Welcoming the Newest Teams to Ignite and Ventures

Last fall, we asked the employees of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to begin submitting their project ideas on how they want to improve the way their office carries out its mission. We have two programs (one having multiple parts) that collectively make up our Internal Innovation Pipeline. Graphic of the HHS IDEA Lab Innovation Pipeline   The Ignite Accelerator is the Department’s internal innovation startup program that provides coaching and support to help HHS Staff take their ideas from conception to tested prototype. Over the last few months, the finalist teams have had the opportunity to explore their idea a bit further through direct interactions with their customers. And starting in April, the selected teams will be attending a Boot Camp to kick-start their 3 month journey. The Ventures Fund offers growth-stage funding and support to for staff ready to take a proven concept to the next level. Projects are able to pitch for up to 15 months and up to $100,000 of support. Starting immediately, these teams, with the support of subject matter experts and methodology mentors, to take their ideas from validated concept to implemented solution. Today, we are announcing the teams selected into these two competitive programs. The selected individuals, projects, and offices are listed below. Please join me in congratulating these teams!

The HHS Ignite Accelerator

From the 104 initial submissions and over 50 finalists, the following 23 teams are being selected into the Spring 2016 Ignite Accelerator.

  • The Application Toolkit. Led by Carmelia Strickland of the Administration for Native Americans within ACF.
  • Understanding Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) through Data Visualization. Led by Lauren Frohlich of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation.
  • ASA Project Management Skills Bank. Led by Elizabeth Bergamini of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration within the Office of the Secretary.
  • Partnership Alignment Information Response System (PAIRS). Led by Mary Seaton from the Region 10 Offices of ACF and HHS.
  • Sourcing the Crowd to Make Reports that Matter. Led by Elise Berliner from the Center for Evidence and Practice Improvement from AHRQ.
  • DataQuest: Making ACF Native Data Visible and Useful. Led by Camille Loya of the Administration for Native Americans within ACF.
  • CMS FOIA and Correspondence ONLINE Request Entry System. Led by Janis Nero from the Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs within CMS.
  • Back to the Drawing Board: Re-imagining Alternative Medical Malpractice Dispute Models. Led by Paul Lotterer from the Bureau for Healthcare Workforce within HRSA.
  • Building Flexibility into the Training Experience for HHS. Led by Dan Elbert from the Office of Operations within HRSA.
  • Improving Utilization of Data in Organ Transplant Decision-Making. Led by Bob Walsh from the Health Systems Bureau within HRSA.
  • Scribe: Web-based capture of patient-reported outcome data. Led by Jason Levine from the National Cancer Institute within NIH.
  • Consumers at the Center: Improving HHS’s Consumer-Facing Resources. Led by Sarika Kasaraneni from the Office of Health Reform within the Office of the Secretary.
  • Rapid Opioid Alert Response (ROAR). Led by Mitra Ahadpour from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment within SAMHSA.
  • Swipe Right to Collaborate! Making Authentic Partnership Easier for Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Grantees. Led by Nicole Bennett from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health within the Office of the Secretary
  • Project CURE: Clear, Useful Reports for Everyone. Led by Jennifer Tyrawski from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health within CDC
  • NIOSH Nexus: A Collaboration Facilitator. Led by Carin Kosmoski from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health within CDC
  • System To Prevent Group B Streptococcal Infections (STOP GBS). Led by Gayle Langley from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases within CDC
  • CDC Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Redesign. Led by Christian Scheel from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry and the CDC.
  • Big Data Tools to Find Patient Harm in Health Records. Led by Roselie Bright from the Office of Commissioner of the FDA.
  • Rapid Enforcement Action Quality Transformation (REAQT). Led by David Jaworski from the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research within the FDA.
  • See Me as a Person. Led by Brandy Cloud from the Phoenix Regional Office of the IHS.
  • Initiative for Translational Discoveries (iTrans). Led by Ian Hutchins from the Office of the Director of NIH In partnership with Harvard University.
  • Cloud Caffeine: Catalyzing Cloud Adoption at the NIH. Led by Nick Weber from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases within NIH.

The HHS Ventures Fund

Of the 23 initial projects pitched, we are happy to announce the selection of the following 5 teams into Round 3 of the Ventures Fund:

Automated Autism Classification for Public Health Surveillance

From CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities: 15-year, population-based autism surveillance is labor-intensive and costly. To classify autism in children, trained clinicians review dramatically increasing numbers of written medical and educational evaluations. The team’s machine learning approach, in its pilot phase, could instantly classify evaluations, reduce clinician workload, and save time and money.

Global Bidding and Assignment System 2.0

The current system to recruit, keep, and deploy a specialized global workforce is not flexible enough to meet the expanding global mandates of the Department and keep Americans safe from global health threats. The Global Bidding and Assignment System (GBAS), a specialized system for global recruitment, bidding, training, and assignments, has shown early promise during its pilot, in filling overseas global public health vacancies while providing a unifying workforce strategy across the Department.  The project is a joint effort of team members from the HHS Office of Global Affairs, CDC, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, FDA, and Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration.

NARMS Collect: A Public Health Surveillance Mobile App

From the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine: The National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) team will design a mobile app with the goal to decrease manual entry of data associated with samples collected in the field. This app will simplify an 8-16 hour per month process and improve the accuracy of time sensitive food safety monitoring data that are used for regulatory decision making. Stakeholders are interested in the app’s ability to conduct real time surveillance while saving the government time and dollars.

Optimizing HR Operations: The Federal HR Wiki

A team representing the Office of Human Resources at the NIH and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration has created a pilot of a Wiki (a website that allows for collaborative editing) tool to help manage Federal Human Resources Knowledge. The goal would be to pilot this with the Office of Human Resources at NIH with the possibility of future expansion across the Department.

Automation of Onboarding Process for Special Government Employees

NIH has about 1,200 Federal advisory committee members who provide second-level peer review of grant applications and critical advice/recommendations to NIH. Appointing these Special Government Employees is currently done manually, including the completion of 13 required forms. Automation would allow data sharing, interconnectivity with existing systems, and electronic interface with the customer. This pilot could be scalable to other HHS divisions and the federal government. This is a joint project of team members from the NIH Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Cancer Institute, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, and Center for Scientific Review.

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