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Who's Hiring in CLE: Rick Case, Hyland Software, Cleveland Foundation...

Welcome to the latest edition of Fresh Water Cleveland's “who’s hiring” series, where we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply. Please send your freshest job tips and postings to innovationnews@freshwatercleveland.com.
Rick Case Automotive Group
Rick Case Automotive Group is hosting a career fair on Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Rick Case Honda, 915 E. 200th St., in Euclid. Candidates can apply for product specialist and sales consultant jobs as well as dealership service advisor positions. For more information, call 216-416-6847 or visit the dealership website.
Cleveland Foundation
Cleveland Foundation is seeking a media relations officer to oversee external communications and support the chief marketing officer in providing counsel to the foundation team. Responsibilities include enhancement of the nonprofit's media outreach footprint. A minimum of eight to 10 years in media relations required. To apply, send resume and cover letter indicating salary requirements to resumes@clevefdn.org by February 19. Candidates selected for interview will be contacted on or around the week of February 27.
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic is searching for an administrative program coordinator to identify operational improvement opportunities and coordinate policy implementation and evaluation. The successful candidate will work from the Clinic's Beachwood campus and is expected to lead multiple complex projects, assist with scheduling, and act as a liaison with committees, employees and vendors. Bachelor's degree in business administration, finance, communications, healthcare administration, or related field required. Apply through the company's career page

CBS Radio
Broadcast media company CBS Radio needs a full-time reporter for its in-house traffic team based in Cleveland. Duties include writing, editing and voicing traffic reports for broadcast on CBS Radio stations. Knowledge of broadcast area geography and transportation systems preferred. Apply through the company's website.
Hyland Software
Hyland is looking for a network and security engineer to perform general maintenance  and vulnerability assessments on its systems. Qualifications include experience as an IT security administrator, proficiency with Microsoft and Linux operating systems, and experience using various security tools. Apply through the company's website.
Rockwell Automation
Mayfield Heights industrial automation firm Rockwell Automation is hiring a senior-level mobile software engineer to develop large scale applications. Hires will work with software engineering areas such as SPA architectures, mobile platforms and test automation. Minimum four years of software development experience and a bachelor's degree in computer science or equivalent required. Apply through the company's website

Cleveland medical entrepreneur climbs to save lives

Sanfilippo syndrome is a genetic disorder that effects young children, resulting in mental disabilities, blindness, nerve damage and seizures. Those afflicted may live into their teens, while others with severe forms of the disease die at an earlier age. There is no specific treatment for Sanfilippo syndrome, but a Cleveland-area startup owner literally climbed a mountain to help find one.
Tim Miller, CEO of Abeona Therapeutics,  joined a team of climbers representing the Team Sanfilippo Foundation to scale Mount Rainier in Washington. The 14,411-foot ascension represented the latest in a series of fundraisers designed to fight the deadly disease through research. Thus far, the effort has raised nearly $22,000.
Abeona, a company developing gene- and plasma-based therapies for rare genetic disorders, recently entered its first trial on replacing a Sanfilippo sufferer's malfunctioning DNA with a correct copy. The therapy produces an enzyme needed to dispose of sugar molecules that are otherwise stored in cells. This storage causes progressive damage in the patient.  
"We're the only ones in the world using this particular approach," says Miller. "Our next step is to enroll more patients."
Miller battled freezing temperatures, high altitudes and steep rock faces during the 36-hour climb to Rainier's crest. The early-September jaunt burned 16,000 calories and left him physically and emotionally exhausted. Disappointment Cleaver, a 70- to 80-degree rock incline located at 12,500 feet, was perhaps Miller's most harrowing challenge.
"You're scaling 1,000 feet of rock in the middle of the night with a short rope," he says. "You just have to keep moving."
Miller and his teammates - among them a father of two boys diagnosed with lethal Sanfilippo syndrome type A  - reached the summit at sunrise, a sight that washed away all previous trials.
"There was this great sense of joy when we reached the top," says Miller. "We got to see the entire world unmapped before us."
Tackling Mount Rainier was difficult, but nothing compared to what those dealing with Sanfilippo syndrome must endure, adds the medical entrepreneur.
"I had to live through mental, physical and emotional hardships (on Mount Rainier)," Miller says. "But parents whose children have (Sanfilippo syndrome) must live with the disease for years. That's courage." 

