Young Innovator projects flourishing

March 26, 2015

Grant recipients benefit from attending conference  


In November, the Institute awarded Young Innovator Grants to 11 enterprising projects supporting initiatives that help trainees in the health professions challenge the culture of overuse in healthcare and advance creative ways to address it. Now, four months later, we are delighted with the progress of their ongoing work.

Nneka Mokwunye, PhD, MA, MPH, director of the Center for Ethics and Spiritual Care Departments at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, is a recipient of one of the Young Innovator Grants. Her project, Transforming End-of-Life Care, involves monthly end-of-life conferences, held with internal medicine and surgical residents who rotate through the ICU. The hour-long conferences focus on decreasing the negative ramifications from moral distress on medical residents.

Mokwunye’s project isn’t the only one with results so far. Think Twice. Stick Once, a resident-led, performance improvement initiative at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) aims to reduce unnecessary blood testing, and has also seen great success.

Led by Dan Wheeler, MD, a third-year internal medicine resident at the UCSF, the project initially aimed to reduce blood draws among medical service patients by 5% in the 2014-2015 academic year. So far, Wheeler and his team have exceeded their goal. As of the five months since October 1, the count is down 10%, from 2.1 draws per day to 1.9.

Most of the grant recipients attended the conference and were recognized en masse. They also had the opportunity to network with other attendees and learn about other projects and initiatives related to overuse.

The grants are generously funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

We will continue to report on the Young Innovator Grant projects in the coming weeks and months.