Community Think Tank around Healthcare Solutions

Ivana Shuck

FREDERICK, MD, June 22 — Frederick Memorial Hospital (FMH) and Frederick Innovative Technology Center Inc. (FITCI) organized their first Community Think Tank on June 22, 2019. for the “Co-Creating Healthcare of Tomorrow” event. Sixteen people were divided into three competitive teams. All teams successfully completed the one-day long brainstorming process, which was held at the ROOT building in downtown Frederick. Three topics were chosen: 5-2-1-0 (the importance of increasing the community engagement in the 5-2-1-0 program); Geriatric Living’ (life hacks for the elderly – providing hacks and solutions to living at home longer) and I Did It! (ways of encouraging patients to take medications, do rehab exercises and adopt healthy behaviors so they can say: “I did it!”). Each team pitched and demoed their new tech solutions to a group of unbiased judges: Alexander Nason (FMH), Jackie Rice (FMH), Kathie Callahan Brady (FITCI) and Dr. Ruth Cheng (AgNovos Healthcare).

“It was a great day. Being able to collaborate with folks from across the Frederick community to tackle challenges in healthcare was amazing. I am really excited to see where we can go with these ideas.” said Alex Nason, Director of Innovation for FMH. Mr. Nason and Ms Callahan Brady, alongside with Mrs. Rice, were the initiators of this community think tank, that brought together so many people from Frederick and DC Metro area.

Kathie Callahan Brady, FITCI’s CEO, commented that: “This kind of community centered Think Tanks are the best way to bring the diverse and innovative ideas to the table!” Kathie also mentioned that FITCI is proud to have partnered with FMH in realizing this idea.

The winning team was the 5-2-1-0, who utilized their time to work on a technology solution for encouraging more children/teenagers (target population 6 – 15 year old) to join 5-2-1-0 Program – eating 5 fruits/vegetables a day, not doing more than 2 hours of screen time a day, exercising for at least 1 hour and intaking 0 sugars from sweetened drinks. Vishy Mahadevan was a part of the winning six-member group, and commented that:

“It was team effort listening and understanding each other with different perspectives of the problem and designed a solution we all agreed will make a great impact in the society.” Vishy also mentioned all the excitement around the fact that they now get to build the real solution that they brainstormed during the event. “Can’t wait to see the working Gamification Mobile App to increase the 5-2-1-0 health awareness”, he concluded.

The team came up with a theoretical approach to an interactive and fun app that could be used by both the target population as well as their parents and the local community. The app would be engaging the users with current offers in local stores, programs, community news, current challenges, and then individual achievements and awards during the day. The judges appreciated this idea the most due to the versatile approach and the ability to change behaviors at the crucial development time in children’s lives, which could stick with them for decades to come.

“All the solutions the teams came up with were very impressive. The passion and excitement the groups showed to solve the challenges conveyed how much they cared about the wellbeing of our community.” – Jackie Rice, Chief Information Officer, FRHS.

Another participant of the Think Tank, Dana French, stated that: “System problems in our community require system solutions. Our one-day Think Tank session proved that if you get a cross section of bright people in the same room to tackle a problem, they can collaborate, achieve consensus and propose some thoughtful actions.”

Both FMH and FITCI hope this is not the only Think Tank organized in Frederick community, and as FITCI’s CEO, Callahan Brady concluded, “the excitement is even bigger when thinking about the possibility that three new businesses might blossom out of this first Think Tank”.