SOURCE: MedStar Health

MedStar Health

March 12, 2015 16:37 ET

MedStar to Sponsor Fellowship for Innovative Health Solutions

Health For America Focuses on America's Greatest Health Challenges

COLUMBIA, MD--(Marketwired - Mar 12, 2015) - MedStar Health is sponsoring an entrepreneurially focused healthcare fellowship, Health For America, that will bring emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds to work among MedStar providers and partners to find innovative, sustainable solutions for more effectively managing chronic disease. Health for America, headquartered in Washington, D.C., has opened its highly competitive applications process to select four fellows for the 2015-16 program that begins in September. The fellowship seeks candidates with diverse academic backgrounds and professional experience.

Led by the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2), the fellows will work under the guidance of providers, entrepreneurs and other experts throughout MedStar. MI2 is working to create a vibrant innovation ecosystem across MedStar and also serves as a portal for the exchange of transformational ideas and solutions, both internally and from the outside world. Mark Smith, MD, director of MI2 and MedStar's chief innovation officer says, "As part of our journey to help create health care of the future, we welcome the opportunity to collaborate with these Health For America fellows. MI2 is founded on the principle that for health care to be transformed, we must also look outside our own walls -- and those of our traditional collaborators."

The fellows will work at MI2's headquarters and across a broad range of MedStar's healthcare delivery settings, and also will draw on the support at Washington, D.C.'s premier start-up incubator and seed fund, 1776, of which MedStar is a Founding Partner. "Startups are increasingly at the forefront of efforts to make health care more efficient and cost effective," says Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776. "We're thrilled to partner with MedStar and Health For America, and look forward to seeing what the 2015 class of fellows comes up with."

The 2014 class of fellows focused on congestive heart failure, which accounts for one in nine deaths each year in the United States and is a major cause of hospital readmissions. Working within Christiana Care health system in Wilmington, Del., they developed a low-cost, effective solution for measuring and reporting daily weight measurements, a surrogate measure of fluid retention that can indicate when heart failure symptoms may be getting out of control. After extensive interactions with patients and clinicians, the fellows designed a bathroom scale that doubles as a bathmat and automatically weighs the patient and tracks each day's results using a mobile app so results can be shared seamlessly with their providers.

"The Health for America fellows are creating solutions that can save tens of thousands of lives and alleviate the heavy financial burden carried by patients and healthcare providers," says Madhura Bhat, co-founder of Health For America. "Thanks to the unparalleled access the fellows have to the healthcare system, along with the training, mentorship and support they receive, these young leaders are able to translate their energy and ideas into impactful solutions."

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