• Ideas

The following teams have been selected from a pool of applicants into the 2014 class of HHS Ignite. On June 9th, these teams begin their 3 month adventure with the Ignite Boot Camp. Through this Boot Camp, run in partnership with the University of Maryland and the DC I-Corps, teams will be put through workshops and brainstorming sessions in order to refine their problem statement and hone the scope of their efforts. Following the Boot Camp, more info on their projects will be made available. Stay tuned!


BSL-5: CDC’s Open Idea Lab

This team wants to stand up an IDEA Lab at CDC in order to cultivate a creative culture that promotes innovation. To kick-start this effort within the Ignite parameters, this team proposes that the initial projects of lab will focus on “Failing Better: Promoting innovation by de-stigmatizing growth-oriented failure” and “Creative Spaces: Piloting pop-up spaces, self-service rooms, and creativity havens”.

Erica Reott, CDC/NCBDDD
Dan Stowell, CDC/NCCDPHP
Melody Stevens, CDC/NCBDDD
C. Leah Franklin, CDC/NCBDDD

Project Lead’s Supervisor: Salvatore Lucido, Associate Director for Policy, National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC

Technical Advisor: Brandon Rose, Presidential Management Fellow, U.S. Department of State


Collaborative Analytics through Data Federation

The ability to collect, store, access, and effectively analyze data is vital for any scientific discovery. But today NIH researchers have trouble accessing public data in an effective manner and combining that data with research data to gain scientific insight. This cross-departmental team proposes a web platform that brings together widely available public health data and utilizes data analytics and visualization technologies to enhance insights and analysis.

Brock Smith (Project Lead), NIH/NIAID
Karthik Balakrishnan, NIH/NIAID
Alexandra Kwit, NIH/NIAID
LeeAnn Bailey, FDA/CDER
Regina Cox, CDC/OID

Project Lead’s Supervisor:  Joseph Croghan, Chief, software Engineering Branch, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH

Technical Advisor: Bianca Frogner, Assistant Professor, Milken Institute SPH, George Washington University


Scaling up NHANES Genetic Program

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is the only collection of DNA and genotypic data from a multi ethnic/racial US population. This data is currently available to researchers who submit proposals to CDC/s Research Data Center. This team proposes to create an online searchable database and web interface to the NHANES database to increase ease of access and use of the data by researchers.

Jody McLean (Project Lead), CDC/NCHS/DHANES

Project Lead’s Supervisor: George Zipf, Operations Branch Chief, Division of Health Examination Statistics, National Center for Health Statistics, CDC

Technical Advisor: Steven Randazzo, Communications Lead, HHS IDEA Lab


Automatic X-Ray Screening for Rural Areas

Imaging scientists at an F&D division of the NIH National Library of Medicine have developed an algorithm to auto-detect TB in chest x-rays in order to meet radiologist shortage in rural areas. The algorithms have been validated, allowing radiologists to view and confirm only the x-rays that are identified (by the software) as exhibiting the disease. This team proposes to develop a user-friendly interface for their application so that the technique can be tested by and optimized for providers at the point of care.

Sameer Antani (Project Lead), NIH/NLM
Stefan Jaeger, NIH/NLM
Sema Candemir, NIH/NLM
Alexandros Karargyris, NIH/NLM
Zhiyun Xue, NIH/NLM

Project Lead’s Supervisor:  George Thoma, Branch Chief, Communication Engineering Branch, National Library of Medicine, NLM

Technical Advisor: Jon Payne, Senior Technical Advisor, mHealth Alliance, United Nations Foundation


The NIH Clinical Center Virtual Internship Program

Each year, the NIH receives more than 7,000 applications for 1,000 summer internship opportunities. The NIH Clinical Center proposes a Virtual Internship Program as an opportunity to increase the number and diversity of students participating in the program. The NIH CC will pilot this idea with a handful of interns and mentors from the upcoming class.

Terra Miller (Project Lead), NIH/Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education
Jennifer Simmons, NIH/Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education
Walter Jones, NIH/Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education
Steve Bergstrom, NIH/Department of Clinical Research Informatics

Project Lead’s Supervisor:  Frederick P. Ognibene, Director, Office of Clinical Research Training and Medical Education, NIH

Technical Advisor: Dan Tabor, Security Design + Innovation, HHS Office of the Chief Information Officer

Modernizing FDA’s Ingredient System

FDA has articulated its vision for a next-generation data system that serves as the central clearing house for ingredients in medical products. Meanwhile, the NCATS at NIH has created its own substance tracking system to facilitate research efforts. Working with the FDA, this NCATS team will test their software as a solution in the FDA environment.

