Innovation at Children’s

When you see amazing, it changes you. We see amazing every day in the kids and families we serve. Innovating at Children’s is about bringing new ideas together with the talent of an organization that is completely focused on kids.

Our team teaches innovation. We develop innovators. We help people see the world as it could be, not as it is.

Innovation approach

We are guided by Children’s Vision, Values and Strategy, and we strive to align and prioritize our work with strategic goals and initiatives. We catalyze leading solutions in pediatric healthcare by identifying problems ripe for innovation; connecting ideas with people, design methods & resources; and learning quickly in a test environment.

The three goals of the Children’s Innovation department are to:

  1. Develop an innovative culture at Children’s
  2. Catalyze creative solutions through the “Innovation Catalyst Program”
  3. Bring new, leading-edge solutions to Children’s by working with external innovation partners.
Innovation is unique in that it is ok to fail. Through failure, we learn and are able to pivot rapidly to another idea. Our work is based on proven innovation methodologies such as human centered design and lean startup approach. Also, by leveraging both internal and external expertise, we engage the best minds available to address innovation challenges.

Innovation project: Tuning in to kids

Check out the video below to learn more about the Music Therapy Cart, which was concepted by a patient family member and the Innovation team.

Innovation Advisors

Our Internal Advisory Council is a cross-functional group of Children’s clinical and business leadership. The Internal Council meets regularly to provide guidance on Innovation project strategic alignment and assists with project execution.

Our External Advisory Council is a group of business and community leaders with experience in innovation and design and a connection to Children’s. The External Council meets regularly to provide strategic guidance. Our External Advisors help us to see the big picture, ensure that our Innovation portfolio is balanced, and connect us with partners to achieve project goals. Some of our valued External Advisors include:

  • Scott Anderson, Vice President Mobility, Best Buy Company
  • Matt Arens, CEO First Light Asset Management
  • Karen Cierzan, VP, Cigna
  • Greg Frankenfield, CEO, Magenic
  • Scott Gill, CEO, Milestone AV Systems
  • Bill Pullman, Chief Scientific Officer, Upsher-Smith Laboratories
  • Kathy Tune, Venture Capitalist
  • Kai Worrell, CEO Worrell Design Innovation Team

Innovation Team

  • Jeff Weness, Senior Director
  • Dr. Adam Lokeh, Medical Director
  • Jesse Hemphill, Project Manager
  • Nels Thompson, Diabetes Analyst
  • Karin Roof, Senior Innovation Consultant
  • Gena Linafelter, Project Coordinator


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