November 2022 | View Archived Issues

Created by Angelina Clancy


  • A Note from Susan
  • Share Your Innovation Story
  • Innovation Highlight - LincolnHealth
  • Congrats to the CAPE Team
  • Innovation Bonfire Fund
  • Thinking Differently Workshop
  • Innovation Blender
  • Opportunities - Connect, Educate & Fund
  • 2022 Fiscal Year Wrap Up
  • IP Update
  • Clinical Coach Spotlight - Leah Mallory
  • Innovation 101


Vice President

of Innovation


A Note from Susan

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation, MaineHealth

Simple ideas have a big impact on innovation

The word “innovation” can seem intimidating. There’s a perception that to innovate is to build a rocket ship or to commercialize a new product; however, innovation can simply mean thinking differently to solve an unmet care need. It can be a new care team model, or even a service that simply makes day-to-day life a bit easier. MaineHealth Innovation makes innovation accessible to all 22,000 of our care team members.

LincolnHealth shared a story that is a great example of thinking differently. In order for rural youth in Maine to have access to the best possible health care, clinicians in School-Based Health Clinics connected with them to identify gaps in care services offered in schools. The result was the creation of the School and Community Health Advisory Council which serves to solve these unmet needs. LincolnHealth enhanced a service already available through schools to increase health care access and achieve better health outcomes.

What seems to be a simple idea can have a big impact in the ecosystem. We 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.

What other stories might we highlight together?

With kind regards,



Submit Your Innovation Story

Innovation is a core value at MaineHealth. Every day our 22,000 care givers are thinking creatively, being courageous, and approaching problems with new perspectives. We're asking you to share with us a story of innovation in your work over the past year. It can be anything from a process your team implemented in the office, to a new program or product. We will share your stories in our December newsletter. We thank you in helping to transform care through innovation.

Submit an Innovation Story

Innovation Highlight – Bridging the Health Gap for Rural Youth: The School and Community Health Advisory Council

The School and Community Health Advisory Council (SCHAC) of Lincoln County has brought together LincolnHealth leadership with the clinicians of School Based Health Clinics (SBHC) to identify gaps in services, share best practices, problem solve, develop centralized communications, and review school-related health policies and emergency plans. The implementation of the SCHAC has resulted in a robust, accessible healthcare community for the area’s youth that connects families with programs like MaineCare and Care Partners to support better overall healthcare access. Learn More


After a successful pre-submission meeting with the FDA, the CAPE Partnership, LLC team is getting ready to submit a 510(k) application, demonstrating that its innovation of a negative pressure tent for hospital beds is safe and effective enough to be marketed legally in the US. They are the first MaineHealth Innovation team to start their FDA submission process. The CAPE team has received both Ignite and Bonfire funding from MaineHealth Innovation to help advance their work. Bonfire applications are still open until January 2 at 12:00 pm


Applications Due: January 2 at 12:00pm

The Bonfire Fund provides an investment of up to $100,000 to support an advanced novel solution related to improving the lives of our care team and community members to a point where additional external or institutional funding opportunities can be explored from collaborators. Funding may be invested in companies or soon-to-be-companies founded by MaineHealth care team members.

Learn More and Apply


"This workshop makes the organizational value of innovation more accessible!"

- Susan Kieler, VP of Strategic Development

"I found the activities especially effective and memorable."

- PLDF fellow

Thinking differently means shifting perspective and challenging our assumptions to develop new ideas. This workshop leads you through a series of activities and reflections to learn how to foster innovation with your teams and colleagues. Each tool used in the workshop can be easily translated into your everyday work contexts. 

Workshop Details

Timing: 90-120 minutes depending on group size or broken into two, one-hour sections

Format: in-person or virtual  

Contact Elena Brondolo, Manager of Innovation, at to learn more.

October Blender Event Recap by Kim Harvey

How might multisensory technologies that simulate taste, color, and smell benefit health-focused areas and patients who may have lost their smell and taste senses? Dr. Nimesha Ranasinghe, an Assistant Professor at the University of Maine and Co-Founder of FlaVR Labs, Inc., shared his exciting innovative work in simulating taste sensations using electrical and thermal stimulation by digitally overlaying electric taste, color, and smell.

  • 30+ participants
  • Rapid knowledge sharing + feedback
  • Critical connections made to advance the project

The recording is available for any interested inquiring minds!

Stay tuned for information regarding our December Blender! We look forward to seeing you!

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



Brewing Ideas Coffee Corner

1st Tuesdays of the month

November 1 | 8:30-9:30 am 

Join Here

MaineHealth Innovation Open Office Hours

Every other Friday, 12-1 pm

Next sessions: November 4 + November 18 

Register Here

MaineHealth Innovation Blender

Learn More

UMaine Bring Your Own Brain Hackathon

Learn More Here


Learn + Discover

UMaine Commercialization Training Series: Industry Collaborations and Licensing

Register Here

Interprofessional Innovation in Education

Fall 2022

Register Here

NE I-Corps Spark Program at MIT

Learn More

Maine Technology Institute:

Introduction to SBIR & STTR

Learn More Here

Intellectual Property Information Session

November 9| 7:30-8:30am

 Register Here



Seed Funding

MaineHealth Bonfire Fund

Application deadline January 2

Apply Here


MaineHealth Innovation leverages the ideas, insights, and expertise of all 22,000 care team members to develop novel solutions to our unmet care needs. We will, together, create the healthiest communities in America. We serve our care team members by creating connections to drive diversity of thought, educating to think differently, and funding to accelerate ideas.

Incredible growth has occurred since we formed in March of 2020 and we’ve expanded our amazing team. Innovation FY2020-2022 Academic Affairs Strategic goals have been completed. We’ve outlined a few examples of ways that they support the MaineHealth strategic priorities.







