HEALTH INNOVATORS / GuideWell's Take on Cancer and the Conference Experience

Sep 09, 2016 at 11:15 pm by Staff


Health Innovators is a community focused organization created to showcase the most exciting healthcare developments within our region and spark collaborative, problem solving dialogue. We produce events and media that let healthcare professionals, entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts share ideas and feedback on the future of healthcare.

Our mission is to unite "problem owners" with "problem solvers," in order to foster collaborative relationships and develop world-class solutions for providers and patients in our local communities.

Beginning this month, we're teaming up with Orlando Medical News to bring you a curated page of the most exciting developments in Central Florida Health Innovation.

With some of the largest hospitals in the country and a blossoming innovation community, Central Florida is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the next generation of healthcare services. The healthcare industry accounts for nearly 20 percent of the US economy, and is ripe for disruption. A confluence of ambitious investments, community partnerships, and raw demographics have thrust our region to the bleeding edge of healthcare innovation.

Mark Wilson, CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, claims that if New York defined the 19th, and California the 20th centuries (economically speaking), the 21st century will be defined by Florida. Our state has a resurgent space industry, and remains at a cross-road for the growing global middle class. Based on healthcare trends alone, it looks like it might take us less than 100 years to prove him right. Now you can find Health Innovators here in OMN every month to chronical this exciting journey as it happens.



GuideWell's Take on Cancer and the Conference Experience

By BETH RUDLOFF, Healthcare Executive in Residence for Health Innovators and COO Emeritus of UF Health Cancer Center - Orlando Health

Late August, GuideWell's Innovation Center put on a unique conference called Greater than Cancer. Chris Hillier, GWI's Chief Scientific Officer, designed the event around what he calls the immersion process, which takes a hand-selected cohort of clinicians, patients, and healthcare administrators through six months of divergent and convergent thought exercises.

Hillier didn't want to focus on the new breakthroughs in drugs, or even the effect of immunology and genomics on cancer. His focus was on the human side - the experience of the patient and their caregivers. As Patti Rogers, a breast cancer survivor presented, "Medicine killed my cancer, but it was the people who brought me back to life."

What are the most important issues and how do we support and help those going through cancer treatment? Normally the clinical community attempts to answer questions with expert panelists and presenters. However, GuideWell turned the conference into an interactive process that focused on emotion and connectedness, where attendees took turns in large groups and small to determine the key problems and solutions. The conversation centered around four categories: the patient and caregiver's experience, the provider's experience, how to fund cancer care and the psychological war. Divergence and convergence exercises, flip panels, breakout sessions that build upon each other and other novel processes were employed to drive the conversation and foster new relationships. The GuideWell Innovation CoRE provided an exceptional setting, with the theatre in the round, their innovation garage, hydro bar, flex space, and other amenities for conversation and collaboration.

Following the two-day kick-off event, GuideWell will host periodic convergent and divergent conversations - digitally and at the Innovation CoRE - over the course of 6 months. The ultimate goal of the immersion process is to surface actionable items which can advance the quality and outcomes of the cancer care experience. As Hillier says, "We don't want to just host events. We want to solve problems."

If you couldn't be there for the conference, you can still join in! There is a large digital conversation that started on Twitter August 25 (#gwicancer) that is ongoing. Stay tuned to for more updates.

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Health Innovators is powered by its parent company, MedSpeaks, a medical event hosting and speaker promotion site on a mission to advance knowledge sharing by enabling healthcare professionals to efficiently identify educational events and engagement opportunities that are relevant to them.

As founder & CEO of the Health Innovator's parent company, MedSpeaks, Kelli Murray is a 20-year veteran of healthcare improvement. Her diverse experience crosses many specialties of hospital performance improvement, informatics technology and innovation R&D. She and Colin Forward, SVP of Allogy, a software provider that deploys mobile health solutions for clinicians and patients, co-founded the Health Innovators and along with their team have uniquely converged to showcase and educate others on the human talent and technical innovations happening within our local communities.

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Upcoming Events

Health Innovators has curated a diverse, interesting lineup of events, all geared towards promoting a thriving health tech ecosystem in Florida.

September 22, 2016

Florida Simulation Summit

About: Advancing Human Performance in Healthcare and Sports

8am - 4pm

Orlando Convention Center

Cost: $25


  • October 6-8, 2016
    • Joining FORCEs Against Hereditary Cancer
    • About: covering the latest research, genetics and data sharing and more
    • Attendees: survivors, previvors, people with a BRCA mutation or family history of cancer, patient advocates, researchers, and health care providers who treat high-risk patients.