Innovation Ecosystem

A busy week talking about health and innovation

Yet, for all the talk, the conversations appear to lack connection, convergence or collaboration

Photo by Richard Asinof

A small sign welcomes visitors to South Street Landing, which will hold its ceremonial ribbon cutting on Wednesday, Nov. 29, one of a number of events, talks, hearings and conversations taking place this week.

By Richard Asinof
Posted 11/27/17
The coming week is chock full of lectures, talks, hearings and conversations that touch the innovation and health ecosystem in Rhode Island.
What will it take to break down the silos in the conversations around health, innovation and community? How is the collaboration working out between RIC and URI nursing programs? What kinds of interactions are there between med students at Brown, physician assistant students at Johnson & Wales, and nursing students from RIC and URI?
Brown University touches all of these events: the closing of Memorial Hospital, developing a new paradigm for industry engagement, the ribbon-cutting at South Street Landing, the conversation about lessons learned from Obamacare, and the annual Stanley D. Simon lecture by Dr. Damon Tweedy. Yet the conversations do not converge, occurring in silos, as separate parallel lines without collaboration or connection, except for coverage by ConvergenceRI. Brown, we have a problem.

PROVIDENCE – The Earth may appear to be spinning a bit faster this week, tilting on his axis toward the winter solstice, given the plentitude of hearings, lectures, talks, ribbon cuttings and events occurring within Rhode Island’s innovation and health ecosystem.

On Monday evening, Nov. 27, the R.I. Department of Health will conduct a public hearing related to the closing of Memorial Hospital, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Goff Junior High School, 974 Newport Ave., Pawtucket.

The two-hour informational hearing will serve as a way to gather public comment about the closing of the emergency department at Memorial Hospital as well as the transfer of the primary care services currently held under Memorial’s license to Kent Hospital’s license.

On Tuesday evening, Nov. 28, MedMates After Hours will host Daniel Behr, the executive director of the Industry Engagement and Commercial Venturing Office at Brown University, who will be talking about “implementing a new paradigm for industry engagement and technology commercialization at Brown.

The event will held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Brown Professional School of Studies at 200 Dyer St. in Providence.

MedMates will also be involved in the marketing effort for the New England Medical Innovation Center, as part of a $150,000 award from CommerceRI.

On Wednesday morning, Nov. 29, beginning at 9 a.m., the official ceremonial ribbon cutting will occur at South Street Landing at 350 Eddy St. in Providence. Among the dignitaries hosting the event are Gov. Gina Raimondo, Brown University President Christina Paxson, Rhode Island College President Frank Sanchez, and University of Rhode Island President David Dooley, who will be joined by a number of elected officials.

South Street Landing is the home of the nursing education center for the nursing programs at the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College, which have already been holding classes there. Brown University, the other major tenant, expects to house much of its administrative staff there, moving them down from the College Hill campus.

On Thursday afternoon, Nov. 30, at 12 p.m. Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the former secretary of Health and Human Services, will join Brown University President Christina Paxson in a discussion entitled: “Reflections on the Affordable Care Act: The Past, Present and Future of U.S. Health Reform.

The event, to be held at the Warren Alpert Medical School, is billed as a conversation about the lessons learned and the future direction of health reform.

On Thursday evening, Nov. 30, beginning at 5:30 p.m. also at the Warren Alpert Medical School, Dr. Damon Tweedy will give the 23rd annual Stanley D. Simon lecture. Tweedy, the author of the 2015 book, Black Man in a White Coat, will hold a book signing at 4:30 p.m.

Tweedy, who is currently an associate professor of Psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, has written extensively about race and medicine.

On Friday morning, Dec. 1, at 9 a.m., ONE Neighborhood Builders will host and open house and a ribbon cutting for Amherst Gardens at 243 Manton Ave. in Providence.

Speakers will include Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza, Providence City Council President Sabina Matos, and Barbara Fields, executive director of Rhode Island Housing.


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