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Innovation Catalyst Program

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.

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.

See a program evaluation from 2016.

Program Overview

20 Innovation Catalyst teams from California, Colorado, Hawaii and Oregon 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. 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 150+ alumni through the portal. Catalysts can also participate in periodic virtual learning sessions.

Catalyst Teams

California Organizations Location Theme Proposed Opportunity
Alameda Health System Alameda Cty. Team Resilience Build a culture of happiness in the clinic
Asian Health Services Alameda Cty. Care Experience Understand patients’ behavioral health services utilization
La Clinica de La Raza Alameda Cty. Care Coordination Extend care team beyond a physician-MA dyad relationship
Community Health Center Network Alameda Cty. Care Behavior Address unnecessary imaging referrals (MRIs) for lower back pain
LifeLong Medical Care - Over 60 Health Center Alameda Cty. Beyond Medical Provide services to homebound seniors using the appropriate resources
Northeast Valley Health Corporation Los Angeles Cty. Care Coordination Develop a team-based care model/alternative visits that works
Open Door Community Health Center Humboldt Cty. Beyond Medical Understand our true supply and demand for care in relation to patient needs and available community resources
Petaluma Health Center Santa Rosa Cty. Care Experience Integrate behavioral health and primary care services
Ravenswood Family Health Center San Mateo Cty. Care Behavior Understand why patients utilize the health system (i.e. ED) the way they do
San Joaquin General Hospital San Joaquin Cty. Team Resilience Develop a shared understanding of the ideal provider experience and help our providers in achieving this experience
Olive View - UCLA Medical Center Los Angeles Cty. Care Experience Understand how patients living with HIV/AIDS currently experience care at clinic, and what their ideal experience is
Venice Family Clinic Los Angeles Cty. Care Experience Create a better experience for prenatal patients
Vista Community Clinic San Diego Cty. Care Coordination Support meaningful care coordination
West County Health Centers Sonoma Cty. Beyond Medical Address a specific community health priority using HCI methodology
Oregon Primary Care Association Oregon Care Coordination Collaborate better internally on efforts related to Oregon’s Alternative Payment & Advanced Care Model
Community Health Centers of Benton and Linn Counties Oregon Beyond Medical Reduce health disparities and support social determinants of health in our county
Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center Oregon Care Experience Provide care through ways other than a face-to-face provider visit
Clinica Family Health Services Colorado Care Behavior Activate patients through self management
West Hawaii Community Health Center Hawaii Team Resilience Redefine organizational culture / invest in culture of care assets and values
Health Leads Richmond, CA Beyond Medical

2017 Program Timeline

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

Program Kick-Off Call: January 23, 2017, 10 AM PT

PHASE 1 - February - July

Training #1: DESIGN RESEARCH AND OPPORTUNITY FRAMING February 7-8, 2017, Berkeley, CA

Virtual Swap Meet #1: CODESIGN March 15, 2017, 1 PM PT

Milestone #1 Deliverable Due: April 11, 2017

Training #2: IDEA GENERATION AND PROTOTYPING April 11-12, 2017, Oakland, CA

Virtual Swap Meet #2: STORYBOARDING June 2, 2017, 1 PM PT

Virtual Swap Meet #3: TAKING VIDEO WITH YOUR PHONE June 15, 2017, 12:30 PM PT

Virtual Swap Meet #4: PREPPING YOUR PITCH June 15, 2017, 1 PM PT

Milestone #2 Deliverable Due: June 23, 2017

Training #3: PITCHING AND STORYTELLING SHOWCASE June 27-28, 2017,San Francisco

Milestone #3 Deliverable Due: July 14, 2017

PHASE 2 - August - December

Key Resources

Download the Request for Applications for the 2017 Catalyst Program

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.