High-tech rebranding initiative markets Cleveland as a 'medical capital'

Cleveland is home to more than 700 bioscience companies, a powerful ecosystem that draws strength from a clinical, research and educational foundation dedicated to growth and medical innovation. A new rebranding initiative led by a host of area institutions is ready to send this message out into the world.

Called "The Medical Capital," the campaign's centerpiece is a website where visitors can access information regarding biomedical investments and start-up activity in the region. Organizers are also offering a video showcasing the region's burgeoning tech-based assets, complete with testimonials from investors and CEOs. Social media is another facet of the effort.

BioEnterprise president and CEO Aram Nerpouni, whose not-for-profit business accelerator is helping to administer the project, says the website will aggregate locally generated biomedical industry news to share Cleveland's rebranding story all in one place.

"Cleveland and Northeast Ohio have an incredibly rich history in healthcare innovation," says Nerpouni. "Over the last 10 years, (biomedical) has become an important part of the economy where you're seeing investors commit capital to the region."

According to BioEnterprise, Northeast Ohio has attracted more than $2 billion in biomedical start-up equity funding since 2002. About $1 billion has been raised by 160 biomedical companies in the last four years alone, which proponents view as a sign of an increasingly robust innovation economy bolstered by research and commercialization.

Organizations collaborating on the new initiative include BioEnterprise, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland State University. Though Cleveland is not the first city to promote its high-tech attributes online, the venture is unique in its collaboration of multiple nationally ranked and independent institutions, all striving to promote a unified biomedical environment.

"There's a breadth of participation through industries and philanthropic and civic support,"  says Nerpouni. "Everyone in the region should know that healthcare and biomedical are key to our economic growth."

The Medical Capital campaign will also push Cleveland's story outside of Northeast Ohio, adds the BioEnterprise official. Long term, a sustained influx of funding and talent will further nurture the area's biomedical network.

"It's about creating a critical mass that's self-sustaining and thriving," Nerpouni says.

"It's a remarkable time for Cleveland. We want biomedical to continue to be part of the city's renaissance." 

MidTown Cleveland names health-corridor head as new executive director

For almost two years, Jeff Epstein led efforts to attract health-tech and high-tech businesses to the Cleveland Health-Tech Corridor in Midtown. As the newly named executive director of the MidTown Cleveland nonprofit, Epstein expects a smooth transition in helping guide development of the entire two-mile stretch connecting downtown with University Circle

Epstein, named to the position by MidTown Cleveland's board on March 10, will coordinate marketing, business growth and real estate/amenity expansion for the area, including the tech-centric corridor which he previously spearheaded. In the Midtown position, he replaces Jim Haviland, who left the group last August and is now director of local government relations at The MetroHealth System.   

According to MidTown Cleveland, Epstein's work in the self-styled innovation hub resulted in more than 1,800 new jobs and 500,000 square feet of new or renovated office and lab space. Working in the 1,600-acre tech corridor, which contains four world-class healthcare institutions and more than 140 high-tech companies, was an experience Epstein says has prepared him for strategizing Midtown's continued makeover.

"I've built some tremendous relationships over the last 18 months," says Epstein. "There are a number of partners eager to work with us."

Though Epstein's duties with the corridor will continue, the nonprofit will hire on a project manger and additional staff to bolster its mission. For now, the new executive director is meeting local property owners on redevelopment and safety/security issues. Epstein is also looking ahead to various projects planned for 2016 and beyond, among them University Hospitals' proposed women's and children's primary-care clinic on Euclid Avenue.

MidTown Cleveland has several other projects in the pipeline, along with neighborhood-connecting events like "The Chomp," a seasonal weekly midday food truck rally on East 46th Street between Euclid Avenue and Prospect Avenue.

"As an organization we'll look at all the ways we can play an active and smart role in community development," Epstein  says.  

While Midtown is growing, there are pockets that need to be stronger, adds the nonprofit official. Gaps in retail amenities means driving five minutes to University Circle for a cup of coffee or after-work drink.

