February 2023 | View Archived Issues

Created by Angelina Clancy


  • A Note from Susan
  • Congrats to Ignite Awardees
  • Spring 2023 Call for Applications
  • February Blender Event
  • Opportunities - Connect, Educate & Fund
  • I-Corps Spark Program at MIT
  • IP Update
  • Innovator Celebration
  • Innovation 101


Vice President

of Innovation


A Note from Susan

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation, MaineHealth

2023: And we’re off and running! MaineHealth Innovation has so many exciting things lined up for the new year that we would love to share with you.


Throughout January, a number of departments and care team members have connected with us through over 10 meetings of the Thinking Differently workshop. Designed by Elena Brondolo, Manager of Innovation, this fun and unique training leads teams through a series of activities and reflections to learn how to foster innovation and innovative thinking. How could your team work together to think differently? If you're interested in learning more, contact Elena Brondolo.


Starting in February, find us at a local health system near you!

We are thrilled to be planning a series of Innovation Center pop-ups at MaineHealth locations around the state. We will be on hand to meet you, hear your ideas and stories, and to provide information on upcoming programs and services. Come and say hello when we're at your location!

2/14: Southern Maine Health Care

2/17: LincolnHealth

2/21: Pen Bay and Waldo County General Hospital

2/27: Franklin Memorial Hospital

3/3: Stephens Memorial Hospital and Western Maine Primary Care

We'd love to meet your team! If you'd like to plan a visit from the Innovation team, please reach out to Angelina Clancy, Program Coordinator.


We can all play a role in creating a climate that encourages

curiosity and creative thinking, the development of new ideas, and the implementation of novel solutions to transform the way we deliver care. Connection is key in this process, and we’re grateful for the effort put in by all who give their time to foster a culture of innovation within the MaineHealth system!


Looking forward to seeing you soon, and to everything that we will

accomplish together in 2023.

With kind regards,


Congrats to the Fall 2022 Innovation Ignite Fund Awardees!

We're pleased to announce the recipients of the Fall 2022 MaineHealth Innovation Ignite Fund, which provides seed capital to early innovations with an investment of up to $20,000 to help innovators understand user pain points, build a prototype or test an assumption.


This round of funding featured 4 applications from care team members across 4 MaineHealth locations. Thank you to all who applied and to the 35 interdisciplinary reviewers from across MaineHealth and the local entrepreneurial community for lending their expertise to the review process! Congratulations to the following Fall 2022 Ignite Fund recipients:

Charlotte Helvie, MD, Pediatrician at Memorial Hospital

Pediatric Well-Care Companion

Charlotte's project aims to use Epic Care Companion to automate the process of gathering and analyzing information important to a patient's preventative healthcare. It will allow providers to focus on patients, not metrics, during office visits. Charlotte grew her innovative idea by first participating in the Innovation Cohort where she defined her specific opportunity, and conducted customer discovery. We’re pleased she’s able to move on to the next step with Innovation Ignite funding.

Rohith Malya, MD, Emergency Medicine Physician at Pen Bay Medical center


Rohith's innovation is a low-cost, rapidly deployable, enterprise-level portable HEPA filtration system that reduces the duration and concentration of viral respiratory particles in enclosed high-risk environments (i.e. classrooms, clinical care spaces). Rohith aims to maximize air quality in schools across Maine and in turn, improve their respiratory health.

Call for Applications

Be a part of our growing portfolio of MaineHealth Innovators!

 Innovators range from nurses to neurosurgeons, scientists to social workers, administrators to service technicians, and many more folks from across the system.

Fund Your Idea With Innovation Ignite

Seed investment funding of up to $20,000 is provided to help innovators understand their user pain points, pilot an solution, build a prototype, or test an assumption. Applications due March 15 at 12:00 pm.

Learn More + Apply

Join the Innovation Ignite Fund information sessions to learn more

Is your idea too early for Ignite funding? Apply to the Innovation Cohort!

