December 2022 | View Archived Issues

Created by Angelina Clancy


  • A Note from Susan
  • Congratulations Innovation Cohort Members
  • Last Call for Innovation Bonfire Fund Applications
  • December Blender Event
  • Partnerships Highlight
  • Innovation Highlight
  • Opportunities - Connect, Educate & Fund
  • Innovation 101


Vice President

of Innovation


A Note from Susan

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation, MaineHealth

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to our multidisciplinary Innovation Ignite Fund reviewers! A group of 28 colleagues from within MaineHealth and throughout the local innovation and entrepreneurial community, provided advice and encouragement during the fall 2022 review process. This dynamic team of reviewers is comprised of everyone from clinicians to venture capitalists, administrators to tech entrepreneurs, faculty scientists to our innovators, and more. The reviewers’ role in this process is vital. With the guidance from every reviewer, we’re able to support innovative ideas through a wide variety of insight and suggestions.

We are all engaged in innovation even if we are not the direct innovators ourselves. There is a role for everyone in the process, and we’re grateful for the time and effort put in by all who help foster a culture of innovation within the system. With thanks, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season!

With kind regards,


Innovation Ignite Review Committee

Douglas Sawyer, Lugene Inzana, Jeffrey Sanders, Bob Frank, Helena Ackerson, Anne Breggia, Larry Burningham, Elizabeth Campbell, Nir Harish, Robert King, Sunil Malhotra, Leah Mallory, Mary Ottolini, Stuart Watson, Tammy Whitney, Daniel Nigrin, Kevin Griffin, Devin Carr, Susan Keiler, David Yarin, Damien Carter, Linda Durst, Brian Nolan, Alexa Craig, Brian Noyes, Tom Gridley, Lizzy Mulcahy, Susan Miesfeldt, Brian Youth, and Jeremy Qualls.


The Cohort is an 8-week program that empowers care team members across MaineHealth to advance "back of the envelope” ideas. Participants will learn the basics of innovation science, conduct user discovery, start prototyping, and consider intellectual property.

We are excited to welcome 3 new MaineHealth care team members to the Cohort and look forward to working together!

The Handheld Ultrasonic Cleaning Device

Seth Robinson - Sterile Supply Technician III, Maine Medical Center

Patient Support Device

Connie Albair - Medical Assistant of MMP Neurology, Maine Medical Center

Evidenced based interdisciplinary education and patient care for those suffering from concussion or post-concussion syndrome

Moriah Hersey - Special Project Lead for the WCGH Rehab Opst Center, Waldow County General Hospital

Learn More About the Innovation Cohort


Applications Due: January 2 at 12:00pm

The Bonfire Fund provides an investment of up to $100,000 for an innovation solution. The goal of this investment 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.

Learn More and Apply

Accelera - Moving You Forward. Movement. Function. Freedom.

Wednesday, December 14

12:00-12:45 pm via Zoom

Presenter: Mike Wing, President & Co-Founder

Register for the Event

by Kim Harvey

Come share your expertise and insights! Join us for the December Innovation Blender event featuring Mike Wing of Accelera. Imagine a solution that is safe, comfortable, affordable and proven to help children and adults alike with neurological challenges, such as cerebral palsy, spasticity, neuropathy, difficulties with balance and gait, essential tremors and more. Accelera believes it has a meaningful and unique solution to help people overcome neurological challenges with its wearable technology. The company's team has designed, tested, and established a plan that will take the SR-100 to market and help improve the lives of so many people.

Join this interactive brainstorm as Mike seeks to address some of his company's innovation challenges! 

Meet Mike Wing

Mike has extensive experience as a senior operations and manufacturing management professional, project manager, operational turn arounds leader, and successful business owner. As Co-Founder of Accelera, Mike has built the team and positioned the business and its technology for market launch.

Mike holds an MBA with a concentration in Operations Management from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire, a B.S. in Industrial Technology, and a degree in Machine Testing.

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


By Angelina Clancy

MaineHealth Innovation serves as the connective tissue that links innovators with global experts and pioneers. We tap into strategic partnerships and our health system network to bring ideas to life.

MaineHealth Partners with Roux Institute on Innovative Residency Program

MaineHealth has partnered with the Roux Institute and Northern Light Health in creating a first-of-its kind residency to drive innovation in healthcare. The Future of Healthcare Founder Residency will give health-tech entrepreneurs funding, mentorship opportunities and access to clinical spaces to help innovators develop their ideas.

