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Loyola and Lyfebulb announce 11 finalists for 2021 Innovation Challenge

Loyola University Chicago’s Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health and Lyfebulb, a patient-empowerment platform and innovation accelerator connecting patients with patients and with industry to support user-driven innovation, announce the 11 finalists for the 2021 Innovation Challenge: “Meeting Our Moment – Reimagining Innovation, Improving Health Equity, and Building Resiliency."

“We are very excited to announce this inspirational group of finalists in our first public health initiative in partnership with an academic institution,” said Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD, founder and CEO, Lyfebulb. “They demonstrate a high degree of ingenuity and conceptual diversity, exhibiting one of this initiative’s primary goals: to highlight the importance of using cross-sectoral approaches to solve complex health challenges.” 

The finalists are:  
  • Shireen AbdullahCEO at Yumlish 
  • Romy Antoine, CEO at One Stop Wellness 
  • Rohan Dixit, founder and CEO at Lief Therapeutics 
  • Sathya Elumalai, founder and CEO at Aidar Health 
  • Tim Fitzpatrick, co-founder and CEO at IKONA Health
  • Kimberly Gandy, MD, PhD, founder and CEO at Play-it Health
  • Katherine Grill, PhD, co-founder and CEO at Neolth
  • Yair Saperstein, MD, co-founder and CEO at avoMD
  • Mihir Shahfounder and president at UE LifeSciences
  • Donald Vetal, CEO at LyfLynks
  • Jerry Wilmink, PhD, CBO at CarePredict

“Health is a complex interplay between systemic forces such as economic disparity, racism, climate change, and the immediate challenges to personal and community health facing people every day,” said Elaine H. Morrato, DrPH, MPH, CPH, founding dean and professor, Parkinson School. “These finalists reflect the entrepreneurial energy, the broad-based expertise, and the fervent spirit of Parkinson School students and faculty to impact determinants of health in multiple dimensions."

The 2021 Innovation Challenge seeks to accelerate the growth of solutions to address the effects of emerging infectious diseases (such as COVID-19) by improving population and public health, health care delivery, and health equity. The 11 finalists were co-selected by the Lyfebulb and Parkinson School teams based on the potential impact, feasibility, and sustainability of their innovations in the market and healthcare ecosystem. 

After participating in networking and discussion activities on the first day of the Summit, the finalists will present their solutions to an expert panel of judges comprised of public health, venture philanthropy, technology, and healthcare leaders on November 17, 2021. A total of $75,000 will be distributed among up to three winners, to be selected by judges. The judging panel will include: 

  • Lisa Hehenberger, PhD, associate professor, Department of Strategy and General Management at ESADE Business School and director at ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute & Center for Social Impact (Barcelona) 
  • John Ponsoll, managing director at Symbiotix at Havas Health & You (New York) 
  • Ramanathan Raju, MD, MBA, FRCS, FACS, FACHE, former senior vice president and chief community health investment officer at Northwell Health New York, former president and CEO at  NYC Health and Hospitals, and former CEO at Cook County Health System (Chicago) 
  • Abigail Silva, PhD, MPH, assistant professor at the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health and director at the Institute of Public Health at Loyola University Chicago 
  • Jeffrey Yangchief technology officer at LyfebulbIT/digital product advisor, and managing partner at Yang Consulting (New York)

Beyond the pitch competition, the 2021 Innovation Challenge will provide opportunities for finalists and other participants to engage in discussions and exchange insights and ideas about how best to address the obstacles posed by emerging infectious diseases to health systems, disease control measures, care access, and individual health outcomeswhich are further exacerbated by social disparities in health. To learn more about the Challenge, please visit Lyfebulb.com.