Tyler Peryea (Project Lead), NIH, NCATS/DPCI
Lawrence Callahan, FDA/Office of Communications
Frank Switzer, FDA/Office of Communications
Dac-Trung Nguyen, NIH, NCATS/DPCI

Project Lead’s Supervisor:  Ajit Jadhav, Director of Probe Development, Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation, National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, NIH

Technical Advisor: Kurt Heisler, Research Analyst, HHS Administration of Children & Families


Loan Data Sharing with the Department of Education

HRSA’s Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service administer four Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs): The National Health Service Corps, the Nurse Corps, the Students-to-Service LRP, and the Faculty LRP. All programs require that eligible education loans be submitted for review through the HRSA, which houses the LRP online application and review functionalities. Review of loan documents, against information provided by applicants, has proven to be a lengthy, cumbersome task. In 2013, more than 70,000 loan documents were reviewed manually by analysts. However, recent findings suggest that 80% of loans submitted by HRSA were actually administered by the US Department of Education.

This cross-federal team will pilot a data sharing technology implementation between HRSA and the Department of Education in order to automate processes that are currently done manually. The long-term vision of this effort is to integrate the National Student Loan Data System with the BCRS Management Information System Solution in order to electronically receive the data needed to verify loan eligibility.

Jamie Elliot (Project Lead), HRSA/BCRS

Project Lead’s Supervisor: Michael Arsenault, Deputy Director, Office of Operations, Bureau of Clinician Recruitment and Service, HRSA

Technical Advisor: Tyson Weinert, Innovation Program Manager, U.S. Coast Guard


Resourcing Community Ideas Regionally

HHS Regional Operating and Staff Divisions are organizationally separate but have many intersecting programs, priorities, and stakeholders in their area. Problems in simple coordination among staff across divisions results in inefficiencies and plenty of room for improved collaboration. This Philadelphia-based team will pilot various communication platforms and processes to improve communication and stay better connected to their efforts and stakeholder needs.

Jean Bennett (Project Lead), SAMHSA/OPPI
Dalton Paxman, OS/OASH

Project Lead’s Supervisor: Anne Herron, Director, Division of Policy Liaison, SAMHSA

Technical Advisor: Stephanie Bardack, Program Manager, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

QDR-Process Improvement Project (QPIP)

The Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) is an annual report from AHRQ to Congress on national trends in the quality of health care and the prevailing race and socioeconomic disparities in health care delivery. The QDR tracks and reports on more than 250 health and health care performance measures from more than 45 data sources. It currently takes more than a year to produce these annual reports. This team proposes to evaluate and streamline the report production process.

Elizabeth Bishop (Project Lead), AHRQ/CQuIPS
Karen Chaves, AHRQ/CQuIPS
Veronica Soileau, AHRQ/CQuIPS

Project Lead’s Supervisor: Ernest Moy, Medical Officer, Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, AHRQ

Technical Advisor: Kristann Orton, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs


Enhancing CMS Outreach with Coordination Solutions

CMS conducts nation-wide educational efforts around the Health Care Marketplaces. There are a variety of collaboration tools that CMS makes available specifically to enable remote collaboration among staff. However, there are no widely adopted systems or processes that successfully achieve both collaboration between staff and evaluation of outreach efforts. This team proposes to identify technical solutions and systematic approaches to improve internal communications, project management and collaboration.

Ethan Moore (Project Lead), CMS/OC
Jon Langmead, CMS/San Francisco Regional Office
Renee Sombolinggi, CMS/Denver Regional Office
Jermaine Burkhalter, CMS/OC
Stefanie Costello, CMS/OC

Project Lead’s Supervisor: Susie Butler, Director, Partner Relations Group, Office of Communications, CMS

Technical Advisor: Mark Monterastelli, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT


Hospital Check-in Kiosk

Hospitals of the Indian Health Service have constant issues of long wait times and an overcrowded Emergency Department. Meanwhile, due to limited resources and lack of availability of clinical appointments, many tribal patients use the Emergency Department of IHS hospitals as walk-in clinics. A touch-screen kiosk could allow patients to select the reason they came in to the hospital in order to get routed very quickly to the appropriate clinic, pharmacy, med tech, or other area of the hospital. This team will pilot the use of kiosks in the Whiteriver Indian Hospital, a rural IHS hospital located in the White Mountains of Arizona serving approximately 17,000 tribal members.

Marliza Rivera (Project Lead), IHS/Whiteriver Indian Hospital

Project Lead’s Supervisor: Willadine Hughes, Quality Management Director, Whiteriver Indian Hospital, Whiteriver, AZ

Technical Advisor: Nag Murty, Innovator-in-Residence, HHS IDEA Lab

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