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Dear Friends, Welcome to the third annual Innovation in Action: Solutions to Public Health Challenges (IIA) competition finals! Winners from previous year’s competitions are actively working to bring their public health solutions to market. We expect the same from this year’s stellar cohort, and we look forward to showcasing their work tonight. When we created IIA, we invited University of Michigan students to be thoughtful risk-takers and champions for finding new solutions to public health issues. Tonight, you will hear from the five teams who have emerged as the top competitors over the past five months. At the same time, we are proud of all the students who took on this challenge. Innovation in Action is a big commitment, driven by students’ individual and collective passion to make a difference in the world. IIA equips students with new skills to apply classroom knowledge to real-world challenges through skill-based workshops and modules ranging from hands-on prototyping exercises, to learning the art of the pitch, to understanding important legal considerations for startups, to ways they can continue moving forward after the competition concludes. We did not work alone. We partnered with people across the University and the local community. We are grateful for the many hours of support and expertise we received from the Zell Lurie Institute, Center for Entrepreneurship, the Law School’s Entrepreneurship Clinic, the School of Information, Menlo Innovations, SPARK, Stamps School of Art and Design, Innovate Blue, and from the other U-M schools, colleges, and departments that participated. We would like to recognize our sponsors who make this competition possible: Booz Allen Hamilton, GEM Healthcare, and Arboretum Ventures. Through their generosity, we have been able to provide students with a deeper, more engaged learning experience that will help to shape their future and impact the future of public health. In addition, there are many others who have generously given their time and talents, and for that we say, “Thank you for being risk-takers!” We look forward to the difference this year’s group of students and their innovations will make in the world and the possibilities that abound through the Innovation in Action competition, now and in the future.

Vic Strecher, Ph.D., MPH Director, Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship, School of Public Health Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education 2

Martin Philbert, Ph.D., FRSC Dean, School of Public Health Professor, Toxicology



INNOVATION IN ACTION: SOLUTIONS TO PUBLIC HEALTH CHALLENGES University of Michigan School of Public Health Thursday, March 10, 2016 5:00 p.m.

Welcome and Introductions

Martin Philbert, Dean School of Public Health

Ann Verhey-Henke, Managing Director Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship School of Public Health

5:15 p.m.

Student Team Presentations (Five Finalists)

6:35 p.m.

Keynote Speaker

Vic Strecher, Ph.D., MPH Director, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education School of Public Health Founder and President, JOOL Health, Inc.

6:55 p.m.

Presentation of Awards and Closing Remarks

Martin Philbert and Vic Strecher

1st Place: $10,000 2nd Place: $7,500 3rd Place: $5,000 $1,000 Audience Choice Award

7:00 p.m.





Supporting causes for better health.


in community action.

Booz Allen Hamilton partners with nonprofits that are on the front lines of public health, pioneering new medical discoveries, promoting health education, and saving lives. In today’s challenging health environment, progress is no longer about the individual actions of a person—it’s about collective results of a community. That’s why our employees work side-by-side with our partners to help move the needle on critical causes. Together, we inspire more people to take action and live better.

BA15-034_IIA Ad_021815Final.indd 1


2/18/15 3:10 PM



Director, Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship

Professor, Health Behavior and Health Education School of Public Health

Founder and President, JOOL Health, Inc.

Vic Strecher is a behavioral scientist, professor, and Director of Innovation at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. In 1995, Vic founded the UM Center for Health Communications Research ( In 1998, he founded HealthMedia, a digital health coaching company that was sold to Johnson & Johnson in 2008. In 2015 he founded JOOL Health (, a digital health solution company that integrates the science of health and well-being, advanced smartphone and biometric technology, and big data analytics. His most recent book (available May, 2016) is Life On Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything (HarperOne).

Thank You Judges! Thank you to our judges who have so generously taken time out of their busy schedules and traveled from far and wide to be with us today. We are grateful for your expertise and contributions in support of the Innovation in Action competition.

Steve Bloom Greg Erber Steve Escaravage Jan Garfinkle Jeanne Tayler



STUDENT TEAMS Benbo Minhee Choi, School of Social Work Quan Pham, School of Public Health Lawrence Yong, School of Information Benbo is a non-profit social enterprise that employs homeless individuals to create, cook, and vend affordable, healthy, and quick to-go meals. Homeless people are capable and filled with potential, but many face discrimination and challenges to attaining employment and are stuck in the cycle of poverty. Benbo breaks them free from that cycle with its proven empowerment business model that capitalizes on their strengths and enables them to succeed.

