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.

October 2023 | View Archived Issues


  • Final Call for Innovation Ignite Fund and Cohort Applications - Deadline October 1
  • Final Call for Applications - Innovation Bonfire Fund - Deadline October 1
  • Innovation Blender Returns in October
  • Opportunities - Connect, Educate & Fund
  • Community Partnership: The Roux Start Summit, September 29 and 30
  • Innovation Story - Mid Coast's Tech Time
  • Welcome New Clinical Coach - Jessica Logsdon, MHS, MHA, PA-C
  • Intellectual Property 101
  • Innovation 101


Vice President

of Innovation


A Note from Susan

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation, MaineHealth

October brings exciting updates as we reflect on our vision and the strategic decision we made early on as the first community partner to co-locate at The Roux. From the beginning, when The Roux was just a concept and MaineHealth Innovation was launching, we knew the power of creating the collision of talent and the diversity of thought between MaineHealth’s healthcare expertise and Roux’s artificial intelligence and entrepreneurial expertise. By bringing us together under one roof, by developing relationships, by co-creating programs, we would make the connections throughout MaineHealth to facilitate the creation of novel solutions to our unmet care needs. Back then, we initially described this opportunity simply as “Hi - care meet tech, tech meet care.”

What is exciting is what’s happening now. The reality is exactly what we expected! 


This endeavor sparked early co-development of the Innovation Blender series, and as we continue to connect, it is igniting new MaineHealth/Roux collaborations and experiments highlighted here!


  • Meaningful clinical and care team insights and engagement with entrepreneurs from The Future of Healthcare Residency program partnership - a CHI and MaineHealth Innovation collaboration led by Moriah Folsom! Thanks to the MaineHealth Telehealth team, MHMG, CHI, MMP Neurology, MHIR, IT, Child Health (RMOMs grant), MMP Cardiology, MMP Geriatrics, and others for sharing your expertise!
  • Drs. Robert Kramer and Doug Sawyer’s Artificial Intelligence HEART (Healthcare Enabled by AI in Real-Time) partnership with Dr. Rai Winslow and others
  • Dr. Brian Nolan’s ARTIST (Artificial Intelligence in Health Systems Triage) collaboration with Rai Winslow and Qingchu Jin
  • Start Summit Collaboration led by Moriah Folsom with Community Health Improvement, in collaboration with MaineHealth Innovation, MMP Geriatrics, MH Fall Prevention and SMHC. Thanks for your support!

This is a testament to the time and effort it takes fostering a culture of innovation, expanding a diverse professional network and building a learning health system environment to solve some of our unmet care needs. Also, a big thank you to Moriah Folsom with MaineHealth and Elena Coronado with The Roux who are instrumental in being the points of contact for each organization, connectors and stewards of the larger partnership.


We are thrilled to welcome Karen Budd, MPH, Innovation Manager, to our dynamic team! Karen brings a wealth of experience as a client executive with innovative startups working at the intersection of health and technology. She’s guided health plans, employers and local health systems in implementing innovative technology-based solutions to improve access and quality. We are excited to leverage Karen’s data storytelling skills to transform program metrics into data insights, as well as using her product and care innovation experience across cross-functional teams to MaineHealth Innovation’s continued success. Please feel free to reach out to Karen at [email protected], she’d appreciate connecting with you!


With optimism,


Last Call on Applications

Innovation Ignite Fund and Cohort applications are due October 1 at 12:00 pm.

Innovation Cohort

This collaborative 8-week program helps MaineHealth care team members advance an early innovative "back of the envelope" idea that addresses an unmet care need by embedding themselves in innovation science, user discovery, prototyping, and intellectual property considerations. 

Learn More + Apply

The Cohort will meet the following dates from 7:00-8:30 am:

10/25, 11/9, 11/30, 12/14

Innovation Ignite Fund

This internal funding mechanism of up to $20,000 is awarded to help innovators accelerate their project through understanding user pain points, building a prototype, or testing an assumption.

Learn More + Apply

Call for Applications - Innovation Bonfire Fund!

The Bonfire Fund provides an investment of up to $100,000 for an innovative solution where additional external or institutional funding opportunities can be explored from collaborators. The goal 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. Applications are due January 2 at 10:00 am.

Learn More + Apply

Learn about Innovation Bonfire awardee, Rob Ecker, MD, MBA, and the robotic clot retriever here. Rob and his colleagues set out to develop a better way to clear blood clots from brains, better known as stroke intervention.