This 8-week program empowers care team members across MaineHealth to advance the “back of the envelope” ideas that address the unmet care needs. Learn to identify your project in innovation science, practice user discovery, prototyping, and learn about intellectual property considerations. Applications due March 15 at 12:00 pm.

Learn More + Apply

Join the Innovation Cohort information sessions to learn more

Brainstorm with your peers before applying

Join us for Coffee Corner, a virtual brainstorming and networking hour, on Tuesday February 7th at 8:30am. Join the Zoom Event here.

WAVED Medical - Developing a Solution to the Early Detection of Breast Cancer

Wednesday, February 15

12:00-12:45 pm via Zoom

Presenters: Andre Khalil, M.S., Ph.D. & Kendra Batchelder, M.S. Ph.D. candidate

Kendra Batchelder, M.S., Ph.D candidate,

University of Maine

Andre Khalil, M.S., Ph.D., University of Maine

by Kim Harvey

Most women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a recognizable risk factor and cannot be identified as high-risk by medical professionals prior to cancer onset using classical risk assessments. As a result, these women do not receive enhanced surveillance, supplemental imaging, or risk reduction methods to prevent an invasive cancer diagnosis. WAVED Medical provides an image-based risk assessment product for mammography.

The software's objective is to allow medical professionals to identify women whose breast tissue composition puts them at higher risk for developing invasive cancer. More high-risk patients could be discovered in a screening setting and receive preventive care. The software aims to identify and quantify the amount of dense tissue that demonstrates randomness and lack of organization, which are known to be linked to cancer dynamics. Risky areas of dense breast tissue are highlighted on the mammogram. The amount of risky dense tissue is entered into a traditional risk model to stratify risk for medical professionals so medical guidelines can be followed.

Join this interactive brainstorm as Andre and Kendra seek to address some of WAVED Medical's innovation challenges as they hope to bring the product to market with the goal of identifying more high-risk patients and getting them the care they need.

Learn more about WAVED Medical

Register for the Event

Interested in being an Innovation Blender speaker? Please complete this online form.



Brewing Ideas

Coffee Corner

1st Tuesdays of the month

February 7, 8:30-9:30 am 

Join Here

MaineHealth Innovation Open Office Hours

Every other Friday, 12-1 pm

Next sessions:

February 10 + February 24 

Register Here

MaineHealth Innovation Blender

WAVED Medical - Developing a Solution to the Early Detection of Breast Cancer

February 15,

12:00-12:45 pm

Register Here


Learn + Discover

Intellectual Property Information Session

December 14, 7:30-8:30am

 Register Here


Innovation Cohort

Application deadline

March 15

Apply Here


Seed Funding

MaineHealth Ignite Fund


deadline March 15

Apply Here

Innovation in

Education Fund

Funding opportunity for innovative learning and development models.

Application deadline

April 10

Learn More + Apply

Start Summit: Social Innovation

Friday, February 3,

10:00 am-5:00 pm

Learn More

Innovations in Education Intramural Grant

Tufts University

School of Medicine

Final proposals due

March 24

Learn More + Apply

Join the I-Corps Spark Program at MIT

New sessions happening in February and March

Explore taking your new technology to the marketplace. Get entrepreneurial training and support to identify customers. Learn how to apply for $50,000 from the NSF. Increase your chances of receiving an SBIR/STTR award. The next round of programming begins February 15.

To Qualify:

Your I-Corps project must be based on new, innovative, and differentiating technology

that could be a candidate for a future SBIR proposal. The program is open to individuals

and teams across New England.

• Current faculty, postdocs, students and staff at any university

• Anyone else working on a serious STEM-related technology

Learn more + Apply

IP Update

by Todd Keiller

At MaineHealth, intellectual property (IP) refers to any discoveries, inventions, or innovations that were made by MaineHealth Workforce members in whole or in part in connection with their employment with MH that has the potential to become a patent, trademark, copyright, or trade secret.