Meanwhile, areas surrounding Midtown should be included in the larger-scale revitalization effort, be it through job opportunities or projects that add value to underserved neighborhoods. Epstein points to partner group JumpStart's "core city" program, which provides investment and advice to minority and low-income businesses owners.

"There's such potential to transform this district," says Epstein. "I'm excited to be part of a team that's going to be working toward that." 

Cleveland healthcare companies attracted more than $200 million in new investment last year

Those with an eye on local healthcare-based technology maintain that Cleveland is emerging as a powerful base for medical know-how. For proof of this trend, observers point to the latest Midwest Healthcare Growth Capital Report.

Last year, Cleveland's healthcare industry attracted $201 million in new investments across 34 companies in the areas of medical devices, biopharmaceuticals and healthcare IT, according to the report released Feb. 17 by BioEnterprise. Cleveland ranked third in health-tech funding among major Midwest cities, trailing only Minneapolis ($418 million) and Chicago ($217 million).

"We have a wonderful foundation of biomedical-driven innovation," says BioEnterprise CEO Aram Nerpouni. "There's a critical mass developing."

2015 marked the fourth consecutive year that Cleveland garnered more than $200 million in biomedical investment activity, Nerpouni notes. In that time frame, Northeast Ohio healthcare firms have raised more than $1 billion.

The overall increase is in response to a burgeoning research base as well as funding from local and national investors and state sources like the Ohio Third Frontier program, Nerpouni says. Northeast Ohio's recent success helped place the Buckeye State second overall ($331 million) among Midwestern states that regionally attracted $1.5 billion in healthcare investment last year.

Not mentioned in the report was record Cleveland-area acquisition activity valued at more than $4 billion, says the BioEnterprise official. The two largest gains during 2015 were Steris's $1.9 billion purchase of British company Synergy Health and Rite Aid/Walgreens acquiring pharmaceutical firm EnvisionRX as part of a $2 billion deal. In addition, medical device company CardioInsight was bought by Medtronic, while health IT business Explorys was brought into IBM.

"Companies (like Steris) that grew up here are starting to make their own acquisitions in other places," says Nerpouni. "It's a sign of the overall robustness and maturity of the industry."

Though the numbers are impressive, work is required to bring additional investment to the area's early-stage biomedical companies, Nerpouni says. While local investors may wary about sinking money in younger firms, programs like Ohio Third Frontier are offering pre-seed funding to accelerate the growth of startup tech-based enterprises.

Nerpouni expects more dollars to flow in as the region's healthcare sector continues to establish itself. "All the ingredients are there," he says. 

Mercury Biomed receives Third Frontier funding for its warming technology

Maintaining a patient’s body temperature during and after surgery to prevent hypothermia and infections has long been a challenge in the medical community. Traditionally, medical providers have used Forced Air Warming (FAW) devices to warm a patient, but these devices often fall short.
“Current FAW devices, the standard of care, fail to meet the clinical goal of maintaining normal body temperature during surgery in over half of all procedures,” says Brian Patrick, co-founder and vice president of Mercury Biomed. Furthermore, he says the cumbersome and intrusive systems are wasteful and can make the operating room uncomfortable.
“There are a growing number of clinicians that question the safety and effectiveness of the current standard of care in perioperative patient warming,” says Patrick. “And that’s why we believe it’s an important problem to solve.”
So Patrick and his team have come up with a better way to warm a patient throughout the surgical process. Their better idea earned Mercury Biomed $1.4 million in Ohio Third Frontier funding.

Mercury Biomed’s WarmSmart uses thermal regulation technology to raise core body temperature faster and safely. The technology stimulates the body’s natural thermostat to increase blood flow on-demand -- using blood flow as a short-circuit heat transfer pathway to the body core.  
The WarmSmart technology was developed by Kenneth Diller, founding chair of the biomedical engineering department at the University of Texas at Austin. Diller is an expert on bio-heat transfer and the physiological processes that govern temperature regulation.
Patrick teamed with Diller in 2010 to form CoolCore to develop and test the technology before partnering with Innovative Medical Equipment in 2015 to form Mercury Biomed in Cleveland.
In December Ohio Third Frontier’s Commercialization Acceleration Loan Fund awarded Mercury Biomed a $1.4 million loan to bring its Smart Temperature Management System technology to market.
The money will be used to fund the company’s clinical trials, which are currently underway, obtain FDA clearance and refine and build commercial devices using the technology.
“We aim to use the state’s award to create high-tech jobs in Northeast Ohio, hire local consultants and commercialization partners, and to bring more prosperity and recognition to the state and the region,” says Patrick.
The clinical trials are scheduled to be completed early this year, with the WarmSmart technology due to hit the market later this year. Mercury Biomed is currently working on other applications using the technology, with SmartCool due to begin clinical trials soon and hit the market by 2018.