Confertia Sid Chatani, School of Information Dom Parise, College of Engineering Eric Pfeifer, School of Public Health and School of Information Hanwenbo Yang, School of Public Health and School of Information Confertia aims to disrupt the patient-doctor dynamic during physician visits. Current model of healthcare delivery positions doctors to bear the full responsibility of providing value-based care. However, for VBD to work, the patient also has to have buy-in. Confertia offers a quick and simple solution in the form of a web-based quiz to assess patient understanding and provides tailored questions for the patients. In turn, Confertia helps to position patients at the center of physician-patient dialogue.

Confluence Health Leah Abrams, School of Public Health Prem Bodagala, School of Information Andrew Munfakh, School of Public Health Kai Yu, Stamps School of Art and Design Confluence Health is a mobile app for patient communication, patient progress tracking & triaging, to optimize Community Health Workers’ (CHW) workflow. CHWs are recognized today as a vital element in care coordination for patients after they are discharged from provider organizations. They are particularly important in helping vulnerable populations suffering from chronic diseases become healthier and stay out of hospitals. However CHWs today are having to use outdated tools to do their jobs, which result in wasting valuable time performing procedural activities that do not add value to their clients or employers. Confluence Health provides a modern solution to CHWs that enables them to optimize their work week and triage their clients. By helping CHWs become more efficient, Confluence Health enables healthcare payers to optimize their care coordination resources which play an important role in improving health outcomes and reducing the cost of care.



STUDENT TEAMS Covered Kristin Bevilacqua, School of Public Health Ariel Herm, School of Public Health Angela Wan, School of Public Health & School of Natural Resources and Environment Covered’s mission is to provide families of children with uncontrolled asthma access to allergen-proof mattress covers for their child’s sleeping space. Research shows the effectiveness of mattress covers in reducing asthmatic children’s exposure to irritating dust mites that can cause inflammation in the lungs and subsequent asthma attacks. Through our free mattress cover program, families will be eligible for assistance with a free home assessment to determine which additional environmental services they may need to reduce exposures in their home. Covered will also work with families to access health and social services that may help them better manage their child’s asthma.

Ditto Parisa Soraya, School of Public Health Brianna Wolin, College of Engineering Over one-half of all American adults live with one or more chronic medical conditions. Often called “invisible illnesses,” feelings of loneliness are pervasive among these populations as patients do not feel fully understood or interpersonally connected, resulting in a high prevalence of depression. Ditto is an app-based platform that provides a comprehensive, integrated solution to combat the issue of loneliness associated with the demands of daily management of one or more chronic medical conditions. Ditto connects these individuals (and their caregivers) to others living with at least one of the same chronic medical conditions in their local area for opportunities to meet up. Additionally, the platform’s forum feature allows individuals to interact solely online, or in combination with the opportunity to meet others in person. With Ditto, individuals with chronic illness can find a support system whenever and wherever they need it and begin to feel like “it’s not just me”.



STUDENT TEAMS Embrace Your Face Christine Campbell, School of Public Health Suzie Genyk, School of Public Health Embrace Your Face helps individuals manage chronic skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, and other skin conditions. Our goal is to help individuals better understand how their skin reacts to certain products (prescription medications and store bought medications) as well as lifestyle factors such as nutrition, sleep, air quality, and others. Our current product involves an application which allows individuals to keep track of the severity of their skin issue, alongside other information such as medication compliance, nutrition, and other lifestyle factors. We believe the more an individual understands about their body and skin, the better they can take care of and manage their chronic skin issues.

Fresh Fridge Trevor Dolan, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Hannah Gordon, School of Public Health Christina Hecht, School of Public Health and School of Information Jana Stewart, School of Public Health and School of Natural Resources and Environment Over 40% of the food in the United States goes uneaten. This wasted food eats up valuable energy, fresh water, and land, just to end up rotting in landfills and emitting the most potent greenhouse gas, methane. Americans are currently throwing away the equivalent of $165 billion in food annually. Our mobile app, Fresh Fridge, is a tool to help people use their perishable food before it goes bad by tracking what they’ve purchased, when it’s expiring, and the money they’ve wasted in the process. Fresh Fridge partners with local grocery stores in order to access an existing customer base, recruit new customers and sales for the store, and provide consumers with deals and metrics that feel good and save them money.

