Avera Health Joins The Innovation Institute

LOGO-AveraToday, The Innovation Institute, a pioneer in health care innovation, announced that Avera Health, one of the largest health care systems in the Midwest, joined The Institute to spark new initiatives in the health care delivery space. Avera is the fifth member in The Innovation Institute, joining Irvine, Calif.–based St. Joseph Health; Marriottsville, Md.-based Bon Secours Health System; Baton Rouge, La.-based Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System; and Children’s Hospital of Orange County in Orange, Calif.

“We believed that if innovation at Avera was to take off like it should, we needed a drastically different model to facilitate it. So, with The Innovation Institute, we now have an enhanced process to better nurture innovation and provide procedures for vetting, patenting, prototyping and selling innovative medical devices and health care-related discoveries invented by Avera employees and physicians,” said Fred Slunecka, Avera’s Chief Operating Officer. “The idea is to create the most innovative, efficient and optimal solutions for specific, real-world challenges faced by health care providers and patients. The Innovation Institute gives our employees and physicians expertise they need to develop bright ideas into real market products.”

The Innovation Institute is a unique business model that allows its members—all nonprofit health systems—to take new ideas from concept to market. Launched in fall of 2013, The Innovation Institute has received more than 300 idea submissions from its members with about one-third of these in patenting and proof of concept and another 12 products already either in pilot studies or on the market.

“We are excited to welcome Avera Health to The Innovation Institute,” said Joe Randolph, President and CEO of The Innovation Institute. “ We look forward to working with them to advance healthcare innovation, reduce costs, and improve care. They have a wonderful reputation and I know that together we will accomplish great things.”


About Avera Health

Avera Health is the one of the largest health systems in the Midwest with more than 16,000 employees and 330 facility locations across a five-state region. Avera is the second largest health insurance provider in South Dakota and operates the most robust telehealth program in the U.S. with telehealth services across 11 states. Avera is a health ministry sponsored by the  Benedictine and Presentation Sisters. For more information about Avera, see our website at Avera.org.


About The Innovation Institute

The Innovation Institute is an independent, for-profit LLC structured to cultivate innovative solutions to transform healthcare delivery. The Innovation Institute is owned by non-profit health systems. This collaborative taps into physicians, employees, and industry business partners to incubate and commercialize new medical products and ideas. Comprised of three distinct elements – an innovation lab, an investment fund, and a shared services group (Enterprise Development Group), The Institute strives to “do more, with less, for more people.” For more information, visit lab.ii4change.com


Media Contacts:

Francine Marlenée, 714.735.3767 or Francine.marlenee@ii4change.com.


Jay Gravholt, 605.660.1944 or jgravholt@avera.org .