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Become an Innovation Catalyst

Market forces are accelerating change in our healthcare system at a magnitude felt by all of us. Organizations must continue to adapt to meet new challenges in caring for vulnerable populations, and seize opportunities to transform care. The Innovation Catalyst program supports leaders who want to learn human-centered innovation mindsets and methods to help drive different ways of working in their organizations.

Now Accepting Applications for the 2017 Innovation Catalyst Program

About the Innovation Catalyst Program

With funding from Blue Shield of California Foundation, the Center for Care Innovations (CCI) launches its fourth cohort of the Innovation Catalyst Program. The program was initially developed in partnership with gravitytank, an innovation and design firm, and the Innovation Consultancy at Kaiser Permanente. Building on the successes of the program’s first three years, CCI is growing a network of trained innovators in the safety net who can lead strategic efforts to transform care.

What It Means to Be a Catalyst

With hands on coaching, training and tools, and ample resources, catalysts approach challenges through a human lens and co-design solutions with real end-users.

Apply to Be a Catalyst

We are looking for leaders and passionate do-ers who are interested in building capability in human-centered innovation and design and applying those skills to vital strategic projects. Join a network of change agents to transform healthcare!

Request for Applications for 2017 Catalysts Is Now Available

Program Overview

Up to 14 Innovation Catalyst teams of two or three individuals per organization will develop mindsets and apply methods in human-centered innovation over five months via in-depth training, ongoing coaching, and a virtual learning community. Key resources include:

  • Training: Catalysts will participate in three, in-person trainings in February, April and June, during which they will be brought through the program curriculum and actively practice human-centered innovation methods and mindsets. The June convening provides a venue for Catalysts to showcase their work to their organization sponsors.
  • Coaching: Teams will have access to hands-on coaching support from a practitioner of human-centered innovation for up to four hours per month. Through onsite and remote support, coaches help teams model and reinforce the methods and mindsets they learn in trainings.
  • Learning Community: Teams can communicate with each other and the broader Innovation Catalyst network of 100+ alumni through the portal. Catalysts can also participate in periodic virtual learning sessions.
  • Financial: Because we want to attract multidisciplinary teams that can commit to attending three in-person convenings and take advantage of the coaching resource on a monthly basis, each organization receives a $15,000 grant to offset staff time, travel, and other costs related to program participation.

At the completion of the five-month core program, Catalyst teams will be eligible to apply for an additional grant of up to $10,000 to plan and pilot their solution, with the hope of implementing it within their organization. If a team is selected, the extended program will take place over the course of four months (July-October 2017), during which teams will receive additional programmatic support.

How to Apply

Review the Request for Applications

Download the Request for Applications for the 2017 Catalyst Program

Listen to the Informational Webinar

Slides and Recording from November 17 Informational Webinar are Now Available

Apply Online

Applications must be submitted online by 5:00 PM on Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

Applications should include the following:

  • Each individual must include separate responses to the application questions
  • A resume for each individual applicant
  • A letter of support from the team sponsor (organizational leader)
  • Budget form for the total $15,000 grant that includes projections for travel expenses for all Catalyst teammates to attend three in-person convenings – download template here:

Save These Dates

Informational Webinar: November 17, 12 PM - see Slides and Recording

Application Deadline: December 6, 5 PM

Applicant follow-up calls (if need be): December 15 to 21

Innovation Catalyst cohort announced: January 13, 2017

Program Kick-Off Call: January 23, 2017, 12 PM – 1:30 PM

Training #1 (1.5 Days): February 7-8, 2017, Bay Area

Training #2 (1 or 1.5 Days): April 11-12, 2017, location TBD

Training #3 (1 or 1.5 Days): June 27-28, 2017 location TBD

Core Program End Date: June 30, 2017

Key Resources

Explore the Catalyst network portal at

Read an evaluation of the Catalyst pilot year.

For more, click “See All Related Resources” to the left.

The New Jersey Innovation Catalyst Initiative

In 2015 CCI partnered with The Nicholson Foundation to launch a new cohort of its Catalyst program among health centers in New Jersey. With a combination of grants and training in human-centered design and innovation, the program focused on encouraging empathy, exploration, experimentation and entrepreneurship. At the end of Phase 1, teams then proposed solutions they were interested in testing and implementing, and some teams received an additional grant, as well as further coaching and support.

To learn more about this program, download the archived RFA. Or download the slides from the orientation webinar.