Founders receive a $50,000 investment and spend 12 months working out of the Roux Institute to develop, vet and trial those potential solutions, and MaineHealth will have an equity stake in successful businesses.

The goal of the program is to bring 30 early-stage companies to Maine over the next three years.

You can learn more about this program here.


Telehealth Cart: Innovative Collaboration Makes Patient Care Successful

The MaineHealth IT team identified the need for a telehealth solution that was affordable, easy to use, and interfaced with internal MaineHealth technology, and decided to create a system based on existing MaineHealth infrastructure. The Telehealth Acute Care Cart (TACC) provides a direct pathway for physicians to communicate between distant locations. This device minimizes the need for outside vendor support, saves money and produces a system that meets the specific needs of MaineHealth physicians. If members of the care team are at different locations and it is determined that a situation warrants a telehealth call, the members of the care team are able to access the Telehealth system via the ZOOMRoom platform from the TACC unit at their respective hospitals. The telehealth system connects the two physicians directly, no link or login needed, and the specialist can see and hear the patient in real time.

Read More



Brewing Ideas Coffee Corner

1st Tuesdays of the month

December 6 | 8:30-9:30 am 

Join Here

MaineHealth Innovation Open Office Hours

Every other Friday, 12-1 pm

Next sessions: December 2 + December 16 

Register Here

MaineHealth Innovation Blender

Accelera - Moving You Forward. 

Movement. Function. Freedom.

December 14 | 12:00-12:45 pm

Register Here

BioME Holiday Mixer

December 15 | 5:00-7:00 pm

Register Here


Learn + Discover

UMaine Commercialization Training Series: Industry Collaborations and Licensing

December 1 | 4:00-5:00 pm

Register Here

Intellectual Property Information Session

December 14 | 7:30-8:30am

 Register Here



Seed Funding

MaineHealth Bonfire Fund

Application deadline January 2

Apply Here


By Elena Brondolo

Identifying Our Assumptions

Adapted from Talking to Humans (you can download the book for free as a non-profit care team member)

In our previous Innovation 101 section we covered Shadowing as a way to better understand the opportunity in front of us.

Let’s continue to define ways to understand opportunities and contexts for innovation. 

In our Thinking Differently workshop, we talk about how we can work to push past our current assumptions to come up with new ideas. Innovative ideas come from shifting our thinking beyond the status quo. But in order to push past our current assumptions, we need to have a basic understanding of what they are. What do we believe about the problem or the opportunity in front of us? Mapping out our assumptions about an idea can help us develop tests to figure out if they are true and how we can challenge them!

Whether or not you have a solution in mind already, try to map out your current assumptions about the opportunity in front of you. Try to make your assumptions as concise and specific as possible.

Assumptions Exercise

Start filling out the table below. Answer the following questions about your current opportunity (Note: These are great questions to answer as you start any new project). Then identify your level of certainty in your responses. It’s ok if you can’t answer all of these questions right now. Knowing what you feel uncertain about will help you identify your priorities for continued discovery! 


Current Assumption

Degree of Certainty

(1-Highly Uncertain,5-Completely Certain)

1 - Who is my target user?

2- Who is my target customer?

(This may be different than target user. For example, patients may be the target user for a new patient gown, but hospital supply chain and finance might be the target customer who makes the purchasing decision)

3 - What is the problem my user/customer is trying to solve?

4 - What’s my unique value proposition?

(Why might users/customers be attracted to my innovation? What is unique about it?)

5 - Why can’t my user/customer solve this today? (What are the obstacles that have prevented this problem from being solved already?)

6 - What is the competitive landscape?

(Who are my competitors? What are they doing successfully? What are they doing that needs work?)

7 - What is the skill set of the team members I will need?

8 - What is the measurable outcome my user/customer wants to achieve?

9 - My earliest adopter will be? (Who might want to try this innovation out first?)

10 - How will I engage more users/customers? How can this idea scale?

11 - My biggest technical or engineering challenge is?

(Is there a major technical challenge that might hinder the development of your innovation?)

Share your assumptions exercise with MaineHealth Innovation! Join us for Coffee Corner, a virtual brainstorming and networking hour, on Tuesday December 6th at 8:30am. Zoom link here. Tell us what you are hoping to discover next!

We believe 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. We serve our care team members by building 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.