After life-saving lung transplant, local couple give a $2 million endowed chair to Cleveland Clinic

 The Buoncore Family Endowed Chair in Lung Transplantation, a $2 million gift to further research lung transplantation, was recently award to the Cleveland Clinic after Dr. Atul Mehta gave Lori Buoncore a second shot at a healthy life.
Buoncore, 60, has always been an active person. But in 2008 a cough and wheezing started to slow her down. “Everything else about her was 100 percent healthy,” says Lori’s husband Rick. “She never smoked in her life and she doesn’t drink. She’s the cleanest person I know.”
Soon after the cough began Lori was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease (ILD) – which damages lung tissues, inflames the air sacs and can permanently scar the tissue between the air sacs. Scarring of these tissues leads to the lungs becoming stiff – making breathing very difficult.
“Slowly but surely the capacity of her lungs got eaten up and they got harder,” recalls Rick. She had 20 percent capacity in her left lung and 50 percent in her right.” Oxygen helped for a while, but Lori couldn’t even take the oxygen mask off long enough to pose for a photo.
Lori needed a lung transplant. She was referred to pulmonologist Atul Mehta at the Cleveland Clinic Lung Transplant Program and went on the transplant list in August 2014. Then, after a couple “dry runs” to the Cleveland Clinic, the Aurora couple got the call that there was a match and lungs were available in November 2014. Lori checked in and received a double lung transplant.
There are currently about 1,500 people on the waiting list for lung transplants. Last year 1,925 lung transplants were performed nationally last year and  the Cleveland Clinic did 106 of them, the second most in the country. The one year survival rates for lung transplants at the Clinic is about 88 percent in 2013, which is slightly higher than the national average.
Almost a year later, Lori is doing well. After the transplant, the Buoncores were so grateful they were looking for a way to say thank you to Mehta and the Clinic. “They should have a medical school and put his picture up,” says Rick. “I’ve never seen a doctor who not only has technical ability, but patient ability. He’s call up and ask, ‘how’s she doing?’”
“Everyone loves him,” Lori adds of Mehta.
Rick and Lori talked to Michelle Amato, a friend and vice chair of the Clinic’s Philanthropy Institute, about how to best thank Mehta. “I asked, ‘what’s the greatest honor I can do for him,’ and Michelle said an endowed chair is the greatest honor a doctor can get.
So earlier this year, Rick and Lori established the $2 million Buoncore Family Endowed Chair in Lung Transplantation. The chair will fund research in lung transplantation outcomes.  The five year survival rate after a lung transplant is 55 percent. Mehta would like to improve on that, although he says he has patients who have survived more than 20 years.
“I didn’t ask for anything from them, but [Rick] kept telling me he want to do something,” recalls Mehta. “It was just a surprise to me. But it’s good for the Clinic, it’s good for patients. My biggest honor is when the patient asked me to take care of her.”
While the Buoncores wanted to create the chair in Mehta’s name, he refused. So the three decided it will be in the Buoncore name until Mehta retires, at which time the endowed chair title will be changed to his name.

CWRU research team takes a step forward in treating breast cancer

A collaborative team of researchers led by Case Western Reserve University have made an important breast cancer research discovery. They've found that a targeted therapy for treating some forms of breast cancer is effective in predicting early-on whether the drug bevacizumab, known commercially as Avastin, will be or will not be effective in individual patients.

