Nursing Innovation Event

Innovations #5 Event!
Wednesday, April 25, 2018 from 8:30-11:30 am in Widmer Wing

View our videos from 2017’s Innovations event!

The Pitch

UConn nursing student innovators pitch their healthcare innovations to entrepreneur judges from Connecticut and across the country.

Our nursing leadership course has hosted interactive discussions, policy debates, and even panel discussions. Learn more about our program.

…and view our Healtcare Innovation video with segments from Dean Regina Cusson; Alumna, program coordinator and judge Christine Meehan; NERAC President and judge Kevin Bouley; and recent SON graduate Elizabeth Schilling.


2016 Event Program and Presentation Guide

View our video of the 2016 Innovation student presentations which took place on April 6th.

In 2015, Innovations Presentation took place in the School of Nursing – view our sample video.

In 2014, the UConn School of Nursing pitched their own health care innovations in style similar to the ABC show “Shark Tank” where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to top professionals.

This first paneled event connected students with entrepreneurs who may fund their efforts!

Event Details

Innovation “Shark Tank” Event #5:
Seventeen senior presentations and seven entrepreneur judges
Save the Date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 Time: 8:30-11:30 am
Two top finalists will be selected and present at 2 pm, followed by voting at 2:30 pm.
Two Locations:
• Widmer Wing Auditorium, Storrs Campus
• Classroom Widmer Wing, Storrs Campus

For additional information contact:

Heather Spottiswoode at (860) 486-0613


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Lawrence & Memorial



Our 2016 Innovation Event Judges


Kevin Bouley
President and CEO
Nerac, Inc.

“As a Shark Tank judge, I’ve been wholly impressed with the quality of the innovations and proposed ideas focused on healthcare solutions, and the passion of the student teams is simply amazing. As an entrepreneur, interested in commercializing new technologies and bringing new products into the marketplace, I see great promise in how this program focuses on clinical needs and supplies students with the skills, tools and knowledge to tackle them.”

Kevin Bouley is President and CEO of Nerac, Inc., ( a global technology and IP advisory research firm. Bouley is an active Angel investor, nurturing innovation, investing capital and resources in numerous small business start-ups, many of which trace their early stage roots back to UConn.

Bouley received the UConn Alumni Association 2007 University Service Award, the UConn School of Engineering 2010 Distinguished Service Award, and was a 2014 inductee to the UConn School of Business Hall of Fame.
About Nerac

About Nerac

Nerac Inc., based in Tolland, CT, is a research and advisory firm for companies developing innovative products and technologies. Nerac Analysts deliver custom assessments of product and technology development opportunities, competitor intelligence, intellectual property strategies, and compliance requirements through a proven blended approach to custom analysis: review of technical knowledge, investigation of intellectual property, and appraisal of business impacts. Nerac deploys analysts in diverse disciplines to help clients discover new applications, serving as a catalyst for new thinking and creative approaches to business problems or identifying strategic growth opportunities.


Deb Santy

“With the expansion of UConn School of Nursing’s Healthcare Innovations program, Deb Santy’s talent for bringing innovative products to market will play an integral role.”

As the first entrepreneur-in-residence in the School of Nursing, Santy will work closely with the students, helping them forge partnerships with industry and take their proposals from concept to commercialization. Her expertise results from over twenty years of experience helping both small and Fortune 500 companies partner with other businesses or universities to promote product innovation.


With Connecticut Innovations, Santy served as both director of small business innovation and director of strategic partnerships where she fostered business and academic partnerships to inspire entrepreneurism, routinely involved with UConn’s School of Engineering. Santy also became director and founder of the Connecticut Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Office where she hosted national Small Business Innovation Research conferences, connecting small businesses to innovative high performance industrial companies like Sikorsky and Boeing. Currently she is the owner and founder of Innovation Thru Partnerships and advisor to businesses and healthcare providers like Masonicare.


