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The UNC Center for Health Innovation is pleased to announce the awardees of the 12th  Annual Innovation Pilot Awards. Proposals were sought from across UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine faculty and employees for innovations across a spectrum of areas including care delivery, workforce development, new technology, advanced analytics, and more.

Five projects were selected from the many applications received. The selected proposals demonstrated clear dedication to improving care for our patients and strengthening our health care system and meeting the mission of the UNC Center for Health Innovation.

The selected teams include:

A pilot feasibility study of a small group professional coaching intervention to decrease burnout and improve well-being among UNC Health physicians

PI:  Katherine Chan, MD, MPH (Department of Urology)

A Specialized Feeding Clinic for Children on the Autism Spectrum: A Partnership Between the UNC Pediatric Feeding Team and the UNC TEACCH© Autism Program

PI:  Krisi Brackett, PhD, CCC-SLP, C/NDT  (Rehab Services- UNC Feeding Team)
Co-PI:  Carmen Caruthers, PhD, BCBA (Psychiatry-TEACCH)

Active Identification and Dedicated Outpatient Treatment for Recurrent C. difficile Infection

PI:   Thomas Holowka, MD, PhD (Division of Infectious Diseases)
Co-PI:  Luther A. Bartelt, MD (Division of Infectious Diseases)

Applications of clinical microbial whole genome sequencing

PI:  Tessa M. Andermann, MD, MPH (Division of Infectious Diseases)
Co-PI:  David van Duin, MD, PhD (Division of Infectious Diseases)
Collaborators: Kevin Alby, PhD (McLendon Labs) Sarah Rutstein, MD, PhD (Division of Infectious Diseases)

INSIGHT (Intelligent, Safe, In-home Gravity Halo Traction),

PI:  Sean Zeller, MBA, MSPO, CPO (Orthopedics / Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation)
Co-PI:  Gregory Buckner, MSME, PhD (Biomedical Engineering UNC/ NCSU)

“We are incredibly grateful to every applicant who took their time to submit a proposal for this year’s Awards,” said Lesley Hall, Director of UNC Health Enterprises.  “The selection process was exceptionally challenging due to the number and extraordinary quality of submissions we received. We saw many great applications that aimed to tackle a broad range of important health care challenges.  The strength of the applicant pool demonstrates that UNC Health is leading the way when it comes to generating ideas for disruptive innovation within healthcare.”

Descriptions of the selected applications from this and previous years can be found online.

We are very grateful to all of the 2024 applicants for their interest and dedication, and to the volunteer Innovation Pilot Award Review Committee.  Congratulations to the 2024 award recipients!

Established by UNC Health Care and the UNC School of Medicine, the Center for Health Innovation initiates, evaluates and supports the adoption of disruptive, patient-centered innovations in the delivery and financing of health care. The Center strives to provide rapid assessment, coordinated facilitation, program management, partnership development and funding for innovation.To learn more about the Center, visit