April 2023 | View Archived Issues

Created by Angelina Clancy


  • A Note from Susan
  • April Blender Event - Save the Date
  • Final Call for Applications - Innovation in Education Fund
  • Program Update - Coffee Corner
  • World Innovation Day
  • The Future of Healthcare Cohort Kickoff Event
  • Opportunities - Connect, Educate & Fund
  • Transforming Care - The FRST Tool
  • Celebrating Innovators - Sara Cox
  • Clinical Coach Highlight - Damien Carter
  • IP 101
  • Innovation 101


Vice President

of Innovation


A Note from Susan

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation, MaineHealth

“There are three I’s that support a culture of innovation in a healthcare system: Ideate. Innovate. Invigorate.”

– David Lawrence, former Chair, Department of Development, Mayo Clinic; MaineHealth board member

Recently, at our PenBay Innovation Pop-Up, I introduced board member David Lawrence to Nir Harish, MD, an emergency physician at PenBay and a MaineHealth Innovation Clinical Coach. The ensuing conversation was rich and rewarding, with David contributing insights from his time at the Mayo Clinic and Nir sharing PenBay’s vision for innovation in a rural healthcare setting. We all left the conversation invigorated and bubbling with new ideas, looking forward to seeing each other again soon.

It is so exciting and important in our work as innovators to collide with the diversity of thought that comes from conversation. Through connection, we encourage and challenge each other to think in new and different ways.

We have a wealth of incredible talent at MaineHealth. Here at MaineHealth Innovation, we are happy to help connect you with others so that your unique insights and expertise can inspire and invigorate, and so that you will be inspired and invigorated in return.

Come and join the conversation! 



I'd like to recognize two member of the Innovation team for completing major achievements recently!

Congratulations to Elena Brondolo, Manager of Innovation for successfully defending her dissertation titled "Catalyzing Innovation in Healthcare Systems" in completion of her Doctor of Education in Integrated Studies - Leadership, Learning, and Innovation from Northeastern University.

Congratulations to Angelina Clancy, Program Coordinator, Innovation for completing the Mastering Design Thinking Course though MIT Management Executive Education.

Save the Date!

Senscio Systems - Intelligently Powering Virtual Care

Wednesday, April 12

12:00-12:45 pm via Zoom

Presenter: Piali De, PhD, Co-Founder & CEO, Senscio Systems

by Kim Harvey

Senscio is advancing health care for consumers with complex chronic conditions. With purposely designed expert system and machine learning, combined with just-in-time clinical support, Senscio is seeking to enable daily effective self-management and achieve high-value health outcomes.

Founded in 2010, the company has developed the nation’s first AI-powered multiple chronic conditions management program known as Ibis Health, empowering thousands of members across New England to take control of their own quality of life and well-being from the comfort of their home, while better supporting the providers who care for them. Senscio's mission is to make everyday easier for everyone with chronic conditions and for those who support their care.

Come learn more about Senscio Systems and how they are working to intelligently power virtual care.

Register for the Event

Learn more about Piali De here

Meet Piali De

Piali De is a Co-Founder and CEO of Senscio Systems. She brings to Senscio Systems the vision and passion for a world made better through intelligent information systems. Her current interests are in the application of AI to improve the daily management of chronic conditions by individuals with complex chronic conditions. Her expertise is in designing AI systems to create optimal synergy between human and machines.

Dr. De is an author of many publications and patents, including Senscio’s patents on AI powered health management. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi and Sigma Pi Sigma honor societies and is the recipient of the National Women of Color’s 2009 Technology Innovation award.

Interested in being a Blender speaker or know a colleague who might want to share their innovative idea to an unmet care need to a diverse audience for support, guidance, and feedback? Please complete this online form or reach out to Kim Harvey with any questions. We’d love to hear from you! 

Final Call on Applications for the Innovation in Education Award!

Applications for the Interprofessional Innovation in Education Fund Award are due April 10 at 11:59 pm. We invite you to submit innovative learning and development models (e.g., curriculum), processes or products that will positively impact learners and help us achieve the MaineHealth vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America.

In the spirit of interprofessional collaboration, this award requires that the applicant and implementation team represent more than one health profession. Ideally, your innovative idea will also apply to learning and development in more than one health profession.

This funding opportunity is open to all 22,000 MaineHealth care team members. Medical Education (DME) and MaineHealth Innovation are collaborating to support novel ideas that solve an unmet health care professional education need.

Learn More + Apply

Current Awardees Project Updates

Neurological Intensive Care Unit

(Neuro-ICU) Follow-up

Angela LeClerc, PA, Critical Care, Maine Medical Center

NeuroCOPE is an Interprofessional Conference focused on Neurocritical Care Patient Outcomes and the Patient/Family Experience. The conference is offered to patients, caregivers, and health care workers. The first official NeuroCope was held in January 2023.

