NHRMC Launches Innovation Center to Find New Ways to Partner and Improve Health

August 13, 2018

A new innovation program will help transform health care in southeastern North Carolina.  New Hanover Regional Medical Center is launching the NHRMC Innovation Center to foster and test creative ideas for improving health and wellness.

“We are looking at health care in new ways,” said John Gizdic, NHRMC President and CEO. “We are working to make care easier to access, more equitable, and more affordable so everyone has the resources they need to live healthier lives. To do this, we need to collaborate with partners who will help us think differently and try new things.”

The NHRMC Innovation Center allows employees and physicians to collaborate with community partners and thought leaders from various industries in an environment conducive to innovative thinking. The NHRMC Innovation Center is working in partnership with tekMountain, the creative corporate innovation center spawned by Wilmington’s CastleBranch. The partnership will work to strengthen the awareness and adoption of emerging health technology initiatives that are tightly aligned with NHRMC’s strategic initiatives and the health needs of our community.  Located at 1844 Sir Tyler Drive, tekMountain is a technologically driven community where entrepreneurs and researchers can work together. The atmosphere is unlike a typical office or hospital setting. Undefined work spaces, fluid meeting rooms and gathering spaces help stimulate creativity, imagination, and conversations that spark new ideas to push the boundaries of how traditional healthcare is delivered.

“When in our traditional work settings, we tend to be focused on the immediate tasks at hand,” said Henry Hawthorne, Administrator of Oncology Services for NHRMC and part of the team that proposed creating an innovation center.  “The purpose of the innovation center is to give us the space and structure to look beyond what’s happening today, think about where we would like to be tomorrow, and create a path to get there.”

“Innovation is a key component of our future,” said Gizdic, NHRMC President and CEO. “We have great thinkers within our system, and we want them to have an opportunity to help find new ways of leading our community to outstanding health”

NHRMC Announces Executive Director for Innovation

NHRMC has hired Chris Hillier as Executive Director for Innovation to build the program and a culture of innovation throughout the NHRMC system.

Hillier, a technology entrepreneur, is a co-founder of Angry Health, Exponential Health Group, GIRI, Biopta, Sistemic, and 4R.

His background includes serving as Principal at GuideWell Inc.; Senior Director of Innovation at Florida Blue; COO and CSO at GuideWell Innovation; Professor of Technology Transfer & Innovation, University of the West Indies; and Professor of Physiology at Glasgow Caledonian University.