HealthyKid Jodi McCloskey, School of Public Health Suyu Sang, College of Engineering Anita Sebastian, School of Public Health Iris Yuefan Shao, School of Public Health and College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Patricia Yeh, School of Public Health Today, American parents do not know how to feed their kids. Our product, HealthyKid, is a nutritional meal box with a supportive app targeted towards parents with kids ages 1-6. HealthyKid gives parents the tools and resources to ensure that their children’s diets are well-balanced and well-proportioned. In doing so, we are helping children develop healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime.



STUDENT TEAMS Honey Tianyi Hua, College of Pharmacy Jessica Lin, School of Public Health Samantha Madson, School of Public Health Adriana Saroki, School of Public Health and School of Information Teresa Tran, School of Public Health 3 million unplanned pregnancies occur annually. An unplanned pregnancy can lead to worry and derailment of women’s aspirations. More women are pursuing higher education and professional achievement and many do not know how to make reproductive choices that fit their lives and goals. With no open and positive resources to guide these choices, women are left turning to other women around them for answers or scouring the internet for a credible source. Honey is a community-focused web platform where women can learn and shop for their contraceptive needs. Through crowd-sourced reviews and a sex-positive online community, Honey users will be empowered to make the contraceptive choices that align best with her needs. With Honey, busy women no longer will have to worry about pharmacy hours or the shame of buying emergency contraception in-person. Honey users will have peace of mind with convenient and confidential home delivery of contraception that fits into their demanding lives. Sex is fun and Honey wants to make it protected and informed.

MiCares Elliot Brannon, Medical School Sunyang Fu, School of Public Health and School of Information Kristin Harden, School of Public Health Dolorence Okullo, School of Public Health and School of Information Shreyas Ramani, School of Public Health and School of Information MiCares envisions the Medicaid application process as one oriented toward customer service. Other aspects of healthcare, such as hospital systems, are re-orienting themselves to focus on customer service and have found that doing so improves patient satisfaction, health outcomes, and reduces costs. MiCares will partner with Managed Care Organizations to offer interactive sessions for DHS case workers designed to increase customer perspective and understanding. MiCares will also offer evaluation services to measure applicant and employee satisfaction and monitor changes in the application process.



STUDENT TEAMS Sweet Dreams Charlie Brink, School of Social Work Tilly Finnegan, School of Social Work A child born in Slovenia or Cuba is more likely to live to their first birthday than in the state of Michigan. The majority of these deaths are preventable. A high proportion of these babies suffocate due to unsafe sleeping conditions, despite extensive educational and outreach campaigns. This problem disproportionately affects African American families in the Detroit area. Based on a series of interviews with African American mothers, we found that while they know the safe sleep guidelines and have safe baby beds, other barriers to safe sleep prevent them from following the recommendations. Our solution takes a different approach from current campaigns, by making the safest choice the easiest choice. We have designed a mattress that allows safe sleep while also providing opportunities for bonding and easy nighttime feeding. Using our product provides mothers peace of mind, a good night’s rest, and sweet dreams.

Verbalyze Amy Bromley, School of Social Work and School of Information Peter Gray, School of Information Jason Lam, School of Social Work and School of Information Bharathi Ramachandran, School of Public Health Verbalyze is a mobile application that allows college students to manage stress by putting their thoughts into words. They can access a supportive community wherever they are, and read what others are thinking as well. Our app is designed with helpful writing and commenting prompts that encourage reflection and compassion.

The Village App Nishan Bose, School of Information Michelle Jackson, School of Information Betty Ku School of Information The mission of the Village App is to redesign child transportation coordination by connecting parents who have complementary needs and streamlining existing tools used to coordinate child transportation.




Gregory M. Erber Chief Executive Officer




JUDGES Steve Bloom Steve Bloom currently manages his own family office and owns minority interests in several hedge funds. He has more than 30 years experience in the alternative asset management business - he was one of five founding partners of Susquehanna International Group, a global proprietary trading firm, and he founded and managed Sagamore Hill Capital Management, a multi-billion dollar multi-strategy hedge fund. Steve received a BA from the State University of New York at Binghamton and an MPH from the University of Michigan. He is actively involved with several volunteer activities including serving as: a Trustee at the New School University (past ViceChair), Chairman of its Investment Committee, and past Chairman of the Board of Governors of the New School for Public Engagement at the New School University. He is Chairman of the Binghamton University Foundation, past Chairman of its Investment Committee, and is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board of the University Of Michigan School Of Public Health. He received an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from the State University of New York and worked as an environmental scientist for several years before entering the investment field.