Interested in Brainstorming with the Innovation

and Entrepreneurial Ecosystem?

The Innovation Blender is a partnership between MaineHealth Innovation and The Roux Institute. It gives practitioners, researchers, entrepreneurs, and innovators time together to ideate on solutions. Innovators have 7-10 minutes to pitch their innovation or business and a challenge they are facing followed by 30+ minutes to collectively brainstorm. This is an exciting opportunity to collaborate, connect and advance your innovation.

Learn More

Save the Date! Next Innovation Blender:

Thursday, October 26, 12:00 - 1:00 pm.

Come learn about Apriqot, a demographic and geographic platform upon which

local data can be grafted, community-level analysis can be performed and

future-looking models can be constructed for numerous use cases. 

Register here.

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 the [email protected] with any questions. We’d love to hear from you! 

Innovation Partnership Highlight

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.

Are you an engaged care team member, aspiring founder, curious about startups or interested in developing a solution to a pressing healthcare challenge? Join the Roux Institute for the upcoming Healthcare Innovation Start Summit on September 29 & 30!

This event is a collaborative effort brought to you by the Roux Institute, the University of New England, the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs and MaineHealth.

At this interactive event, participants will develop a new product or service aimed at addressing this challenge:

How might we support older Mainers in remaining in their homes or communities as they age?

This fun and fast-paced innovation challenge kicks off on Friday, September 29, with a networking event that will include a panel discussion and a presentation on the topic of aging in place, with perspectives from patients, providers and others. On day two, participants will be randomly placed in teams and take part in workshops and mentorship as they develop their ideas. The event culminates in a final pitch competition, where teams have the chance to win a $2,000 or $1,000 cash prize!

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Learn more and register. Feel free to contact Moriah Folsom [email protected] with any questions. 



Innovation Brewing Ideas Coffee Corner

October 3

8:30 - 9:30am

Join Here

Roux Institute's Workforce Innovation Start Summit

October 21

Register Here

Maine Venture Fund:

The Maine Startup Challenge Showcase Event

October 18

Learn More Here

BioME Bio & Brews Networking Event

October 12

Learn More + Register


Learn + Discover

Intellectual Property Information Session

2nd Wednesday

of the month, 7:30-8 am

October 11

Register Here

MaineHealth Innovation Cohort

Application deadline

October 1

Apply Here

UMaine Foster Center of Innovation I-Corps Program

Learn More


Seed Funding

MaineHealth Ignite Fund

Application deadline October 1

Apply Here

MaineHealth Bonfire Fund

Application deadline January 2

Apply Here

Innovation Stories

We're mapping stories across the MaineHealth system to highlight the great work happening from care team members and to inspire others to share their story. Do you have an innovative story in your work you'd like to share? Reach out to our email at [email protected].

Mid Coast's Tech Time: Phone Use Offers Freedom and Therapy for Patient

Photographed: The TV and “tech” room at Mid Coast Hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit (BHU).


  • Danielle Hersey, BHU Nurse Manager
  • Mackenzie Dufresne, RN, BSN, Professional Practice Committee Chair
  • Sue E., RN-BC
  • Kate K., CCRN, ACNP-BC
  • Laurie J., RN-BC

In inpatient behavioral health units, phones are taken from patients at admission and tech products are banned from patient use for privacy and safety reasons. This can be frustrating for patients, as they may want to use a phone for life maintenance tasks or they simply want to watch a video to relax.

Care team members at Mid Coast Hospital’s Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) came up with a way to help by instituting “tech time.” Tech time is set aside for patients to use their devices in the unit’s activity room while under the supervision of staff. Staff encourage patients to use tech time to explore therapeutic uses of music, reading and apps to help with recovery, as well as maintaining ties with friends and family. 

Tech time began as a trial at Mid Coast in February 2022 and has been so successful it is now a regular feature of life on the inpatient psychiatry unit. “Overall, it has been an innovative and wonderful way for patients to stay in touch and feel in control of their lives,” says BHU Staff Nurse Erin F.

Read More

“I like tech time a lot … It relaxes me because I get to play my Switch (video game) which is something to look forward to and chill out with. I like that it’s not too long, so I don’t get distracted and only do that, like I do at home sometimes. It definitely helps relax me being able to have access to it and knowing that it will be coming up every day.”

– Mid Coast Behavioral Health Unit Patient, Age 18

Innovation Clinical Coach Highlight

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

Welcome, Jessica Logsdon!

