The Innovation Grants program is now closed.

University of Chicago Medicine Innovations Grant

The Innovation Grant Program seeks to support projects that use research-quality methods to design, implement, and/or evaluate innovative solutions to operational problems or areas in need of improvement at the University of Chicago Medicine. This emerging field where operational innovation and research intersect has been called healthcare delivery science in the literature [1, 2, 3, 4]. Through this grant program, UCM aims to identify and develop future innovators and create value for our patients.


All University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences Division employees and active medical and research staff are eligible to apply. Under most circumstances, research teams should include members of more than one discipline. One or more members of the team must have research experience that is adequate to design and carry out a rigorous evaluation of the targeted innovation. Trainees must work with a faculty mentor. Recipients of the Innovation Grant must be prepared to offer a 1 year commitment to the University of Chicago-centered project.

Partnership with and Support from Existing UCM Resources

If the success of your project depends on use of (or change in) existing UCM resources, we encourage you to reach out to those resources early in your preparation of your application. You will find the team engaged and willing to support your research idea:

  • Research methods and analysis: John Fahrenbach, PhD Data Scientist, Healthcare Delivery Science & Innovation
  • Center for Research Informatics data requests: Julie Johnson, PhD, MPH, RN Associate Director of Clinical Research Informatics, Center for Research Informatics
  • CBIS services: John Moses, MS, CBIS Liaison for Research
  • Quality Performance Improvement: Samantha Ruokis, Director

If you have questions, please reach out directly to the HDSI team.


The Innovations Grant funding is generously supported by a private philanthropist with matching support from the Office of the UCM President. The Center for Healthcare Delivery Science & Innovation will fund up to $50,000 for each one-year project. Budgets should take into consideration appropriate salary support, supplies, costs associated with fulfilling CRI data requests and/or project management and statistical expertise.

2019 Winners


Using Digital Navigation to Increase Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates, Improve Bowel Preparation Quality during Colonoscopy and Decrease Colonoscopy No-Show Rates

Neil Sengupta, MD, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
This project aims to improve colorectal cancer screening rates by developing a shared decision-making tool (SDMT) that provides individuals their choice of screening test (patient choice increases the likelihood of successful screening completion, especially among minority populations) and through implementation of a preliminary digital navigator program.


Reducing Compassion Fatigue in UCMC Health Care Workers

Royce Lee, MD, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
This project proposes to design and deploy a compassion fatigue reduction program by adapting the Accelerated Recovery Program to best fit the needs of the UCMC using the Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) model of quality improvement.

2018 Winners

megan corsi

Examining the Post-Crash Wreckage: Finding the What, Why, and How Behind Medication Error

Megan Corsi, PharmD, MBA, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
This project proposes the development and deployment of a risk information tool/repository, similar to the “black box” methodology deployed in aviation that evaluates orders for risks associated with ordering and verification user activity to get a view of what safety checks were or were not in place at the clinician level to aid in system level safety-proofing efforts. This data monitoring/flagging tool would look at how users interact with the EHR when processing and entering medication orders to identify risky behavior/poor review of records versus quality behavior when placing and verifying these orders to allow for identification of errors as well as to allow for trends to be identified in systems.


ACT VALUE Program for Asthma and COPD: Ambulatory Care Transformation using Value-based Assessment and Learning or Under-recognized Etiologies: Asthma & COPD

Valerie Press, MD, MPH, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
This is a two-phase project meant to identify patients with COPD who are at high risk for hospitalization and provide them with guideline recommended care in the ambulatory setting. The first phase is to develop an ED-based program that partners our Chronic Disease APNs who lead our COPD readmissions reduction program with ED providers to identify patients in the ED who require ambulatory follow-up visit in the 1-2 days post ED discharge. The second phase of the project is to identify existing primary care patients who are at high risk for admission and to provide them with ambulatory COPD consults and disease education. Our ultimate aim is to ensure patients receive high value ambulatory COPD-based care and ultimately help them avoid exacerbation that would have otherwise decreased their quality of life and possibly resulted in a hospital admission.

2017 Winners

Implementation of Point-of-Care Pharmacogenomic Decision Support in Postoperative Pain Management

David Dickerson, MD & Peter O’Donnell, MD, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
Effective pain control without undue toxicity stands as one of the single most important addressable healthcare challenges. Pharmacogenomics is the study of genetic factors governing drug response and toxicity. Our goal for this application is to overcome barriers to effective and safe analgesic management by instituting and studying an operational implementation to deliver genomic information at the point-of-care to permit genomic-informed pain medication prescribing.

Managing Diabetes to Gain Opportunities for a more Active Life (My Diabetes GOAL)

Elbert Huang, MD, MPH, FACP, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
A project that aims to develop and test an electronic health system based program that will engage older patients in personalized goal setting and improve diabetes care management.

Optimizing Our Ileostomy Outcomes through Pathways and Protocols

Radhika Smith, MD & Janice Colwell, RN, MS, CWOCN, FAAN, APN, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
A project that aims to develop a perioperative pathway for patients undergoing ileostomy creation to improve clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

2016 Winners

Improving End-of-Life Care for Oncology Patients at UCM

Robert Daly, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
A project that aims to develop a precision algorithm to identify patients at high risk for avoidable aggressive end-of-life care so that advance care planning and palliative care interventions can be activated in a timely manner.

2015 Winners

Implementing Computerized Adaptive Testing and Embedded Care for Depression Screening and Management in Primary Care

Neda Laiteerapong, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
A project that uses a self-administered predictive algorithm to screen for depression and embed mental health providers into primary care.

Effect of a goal-directed acute decompensated heart failure clinical pathway on hospital readmission and cost of care

Corey Tabit, MD, Fellow in Cardiovascular Medicine, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
A project focused on standardizing care transitions and improving patient and caregiver education to reduce readmissions, with rigorous evaluation methods.

2014 Inaugural Winners

“Prudence” Surgical Cost Reduction Initiative

Alexander Langerman, MD, Assistant Professor of Surgery and a specialist in head and neck cancer and reconstructive surgery, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
A project using Lean-based methods to examine ways to reduce operating room costs related to wasted and unnecessary surgical supplies.

Improving the Health of our Patients: The COPD Readmissions Intervention

Tina Shah, MD, MPH, a pulmonary and critical care fellow, supported by a multidisciplinary team.
A project centered on treatment models for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.