This project has attracted quite a large amount of attention from the Maine Chapters of the Brain Injury Association of America and the Brain Aneurysm Awareness Association. Both groups are looking at investing in the project. Angela will be presenting to the Maine BAA board in April.

Interprofessional Adult Hospital Acquired Sepsis Education

Amanda Bennett, RN, Nursing Professional Development Specialist, Meaghan Anderson, RN, Clinical Nurse Educator, Anne Dean, MD, Hospital Medicine Physician, Sarah Chang, Improvement Specialist, Maine Medical Center

A high-fidelity mannequin simulation exercise has been created to fill gaps in sepsis education. This type of exercise will help reinforce recognition, working together using a common language, initiating timely treatment with the reassessment safety net, and ensuring that the attending is looped in. 

There have been 2 simulation exercises completed in 2023, and the team has submitted to the Lambrew Research Day being hosted in May.

Looking to Learn About Innovation and Meet New Colleagues?

Join Coffee Corner - an informal virtual hour of fun and engaging conversation

Tuesday, April 4 from 8:30–9:30 am via Zoom

By Kim Harvey

Learn how to Map your Design Space! What does this actually mean? We’ll spend the first ten (10) minutes of Coffee Corner discussing what it means to Map your Design Space by taking that deep dive into your innovation idea by asking a series of questions to help structure your challenge area.

After this Innovation 101 guidance, you’ll have the opportunity to meet new colleagues and hear about innovative ideas circulating around MaineHealth system-wide.

Bring your cup of coffee and let’s connect!

Registration is necessary to attend this event.

Register Here

Celebrate World Innovation Day with Us!

April 21 from 12:00-1:00 pm via Zoom

Join us in celebrating the UN's International Creativity and Innovation Day! Spend an hour engaging in fun, creative activities to spark your imagination! Learn about how you can engage in innovation at MaineHealth. Let's unleash our creativity together and make this a day to remember!

Register Here

Join Us for the Future of Healthcare Cohort Kickoff 2023!

April 26 from 5:00-7:00 pm at the Roux Institute in Portland, ME


Join us for the public unveiling of the Future of Healthcare Founder Residency inaugural cohort. The April 26th Kickoff Event serves as the official launch to welcome the ten companies selected to participate in the yearlong Residency, and is an opportunity for students, potential mentors, investors, and the general public to meet and network with the cohort and to introduce the companies to the Maine community.

The Future of Healthcare Residency was designed in partnership between MaineHealth,  the Roux Institute, and Northern Light Health. Selected companies will be given funding, mentorship opportunities, and access to clinical spaces to help innovators develop their ideas.

Learn More + Register



Brewing Ideas

Coffee Corner

1st Tuesday of the month

April 4, 8:30-9:30 am 

Register Here

Innovation Blender Event

Senscio Systems - Intelligently Powering Virtual Care

April 12

Register Here

MaineHealth Innovation Open Office Hours

Every other Friday, 12-1 pm

Next sessions:

April 7 + April 21 

Register Here

Foster Center of Innovation Awards Ceremony

April 13 

Learn More

Foster UNE Healthcare Story Slam

April 18 

Learn More


Learn + Discover

Intellectual Property Information Session

2nd Wednesday

of the month

April 12, 7:30-8:00am

 Register Here

UMaine Commercialization Series Workshop:

From Research

to Real World

April 20

Learn More

Maine Entrepreneurs Summit

May 25

2:00-8:00 pm 

Learn More


Seed Funding

Innovation in

Education Fund

Application deadline

April 10

Learn More + Apply

Doug Johnston, MD (left) and Chris Racine, MD (right) reviewing a FRST screening.

Transforming Care

The FRST Tool: Assessing Risk of Violent Behavior in ED Patient

To make the assessment process of violence in behavioral health patients more efficient, Dr. Chris Racine, lead psychiatrist of emergency psychiatry at Maine Medical Center, has implemented the use of the Fordham Risk Screening Tool (FRST). 

FRST is an effective and quick screening tool used to assess violence risk in medical settings. FRST helps staff better understand a patient’s mental state and determine the best way to mitigate risk during the patient’s care.

Chris was part of the MaineHealth Innovation Fall Ignite 2021 funding cycle. He has used FRST at MMC’s ED on more than a thousand patients, trained dozens of clinicians and presented at the National Update on Behavioral Emergencies (NUBE) Conference.

“Using the FRST has been a great tool that has helped me to get a sense of a patient’s violence risk. It’s easy to use and helps inform my decision-making regarding safety." – Gemma Atticks LCSW, Social Work III, Acute Psychiatry Unit.

Read More

Celebrating Innovators

Sara Cox, CNRN, attended the 2023 Annual American Association of Neuroscience Nursing (AANN) Conference in mid-March to present the results of a research project she has been involved with for about four years.

The study "Decreasing Rates of Intraurethral Catheterization Postoperatively in Spine Surgery" was done with the purpose of gathering data to guide best practice with preventative treatment of postop urinary retention with tamsulosin in male surgical spine patients.

