News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Genie of Fairview Door Company

Hospice of the Western Reserve

Wayside Furniture


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Health and Medicine




Exploradio: Akron's Mecca for medical innovation
The goal of the Austen Bioinnovation Institute in Akron is to make the city as famous for medical innovation as it was for tires
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR
This story is part of a special series.


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
The Austen Bioinnovation Institute in Akron is a partnership between Akron Children's, Akron General, and Summa Health Systems, along with The University of Akron, and The Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Courtesy of Jeff St.Clair
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Emergency response training, medical device development, polymer biomaterials…
These are a few of the areas the Austen Bioinnovation Institute in Akron hopes to put its stamp on, as the 3-year-old think-tank settles into its new $13 million headquarters. 

In this week’s Exploradio, we explore plans to make Akron the Mecca of medical innovation.

Exploradio: Akron's Mecca for medical innovation

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:29)


(Click image for larger view.)

Simulation training 
Charles Rice is a simulation technician and he holds a keypad that controls the child-sized mannequin on the gurney before us.  Rice’s job is to create scenarios to teach nurses, EMTs, and young doctors the challenges of real life emergency care – including a child’s repeatedly vague answers, like, "I'm dizzy," when asked where it hurts.

Rice is out of sight when trainees treat the mannequin.  He says, "If you make him say the right thing at the right moment, it can really hit home for people.”

The child dummy is one of about a dozen mannequins lying throughout the eerily quiet, simulated hospital ward at the Austen Bioinnovation Institute’s new facility in what once was a trolley terminal in downtown Akron. The 30,000 square foot simulation center allows the Institute’s partner hospitals to provide training without tying up valuable surgical suites. 

Five partners and a dream
The Austen Bioinnovation Institute is the brainchild of Akron’s three hospital systems: Akron Children’s, Akron General, and Summa Health System; along with the University of Akron and the Northeast Ohio Medical University.

The five partners came together three years ago to create a medical research facility to consolidate training, bring medical devices to market, and leverage the expertise of Akron’s polymer engineers and hospital clinicians.  Twenty million dollars from the Knight Foundation, whose former chairman Gerald Austen is the Institute’s namesake, along with $20 million from the partner hospitals laid the foundation for the Austen Bioinnovation Institute.  

Frank Douglas is the institute’s first president and CEO.  His goal is that within ten years Akron is known worldwide for medical research.

The Institute is setting up a for-profit arm to manage new companies developed through its partnerships.  It’s first spin-off launched earlier this year with a device to treat scoliosis.  Douglas is initially targeting a few specific areas to start with, including "the use of polymer and biomaterials for the treatment of orthopedic problems and wound-healing problems." 

With degrees in chemistry, engineering and medicine, Frank Douglas is a hands-on leader, "I am happy when I see ideas get translated into real products.  So having a protype lab that we have here, where we can make actual prototypes of devices and test those prototypes, for me is extremely important.”

Doctor ordered prototyping
Samantha Stucke is a senior engineer with the Institute’s medical device development team.  

Stucke says she sifted through 150 invention ideas last year, submitted by doctors looking to create better tools.

“That is what we’re here for, is for them to realize that they don’t have to battle every day.  They can come to us with their problems and we will work with them to make something better.”

The pace of work is picking up with this summer’s move into the new facility.  The 10-year plan for the Austen Bioinnovation Institute is to generate 2,100 new jobs and spin-off 40 new companies, and make Akron as famous for medical innovation as it was for tires.

The Institute will officially open its new headquarters on the partnership’s third anniversary this September.

I’m Jeff St.Clair with this week’s Exploradio.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook



Support for Exploradio
provided by:








Stories with Recent Comments

Crystal Ball says Ohio governor's race is done
How much is the Kasich campaign paying you to keep repeating the phrase "woman who is not his wife"? Fitzgerald was in the car with a friend who happens to be f...

Plane that crashed killing Case students is a popular training aircraft
The following is incorrect. The last few words should read "UNDER maximum gross take-off weight." “They have a normal take-off speed and all those take-off...

Exploradio: The never-ending war against superbugs
Super Federico ,we are so proud of you ,and very lucky to be among your friends . Keep it up human kind needs people like you to survive .Thanks for being so d...

Ohio's Lyme disease-carrying tick population is exploding
Interesting report. The last sentence needs some editing. It isn't a good idea to "save garments carrying ticks for analysis." The garments carrying t...

Teach for America enters third year in Ohio
For more background on TFA, check out http://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/

Faith leaders hold week-long prayer vigil at Ohio Statehouse
I think this is the wrong link to the audio. Its Andy Chow about cigarette taxes.

A $30 million plan to turn Cleveland's Public Square from gray to green
The current plan is for the Land Bank, RTA, and Mr. Jeremy Paris to run a bus line through the new Public Square and cutting the park in half. Save Public Squar...

Medina County residents question safety of proposed natural gas pipeline
I'm very concerned about this nexus project. I've received mail requesting my permission to allow the company to survey my property. I don't understand how thi...

A small group of tea party and Democrats protest at Kasich campaign stop
Enjoyed your excellent coverage of the statehouse for sometime now, never dreamed I'd be on. The feedback from people has been great. Thank you. Doris Adams

Top staffers are leaving the FitzGerald gubernatorial campaign
I's too bad that the dirt on Fitzgerald dug up by Kasich's operatives and publicized heavily by the Yellow Plain Dealer has caused the weak staffers of the Fitz...

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University