Regional One Health’s national leadership in health care innovation takes center stage at American Hospital Association forum

Jun 17, 2019

Regional One Health is emerging as a national leader in health care innovation, working with entrepreneurs to bring about a future with better patient outcomes and enhanced care delivery.

President and CEO Reginald Coopwood, MD and Center for Innovation Director Alejandra Alvarez were among the featured speakers at last month’s American Hospital Association executive forum titled, “Addressing Disruption through Innovation and Value.”

Center for Innovation Director Alejandra Alvarez helped share Regional One Health’s innovation story with a national audience at an American Hospital Association forum.

Coopwood and Alvarez were invited to Atlanta to share the story of Regional One Health’s Center for Innovation and how it is bringing disruptive thinking and dynamic innovation into a place where it is rarely found – a large health system that cares for the most critically-ill patients.

Alvarez hopes the opportunity to tell industry leaders how Regional One Health is offering a unique service and filling a major gap will inspire others to do the same.

“Being known as the subject matter expert on a national stage lets others take notice and perhaps start on an innovation journey of their own,” she said.

The Center for Innovation opened in 2016 to support entrepreneurs who are revolutionizing health care through new tools, treatments and technologies. It offers insight into the industry, a place to test products, and a chance to develop a go-to-market strategy. Its first Access Incubator project, with Cast21, is underway to test a more comfortable orthotic device to heal fractures.

Alvarez said the fact that the AHA reached out to Regional One Health to present is an honor, and she hopes to leverage the exposure to generate more support for the Center for Innovation.

Regional One Health President and CEO Reginald Coopwood, MD helped explain how the health care system is leading the way in innovating better patient care.

“It says a lot because it shows others are taking notice of the work we are doing,” she said. “The AHA is looked upon for its expertise, so having its support and recognition helps promote who we are and what we do.”

The presentation can also help bring in new entrepreneurs with exciting ideas, Alvarez said – something that is important because the center is currently at a stage where it’s looking to grow.
“It’s a way to recruit entrepreneurs or startups to our Access Incubator program by increasing our exposure and pipeline of contacts,” Alvarez said. “AHA is a platform that is top quality and top value because they represent a source for expertise and support for the healthcare industry.”

To that end, she and Dr. Coopwood shared how the center includes an Innovation Lab to support employees’ ideas and an Access Incubator to provide resources for external entrepreneurs. They discussed how they identify initiatives, develop ideas and provide testing and piloting.

They also described important lessons they have learned: the importance of leadership support, the need for structure and discipline, the fact that intellectual property is key, how to align efforts to company strategy and why innovation must have a high failure rate by design.

The first product to go through the Center for Innovation is an orthotic device created by the medical startup Cast21.

While the forum was an excellent chance to share Regional One Health’s innovation story, it was also a chance to learn, Alvarez said.

The event was designed to discuss how a transition to value-based care, the rise of consumerism and the new digital economy mean health care must transform, making it ripe for innovations.

Thought leaders and health care executives shared their ideas about how innovation can enhance value and advance the treatment of patients. Alvarez said discussion centered on building community partnerships, implementing non-medical population health strategies, using data analytics to guide decision making, finding new operational solutions and, of course, redesigning health care through innovation centers like the one at Regional One Health.

“We learned what others are doing to provide value, and we heard about the roadblocks and struggles that inspire innovation,” Alvarez said.

To support the valuable work of Regional One Health’s Center for Innovation, visit the Regional One Health Foundation at

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