Sara was also an invited speaker at the Foster Center for Innovation in early March to speak with students about solving real-world problems with creative tools to find solutions. She inspired 20+ nursing and other University of Maine students by providing insights on being a nurse and innovator. She shared her innovation journey and the path she is taking to develop NewGown

Connect with Mary:


Learn more about the

MaineHealth Innovation

Clinical Coaches

Clinical Coach Highlight

Damien Carter, MD, Critical Care Surgeon

Maine Medical Partners

Damien Carter, MD earned his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago. He completed his residency in general surgery at the University of Washington, where he also completed an NIH/NRSA T32 research fellowship in Trauma and Burns immunopathology. He subsequently completed a Burn & Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA.

Damien specializes in burn care including acute management, critical care and burn reconstructive procedures. He also serves as the medical director of the Burn & Soft Tissue Service (BST) at Maine Medical Center. The BST service is the only provider of comprehensive burn care to burn-injured patients in the State of Maine and Northern New Hampshire with a catchment area of roughly 1.5 million people. The service also cares for complex wounds and cutaneous diseases that require surgical management. In addition to his clinical responsibilities to the BST service, Damien is an attending physician for trauma and emergency general surgery services. He has a strong research interest in burn resuscitation & modulation of the inflammatory response to injury. He has received internal and external grant funding to pursue his basic and translational research interests.

Damien has been a MaineHealth Innovation Clinical Coach since 2021.

Learn More about Damien

IP 101

By Angelina Clancy

Last month we went over what Intellectual Process (IP) and technology transfer is. MaineHealth uses IP and technology transfer to foster discovery and the development of inventions by care team members that will advance healthcare for the benefit of the public. Let's dive into the first step of the process this month with the Initial Disclosure.

Care team members who believe they have a novel idea can start by disclosing their idea. This involves going to the innovation website, filling out the invention disclosure form and submitting it to the director of tech transfer. Next, the director will review the form and determine if there is intellectual property to protect. There are four classifications of IP that they will focus on when making this determination:

1.Trademark: The look and feel of a logo. It’s your brand that you want people to recognize right away.

2.Copyright: An exclusive legal right to copy, distribute, adapt, or display creative material. It's known by the C inside the little circle

3.Trade Secret: Something that isn’t published or shared. It’s the secret sauce.

4.Patent: Exclusive rights are given for something for a set period of time, and generally prevents others from making, using, or selling your invention. There are three types of patents:

  • Provisional Patent: allows for filing without a formal patent claim, oath or declaration, or any information disclosure (prior art) statement.

  • Utility Patent: covers the creation of a new or improved—and useful—product, process, or machine

  • Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT): Makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an "international" patent application.

At Mainehealth we deal mostly with patents, which gives exclusive rights to something for a set period of time, and generally prevents others from making, using, or selling your invention.

MaineHealth Innovation offers monthly IP information sessions for all MaineHealth care team members to learn more about how to protect their ideas, the IP process and the support MaineHealth can offer. Monthly sessions are held on the second Wednesday of each month. Register for an upcoming information session on Zoom here.


By Elena Brondolo

Mapping the Design Space (i.e. identify inputs related to the challenge)

Last month we covered Framing Your Design Challenge. This involves clearly articulating the problem you want to solve and defining the scope of the work. This will help guide your investigation and ensure you stay focused on the task at hand.

This month, let’s follow the Innovation Process as a linear process for a moment. The challenge question is our initial spark or insight. The next step in the process then is understanding the problem we’re trying to solve for. Often, we make initial assumptions about what the problem is and jump directly into solution development. But when we take time to dive deep into the design space and exploring all possible avenues, we end up developing more effective solutions. 

We can explore the challenge area through asking a series of questions about the people involved, the experiences that already exist, and the products that are in use. You can think of these as inputs to the potential problem you may be trying to solve.

People: Who are the end-users in this space? Who are the customers (the one who pays)? Who else might be impacted or involved in this space? 

Experiences: What are some of the existing experiences? What are some known problems with those experiences? What are some hypothetical opportunities?

Products: What physical or digital products are part of the current experience? What is loved about them? What is hated about them?

Implications (positive, negative, intended, unintended, predicted, unexpected): What societal or organizational changes or phenomena do you see?

Systems (platforms, movements, schools, governments, organizations): What systems are connected to your challenge area? What systems make the things in the other input areas possible (e.g. Epic makes data mining possible)? What problems might be related to these systems?

Technologies (emerging, essential, standalone, integrated): What technologies are currently used in the landscape of your topic? What’s needed? What’s missing?

Data (sources, algorithms, big data, qualitative data): What types of data might be available that are related to your topic?

Reflect: How did thinking about the design space ahead of time, specifically about the users, customers, and stakeholders shift your thinking?

Adapted from: Greenberg, S. S. (2021). Creative Acts for Curious People: How to Think, Create, and Lead in Unconventional Ways. Ten Speed Press.

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:

Email [email protected]

Can't Find Us Online?

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