The New York City
American Heart Association
Open Innovation Challenge

Health sciences

Who are the Judges?

Our panel of judges will include twelve leaders in the health sciences technology and business sectors. They have been drawn from the patient, clinician, hospital, partner, non-profit, and investor community leaders that are driving healthcare innovation. These folks know what it takes to get things done in healthcare, can help make it happen, and are among the best at picking the next big thing in healthcare. To apply to be a MedStartr Challenge Mentor or Judge for future challenges, please visit our Mentor application page .

Milena Adamian, MD is the Founder and Executive Director of Life Science Angel Network (LSAN). Milena brings unique perspective of a clinician and academic researcher with genuine passion for breakthrough technologies enriched by industry knowledge, Wall Street, and venture capital experience. Milena is actively involved in a number of accelerators and angel groups across the US, including Life Science Angels (Palo Alto, CA) and HealthTech Capital (Palo Alto, CA), Blueprint Health (NYC) and others. In 2013, Milena Adamian was named to the TechWeek list of leaders in NYC area with significant impact in business and technology.
Regina Holliday is an activist, artist, speaker and author. She is the creator of the Walking Gallery jackets, film, and center as well as the Cinderblocks Conference. In 2009, she painted a series of murals depicting the need for clarity and transparency in medical records. This advocacy mission was inspired by her late husband Frederick Allen Holliday II and his struggle to get appropriate care during 11 weeks of continuous hospitalization at 5 facilities. Her paintings became part of the national debate on health care reform and helped guide public policy. You can usually find Regina speaking, blogging, and tweeting. She also is a leader in healthcare crowdfunding where she has funded the first a Conference, a Film, and now a permanent Center.
David albert md
David Albert, MD is a bow-tie-wearing Oklahoma physician-entrepreneur. He started Corazonix in 1985, selling it to Arrhythmia Research Technology in 1991; Data Critical in 1995 which went publin in 1999 (DCCA: NASDAQ) and was sold to GE where he served at the Chief Clinical Scientist of GE Cardiology until 2004 when he founded InnovAlarm in 2004, creator of the LIfetone HL Fire Alarm and Clock. He has 30 issued US patents, and 20 currently pending. His specialties inlude Cardiovascular diagnostic devices (ECG, echo, CT, MRI, nuclear); Audio digital signal processing (alarms, Doppler Echo) and mHealth solutions. He is presently the Founder and Chief Medical Officer at AliveCor. He enjoys tweeting about the intersection of technology and medicine from twitter handle @DrDave01.
Cheryl pegus
Cheryl Pegus, M.D., M.P.H is the Director, Division of General Internal Medicine and Clinical Innovation, Associate Chair, Clinical Innovation at NYU Langone Medical Center and Clinical Professor of Medicine and Population health at NYU School of Medicine. She is the President of Caluent, LLC, a private equity advisory company with a portfolio of public and startup companies under management, a Director of Glytec and the Lead Independent Director of Vision Sciences, Inc. (VSCI). Dr. Pegus is also the President of the American Heart Association (AHA) Founder’s Affiliate.
Howard steinberg
Howard Steinberg is an entrepreneur who has lived with type 1 diabetes since age 10. In 2004, he formed dLife, a multi-media DTC platform to engage this burgeoning population in better 24/7 self-care. He remains active as an investor and advisor from his perch at the Westport Innovation HUB, a co-working center for entrepreneurs and investors that he founded in 2013.
Robert schinazi
Robert Schinazi, Ph.D. is the Founder and Chief Engineer of Component Engineering & Automation Corp., Dr. Schinazi is a leading designer and builder of innovative devices for the healthcare industry. His company designs and develops the products that make healthcare work better. Most recently their work was on display and on stage at the CES show in 2015 for various big name manufacturer. Dr. Schinazi is also an innovator and investor in the space and works with new companies to get their first run prototypes to market with a focus on product development, laboratory testing, and process development.
Rochelle pleskow
Rochelle Pleskow has spent the last five years at the Chief Medical Informatics Officer at HP and brings over 20 years of healthcare industry experience encompassing acute care hospitals, ambulatory centers, health plans and physician groups in the clinical, operational, financial and technological realms of the continuum of care. Inasmuch, Rochelle has demonstrated the importance of the convergence of technology and the clinical and business perspectives of medicine in order to improve the quality of patient care and reduce the costs of healthcare.
Connor Landgraf is the Co-Founder and CEO of Eko Devices. Founded at UC Berkeley in 2013, Eko Devices produces a family of digital medical devices and smarpthone-enabled medical technologies to shape and improve the way healthcare providers deliver care. Landgraf is building technologies that empower clinicians to deliver better care by pairing powerful software and analytics with new smartphone based sensor hardware.
Jen ohlson
Jen Ohlson is last year's AHA Challenge champion and CEO of Interactive Health Technologies, makers of the IHT Spirit system. After signing up 23 rehab centers during last year's AHA Challenge Jen and her team went on to sign up over 700 schools and inked a deal with Adidas 9 months later at CES. Now she is coming back to judge and has a pretty clear idea of what it takes to make the magic happen for an innovative idea in healthcare. You can follow her on twitter as @IHTSpirit or visit her website to learn more.
Jane sarasohn kahn
Jane Sarasohn-Kahn is a health economist and management consultant who advises organizations at the intersection of health, technology and people. Her firm THINK-Health works with the broad range of health stakeholders who want to engage people in health. She blogs at Health Populi and is Co-Founder of HealthcareDIY. Jane also sits on American Tax & Financial Center from Intuit, the U.S. Health Efficiency Index project, the Health 2.0 conference, and HIMSS eConnecting with Consumers Task Force. Jane has been named A Woman Rocking Health, One of Five Fierce Female Health Bloggers to Watch, and One of Top Ten Twitter Profiles of Public Health Advocates. Follow Jane on Twitter @healthythinker
Sarah kucharski
Sarah Kucharski blogs as a health advocate fostering the patient voice in medicine. Special interests include the patient experience in healthcare settings, the doctor-patient relationship, the patient-caregiver relationship, chronic illness, health literacy, advance planning and end-of-life issues. After crowdfunding seed capital, she also Founded and now serves as CEO of FMD Chat, a nonprofit organization supporting those around the world affected by Fibromusclar Dysplasia, a rare vascular disease. She also serves on the ePatient Advisory Board for Stanford University's Medicine X conference and is an award-winning writer and editor of a nationally-published, regional lifestyle magazine. Follow Sarah on Twitter @AfternoonNapper.
Joseph knecht
Joseph Knecht leads the business development and consulting teams at VentureTech, a tech-based venture accelerator based in Nebraska. He plays a key role in the development of partner products from market validation and go-to-marketing strategies helping bring to market highly successful SaaS solutions, most famously Mr. Knecht is active in the national startup ecosystem, frequent speaker, and adviser to many startup and high growth ventures. Learn more about Joe and VentureTech on their website.