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Health Care Innovation Collaborative announces Open Call

Eight leading Philadelphia organizations work with innovators to tackle chronic disease

Philadelphia, PA – The CEO Council for Growth (“CEO Council”) announced today that its Health Care Innovation Collaborative (“Collaborative”) has launched an open call for innovators around the country to work with its founding member organizations to tackle problems associated with chronic disease. Those who submit ideas at, an online portal managed by the CEO Council, may be selected to present their ideas to founding member organizations, and, ultimately, work directly with these organizations to accelerate innovation that improves patient care and outcomes.

The Collaborative’s Founding Members are Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Comcast, Drexel University, Independence Blue Cross, Safeguard Scientifics, Inc., Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, and University of Pennsylvania Health System. The Collaborative was born of the CEO Council’s Health Care Innovation Task Force, co-chaired by John Fry, president of Drexel University and Daniel J. Hilferty, president & CEO of Independence Blue Cross.

“The Health Care Innovation Collaborative is the glue that is bringing the region together — both large organizations and the small, nimbler innovators — to turn Philadelphia into the national hub for health care innovation,” said Hilferty. “This open call for innovation will make it easier for young companies to present their ideas to the area’s established leaders in health care innovation, making it easier to refine, scale and — potentially — bring these ideas to market.”

The Collaborative, first announced in May, represents a new and unprecedented national model for collaboration among health care providers, academic research institutions and the investor community. The founding member organizations have positioned the region for strong continued growth and development in health care innovation. Working together, these organizations are leveraging the unique assets of the Greater Philadelphia region to accelerate and lead the development of innovation in health care technology and delivery. The Collaborative chose to first focus on chronic diseases because they cause seven out of ten deaths every year in this country, and treatment of these diseases account for 86% of America’s health care costs.

Fry stated, “Philadelphia is reinventing itself as a place for entrepreneurs. This Collaborative is another step in demonstrating to the nation and the world that Philadelphia is the place to be for health care innovation because its major institutions are invested in finding ideas that improve people’s lives.”

Ideas can be submitted through the web portal Greater Than, managed by the CEO Council, an initiative of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. Applicants must submit a brief proposal following the online guidelines. Applicants do not need to be in the Greater Philadelphia region. Submissions are welcome from individuals as well as domestic and international companies. The submission process opens on November 11, 2015 and closes January 15, 2016. Priority will be given to those applicants that represent opportunities to reduce costs tied to health care, potentially benefit patients or health care consumers, and have a positive impact on one or more socioeconomically disadvantaged population. The applicant notification period begins mid-March.

“Every day at Safeguard Scientifics, we work with our current portfolio companies — many of which focus on the Collaborative’s theme of Chronic Disease — to fulfill the needs of providers, payors, and pharmaceutical customers. Through the Collaborative, we have a unique opportunity to provide innovators access to a cooperation of institutions working together to solve challenges in health care,” said Steve Zarrilli, President & CEO of Safeguard Scientifics.

“Philadelphia is home to world class universities, hospitals and research institutions. With these resources, we can collectively foster a new era of innovation in which these larger organizations, like Penn Medicine, work with innovators to find solutions to health care challenges related to chronic disease,” said Ralph W. Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

“At Jefferson, we are focused on finding new ways to care for our patients that drive down costs and improve their lives. The Health Care Innovation Collaborative will allow us to work with innovators and entrepreneurs to pilot new ideas that could make a real difference in how we deliver care,” stated Steven Klasko, President and CEO at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.

“This is the first time nationally that health care providers, universities, payors and corporations are joining together this way. At CHOP, we are excited about the potential innovations to come that can help the children and families that we serve,” said Madeline Bell, President and Chief Executive Officer at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

“We want to explore ways we can leverage the power of broadband technology to get participating organizations, and those they serve, the information they need, quickly and efficiently,” said Marc Siry, Vice President at Comcast Cable. “Comcast looks forward to playing a role in bringing business, higher education, government and non-profit communities to support potential startups and small business innovators within the Greater Philadelphia region.”

“We are very excited by the unified approach of the Health Care Innovation Collaborative and anticipate two significant outcomes complementary to Ben Franklin’s mission — an increased number of companies and entrepreneurs that recognize Greater Philadelphia as a region committed to health care innovation and greater global awareness among investors of the exciting investment opportunities here,” said RoseAnn Rosenthal, President & CEO at Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

Rob Wonderling, CEO Council Chairman and Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, added, “The CEO Council and Chamber are proud to help facilitate this kind of collaborative and open call for innovation that can help dramatically change the landscape of the Greater Philadelphia region.”