Greg Erber Greg Erber is an accomplished healthcare executive with a record of success driving revenue growth and building efficient, cost-effective operations grounded in quality patient care and customer service. With a 20-year+ leadership career spanning health systems, hospitals, health plans and medical groups, Greg has deep knowledge of the US healthcare delivery system and provider-payer relationship dynamics, and the business expertise to organize teams for success, capitalize on market opportunities and lead a profitable operation. As the current CEO of GEM Healthcare, an independently owned and operated strategic advisory firm, Greg partners with healthcare organizations to achieve operational and financial improvements and lead large-scale transformation efforts. Over the past several years, Greg developed the strategy for a new centralized, cost-effective call center operation, with best-in-class service delivery model, for a $7B US Catholic Healthcare System, and has made significant contributions in reducing avoidable hospital use in New York, while improving health outcomes. Prior to founding his firm, Greg served in multiple healthcare leadership roles: EVP of Business Development and Operational Services at Sandata Technologies; Deployment Partner at UnitedHealthcare; and Vice President of Ambulatory Services and Business Development at Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers of New York. Earlier in his career, Greg founded and led the build, growth and subsequent sale of two healthcare management services companies: WIN Solutions and PageMed Medical. Throughout his career, Greg’s leadership contributions have extended to the broader healthcare community in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. He currently serves as a strategic advisor to Scribe Inc., maintaining a long-term relationship with the company to which he sold his medical transcription business 12


JUDGES in 2003. Greg earned his Master’s degree in Health Services Administration and undergraduate degree in Political Science at the University of Michigan and remains actively involved in supporting the university and student development programs as a member of the Tri-State Leadership Committee. Greg also holds a Six Sigma Black Belt Certification, which he achieved while working for UnitedHealthcare in 2007.

Steve Escaravage Steve Escaravage is a Principal in Booz Allen’s Strategic Innovation Group with over 15 years of strategy and technology consulting experience. Steve is a leader in Booz Allen’s Data Science Practice serving Federal and Commercial Health clients including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the pharmaceutical industry. Steve also leads Booz Allen’s next-generation analytics product development initiatives in the areas of health surveillance, population health, and quantified self. Prior to his current role, Steve lead technical delivery and business development activities for US Civil Health Agencies, Oil and Gas Production Companies, Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Financial Services Institutions, and organizations within the US Department of Defense (DOD). Steve’s expertise is in mathematics, risk-based optimization, and data mining. Steve holds an M.S. Degree in Operations Research from George Mason University and a B.A. Degree in Mathematics from Rutgers University.

Jan Garfinkle Jan Garfinkle founded Arboretum Ventures in 2002. Jan has led more than a dozen investments and currently serves as a board director for NxThera, Cereve, NeuMoDx, and Cardiac Dimensions. Jan’s past investments include HandyLab (acquired by Becton Dickinson in 2009 for $275M), Esperion (IPO in 2013), and CardioMEMS (acquired by St. Jude Medical in 2014 for $435M). Prior to founding Arboretum, Jan spent 20 years in entrepreneurial healthcare companies. She was President of Strategic Marketing Consultants, advising healthcare start-ups and medical device companies. Prior, Jan held key management roles for two successful medical device start-ups, Advanced Cardiovascular Systems and Devices for Vascular Intervention. Each of these was acquired by Eli Lilly for more than $100M and became the foundation for Guidant Corporation. Earlier, Jan was an engineer and product manager for Procter & Gamble. Jan was the President of the Michigan Venture Capital Association, a member of the Board of Directors for the National Venture Capital Association, and a member of the Healthcare Advisory Board at the University of Michigan. Jan earned a BS in Bioengineering from the University of California at Berkeley and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.