The FDA rescinded its approval of Avastin for breast cancer in 2011 after it determined the drug did not improve survival rates. While the drug is still being used in Europe with some success, researchers and scientists at CWRU, Brown University, Yale University, and Philips Research North America worked to determine whether they could tell early whether Avastin might work or whether the medication’s significant toxicity would cause harm without much effect on treating the cancer.
They found that just one dose of Avastin, given upon initial diagnosis, could show whether the drug would be effective. “We thought if that one dose would change that tumor in the first 15 days, if it could predict at the very early stage how they would respond, that give us a chance to target treatment,” explains Vinay Varadan, assistant professor of general medicine at the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, and lead author on the team’s findings presented in the International Journal of Cancer.
“I think it’s pretty exciting. With just one dose we might be able to figure out who it might help. It will help us personalize therapies for the patient.”
While additional clinical trials are needed to determine if this approach is effective, Varadan says the more important point in these findings is that it is a step forward for finding targeted therapies for breast cancers that have not responded well to other targeted treatments – specifically, what is known as Triple Negative cases. Triple Negative cancer cells do not have receptors for estrogen, progesterone, or HER2 -- 10 to 20 percent of all breast cancers.
"Now we have a framework we can use,” says Varadan. “It’s exciting. The framework seems to be effective across cancers and can speed up the process in finding biomarkers.” Identifying biomarkers can help find more targeted treatments.
Now Varadan and his team are working with Case's biomedical engineering department to determine if an MRI could be used to identify whether the Avastin will be effective, as opposed to the second biopsy now needed.
“This becomes even more exciting because MRI imaging would be non-invasive than running a second biopsy after treatment,” Varadan says.
The CWRU team on this research included principal investigator and senior author Lindsay Harris with University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center, Hannah Gilmore in the department of pathology, and Ajay Basavanhalli in the biomedical engineering department.

CWRU's Innovation Summit to showcase Cleveland's commitment to new ideas

Nationally-known researchers, entrepreneurs, members of academia and innovators will gather on the CWRU campus October 26-28 for the school’s inaugural Innovation Summit 2015: Models of Innovation.

Organizers plan to explore how trends like the maker movement, startup accelerators and networking forums are cultivating innovation ecosystems. The summit will examine how regions and industries have created different innovation models that improve economic opportunity and cultural amenities, and how these models can be replicated.

“We’re taking a comprehensive approach,” says Joe Jankowski, CWRU’s chief innovation officer. “It’s our first innovation summit and we’re excited to take a multi-disciplinary, connected approach.”

Models of Innovation will have something for everyone, Jankowski promises. “We’re not focusing on any one given area,” he says, adding that the whole event was the university’s brain child. “Think of cool gadgets coming out, the next medical device, drivers of change and improvement. It’s not just technology, but also finance and social justice.”

The summit will also give attendees a chance for a first look at think[box], Case’s innovation and entrepreneurship center.

The speaker lineup for the conference is an impressive array of global innovation leaders. Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari and Chuck E. Cheese, will kick off the summit, followed by Ellen Williams, director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Other speakers include Priceline founder Jeff Hoffman and Burton D. Morgan Foundation president and CEO Deborah Hoover.

Student startups and technology-enabled classrooms will be on exhibit throughout the event. Other programs include discussions divided into innovation by region and innovation by industry, panel discussions, networking and lectures.

Models of Innovation was purposely scheduled to coincide with the Cleveland Clinic Innovations Medical Innovation Summit, BioOhio Annual Conference and Cleveland Clinic’s Nursing Innovation Summit. There are opportunities for attendees to join sessions across summits and participate in collaborative events.
Registration is required and includes access to all sessions and evening networking and social engagements, as well as breakfast and lunch for all three days. 

Cleveland Cord Blood Center saves lives through donated umbilical cords

One simple, altruistic act after childbirth can potentially save the life of another person. The umbilical cords cut from babies shortly after birth contain lifesaving stem cells in their blood, which in turn can be used for research into cures for many common diseases. Donated cord blood can also be used for treatment of hematologic ailments such as leukemia, lymphoma and sickle cell anemia.