About CEO Council for Growth
The CEO Council for Growth is a devoted group of business, higher education, and civic leaders who commit their time and efforts to enhancing economic growth and prosperity in the 11-county region across northern Delaware, southern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania. The CEO Council is an initiative of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce influencing regional and national policy through advocacy. The CEO Council supports key regional partners in collaborations that will leverage these health care assets and will bring recognition to the region as the global leader in health care innovation.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Ben Franklin is the most active early stage capital provider for southeastern Pennsylvania’s technology sectors. Ben Franklin combines best practices of venture capital with a public-spirited purpose: leading the region’s technology community to new heights, creating jobs and changing lives for the better. Ben Franklin is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority. Visit for more information.

About The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was founded in 1855 as the nation’s first pediatric hospital. Through its long-standing commitment to providing exceptional patient care, training new generations of pediatric healthcare professionals and pioneering major research initiatives, Children’s Hospital has fostered many discoveries that have benefited children worldwide. Its pediatric research program is among the largest in the country. In addition, its unique family-centered care and public service programs have brought the 535-bed hospital recognition as a leading advocate for children and adolescents. For more information, visit

About Comcast Corporation
Comcast Corporation is a global media and technology company with two primary businesses, Comcast Cable and NBCUniversal. Comcast Cable is one of the nation’s largest video, high-speed Internet and phone providers to residential customers under the XFINITY brand and also provides these services to businesses. NBCUniversal operates news, entertainment and sports cable networks, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, television production operations, television station groups, Universal Pictures and Universal Parks and Resorts.

About Drexel University
Founded in 1891 in Philadelphia, Drexel is a top-ranked, comprehensive university recognized for its focus on experiential learning through cooperative education, its commitment to cutting-edge academic technology and its growing enterprise of use-inspired research. With more than 26,000 students, Drexel is one of the nation’s largest private universities. Drexel is a leader in creating technological solutions to societal problems of the 21st century. Drexel is committed to translational research and is poised to respond to novel opportunities for research, scholarship and technological development. Drexel is one of Philadelphia’s top 10 private employers, and a major engine for economic development in the region. For nearly a decade, Drexel has been ranked in the category of Best National Universities in “America’s Best Colleges’ by U.S News & World Report.

The Drexel University College of Medicine has established some of the most highly innovative and rigorous academic programs available today, incorporating the University’s expertise in engineering and technology into traditional medical training. The College of Medicine is home to one of the nation’s leading centers for spinal cord research; one of the foremost centers for malaria study; and a highly regarded HIV/AIDS program with extensive NIH-funded research in prevention and therapeutic interventions. Drexel University College of Medicine has been designated a Vanguard National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and is highly respected in numerous other specialties including cardiology and the neurosciences. Visit for more information.

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurance organization in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve nearly 10 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia, including 2.5 million in the region. For nearly 80 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more, visit Connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Jefferson — Health is all we do.
Our newly formed organization,Jefferson, encompasses Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, representing our academic and clinical entities. Together, the people of Jefferson, 19,000 strong, provide the highest-quality, compassionate clinical care for patients, educate the health professionals of tomorrow, and discover new treatments and therapies that will define the future of health care.

Jefferson Health comprises five hospitals, 13 outpatient and urgent care centers, as well as physician practices and everywhere we deliver care throughout the city and suburbs across Philadelphia, Montgomery and Bucks Counties in Pa., and Camden County in New Jersey. Together, these facilities serve more than 78,000 inpatients, 238,000 emergency patients and 1.7 million outpatient visits annually. Thomas Jefferson University Hospital is the largest freestanding academic medical center in Philadelphia. Abington Hospital is the largest community teaching hospital in Montgomery or Bucks counties. Other hospitals include Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience in Center City Philadelphia; Methodist Hospital in South Philadelphia; and Abington-Lansdale Hospital in Hatfield Township.

Thomas Jefferson University enrolls more than 3,900 future physicians, scientists, nurses and healthcare professionals in the Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC), Jefferson Colleges of Biomedical Sciences, Health Professions, Nursing, Pharmacy, Population Health and is home of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

For more information and a complete listing of Jefferson services and locations, visit

About Penn Medicine
Penn Medicine is one of the world’s leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation’s first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise. The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 17 years, according to U.S. News & World Report’s survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation’s top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $409 million awarded in the 2014 fiscal year. The University of Pennsylvania Health System’s patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center — which are recognized as one of the nation’s top “Honor Roll&rquo; hospitals by U.S. News & World Report — Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital — the nation’s first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2014, Penn Medicine provided $771 million to benefit our community.

About Safeguard Scientifics
Safeguard Scientifics (NYSE:SFE) has a distinguished track record of fostering innovation and building market leaders. For more than 60 years, Safeguard has been providing growth capital and operational support to entrepreneurs across an evolving spectrum of industries. Today, Safeguard is focused specifically on healthcare and technology.