JUDGES Jeanne Tayler Jeanne Tayler has 15 years of broad-based financial management and organizational leadership experience working with small businesses, early-stage startups and high-growth companies. As Principal of Torrey Pines Management Services, Jeanne founded the firm in 2005 because she recognized that fledgling companies have a critical need for financial guidance, accounting oversight and operations leadership. In her work today, Jeanne provides CFO and related services to early and growth stage companies. She specializes in managing internal financial operations, organizational development and intellectual property security to drive the transition from startup to thriving company. Jeanne began her career as a Research Associate with Henry Rowen at the Hoover Institution and Charles Wolf, Jr. of the Rand Corporation, studying the investment requirements of building, maintaining, and deploying conventional force structures in the former Soviet Union. Their work, funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Ford Foundation, contributed to both academic scholarship and national security policy relating to the impact of economics on international stability and security concerns in the former Soviet Union. Jeanne continued to develop her expertise in cost analysis and operations planning as an Investment Consultant at SRI International, advising European and Asian companies on manufacturing/distribution opportunities in Russia, Hungary, (former) Czechoslovakia, (former) Yugoslavia and southern China. Her work at SRI focused on evaluating the quality of existing physical, financial, educational and human capital infrastructures in those regions and the impact of infrastructure maturity on potential manufacturing growth and investment returns. Through her professional experiences, Jeanne has also developed her ongoing interest in understanding why some geographic regions support start-up success and enterprise growth more than others, honing her ability to assess regional trends and geographic influences on the American start-up landscape. After earning her BA in Political Science from Indiana University with an Area Studies Certification from the Russian and East European Institute, Jeanne completed her MA at Stanford University’s Center for Russian and East European Studies, specializing in the economics of transition in centrally planned economies. She is fluent in Russian and continues to follow Russia’s influence on European markets. Outside of Torrey Pines Management Services, Jeanne enjoys time with her 20 year old twins and is an avid baker, hiker and gardener.



THANK YOU We were able to accomplish so much this year because of our sponsors and partner organizations. Thank you for supporting our student teams! IGNITION SPONSOR




In addition, a sincere “thank you!” to our SPH colleagues Julie Cruz, Rhonda DeLong, Katie Fraumann, Adrian Funchess, Laurel Gnagey, Brian Lillie, Beth Miller, Erin Moore, Emily Renda, Mike Sullivant, and Eric Zanotti for your tireless efforts.



THANK YOU It takes a village, and we’d like to thank ours! Ida Abdalkhani, Ability to Engage Nate Aschenbach, GameStart School Tracy Beeson, Menlo Innovations Walt Borland, U-M School of Information Josh Botkin, U-M Zell Lurie Institute, BoldLab Bill Brinkerhoff and Kathy Sample, Argus Farm Stop Meaghan Cotter, FNP-BC, Packard Health Sean Doolan, StartUp Health Tom Frank, U-M Center for Entrepreneurship Nicole Frei, MD, FAPP, IHA Pediatric Healthcare Matt Gibson, U-M Center for Entrepreneurship Nancy Benovich Gilby, U-M School of Information James Goebel, Menlo Innovations & the entire Menlo Team Jonathan Goldstein, Double Eagle Solutions Ryan Gourley, U-M TechArb Student Startup Incubator Sarika Gupta, U-M Zell Lurie Institute Varun Joshi, U-M Design Clinic Kristen Kerecman, U-M Innovate Blue Marianna Kerppola, U-M Ross Design + Business Club, Erb Student Kelly LaPierre, U-M Desai Accelerator Travis Linderman, Ann Arbor SPARK Shally Madan and Sidd Sinha, Luminate Health John Marshall, U-M Stamps School of Art & Design Lisa McLaughlin, Workit Health Hannah McNaughton, Envision Marketing Solutions Jack Miner, U-M Office of Technology Transfer Monte Montgomery, Monte Montgomery Productions Adrian Ohmer, Detroit Innovate Vani Patterson, U-M Adolescent Health Initiative Bryce Pilz, U-M Entrepreneurial Law Clinic Renee Pinter, Envision Marketing Solutions + Menlo Innovations Jim Price, U-M Zell Lurie Institute Anay Somvashi, U-M Design Clinic Jeff Sorenson, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts + optiMize Bruce Tharp, U-M Stamps School of Art & Design Nick Tobier, U-M Stamps School of Art & Design Aaron Wolff, Grand Circus Oscar Ybarra, U-M Innovate Blue




My vote for the Innovation in Action Audience Choice Award 2016 is:

Please feel free to rip this page out when voting



Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship University of Michigan School of Public Health Ann Arbor MI 48109-2029 Email:

Innovation in Action: Public Health Final Showcase -- Program  
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