The Cleveland Cord Blood Center (CCBC) is one of just 14 nonprofit organizations that collect cord blood for research and treatment. “We take the cord blood donated by families after they have their babies and use it to treat leukemia,” explains Marcie Finney, associate director of the CCBC. “One of our donors calls it the ‘ultimate recycling program.’”
After childbirth, most mothers choose to either dispose of the umbilical cord or pay to store it in a bank in case of future ailments in their child. But some choose to donate the cords – and the blood – to the CCBC. “That process is altruistic,” says Finney. “We have treated over 300 patients.”
The CCBC was founded in 2007 by Mary J. Laughlin, who in 1993 performed the world's first successful umbilical cord blood transplant in an adult leukemia patient. Today, the center has sent cord blood to 14 countries, while 70 to 75 percent of the blood stays in the United States.
Additionally, the CCBC researches how cord blood can be used in the development of topical wound treatments, and how they play a role in developing T-cell therapies for cancer patients and diabetes immunity.
Currently, the Cleveland Clinic main campus, Fairview Hospital and Hillcrest Hospital are the only area facilities that participate in the cord donation program at CCBC. “When the cord blood is collected, there is no harm to the mother or baby,” stresses Finney. “A lot of people doing a little bit of effort has a huge impact.”
The center now has 24 employees and is funded through grants from the Abraham J. and Phyllis Katz Foundation and the Dr. Donald J. and Ruth Weber Goodman Philanthropic Fund, as well as private and public donations. “The costs are astronomical,” says Finney of the center’s storage, research and operations expenses. “For every 100 [cords] we bank, only one will get picked for transplant.”
But Finney and her team press on in their quests to find cures and treatments through cord stem cells for so many blood diseases.

New Ventures in Healthcare Challenge to kick off Medical Innovation Summit

Cleveland Clinic Innovations Medical Innovation Summit is set to take place from October 25th-28th this year. It will once again kick off with the New Ventures Healthcare Challenge, the search for the next great early-stage health IT company poised to hit the market with better healthcare solutions.

"The New Ventures Healthcare Challenge is designed to identify technologies that present the most compelling ideas for delivering better health, improved care and lower costs as we remain focused on patients first," says Gary Fingerhut, CCI executive director.

Last year, 46 companies from around the world presented their products and services in a YouTube video in the first round. The group was narrowed down to 12 in the second round before four companies were chosen to present at the Innovation Summit’s onset.

Boston-based Admetsys, which has created a system to monitor and manage blood glucose levels in diabetic patients while they are in hospital ICUs after surgery, won the challenge in 2014. “In critical care patients, hypoglycemia is a killer and it’s a challenge nurses are faced with every day in the ICU,” says Admetsys CEO Jeff Valk.

Admetsys’ system has now gone through three clinical trials. The system should hit European markets in 2016 and the United States in 2017. As the winner of the New Ventures Healthcare Challenge, Valk says the support his company received after the Summit was valuable.

“The Cleveland Clinic is not a name that needs any particular introduction,” says Valk. “The Summit is fantastic and going to talk to people at the Innovation Summit was a no-brainer. Gary Fingerhut and his team did an outstanding job. He’s very plugged in and has lots of resources on his team.”

The winner of the challenge receives free consultation from commercialization experts at Cleveland Clinic Innovations and the Innovations advisory board, which consists of well-known industry experts, entrepreneurs, and healthcare investors.

“Any health IT entrepreneurs should submit a video,” says Fingerhut.

Applications for this year’s challenge are now being accepted through Friday, June 26. To apply, send a 90-second video to MIS2015@ccf.org. The video should cover what is unique about the technology, why the technology will be game changing, how big will the impact be, and what the company’s strategic goals are. Companies selected to present will do so on Monday, October 26.

The Summit takes place Sunday, October 25 through Wednesday, October 28 at the Global Center for Health Innovation. The theme this year is around neurosciences, “Memory, Mood and Movement.” Registration is now open for the event.

University Hospitals, Geis could create hundreds of jobs in the Health-Tech Corridor

University Hospitals announced earlier this month that it plans to build a community care center, called the UH Rainbow Center for Women’s and Children’s Health, on East 57th Street and Euclid Avenue on a part of 12 acres in MidTown’s Health-Tech Corridor.

Along with the facility, Geis Companies’ Hemingway Development will develop the rest of the land for a second Midtown Tech Park with mixed-use medical companies, retail, restaurants and other commercial space. Bike trails will also be created, and a new bus stop in front of the UH facility are planned, according to Fred Geis.