  • A utility patent has been filed on “Visualized Remote Medical Instruction” or Holobaby. Inventors Mary Ottolini, MD, MPH, MEd, Michael Fergusan, MD, MTeach, Allison Zanno, and Misty Melindi are working in conjunction with Case Western Reserve University. A joint invention agreement is being finalized and the patent will be licensed into a new company formed by Case Western where several “Holo Anatomy” training modules will be offered as training tools to hospitals around the world. A short video on this technology can be found here.

  • MaineHealth has assumed the ownership of a patent portfolio developed by Douglas Sawyer titled “Methods for treating Cardiac Injury.” This portfolio was being managed by Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., who agreed to turn it over as their business strategy changed. The research on Neuregulin/ERBB signaling in human ventricular myocardial progenitor cells continues at MaineHealth Institute for Research.

Innovators Celebrated at Innovation Cabinet

This month, the MaineHealth Innovation Cabinet celebrated four of our innovators who wrapped up their Innovation Ignite and Bonfire Fund years:

  • Sunil Malhotra, MD, cardiac surgeon and a medical director - Active Flow Fontan
  • Chris Racine, MD, MPH, Lead Psychiatrist of Emergency Psychiatry - FRST Violence Protection
  • Theresa Roelke, NP in oncology and Clinical Nurse Research Coordinator - Pocket Nodules
  • Samir Haydar, MD, MPH, Emergency Medicine Physician, along with his team at CAPE, LLC - Collapsible Aerosolized Particle Enclosure (CAPE)

Learn more about the Innovation projects

Innovators were able to connect with folks from across MaineHealth and from diverse reaches of the Northern New England entrepreneurial and scientific ecosystems. They shared their continuing journey, sought asks from the community, and received valuable input and encouragement in their work. A sense of celebration, curiosity, and support permeated the entire event, and really felt like a community gathering.

Community is a key component of innovation—we couldn’t do it without any of you who rally together to foster a culture of innovation across not just MaineHealth, but all of Maine and Northern New England.

Learn more about the Innovation Fund


By Elena Brondolo

New year, let’s get back to basics!

Innovation as a MaineHealth Value - At the core of everything we develop is the definition of Innovation as a value within the MaineHealth system. The value of innovation is defined as welcoming diverse perspectives, embracing change, and commitment to lifelong learning. Our programs and services are dedicated to these elements as we drive connections to develop diversity of thought and view innovation as a process of iterative learning.

Defining Innovation – At MaineHealth, we define innovation as a novel idea that solves an unmet care need. An innovation may be a new product, process or service, or a new care team model.

Following a Process of Innovation – At MaineHealth, we follow a non-linear process of experimentation cycles through which you identify a challenge – your initial spark of an idea, define a problem through a process of discovery, develop and test solutions, and generate a business model or implementation model for an innovation. Check out this brief video that walks through the innovation process.

We’ve mapped our programming to empower care team members across this innovation process from developing initial Sparks for ideas through to scaling innovation. Our Coffee Corner, Innovation Blender, and Thinking Differently Workshop hope to offer you opportunities to generate those initial Sparks! The Innovation Cohort guides care team members through a process of discovery to uncover hidden opportunities and develop initial prototypes of unique solutions. The Innovation Ignite Fund supports care team members in exploring possible solutions, testing ideas, and developing prototypes. The Innovation Bonfire Fund provides up to $100,000 in funding towards the commercialization and business development of a novel solution.

Start your innovation journey with MaineHealth Innovation! Join us for Coffee Corner, a virtual brainstorming and networking hour, on Tuesday February 7th at 8:30am. Join here

Tell us what you are hoping to discovery next!

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.

MaineHealth Innovation Center Programs

Innovation Cohort | Innovation Fund | Innovation Blender |

Brewing Ideas Coffee Corner

The MaineHealth Innovation Team:

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation

Nic North - Administrative Assistant III

Elena Brondolo, MPH, MBA - Manager of Innovation

Kim Harvey, MS - Program Manager, Innovation

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

Angelina Clancy - Program Coordinator, Innovation

Let us know how we can help support innovation:


Can't Find Us Online?

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