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Jean Wright, MD, Chief Innovation Officer

Dr. Jean Wright is responsible for leading the advancement of innovation initiatives throughout Carolinas HealthCare System in Charlotte, NC, as chief innovation officer. Her focus is on working with teams to raise the bar for patient care and population health through human-centered design, business development and novel medical technologies.

Dr. Wright practiced as a pediatric anesthesiologist and intensivist. She held positions as a physician executive at Emory, chair of pediatrics for Mercer, and executive director for Memorial Health's Children's and Women's Hospital in Savannah, and was chief medical officer for Carolinas HealthCare System NorthEast.

She is a health services researcher, has served on federal advisory committees, and has given testimony in the US House of Representatives and US Senate. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a medical degree from Wayne State University, and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Emory's Goizueta School of Business.

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Jay Gerhart, Vice President, Consumer Strategy

Jay Gerhart is a passionate driver of consumer strategy and innovation for Carolinas HealthCare System, with a particular focus on primary and on-demand care.  As part of the Innovation Engine, he employs methods such Design Thinking, Jobs to Be Done and Business Model Innovation in product and service development. During his 19 years with CHS, he has led many of the system’s most significant corporate strategy, planning and development initiatives, including Levine Children’s Hospital and Levine Cancer Institute.  Prior to joining Carolinas HealthCare System, Jay was a Manager with Ernst & Young’s health care consulting practice.  Jay has a B.A. in Economics from Duke University and an M.B.A in Finance from Wake Forest University.

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Will Behrmann, Assistant Vice President, Business Development

Will Behrmann oversees business model innovation for Carolinas HealthCare System. This involves preparing the system for future success through disruptive innovation and commercialization.

Behrmann joined Carolinas HealthCare System in 2008 with responsibility for ambulatory services development. Before joining Carolinas HealthCare System, Behrmann served in strategy, business development and finance for Texas Health Resources for 13 years. He received a master’s of HealthCare Administration and a master’s of Business Administration from Saint Louis University, and is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

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Ann-Somers Hogg, Innovation Director

As director of innovation, Ann-Somers leads innovation consulting projects in partnership with operational owners to develop breakthrough, human-centered solutions that improve patient outcomes and accelerate the transformation of Carolinas HealthCare System. In this role, she also scans the environment to proactively identify emerging opportunities and disruptive trends, and develops insights that promote future organizational success. She also trains organizational leaders in the tenets of disruptive innovation and user-centered customer discovery methods.

Prior to joining Carolinas HealthCare System, Hogg worked for Oliver Wyman, focusing on strategy development and implementation of value-based care models for health insurers. She earned an MSPH in Health Policy and Management from UNC-Chapel Hill's Gilling's School of Global Public Health, and graduated from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce with a bachelor’s degree in Commerce.

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Lindsay Deneault, Commercialization Director

Lindsay Deneault joined Carolinas HealthCare System in May 2016 to lead commercialization and leverage technology-enabled products and services to accelerate the transformation of Carolinas HealthCare System. Deneault helps develop, validate and deploy new solutions by working collaboratively with teammate inventors and partnering with early-stage companies to turn innovative ideas into scalable businesses.

Prior to joining Carolinas HealthCare System, she was a business strategist for Texas Medical Center in Houston where she was responsible for launching and managing the TMCx accelerator program to help TMC’s 21 member hospitals spin out and incubate early-stage technology companies. Lindsay has a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MBA from Rice University’s School of Business. Deneault currently serves as an advisor for several health innovation conferences including: SXSW Impact Pediatric Health, Louisville Innovation Summit, UCSF’s Digital Orthopedics Conference and AARP's Innovation@50+.

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Michael Johnson, Director

Michael Johnson lives at the convergence of health, innovation and technology. He grew up seeing how quality life and health is heavily influenced by deep rooted social inequalities. Johnson learned a lot from his father who made it his mission to level the playing field for disadvantaged populations through innovative social and health programs. Johnson’s passion is tapping into technical innovations and startup methodologies to create new knowledge and solutions that improve the lives of consumers and communities. Johnson received a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration and a master’s degree in Business Administration from George State University.

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Ben Tingey, Innovation Manager

As an Innovation Manager with Carolinas HealthCare System, Ben utilizes innovation methodologies like human-centered design and disruptive innovation theory to help patients achieve their health goals and objectives so that communities can realize improved and sustainable health outcomes. With a penchant for the unconventional and an eye for good design, Ben brings experience in healthcare startups, business strategy, capacity and service line planning, and education. 

He earned his master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from The George Washington University, and graduated cum laude from Brigham Young University with an undergraduate degree in American Studies. When he’s not busy innovating Ben can be found with his nose in a book, laughing with his family, or providing volunteer service at his church, though not all at the same time.

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Elizabeth Watson, Innovation Manager

In her role at Carolinas HealthCare System, Elizabeth Benfield leads system-level human-centered design projects to develop creative solutions for patients, families and the community. She also leads Carolinas HealthCare System’s Innovation Catalyst program, which provides a framework for employees to apply design thinking methods in their daily work. She received her master’s in Public Health from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina, with a focus on health promotion, education and behavior.

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Sally Baek, Design Researcher

Sally Baek divides her time in the Innovation Engine developing creative assets and supporting projects using ethnographic research methodologies. She is involved in exploring new ways to identify and define user needs in order to better inform design and strategy for Carolinas HealthCare System. She received a bachelor’s degree in Strategic Design and Management at Parsons The New School for Design.

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