  • Collaborated with The Roux Institute, MHIR, and others through our Blender speaker series, which has yielded 500 participants over the past two years.
  • Collaborated with MHIR, adult endocrinology, primary care, and others across the system to design a successfully funded $2.4M grant to establish The MaineHealth Virtual Diabetes Clinic (MVDC), a novel collaborative partnership among subspecialists in Endocrinology and Diabetes and primary care clinicians that employs state-of-the-art diabetes management technology.
  • Partnered with USM MIST lab, our engineering arm, to develop more than 5 different innovation prototypes.



  • MaineHealth Innovation was cited as a new resource on successfully funded MHIR’s NNE-CTR’s $20M grant submission, highlighting MaineHealth innovator Theresa Roelke for creating an educational, tactile tool to provide support to lung cancer patients.
  • MaineHealth Innovation was identified as an exemplar for the MMC Magnet Status by working with MMC nurses to create multiple projects that have improved patient care.



We continue to foster a culture of curiosity and creativity by leveraging the ideas, insights, and expertise of all 22k care team members to develop novel solutions to unmet care needs.

We look forward to expanding and exploring community partnerships and collaborations across the Northern New England ecosystem enabling us to work together towards the MaineHealth vision to create the healthiest communities in the nation.


By Todd Keiller

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.

  • MaineHealth has filed a patent on behalf of Jim Byrnes, PT, DPT for a home health work station. Jim is part of CHANS Home Health and Hospice and has developed a unique work station design that is both portable and sturdy enough to bring into the home and handle things like a laptop or a prep area for treatment. Jim has done extensive customer discovery through the UMaine I-Corp Program and partnered with the MIST lab of the University of Southern Maine to develop several prototypes. MaineHealth is in the process of presenting this idea to potential licensees.
  • MaineHealth has recently taken over the patent, Method for treating Cardiac Injury, which is based on the work of Doug Sawyer, MD, PhD, Chief Academic Officer, Interim Chief Medical Officer. The previous owner of the intellectual property has taken a different direction with their business giving MaineHealth the opportunity to further develop this work. Doug has NIH funding to continue the work at MHIR and we anticipate additional intellectual property will be generated that may attract new commercial interest. 


By Angelina Clancy

The MaineHealth Innovation Clinical Coaches help drive the success of MaineHealth Innovation by providing clinical leadership and expertise as innovators work to solve unmet care needs.

Connect with Leah:

Learn more about the

MaineHealth Innovation

Clinical Coaches


Medical Director, Simulation Center & Pediatric Hospitalist

The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center

“Simulation and Innovation offer natural symbiosis. Our Simulation Center serves as a laboratory for Innovation projects; innovators can test their ideas in realistic clinical settings, with real medical equipment and state of the art human simulators.”

Leah Mallory, MD, has been a MaineHealth Innovation Clinical Coach since 2020. Dr. Mallory completed her residency in Pediatrics, in the Boston Combined Residency Program (a collaborative program between Children’s Hospital Boston/ Harvard University and Boston Medical Center/ Boston University), staying an extra year to serve as Chief Resident. Dr. Mallory is currently a Pediatric Hospitalist at The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. She is a member of the TUSM Maine/Track admissions committee and director of the pediatric simulation program. Dr. Mallory’s teaching responsibilities encompass both undergraduate and graduate medical education as well as pediatric simulation-based interprofessional team training in the hospital setting. Other academic interests include simulation-based assessment of trainees and quality improvement issues in pediatric hospitalist medicine, specifically hospital-to-home transitions.

Read more about Leah


By Elena Brondolo

Shadowing to Gain Perspective

Adapted from Creative Acts for Curious People by Sarah Stein Greenberg

In our previous Innovation 101 section we covered the Question Burst activity as a way to generate new ideas. Let’s continue to define new ways to develop ideas on how to tackle challenges!

This month we’re going to review shadowing. Now you may have heard of this concept before. Shadowing allows us to see a problem from the perspective of those experiencing it.

As Sarah puts it, “you learn the most if you [shadow] someone whose experience is unlike your own”. If you’re the one experiencing a challenge and hoping to find a new way to address it, you might use this exercise to shadow someone else on your care team to see how they experience the challenge. For example, if you’re an MA experiencing a challenge in a workflow, see if you can find a nurse or physician who engages with the same workflow and shadow their experience working through it.

If you are someone who has been made aware of a challenge, you can use this exercise to learn more about it by shadowing those experiencing it. Shadowing helps us to observe the context in which the challenge has been identified.

How to do it – it’s pretty simple!

1) Pick someone whose experience you want to understand. Get their permission to spend a few hours/day following them and observing everything they do.

2) Write down your learning goals:

  • What do you hope to learn about the person you are shadowing?
  • What do you hope to learn about the experiences you will be observing?
  • What do you hope to learn about yourself?

3) Shadow!

4) Reflect on your experience:

  • What was your most memorable experience from shadowing?
  • What surprised you? What didn’t?
  • What did you discover related to the challenge you’ve identified?
  • What did you learn that was totally unexpected?

5) Put your learnings into action. Based on what you observed…

  • Is there a story you want people to hear?
  • Conclusions you want to circulate?
  • Changes you can test immediately?

6) Share your shadowing experience with MaineHealth Innovation! Tell us who you shadowed, what you learned, and how it helped you come up with new ideas!

We believe by leveraging the ideas, insights, and expertise of all 22k care team members to develop novel solutions to our unmet care needs we will, together, create the healthiest communities in America.

We serve our care team members by creating connections to drive diversity of thought, educating to think differently, and funding to accelerate ideas.

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, MSOL - 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.