St. Vrain Valley High School Students Present Innovative Ideas to UCHealth Experts

After more than a year of collaborating, researching, and designing, four groups of students from St. Vrain Valley School District pitched their brightest ideas for the future of health care to the top innovation and patient experience experts at UCHealth earlier this month.

Team C.U.T.E. won top innovator honors of the inaugural Hospital Room of the Future challenge with its design of an autonomous robot to deliver food around a hospital to free up hospital staff time and resources. Team members were Jocelyn Gunn from Niwot High School, Alex Miller and Ryan Velarde from Erie High School, and Mia Novick from Longmont High School.

“This project was an opportunity to see a different side of health care that I’ve never really seen before. I’ve always been super passionate about biology and medicine, but I’ve never really considered the technical aspect that goes into behind the scenes,” Gunn said. “It was really interesting to see those two fields coming together and what that means for the health care field.”

Dr. Richard Zane, UCHealth’s chief innovation officer and professor and chair of emergency medicine at CU School of Medicine, was one of the six experts on the panel.

“Over the past year, St. Vrain Valley students studied the challenges faced by health care today and explored ways to create new solutions by approaching a challenge using the scientific process; creativity, being innovative and fearlessly approaching a problem in a new way,” said Zane. “Through this unique partnership, UCHealth offered students – our future innovators, scientists, researchers, clinicians, and patient experience leaders – a chance to learn from our experts. We encouraged outside the box thinking, and we were very impressed today with their efforts.”

Other team projects involved designing an intensive care room aimed at promoting comfort and healing, a pair of glasses and an app to help staff prioritize patient needs, and a watch to monitor cardiac arrest patients as they recover at home.

“Today’s students are the leaders of tomorrow who will solve our world’s most complex challenges,” said SVVSD Superintendent Don Haddad. “Together with one of our most outstanding partners, UCHealth, we are providing rigorous learning opportunities and experiences that will empower students with a strong competitive advantage for success in today’s complex, globalized economy.”

The challenge was part of a unique partnership between the Innovation Center of St. Vrain Valley Schools and UCHealth inspiring innovators to create ideas for the future of health care. As part of the challenge, the students had an opportunity to talk with patients, doctors, nurses, and other staff when they toured UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont to see multiple areas within the hospital including patient rooms, an operating room, the emergency department, and a birthing suite. The students also visited UCHealth’s Virtual Health Center in metro Denver to learn more about how the system is applying virtual health capabilities and run ideas by the experts at UCHealth’s innovation center at the Catalyst Health-Tech Innovation building in metro Denver, a unique incubator for inspiration and hub of new health care ideas.

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