD, Chief of Oncology, MaineHealth Cancer Care Network (MHCCN)
  • Robert Christman, MD, Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Maine Medical Center
  • Karen Rasmussen, PhD, Medical Geneticist, MHCCN
  • Robert Carlson, MD, Chief Medical Officer, NorDx
  • James Reich, PMP, PBA, IT Senior Project Manager, MHCCN
  • Thomas Gridley, PhD, Faculty Scientist III, MaineHealth Institute for Research
  • Susan Miesfeldt, MD, Oncologist/Medical Geneticist, Maine Medical Center
  • Joseph Nadeau, PhD, Faculty Scientist III, MaineHealth Institute for Research
  • Susan Ahern, BA, Vice President of Innovation, Maine Health
  • Christopher K. Peric, PharmD, BCPS, Director of Formulary Management and Value, Maine Health
  • Guillermo Martinez-Torres, MD, FCAP, FASCP, President, NorDx
  • Don MacMillan, MS, CHCIO, Senior Director of IS and Regional CIO, MaineHealth
  • Doug Sawyer, MD, PhD, Chief Academic Officer, MaineHealth
  • Chris Thomson, MD, Chief Medical and Transformation Officer, MaineHealth


Working Groups:

  • Oncology
  • Cardiology
  • Pediatrics
  • Benign Hematology
  • Environmental and Lifestyle Factors

Call for Applications - Innovation Bonfire Fund!

The Bonfire Fund provides an investment of up to $100,000 for an innovative solution where additional external or institutional funding opportunities can be explored from collaborators. The goal is to support an advanced novel solution related to improving the lives of our care team and community members. Funding may be invested in companies or soon-to-be-companies founded by MaineHealth care team members. Applications are due January 9 at 10:00 am.

Learn More + Apply


MaineHealth Innovation welcomes anyone interested in Innovation to participate in one of our programs. They are fun and stress free!

If you're interested in being a reviewer for our upcoming Ignite Fund Pitch Day or would like to learn more about becoming an Innovation Clinical Coach, please reach out to Karen Budd to learn more, [email protected].



Innovation Brewing Ideas Coffee Corner

November 7

8:30 - 9:30am

Join Here

MedTech Collab. events:

Northern New England MedTech Conference

November 15 & 16

Hanover Inn, Hanover, NH

In-person Event

2023 Northern New England MedTech Conference

BioStartup Bioscience Business Accelerator event: Beyond Technology: Demystifying US Healthcare Market Entry

November 2

1 - 4:30pm

Register Here


Learn + Discover

Intellectual Property Information Session

2nd Wednesday

of the month, 7:30 - 8 am

November 8

December 12 (Tuesday)

Register Here

UMaine Foster Center of Innovation I-Corps Program

Learn More

BioME events:

ME Bioscience Day 2023

November 13 - 17

Maine Middle Schools

Hybrid Event

ME Bioscience Day


Seed Funding

MaineHealth Bonfire Fund

Application deadline January 9

Apply Here

Intellectual Property 101

By Todd Keiller, Director of Technology Transfer, MaineHealth

MaineHealth Tech Transfer provides an invention disclosure process, intellectual property filing support, licensing negotiation and commercialization pathways. The MaineHealth Intellectual Property Policy is a generous benefit to those MaineHealth care team members who have a patentable idea.

Todd Keiller, Director of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at MaineHealth brings 30 years of experience in “transferring novel ideas that meet unmet care needs” into the marketplace. With extensive industry experience, Todd guides all care team members to better understand customers who might be interested in licensing their technologies, investors who might be interested in funding their inventions and managing the intellectual portfolio created by MaineHealth innovators. Intellectual property could be a patent, a copyright, a trademark or a trade secret.

How might we help protect your novel idea? Come meet Todd at The MaineHealth Innovation Intellectual Property info sessions held at 7:30 am the second Wednesday of each month.

Join the Meeting Here

New MaineHealth Innovation Team!

With the recent additions of Karen, Erin, and Carla, our team's diverse backgrounds and expertise are propelling MaineHealth's culture of innovation. We're further strengthening our teamwork and innovative mindset through a series guided by Carla. Stay tuned for workshops and training sessions for care team members in the future!


MaineHealth Innovation Programs

Innovation Cohort | Innovation Fund | Innovation Blender |

Brewing Ideas Coffee Corner

The MaineHealth Innovation Team:

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation

Todd Keiller, MBA - Director of Intellectual Property & Tech Transfer

Karen Budd, MPH - Innovation Manager

Erin McCue, Innovation Program Coordinator

Carla Muniz, Innovation Specialist

Katrina Jacobson, Administrative Specialist III

Let us know how we can help support innovation:

Email [email protected]

Can't Find Us Online?

Our page is located at the bottom of the MaineHealth website.