Jessica L. Logsdon, MHS, MHA, PA-C

MaineHealth | Director, Advanced Practice Provider Center of Excellence, Maine Medical Center

Jessica joined MaineHealth to continue pursuing her passion for the advocacy and integration of advanced practice providers within the healthcare system. Prior to joining MaineHealth, she served as the Senior Director of Physician Assistant Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, in Boston, MA, where she oversaw the professional development and scope of practice of more than 500 physician assistants. She also practiced clinically as a physician assistant in the neurosurgical ICU for many years. As an advanced practice provider and an administrative leader, she has been uniquely positioned to navigate the unique and varied challenges of communication across teams in healthcare, as well as their impacts on staff and patient experiences.

Jessica previously served as member of the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Association of Physician Assistants and as a lecturer of neurology for the MGH Institute of Health Professions physician assistant program. She has consulted with Boston based health care startup DayToDay, designing virtual perioperative patient care pathways, and Point of Care Network as a mentor and content expert for the development of a digital networking and education platform for advanced practice providers.

Jessica hopes to continue working toward creating a more unified healthcare community at MaineHealth through the application of innovative technologies to help both care team members and leaders feel more connected to one another. When not at work, she enjoys cooking, skiing and bike riding to the beach with her family. She is also actively involved in the school community, often volunteering and providing education around life threatening food allergies to promote awareness and increase inclusivity of those impacted.

Connect with Jessica:


Learn more about the

MaineHealth Innovation

Clinical Coaches

Intellectual Property 101

By: Todd Keiller, Director of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer

MaineHealtTech 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.

Market Analysis: What is it, and how can MaineHealth Innovation help?

You’ve got a novel idea, you’ve brought it to MaineHealth innovation for Initial Disclosure and we’ve completed your IP Evaluation. Now, it’s time for market analysis. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a marketing pro to complete this step, but it is important to understand where your idea stands among the competition in order to determine potential success. Market analysis will take a deep dive into the demographic, geographic and behavioral characteristics of your consumer, the size of the market, your potential market share and your competition.

Specifically, MaineHealth Innovation will help you with market analysis by leading you through answers to these four questions:

  1. What is the unmet need that you are solving?
  2. What is your approach to solving this need?
  3. What is the benefit of your approach?
  4. Who is the competition, and why are you better?

These are key elements to building your business model, which is essential for seeking funds for your idea. Ask yourself, ‘What is the title of the person who will pay for my idea?’ That person may very well be someone different than the people who will use the product!

To learn if your idea may qualify as Intellectual Property, register for an upcoming information session here. Meetings occur on the second Wednesday of every month from 7:30 - 8:00 am.

Innovation 101

Each month, our MaineHealth Innovation newsletter features tips for developing skills to “think differently” and to adopt a more innovative mindset. 

Gut Check

Last time we worked on determining the right solution to the problem we’re trying to solve for by journey mapping. This is a method of visualizing a user’s experience from beginning to end to determine key moments and pick out pain points the user may face.

Once you’ve discovered a few options that may be the right solution, it’s time to explore viability. The Gut Check exercise from the Design Kit can help you look at your ideas through a more critical lens to help determine which ones truly merit pursuing.

The first thing to do is to refine your top few ideas down to their essence. An example could be if your idea is about redesigning the patient experience, the core idea might be achieving quicker patient communication. Once these core ideas are identified, it’s helpful to list all the barriers or restrictions that may stand in the way of achieving it. If the list is long, that’s okay! Restrictions make for creative design.

A Brainstorm alone or with your team may be helpful to evolve your idea within the constraints you just identified. How can you keep the core of your idea but push it so that it remains within your capabilities? Don’t be afraid to let an idea go. The Gut Check exercise is designed to help you discover the most promising ideas and move them forward.

Join our next Coffee Corner, October 3, 8:30 - 9:30am, or reach out to us at [email protected] to share what you’ve learned! If you’ve discovered a novel solution to a problem you face, you may be the perfect fit for the fall 2023 cycle of the Innovation Cohort, an 8-week program where participants partake in collaborative brainstorming, user discovery, prototyping and intellectual property to advance their innovative idea. Applications are due October 1! Learn more and Apply

MaineHealth Innovation Center Programs

Innovation Cohort | Innovation Fund | Innovation Blender |

Brewing Ideas Coffee Corner

The MaineHealth Innovation Team:

Susan Ahern - Vice President of Innovation

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

Karen Budd, MPH - Innovation Manager

Erin McCue, Innovation Program Coordinator

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.