“We’re engaging the community with public spaces, restaurants with healthy eating and possibly a small market,” Geis says. “This will connect E. 59th Street, connect the Hough neighborhood and League Park. With the bike trails, people can easily walk to the facility.”

HTC director Jeff Epstein says the two projects mean jobs and more development in MidTown. "The additional traffic that comes as a result of development adds to the critical mass to add restaurants," he says. "The intersection of a healthcare provider and technology in the corridor provides opportunities for residents. And University Hospitals' major commitment is using strength to bring additional jobs."

Cleveland City Council, which owns the land, approved the purchase last week. Geis says they are scheduled to go before council again on May 4th for approval of the plans. The deal preserves $13 million in Housing and Urban Development loans and grants originally set for renovating the Warner and Swasey building on Carnegie Avenue and East 55th Street.

The UH facility will provide maternity, post-natal and medical care, and will employ as many as 100 people by June of 2016. UH also plans to house healthy living programming at the facility and provide more than 200 parking spaces. Hospital officials predict the 30,000-40,000 square foot facility will see 47,000 visits a year.

As a whole, Geis conservatively predicts the project will create at least 400 jobs. “Based on experience from down the street at the Midtown Tech Park, it should create 600-800 jobs,” he says. “The Midtown Tech Park provides 600 jobs currently. And employment statistics show female and minorities are in half of those jobs.”

Geis says he wants to attract companies from outside the region to the new park. “Our sincerest goal is to entice people from outside the region,” he says. “This is a brand new area, brand new to the region.”

UH officials are pleased with the services the hospital system will offer in MidTown. “As we plan for future growth, it is clear a new and more convenient location for women’s and children’s services is a priority,” says Steve Standley, UH chief administrative officer. “The MidTown Corridor site is ideal for the patients we serve and aligns with University Hospitals’ economic impact goals to help generate the local economy by attracting more businesses to this urban area.”

Hemingway’s Maura Maresh says the center is exactly what the neighborhood needs. “It’s the opportunity they needed to build this facility instead of building in the usual places,” she says. “It shows the power of what you can do with one project.”

Geis points out that residents in most suburban areas have easy access to community medical centers. Other medical centers, including the Cleveland Foot and Ankle Clinic and two divisions of the Veterans Administration, have already successfully established themselves in MidTown.

“They realized years ago it’s difficult to make it down to University Circle,” Geis says. “This is long overdue that someone comes out here to serve these communities. University Hospitals is the first of the institutions to invest in this type of infiltration of a neighborhood.”

Groundbreaking is scheduled for May 2016.

Healthcare big data pioneer Explorys acquired by IBM

Since 2009, Explorys has leveraged big data in the healthcare field to form one of the largest healthcare databases in the world, helping medical professionals provide better patient care and diagnoses. Formed out of the Cleveland Clinic in October 2009 by Charlie Lougheed and Stephen McHale, Explorys has become one of the world’s largest data platforms.

Last Monday, McHale announced to 38,000 attendees of the HIMSS conference in Chicago that Explorys has been acquired by IBM. The news was announced by Lougheed in Cleveland. The company will be a part of IBM’s Watson Health Unit.
The deal was a natural fit, says Lougheed. “It was one of those things,” he says. “Explorys and IBM are both leaders in the space. We’ve bumped into each other and we’ve even collaborated from time to time with our joint customers. We really see each other as pioneers in the industry”
Lougheed said there were three components to the decision to join IBM: Industry growth, customers, and Explorys’ employees. “We really believe in this mission and we want to see the mission continue and accelerate,” he explains. “We asked, is it good for our customers, does it make sense? Because they subscribe to our systems for a reason, so it had to matter to them.”
Most importantly, Lougheed said they considered their employees. “We asked, is this good for our employees, because they deserve something great as well,” he explains. “This a great thing for our employees to grow their careers.”
Explorys will remain in Cleveland, and all employees will retain their jobs. “There are some of the best and the brightest data software engineers in the world here,” Lougheed says. “Cleveland is a great place to keep Explorys moving. We’re going to continue to expand as expected.”

