The paradigm-shifting potential of nurse-engineer collaborations and the power of industry-academic partnerships to drive innovation during a critical time for the healthcare industry were the focus of the first annual Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation Symposium, held Sept. 13 in the Student Union ballroom.
Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy pointed out that UMass Amherst is the first higher education institution to develop a center specifically focused on nurse-engineer innovation, and leaders from the College of Nursing and the College of Engineering expressed their belief that the research and products developed in the center’s uniquely interdisciplinary environment will have a game-changing impact on the healthcare industry.
State Sen. Jo Comerford provided the legislative policy perspective on innovation and collaboration and how government could and should work more closely with communities on critical quality of life issues such as healthcare.
The morning session concluded with a panel discussion between nurses and engineers moderated by Michael Ackerman, Ph.D., RN, director of the Master of Healthcare Innovation Program at The Ohio State University College of Nursing. The afternoon featured a keynote address by Joanna Miller, chief nurse executive of Baystate Health and chief nursing officer of Baystate Medical Center. Her talk was followed by a panel discussion on industry-academic partnerships, and the symposium concluded with a presentation on IV Smart Infusion Pumps, one of the first products under development at the center.