Impressed by the innovation emerging from UConn and its growing interest in biomedical innovation, Santy felt that joining the School of Nursing was “a logical next step.” With her enthusiasm for inspiring connections and cultivating innovation, matched with her ambition and determination, Santy is a great addition to the Healthcare Innovations team at the UConn School of Nursing.


Anne Harrington
Chief Operating Officer, Cofounder
Long Term Solutions

“The profession of nursing is ripe for innovations. Nurses are exposed to and have to react to so many different, complex situations. These numerous exposures create opportunities for nurses to think out of the box in order to achieve their ultimate goal of achieving the most desirable outcome for the patient. Introducing innovation and entrepreneurship at UConn SON gives our students the advantage of beginning to look, listen and create to better the future of healthcare.”

Ms. Harrington, RN, MPH is the Chief Operating Officer of Long Term Solutions. She cofounded the company in 1999 with the goal of providing the highest quality services to elders. This goal was attained by building strong relationships within the long term care insurance industry. The continued growth and success of Long Term Solutions is credited to an unwavering focus on superior care, superior customer service and a commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology for accuracy, speed and cost-saving efficiency. The company has received numerous recognitions including Inc. Magazines 500/5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, Boston Business Journal’s Top 100 Women-Led Businesses, Women President’s Organization 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned Companies in America, and Largest Women Owned Businesses by the Worcester Business Journal.Ms. Harrington is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in Public Health. She has over twenty five years experience in the health care industry. Anne has been instrumental in developing the policies and procedures for operations within LTS. She developed the care planning and care coordination program while enhancing it with quality and quantitative metrics to ensure efficient, appropriate and timely service. .

Ms. Harrington is involved in various long term care insurance industry organizations and has spoken to the topics of claims management and care coordination. Her past experience within healthcare companies includes direct care, operations management, business and program development. She received her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Connecticut and her Master’s in Public Health from Boston University. Anne was the 2012 recipient of the University Of Connecticut School Of Nursing Eleanor K. Gill Outstanding Alumni Award for Clinical Excellence in Nursing.


Cheryl Hoey
Regional Director
Vice President
Clinical Nurse Services
CT Children’s Medical Center

“Nursing innovations will be the cornerstone of nursing practice moving forward. In this currently challenging world of health care, creativity and a questioning attitude will be a requisite skill in order for us to provide high quality, efficient nursing care for patients and families. As a profession, we owe it to ourselves to educate and be educated in new ways of approaching opportunities. Becoming a fearless innovator will serve us all well.”

Cheryl Hoey joined Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in August, 2011, where she currently holds the title of Vice-President for Patient Services, and Chief Nursing Officer. She is responsible for patient and family centered, high quality care delivery that includes all ancillary services and the nursing workforce. Cheryl is a partner is Connecticut Children’s high reliability focus in conjunction with 13 hospitals across the state of Connecticut.Hoey has a degree in nursing from Southern Connecticut State University and two master’s degrees in business administration and management from Albertus Magnus College. In her previous role as Director of Pediatrics at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital, where she worked for over 30 years, Cheryl was part of a team that led YNHH to a successful Magnet designation. She has served in numerous professional organizations including the Organization of Nurse Executives as well as a board member for the Ronald McDonald House and the Tommy Fund for Childhood Cancer.

“Nursing innovations will be the cornerstone of nursing practice moving forward. In this currently challenging world of health care, creativity and a questioning attitude will be a requisite skill in order for us to provide high quality, efficient nursing care for patients and families. As a profession, we owe it to ourselves to educate and be educated in new ways of approaching opportunities. Becoming a fearless innovator will serve us all well.”

About Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is a nationally recognized, 187-bed not-for-profit children’s hospital serving as the primary teaching hospital for the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Named among the best in the nation for several of its pediatric specialties in the annual U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” rankings, Connecticut Children’s is the only free-standing children’s hospital in Connecticut that offers comprehensive, world-class health care to children.


Sue Ellen Goodrich
Magnet Program Director, at UConn Health in Farmington, CT

“A creative intellect, coupled with an adventurous spirit, and ambitious determination can truly ‘unleash’ the innovative potential to accomplish great things that we all possess; leading to positive outcomes not only for our patients but for all mankind.”