nortech honors 10 innovators at its annual innovation awards

In what’s being touted the “Holy Grail” of MRI technology, CWRU School of Medicine professor of radiology and director of MRI research Mark Griswold and his team are developing a system of MRI fingerprinting that will offer a faster, more detailed scan that could eliminate the need for a physical biopsy of tumors.
This research led Griswold, who is quick to point out that he is just one of a team of 20 at CWRU and Boston's Mass General, to recently earn the title of Inventor of the Year at NorTech’s annual Innovation Awards.
"Magnetic Resonance Fingerprinting, or MRF, is a way to look inside the body and tell specifically what kind of tissues or diseases are there, so that hopefully we can identify diseases early without surgery or biopsy," says Griswold in a video released by Nortech.
Griswold told Fresh Water that he was able to develop the technology quickly thanks to support from Siemens Healthcare. The hope is to get the software and hardware to commercial markets within a year.

“I think we have a lot of hard work to do,” says Griswold of the next steps. “But the earlier you can see disease, the earlier you can see things happening in the infrastructure and brain tissue.”
Similarly, Explorys, the cloud-based, big data analytics company for the healthcare industry, received an award for the most innovative use of a national trend for its innovative use of big data.
“Growing a high-tech company that positively impacts so many lives, right here in Ohio, has been an exciting and rewarding journey,” says Charlie Lougheed, president and co-founder of Explorys. “I’m so proud of the team at Explorys for the dedication they’ve poured into creating innovative ways to leverage big data to improve healthcare.”  
Other honorees at the event included Sharon Sobol Jordan, President and CEO of the Centers for Families and Children for her work to expanded the reach of the organization, and Imperial Tools, SmartShape and LogiSync were named Most Innovative Technology Team for their work on a revolutionary, smart HVAC tool.

Check out a video of the Innovation Award recipients here.

Here's the list of all 22 finalists this year, provided by Nortech:

Innovative Leader of the Year:

Jerry Duffy, GE Lighting
George Haritos, The University of Akron
Matt Hlavin, Thogus
George Newkome, The University of Akron
Sharon Sobol Jordan, The Centers for Families and Children

Inventor of the Year:

Mark Griswold, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
Michael Recker, Wireless Environment
Kevin Trice, Pulmonary Apps

Most Innovative Solution:

Kent Displays
Light Curable Coatings & Sustainable Coatings

Most Innovative Technology Team:

Auditory Labs, LeanDog & Osmisys
LogiSync, SmartShape & Imperial Tools
NASA Glenn & Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Most Innovative Use of a National Trend:

GE Lighting                        
Great Lakes Biomimcry & The University of Akron
Intwine Connect
Lorain County Community College
NASA Glenn, MAGNET, City of Cleveland & Cuyahoga County

UH forms partnership with foundation fighting blindness to speed treatments to market

The Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals announced today that it has joined with the Foundation Fighting Blindness in Columbia, MD, which was co-founded by former Cavaliers owner Gordon Gund in 1971, to form a new initiative for fighting blindness.
The Gund-Harrington National Initiative for Fighting Blindness will focus on finding treatments and cures for the millions of people affected by inherited retinal diseases that lead to blindness. The two organizations will provide up to $50 million in new funding and resources to support up to 30 physician-scientists in their research and quests for cures.
“We are hopeful to make progress together toward ending blindness,” says Jonathan Stamler, director of the Harrington Discovery Institute. “The Gund-Harrington Initiative will combine the focused philanthropic initiatives of two families to create a new model to fight eye diseases. Gund-Harrington support will provide the nation’s cadre of top physician-scientists unique opportunities to create new medicines that will improve sight.”
The partnership will also create the National Center of Excellence in Fighting Blindness, which will seek drug development projects based on scientific and creativity criteria and the potential to rapidly advance to commercialization. Gund-Harrington Scholars will carry out their research at their respective institutions and will receive direct oversight from the Innovation Support Center of the Harrington Discovery Institute, which houses a pharmaceutical team of experts who are charged with overseeing drug development.
Stamler cites the partnership as a perfect pairing of non-profit and for-profit models that will speed treatments to market. “These foundations have access to the top minds and cutting edge work for mission-critical non-profit pharma work coupled with the for-profit business model to put in place the infrastructure to promote causes for blindness,” he says. “We are combining these family resources and insights to be on the cutting edge and speed pharmaceuticals to market.”
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