HSSA Grantees Share Accolades & News

Better Health Together (BHT), was recently named an Accountable Community of Health (ACH) by Washington State's Health Care Authority, one of two in the state. Led by Alison Carl White, BHT is partially funded by an HSSA "Access to Care" grant for its Hot Spotter Program, which it has successfully grown to meet the needs of frequent users of medical emergency departments rather than primary care physicians, a costly result. Allison is being promoted to Chief Strategy Officer for Community Development under Philanthropy in Action, a newly formed entity by Empire Health Foundation (EHF). She will retain her executive director position at BHT. Meanwhile, Alisha Fehrenhabacher will serve as the Interim Director of Better Health Together programs. The BHT program will be in the new WSU Teaching Health Center on the WSU campus.

Iasis Molecular Sciences, an HSSA grantee, was recently informed of a nearly $2 million award by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), that will fund research on Iasis' next generation urinary catheter, in collaboration with the Department of Urology, St. Joseph's Hospital, Ontario, Canada. Healthcare-associated infections, specifically catheter-associated urinary tract infections, are a serious complication for wounded war fighters.

Spokane's Prescription Drug Assistance Network (SPAN) is featured in the April edition of the Journal of Managed Care & Specialty Pharmacy in an article titled "Connecting Patients to Prescription Assistance Programs: Effects on Emergency Department and Hospital Utilization." The research that led to the publication was conducted by Spokane researchers and health care experts, and concludes that since its began its work it has resulted in a 51% decline in the rate of Emergency Department and Hospital Utilization. SPAN has brought to patients more than $15 million worth of prescribed medicines from national sources since it began. Its ROI is 18:1. It receives referrals from 62 entities, utilizes over 38 different pharmaceutical companies and obtains over 115 different medicines. This is another HSSA-funded success story. A key leader in the creation of the SPAN. now a statewide entity, is Spokane's own Dr. Sam Selinger. Dr. Selinger was instrumental in the founding of the former Project Access which brought health insurance to thousands of Spokane citizens who either had no insurance or were underinsured. It was an excellent program prior to the national Affordable Care Act.

WSU, UW/Gonzaga Make Exciting Announcements

WSU's Board of Regents announced on March 25th that Kirk Schulz, the current president of Kansas State University, will be the new president of WSU."President Schulz's colleagues consistently praise his integrity, passion for the job, and belief in the transformative power of education," said Regent's Chair Ryan Durkan. During his tenure at KSU, Durkan moved the institution from the "very high research activity" classification in 2010 to the "highest research activity" in 2015 rankings by the Carnegie Foundation. Schulz replaces Dr. Elson S. Floyd, who served as WSU president for eight years and died last June following a several months' battle with cancer. The Elson S. Floyd Medical School on the Spokane health sciences campus is named after him.

Dr. Thayne McCollogh, Gonzaga University president, announced in late February that Gonzaga and the University of Washington had signed an agreement to enhance and expand medical education and research in Spokane. The unique public-private partnership intends to provide a regional community-based medical education program and to advance health related research, entrepreneurship, and interdisciplinary health sciences teaching in Spokane.

Unconventional Science Centers Created on Opposite Coasts have Similar Mission

Former Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen just announced an initial commitment of $100 million to Frontiers Group, which will fund out-of-the-box scientific research around the world. The first funded projects were four "Allen Distinguished Investigators" and the first two "Allen Discovery Centers" at Stanford and Tufts universities. He plans to announce additional Discovery Centers over the next 10 years. Frontiers founding executive director, Tom Skalak will be housed in the Allen's Institute new building on South Lake Union in Seattle. Read the full story here.

On the other side of the U.S. in Asheville, NC, The Collider has been created for "really big ideas" around climate change, sitting on a "possible gold mine of innovation" in which The Collider sees climate change as an opportunity. Its intent is to nurture and support entrepreneurial, market-based solutions to climate challenges, which requires public and private interests to come together in unique ways. Read the full story here.

Washington Life Sciences -- New Name for WBBA, Same Mission

Washington Life Sciences, based in Seattle, is the statewide membership organization that has more than 700 companies, academic institutions and others who represent the heart of Washington's life sciences community. Formerly the Washington Biomedical and Biotechnology Association (WBBA), the organization changed its name effective early 2016. HSSA and other Spokane entities are members of the organization, which will be in Spokane on the WSU Campus for the Eastern Washington Life Science Leadership Summit, March 31, 2016, 8:00 AM to 12 PM. This event brings together leaders from across the state to share knowledge about major life science activities and initiatives. In addition, strategies and priorities are discussed to continue building Eastern Washington's life science sector for the future.

Another benefit of the Washington Life Sciences is its Job Flash that lists life science jobs around the state. Visit that site at http://lifesciencewa.org. Better yet, list your Spokane/Eastern Washington life science jobs on this feature.

Upcoming Events

Here are some upcoming life sciences events for your calendars.

  • Feb. 23rd - 2016 Health Care Forum, 7:30 AM, Davenport Hotel, Pennington Ballroom. Details at www.greaterspokane.org/events
  • Feb. 24th - Health Symposium, 5-8 PM, Chateau Rive, Flour Mill, Contact Bozzi Media at www.eventful.com
  • March 31st - Eastern WA Life Sciences Leadership Summit, 10 AM-6PM, WSU Spokane, more details from www.lifesciencewa.org (formerly WBBA)l
  • June 1-2 - Life Sciences Innovation Northwest, Washington State Convention Center, Seattle, WA. Details and to register from www.lifesciencewa.org

Please let HSSA know if you have life science events you would like mentioned here and on our social media.

Inland NW Genomics Resources Symposium

SAVE THE DATE - May 19, 2016

Presented by the Institute for Bioinformatics and Evolutionary Studies at the University of Idaho. Moscow, ID. For more information contact 208.885.9076.

2016 HSSA Board Meetings Announced

The HSSA Board of Directors will meet quarterly in 2016 on January 12th, April 5th, July 12th and October 11th. These meetings are held at the McKinstry Innovation Center and begin at 3 PM unless otherwise notified. HSSA Board meetings are public.

HSSA Board Meets Jan. 12th

The HSSA Board of Directors will meet Tuesday, Jan. 12th, at 3:00 PM at the McKinstry Innovation Center, 850 E. Spokane Falls Boulevard in the Roundtable conference rooms. All HSSA Board meetings are open to the public.

The Board will meet again April 5th, July 12th and Oct. 11th in 2016.

HSSA Adds Two New Grant Assistance Awards; Intends to Help First-Time SBIR/STTR Grant Writers

A total of twenty (20) or more grants for up to $5,000 each will be awarded by the Health Sciences and Services Authority (HSSA) to small businesses and academic laboratory researchers in Spokane County who are engaged in health sciences research. The $100,000 set-aside for these grants is intended to provide grant-writing assistance from a professional ...Hssa Sbir Grant Writing Grants Nr 12 14 15. For more information on HSSA Grants see this document.