• Article
  • November 15, 2016

Colorado Health Care Partnership Spurs New Discovery and Innovation

From "What if?" to "What's next?" Children's Hospital Colorado joins health innovation hub to support new discovery in children's health care.

Children's Hospital Colorado physicians and researchers, in partnership with the University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics, have logged many innovation milestones, including the world's first pediatric liver transplant, the discovery of toxic shock syndrome and the country's first newborn screening program for cystic fibrosis.

Building on its history of innovation, the hospital joined two leading health institutions, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and UCHealth, in forming StartUp Health Colorado, the first collaboration of its kind in the United States and only the second in the world.

The goal: to create a health innovation hub in greater Denver for health entrepreneurs, "doctorpreneurs," investors and industry stakeholders. StartUp Health Colorado is the newest regional affiliate of StartUp Health, a global organization focused on transforming health by organizing and supporting entrepreneurs. The organization's aim is to improve the health of 5 billion people by 2035.

Partnership to create health startups

Over the next three years, the members of this partnership will collaborate with Children's Colorado to develop a custom innovation portfolio with plans to build, validate and commercialize at least 10 innovative health startups. All this, while leveraging StartUp Health's global resources, including a network of more than 30,000 innovators, industry leaders and investors to develop and share ideas for improving pediatric health care.

"This will reinforce our commitment to being part of building one of the most important health innovation hubs in the country," says Gil Peri, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Children's Colorado. "Our vision is to accelerate innovation by working collaboratively and support a generation of entrepreneurs and health practitioners to create solutions that benefit pediatric patients and their families."

Innovative ideas come from everywhere

This partnership comes on the heels of Children's Colorado's new Center for Innovation, the hospital's formal commitment to driving innovation that will turn possibilities into realities in children's health care.

Launched earlier this year, the Center's mission is to support ideas from all hospital employees, including faculty, staff members and administrators. Anyone can submit an innovative idea to the Center for discussion and exploration with the team, whether it's an idea designed to advance pediatric health care—from new drugs and diagnostics to medical devices and digital health technologies—or an idea for enhancing internal processes and driving safety and quality improvements at the hospital.

Much like StartUp Health Colorado, the Center serves as a hub for innovation. It's a place where people can gather to share ideas and products and access the education, resources and services vital to stimulating innovations.

"The Center for Innovation, and our partnership with StartUp Health Colorado, represents the realization of our strategic plan to connect our entrepreneurial faculty and staff to a world of innovators," says Robin Deterding, M.D., medical director of Children's Colorado's Center for Innovation. "Through these efforts, we'll develop solutions that will catapult us forward in the quest to improve the health and well-being of children."

Send questions or comments to magazine@childrenshospitals.org.