June 2022 | View Archived Issues






  • A Note from Susan
  • Call for Applications
  • Recapping the June 8 Celebration Event
  • Opportunities - Connect, Educate & Fund
  • Innovation Clinical Coach Spotlight
  • Intellectual Property Updates
  • Innovator Updates: NewGown Video


Vice President

of Innovation



A Note from Susan

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation, MaineHealth

Fostering a culture of innovation together....


Wow! What a time for celebrating, of pivoting, and for saying thank you.

Over 130 collaborators hailing from across industry, academia, state agencies and MaineHealth came together to celebrate our passionate care team members! They're taking the courageous step to bring to life their novel ideas to solve our unmet care needs. The Spark: Celebrating Innovation at MaineHealth! event was a huge success! Simply thank you! I’d like to thank the incredible MaineHealth Innovation team - Kim Harvey, Todd, Keiller, and Elena Brondolo - for all of their hard work every day, but especially for pulling together the amazing celebration. Also, a special thanks to our talented MHES colleagues and Caroline Cornish for their unbelievable expertise in creative design, communications and event execution.

All of the innovators who presented their amazing work during the celebration event have pivoted on their idea at one point or another. Pivoting is a critical part of innovation as you learn more about what the problem you are really trying to solve is and which solution(s) might be the best fit.

We're following that same innovation principle with Hospital at Home (HaH) and pivoting on the approach. In December, Doug Sawyer, with a directive from Andy Mueller, asked Gina Quinn-Skillings, Sr. Medical Director and me to collaborate and explore a HaH program. Over 100 days, Elena Brondolo and Moriah Folsom worked incredibly hard and achieved milestones that ranged from rallying a multidisciplinary team of 30+ colleagues to create a shared vision and co-design the HaH program. We submitted a CMS waiver and presented to MMC Senior Leadership. Simply thank you! I’d like to thank all of our colleagues who came together to design the HaH program! While MMC gave positive support, Andy has now challenged Gina’s team to go further and reimagine a program without CMS constraints. Thus, the pivot. What an exciting time!

Welcome, Angelina Clancy, to our Innovation team as Program Coordinator! We’re thrilled to have you onboard.

We support our MaineHealth vision of working together by leveraging the insights of all of our care team members who have novel ideas to help solve our unmet care needs. Come join in!

With kind regards,



MaineHealth Innovation Fall 2022

Cohort and Innovation Fund

Innovation Cohort

This program helps MaineHealth care team members advance an early innovative "back of the envelope" idea that addresses an unmet care need.

Application Deadline

October 1, 2022 at noon EST 


Innovation Ignite Fund

The MaineHealth Innovation Ignite Fund provides an investment of up to $20,000 to help innovators understand their user pain points, pilot an idea, build a prototype, or test an assumption.

Application Deadline

October 1, 2022 at noon EST


Innovation Bonfire Fund

The MaineHealth Innovation 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.  

Application Deadline

January 2, 2023 at noon EST


To learn more, join us for Innovation Cohort and Innovation Fund info sessions.

Innovation Cohort

Information Sessions

Join the MaineHealth Innovation team to learn more about the Innovation Cohort program and application process.

First Session:

7/19/22 | 12–12:30pm

Register here

View the full info session

schedule here

Innovation Fund

Information Sessions

Join the MaineHealth Innovation team to learn more about the Innovation Fund and application process.

First Session:

7/20/22 | 9–9:30am

Register here

View the full info session

schedule here

Need help filling out an application?

Join us for MaineHealth Innovation Office Hours every other

Friday from 12:00-1:00pm EST via Zoom. 

The next sessions are July 15 and July 29.

Register here


The Spark: Celebrating Innovation at MaineHealth

Thank you for joining MaineHealth Innovation in celebrating MaineHealth care team members who are developing innovative solutions to unmet care needs! In case you missed it, check out some notable highlights below and watch the recording!

Notable Highlights from the Event:

  • 13 innovator presentations
  • 3 LHS spotlighted | Memorial | Franklin | ACO/MidCoast
  • 2 strategic partners | USM | ROUX + 1 innovation clinical coach moderated
  • 161 RSVPs - 38 different organizations and sectors | universities, industry, state agencies and non-profits.

Chats from Audience:

Your incredible work is supporting our vision of working together so our communities are the healthiest in America! thank you all. So inspiring!”

“I am so impressed by the fearlessness and brilliance of all the presenters/innovators -- all keeping our patients at the center of what they do!”

“All of you presenters are working on such inspiring products and programs. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences! I love the message to take initiative and take chances.”



Brewing Ideas Coffee Corner

1st + 3rd Tuesdays

July 19 + August 2 | 8:30-9:30am 

Join Here.

MaineHealth Innovation Open Office Hours

Every other Friday, 12-1pm

Next sessions: July 15 + July 29 

Register Here.


Learn + Discover

MaineHealth Innovation Cohort

Application deadline 10/1

Apply Here



Seed Funding

MaineHealth Ignite Fund

Application deadline 10/1

Apply Here

MaineHealth Bonfire Fund

Application deadline 1/2/2023

Apply Here


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. Each month, an Innovation Clinical Coach will be highlighted to recognize their support of MaineHealth Innovation.

