CCI Honors Inventors at 2019 Innovator Awards Reception

CCI Honors Inventors at 2019 Innovator Awards Reception

On May 8, Cleveland Clinic Innovations celebrated the outstanding inventors at Cleveland Clinic at the annual Innovator Awards Reception. This event is a testament to the innovative culture at Cleveland Clinic recognizing all of our active inventors and exceptional successes from the previous year.

 “Innovation is at the core of the being of Cleveland Clinic. The organization has given a chance to people from all over the world, not only to train, but to excel,” said Tom Mihaljevic, MD, President and CEO, who kicked off the evening’s program. “Cleveland Clinic takes a risk and has the courage to do what is right for our patients, and this is really what we’re celebrating tonight.”

Herb Wiedemann, MD, Chief of Staff, also spoke to the innovative spirit at Cleveland Clinic. “Innovation is more than serendipity – that moment, the idea, the inspiration – it is a long road of development,” he said. “It is a long process…and a lot of amazing payoffs when you see that it is really affecting patient care. This is really a part of what the Clinic is all about.”

The first award of the evening recognized the tremendous career of Joe Iannotti, MD, who was bestowed the Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Iannotti has a long history of innovation as the former Chair of the Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute, and is moving innovation forward in his new role as Chief of Staff in Cleveland Clinic Florida.

“Innovation is the byproduct of a lot of different pieces of the puzzle that Cleveland Clinic brings to every person who is interested in taking on the challenge. It often starts with a question and realizing that there is a gap in our knowledge or clinical care,” said Dr. Iannotti, on accepting the award. “And if you’re inquisitive enough, this place has the capacity to begin to answer those questions. It is really a team approach that makes Cleveland Clinic a very special place.”

Looking at the core areas of innovation CCI selected individuals and teams to be recognized for their achievements in advancing innovation for our patients.  

  • Outstanding Innovation in Medical Device: Amit Bhatt, MD, for his Dissecting Endocap and Retraction Strip
  • Outstanding Innovation in Therapeutics & Diagnostics: Steve Shih-Lin Huang, MD, PhD, for the development of an imaging biomarker for prostate cancer antigen
  • Outstanding Innovation in Health IT: Karl West and Jeffrey Yanof, PhD, for their AR/VR work with Hololens
  • Outstanding Innovation in Delivery Solutions: Adrienne Boissy, MD, Kathleen Neuendorf, MD, and Amy Windover, PhD, for the R.E.D.E. to Communicate® program
  • Young Innovator Award: Usman Ahmad, MD, for his work on the ThoraStim post-thoracic pain project and the ECMO Cannula project
The final award of the evening was the presentation of the 2nd Annual Hickey Family Foundation Innovation Impact Award was announced. “This recognition is intended to reward and sustain caregivers who are using innovations to provide better care to individuals around the world and in our community,” said Lara Kalafatis, Chair of the Philanthropy Institute, as she introduced Nancy Baldwin, Executive Director of the Hickey Family Foundation. The award was presented by Nancy Baldwin to Sean Nagel, MD, for his wearable cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage system.
The purpose of this evening wasn’t just to celebrate the honorees but to celebrate the innovative spirit that is foundational to our organization. To work in a place where innovation matters and contributes to the success of the organization and more importantly benefits patients, is really special. It is one of the main reasons that Cleveland Clinic sets itself apart from its peers.

“This is a celebration of collaboration, the culture of innovation, and what we can do through our collective willpower that we always question the status quo by asking, ‘What can we do better; How can we make things safer; What can we do to change healthcare.’ Because if not us, who?” remarked Will Morris, MD, Senior Medical Director, Cleveland Clinic Innovations.

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