Carolinas HealthCare System is defining the future of healthcare by finding more effective and efficient ways to deliver both medical care and customer service.

Indeed, CHS made innovation an even more vital part of the corporate culture during 2011 by opening the TreeHouse. The TreeHouse is a dedicated meeting space for large and small groups wishing to inspire curiosity, foster collaboration and learn more about the discipline of innovation.

TreeHouseEmpowering Thought Leaders

In keeping with this emphasis, CHS staged an inaugural innovation conference in November at the Mint Museum of Art. "Innovate to Greatness: Unlocking Your Curiosity," brought together more than 250 creative leaders from throughout the system to work on thought-provoking joint projects.

No sooner had this program ended than Zeev Neuwirth, MD, chief medical officer for the Physician Services Group, was selected from a pool of more than 900 applicants to participate in the Innovation Advisor Program. This nationwide initiative is sponsored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation. His project focuses on delivery redesign for diabetes care and, in particular, on improving population health, achieving high quality outcomes and reducing costs.

One CHS researcher who won plaudits for problem-solving long before the TreeHouse is Qi Lu, MD, PhD. Recognized around the world for his research achievements, Dr. Lu was instrumental in winning a unique $7.9 million grant to support research on personalized drug development for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

The five-year grant is being administered jointly by McColl-Lockwood Muscular Dystrophy Laboratory at Carolinas Medical Center, along with Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Brad Hurst, MD, a reproductive endocrinologist at CMC Women's Institute, is one of only seven physicians in the United States to offer a new minimally invasive procedure called "fertiloscopy." Dr. Hurst traveled to France to train directly under the doctor who developed this procedure, which enhances doctors' ability to detect the causes of infertility in women.