Connect with Lizzy:


Learn more about the

MaineHealth Innovation

Clinical Coaches

Lizzy Mulcahy, DNP, FNP-C

Director of Telehealth, MaineHealth

The MaineHealth care team is driven by increasing access to

quality healthcare for their patients. This passion means that there is openness and excitement about trying new technology to connect their patients to care. Passion and perseverance is a winning combination for both the development of innovation but also the interest in adopting those innovations into our patients and care team experiences. I'm excited to be a part of this work! "


Lizzy Mulcahy, DNP, FNP-C, Director of Telehealth for MaineHealth, leads a team who is  responsible for working with care team members to design and implement telehealth solutions. These solutions range from facilitating a virtual visit for a patient and a provider at home to allowing an urgent consultation to occur between an admitted infant at a rural hospital and a NICU physician at Maine Medical Center. The department is focused on creating solutions that improve clinical outcomes, the patient experience and the provider experience. In addition, Lizzy  sees patients in the geriatric department as a nurse practitioner.


Prior to joining MaineHealth, she was a leader in the innovation department at Ochsner Health, where she gained experience designing, implementing, and scaling remote monitoring programs throughout the health system. Her background also includes over ten years of direct patient care, including time as an ER nurse and as a primary care nurse practitioner.

READ MORE about Lizzy. 

Connect with Brandy:


Learn more about the

MaineHealth Innovation

Clinical Coaches

Paging Doctor Brown!

Brandy Brown, LCSW, DSW

Senior Program Manager, The Gender Clinic

The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center

Congratulations, Brandy, on completing her doctorate of social work! Brandy received her Bachelors of Social Work and Master's of Social Work at the University of Southern Maine and her Doctorate of Social Work at Capella University.

Brandy conducted an in-depth program evaluation for her dissertation on transgender and gender nonconforming youth. The program aspires to become a Center of Excellence (COE) for Sexual and Gender Minority Health. This would require additional support and resources for the program; many of these were identified in this program evaluation.

READ MORE about Brandy. 


Reimagining Hospital Gowns: NewGown

“In 2018, I thought about how our traditional hospital gown could be redesigned for our neuro-compromised patients,” says Sara Cox, CNRN, Neuroscience Patient Navigator at Maine Medical Center. “I wanted to help them be comfortable, stay covered and not have easy access to necessary lines and tubes as they progress in their recovery.” Combining her devotion to compassionate patient care with research from her own experiences and those of her fellow nursing team, Sara joined the MaineHealth Innovation Cohort in fall 2020 to develop an initial prototype of this reimagined gown. She calls it “The NewGown.”

Sara recently completed a pilot project testing out the gown on R6 at Maine Medical Center. More than 10 patients trialed the gown and staff from the unit provided feedback through a survey. Staff and patients found the gown beneficial and are requesting more!

Check out Sara's innovation in this video

Innovators Taking the Next Step

MaineHealth Innovation collaborates with UMaine Foster Center for Innovation I-Corps and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Spark program to help foster innovation in health care.

  • Congratulations to the Access Avatar's team, led by Malvina Gregory, Dir - Interpreter Services, on their acceptance into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Spark program this summer! The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Spark program is a 3 week intensive on user discovery and understanding the market for an innovation.

Learn more about the MIT Spark program

  • Congratulations to Charlotte Helvie, MD, Pediatrics, Memorial Hospital, a Spring 2022 Innovation Cohort member on her acceptance into the UMaine I-Corps program. The UMaine I-Corps program is a 6-week intensive program focused on customer discovery.

Learn more about the UMaine I-Corps program


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.

Congratulations to our innovators for moving forward on

intellectual property milestones!

  • A license has been executed with CAPE LLC to commercialize the idea. Learn more here
  • The CAPE team- Samir Haydar, DO, MPH: Emergency Physician, Maine Medical Center, Kaitlyn Main, MD: Former Emergency Resident, Maine Medical Center, Elizabeth Hamilton, MD: Former Emergency Resident, Maine Medical Center, Paul Fitzpatrick: Medical Device Entrepreneur, David Eagleson, CEO: Baker, Kara Held, PhD: Science Director, Baker, Paul Tyson: Principal, Thermoformed Plastics of New England

  • Sunil Malhorta, MD, Cardiac Surgeon & Director of Congenital Cardiac Surgery, has filed a provisional patent for Pulsatile Vascular Graft. This is a co-invention with Jeremy Qualls, PhD, director of the USM Maker Innovation Studio.

Do you have an idea to explore?

Join the MaineHealth Innovation Open Office Hours every other Friday from 12:00-1:00pm to talk to the MaineHealth Innovation team about ideas you have and any support you need to complete program applications. The next sessions are July 15 and July 29. Register here.

MaineHealth Innovation Services

Through education, connections and funding, we are fostering a culture of innovation across the MaineHealth system to advance novel solutions that address unmet care needs.

MaineHealth Innovation Center Programs

Innovation Cohort | Innovation Elective | Innovation Fund | Innovation Blender |

Brewing Ideas Coffee Corner

Help us celebrate innovation!

Together, we are transforming care through innovation.

Help us celebrate innovation and create a resource for sharing

innovation across MaineHealth by submitting your innovation story!

Submit an Innovation Story

Let us know how we can help support innovation:

Email innovation_center@mainehealth.org

The MaineHealth Innovation

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation

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