Eastern Health Launches Its Innovation Strategy

Eastern Health has embarked upon an exciting journey of innovation. Through Hacking Health cafes, the first ever Hackathon, the development of MyCCath and SurgeCon, and roundtable sessions with public and industry partners with expertise in technology solutions, Eastern Health is putting itself at the forefront of health-care innovation.

On Friday, February 14, 2020, President and CEO David Diamond officially launched Eastern Health’s Innovation Strategy which formally articulates a path to achieve our vision – one that positions us to harness innovation to improve patient care and to elevate Eastern Health as a leader in the Canadian health innovation sector.

The strategy identifies Eastern Health as a Living Lab. The $1.7 million Living Lab is cost-shared between the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Eastern Health and industry partners.

(L-r): Taking part in the innovation strategy announcement were Ken McDonald, Member of Parliament for Avalon, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages; David Diamond, President and CEO of Eastern Health; Todd MacCallum, health-care lead for MOBIA Technology Innovations; Ron Johnson, Vice President of Information and Rural Health, Eastern Health; and the Honourable Bernard Davis, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation.

Developing an innovation strategy has been a team effort. Eastern Health has created an innovation ecosystem, a system that brings together the other regional health authorities, the Newfoundland and Labrador Centre for Health Information, Memorial University, College of the North Atlantic, Marine Institute, provincial and federal government and government agencies and private sector strategic innovation partners. Working with our partners, we can achieve the goals laid out in our strategy.

The four pillars of Eastern Health’s Innovation Strategy are:

  • applying a value-based lens to all activities including decision-making and procurement;
  • developing and implementing a health innovation acceleration centre;
  • cultivating a culture of innovation; and,
  • building partnerships to support economic growth.

During the news conference, David Diamond, President and CEO of Eastern Health, discussed how the Living Lab concept will benefit young people in our province and provide future employment.

MP Ken McDonald spoke on behalf of ACOA and discussed how important it is to invest in the Living Lab concept.

Minister Bernard Davis said the provincial government supports health-care innovation and believes Newfoundland and Labrador is the perfect location for innovation to flourish.

With our innovation partners, Eastern Health is growing a culture of innovation. VP Ron Johnson highlighted some of the accomplishments the organization has achieved to date as a result of partnership and highlighted the newly formed innovation team within the Department of Research and Innovation at Eastern Health.

Todd MacCallum is the health-care lead for MOBIA Technology Innovations which is helping to develop MyCCath and SurgeCon to improve patient outcomes. He said that innovation can solve real health-care problems here at home and in the rest of Canada and abroad.

During the news conference, all participants agreed that the most important aspect of health-care innovation is improving outcomes for patients. As David Diamond said: “Patients are at the centre of everything we do when it comes to innovation, whether it’s purchasing a specific outcome or working directly with patients to find technologies that will work for them. Innovation is about providing improvements for our patients, clients and their families. It is about having a meaningful impact on their lives, quality of care and quality of life.”

To learn more about innovation at Eastern Health, please visit our new web site for Research and Innovation.

This story was written by Vanessa Colman-Sadd, a communications manager with Eastern Health.

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