The Catalyst program creates a network of trained innovators who can introduce and champion innovation within their own organizations, and help other safety net organizations discover new ways to advance their work.

Safety net organizations are transforming to meet the demands of our rapidly changing healthcare environment. In order to build resilient systems of care for their communities, they need to find innovative solutions to the problems facing them today. With funding from Blue Shield of California Foundation, CCI and The Innovation Consultancy at Kaiser Permanente are partnering to launch the second cohort of the Innovation Catalyst program to grow a network of trained innovators who can help their organization start thinking and doing things differently to meet these challenges. As skilled innovation champions, Catalysts will be a key resource to help other safety net organizations apply human-centered methods and discover new ways to advance their work.

This program supports interested partners to build innovation and design skills and apply them to initiatives in their own organizations. The concept of the Catalyst is based on a program developed by Intuit, which recognized that innovative ideas could be generated throughout the company by empowering frontline staff. Two Catalysts at each grantee organization will be trained to help managers and their peers apply design thinking to innovation initiatives by facilitating workshop sessions that will push projects to move beyond conventional approaches. The curriculum for the Innovation Catalyst program focuses on three key areas aimed to have the broadest impact across health care organizations: Deep End-User Empathy, Exploring Broadly, and Rapid Experimentation. These core design and innovation skills will provide Catalysts with the ability to introduce and champion innovation within their own organizations.

CCI has completed the 2013 Catalyst program and is launching a new cohort for 2014. Read an evaluation of the Catalyst pilot year.

For the 2014 Catalyst program, we have selected 20 individuals from 10 organizations:

Catalyst Name Title Organization
Christina Hicks Assistant Director of Programs California Primary Care Association
Val Sheehan Director of Development and External Relations California Primary Care Association
Vanesscia Cresci Deputy Director, Health Systems Development California Rural Indian Health Board
Thomas Kim Medical Director California Rural Indian Health Board
Karen Bains Napa Medical Clinic Manager Community Health Clinic Ole
Jennifer Wilson Physician Community Health Clinic Ole
Alejandro Nunez Director of Operations Neighborhood Healthcare
Kulin Tantod Director of Medical Informatics Neighborhood Healthcare
Christine Park Medical Director, Children’s Services Northeast Valley Health Corporation
Debra Rosen Director, Quality & Health Education Northeast Valley Health Corporation
Danielle Oryn Chief Medical Informatics Officer Petaluma Health Center
Jeanne Zabout Chief Operations Officer Petaluma Health Center
Akilah Cadet Patient Experience Manager San Francisco Department of Public Health
Alecia Martin Training Project Manager San Francisco Department of Public Health
Ezequiel Montejano Clinic Administrator St. Anthony Medical Clinic
Susana Scotti Clinical Psychologist St. Anthony Medical Clinic
Elvira Linarte Front Desk/Call Center Supervisor Venice Family Clinic
Meghan Powers Quality Improvement Manager Venice Family Clinic
Kathleen Grenham Administrative Assistant/Data Specialist West County Health Centers
Sheena McDermand-Toledo Agency Medical Assistant Supervisor West County Health Centers

The 2014 Innovation Catalyst Program includes two components that will support the development and testing of innovative concepts in the health care safety net.

  • Selected Catalysts (two individuals per organization) will build skills in innovation/design thinking via in-depth training and coaching from gravitytank, Kaiser Permanente Innovation Consultancy, and ChoicePoint Consulting. The organization will receive a $10,000 grant to offset staff time and travel costs to participate in Catalyst activities throughout California.
  • Catalysts will then apply their design thinking skills to explore and frame a challenging problem in their organization. Organizations can apply for a second grant of up to $25,000 for an 8-month phase of further testing and implementation of the compelling ideas they submit in the application process. Projects in this phase will receive ongoing coaching and support throughout in 2015.