Sue Ellen Goodrich has recently been named the Magnet Program Director, at UConn Health in Farmington, CT. where she will lead the organization on their journey to Magnet designation. Sue Ellen has worked in the field of labor and delivery and high risk obstetrics at UConn Health for over 30 years. During her professional career at UConn Health, she has served in nursing positions including RN staff, education and nursing leadership. She has been published in a number of nursing professional journals, and lectured nationally on obstetric and fetal monitoring topics. Sue Ellen has served as a member of the review panel for manuscript submission for The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing since 1985. She was also a past expert test item writer for the American Nurses Association National Perinatal Certification Exam, as well as a chapter reviewer for Springhouse Book Company’s Maternal, Neonatal and Women’s Health text book. Sue Ellen received her BSN from Boston College where she received the Marie S. Andrews Award for Clinical Excellence. She received her MSN in Perinatal Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania where she was the recipient of the Leadership Identification Scholarship.

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Kathy F. Rocha
Managing Director
UConn Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium

“Entrepreneurship is an essential capability and mindset for anyone striving to make a significant impact in their professional lives, whether it be in a startup or larger organization.”

Kathy F. Rocha is managing director of UConn’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Consortium that fosters entrepreneurship throughout the university. She is also entrepreneur-in-residence for the School of Engineering where she leads the Third Bridge Grant board, mentors student entrepreneurs and helps with their funding strategies. She is a managing director with Golden Seeds angel investment group, board member of TechSandBox, an incubator targeting startups in MetroWest MA, and SCORE mentor.Previously Rocha was an executive in the computer networking industry, responsible for leading global teams that develop products, applications, and services. She was vice president of business strategy and operations for the network management division at Cisco and general manager of networking product divisions for 3Com. Rocha earned her bachelor of arts in political science and MBA degrees from Providence College in Providence, RI.


Ann-Marie L. Coleman
Executive Biopharmaceutical Representative
Amgen, Inc

Ann-Marie is a proud graduate of UConn’s Graduate School of Nursing. Ann-Marie enjoyed a dynamic career as a Cardiopulmonary Clinical Nurse Specialist at UMass Memorial Medical Center developing innovative, patient centered programs including Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Asthma Management and Lung Volume Reduction Surgery programs. Ann-Marie is the past-president of the Massachusetts Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and is a member of Sigma Theta Tau. Ann-Marie transitioned into the pharmaceutical industry as a Therapeutic Specialist with GlaxoSmithKline where she led sales teams in respiratory sales and earned the national Therapeutic Area Specialist Leadership award. She joined Amgen in 2003 where she has been a multi-award winning inflammatory sales specialist in the rheumatology and dermatology therapeutic areas.

As an entrepreneur Ann-Marie founded Coleman Cardiopulmonary Consulting, where she worked with long term care facilities, and has authored articles on Asthma Management for lay publications. Ann-Marie was on the founding board of Polybiotics, LLC, a dental start-up company with an innovative drug delivery system. Her focus was on cost-effective and clinically relevant product development.


Richard Shok
Owner and Director
Code One Training Solutions, LLC

“Nurses spend countless hours at the bedside. They witness and experience the obstacles in patient care due to limitations in technology, equipment, and staffing. Nurses are in the unique position to design tools and processes to overcome these challenges and help their patients get better faster.”

Rich started his business while attending nursing school at the University of Connecticut. He identified the need for Basic Life Support training in his nursing class, and as an EMT and CPR Instructor, was in the position to provide this training. Code One has since grown to six locations in four states with over 40 employees training 8,500 people each year to save lives.

Rich was the recipient of the 2014 Graduate of the Last Decade (G.O.L.D.) award from the UConn Alumni Association for Code One’s continued partnership with the University. He and his wife Allison (also a UConn nurse) reside in Charleston, SC where Code One’s headquarters is located. Rich works per diem as a nurse at the Emergency Department of Colleton Medical Center in Walterboro, SC.