Advancing the Science

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October 4, 2017

Swimming with sharks nets funding for research projects during the inaugural Kern Scholar Shark Tank

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

Sharks Jeanette Eckel Passow, Ph.D.; Carla Tentis; Joan Griffin, Ph.D.; Jeff Sloan, Ph.D.; and Victor Montori, M.D.; examine possibilities, award cash during event.

The Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars Program held an inaugural Shark Tank–like event, October 2, 2017. The event launched the bi-annual scholar retreat, incorporated into the opening social gathering. These social gatherings provide an opportunity for Kern Scholars Program alumni to network and maintain connections with current scholars, program leaders, and the center.

Modeled after the ABC show, designated ‘sharks’ were given the opportunity to ‘invest’ in ideas pitched by ‘fishes.’  Encouraged to think big and creatively, proposals were sought for clinical research projects from program alumni and senior scholars, with $100,000 in funding available.  All pitches, from minnow to whale were encouraged.

Sharks considered how each proposal would improve health care delivery research, its clinical importance, overall project feasibility, and the potential impact of the project on the individual’s career. The evenings’ sharks were Drs. Jeanette Eckel Passow, Joan Griffin, Victor Montori, Jeff Sloan; and Carla Tentis from the Department of Development. Each shark could allocate up to $20,000 in funds, however they wanted among the fishes, including toward the same project if desired.

“Scholars really thought out of the box and presented ideas in persuasive, fun and thought provoking ways.  Their ideas, I think, gave us a sneak peek into the future of healthcare delivery,” said Dr. Griffin, who in addition to being a shark for the night, is the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Scientific Director for Care Experience.

Seven fishes pitched research ideas to the sharks, representing a variety of research ideas ranging from the use of virtual reality to leveraging technology to collect patient information to establishing a web presence for shared tools. Using props such as 3D-printed kidneys, bags of canned goods, videos, and emotional appeals, they made their pleas to the sharks for funding.  At the end of the evening, five fishes receiving funding: Drs. Cassie Kennedy, Elizabeth Lorenz, Rozalina McCoy, J.P. Brito Campana, and Michael Wilson.



Stephanie M. Pagel, M.A., is an operations manager within the Mayo Clinic Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. She oversees operations for the Education Program, Care Experience Program, and Population Health Science Program.



Tags: About, Awards, Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery, Events, Innovations, Kern Health Care Delivery Scholars, republished

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