Panel: Putting Your Tax Dollars to Work: Government Role in Healthcare Innovation

Session Recording Description:

This panel discusses the many approaches, actions, and contributions of government to understand and innovate to improve care of patients with sepsis and COVID-19. Hear from representative agencies about their projects and programs to improve prevention, diagnostics, therapeutics, and post-sepsis care. Dr. Cindy Hou will moderate this panel and speakers from the Veterans Administration (VA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Biological Technologies Office (BTO) at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Division of Research Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe) at Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) will discuss their work.

This course was originally recorded in June 2021 as part of Sepsis Tech & Innovation. 

Target Audience

Industry leaders, Public Policy Experts, Health and hospital Leadership (C-Suite, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, CIOs), Health quality and decision support leaders, Health Investors and VCs, Health and Technology Media, Health Advocates, Health Advisors, Health Educators, Health Marketers. 

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Infection Control Officer, Jefferson Health

Cindy Hou, DO, is the Infection Control Officer and infectious diseases specialist at Jefferson Health New Jersey. Her hospital system was nationally recognized by Sepsis Alliance as a Sepsis Hero in 2016. She is the physician lead for the hospital’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee, Sepsis on the Floors Task Force, Infection Control Committee, and more. Dr. Hou has been a passionate advocate for early detection, prevention, education, and management of sepsis in the community hospital setting. She has helped to champion the development of nurse-initiated policies, old school education, and the impact of multi-disciplinary teams on survival of patients with sepsis. She has also studied the impact of mandatory infectious disease consults on C. Diff infections and severe sepsis. She also serves as the physician champion for the NJHA’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Collaborative. In 2018, she was a recipient of Heroes of Infection Prevention Award in Patient Safety from APIC. She is also on the Sepsis Alliance Advisory Board of Directors.

William C. "Claibe" Yarbrough, MD

National Program Director, Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine and Professor of Medicine VHA North Texas Healthcare System, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Dr. Yarbrough is the Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care at the VHA North Texas Healthcare System in Dallas and Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He is the national program director for Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine for the Veterans Administration Central Office. He is chair of the Operations Critical Care Committee, Pulmonary Field Advisory Committee, Sleep Field Advisory Committee, member of the Surgical Advisory Board for Critical Care, and Co-chair of the CIS/ARK (ICU Clinical Information System/Anesthesia Record Keeper) Advisory Board. He is a member of the Tele-ICU steering committee.


Eric VanGieson, PhD

Program Manager, Biological Technologies Office (BTO) at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)

Dr. Van Gieson has the goal of using host-based methods to mitigate the impacts of emerging threats. He explores epigenetic and real-time monitoring approaches that can dynamically guide healthcare decisions and therapy as well as new methods of increasing patient survival in austere environments using intelligent systems partnered with local care providers. Prior to joining DARPA, Dr. Van Gieson served as the Chief Technology Officer at the National Strategic Research Institute and before that as Director of Biosurveillance and Diagnostics at MRIGlobal. He has also served as Chief of the Diagnostics, Disease Surveillance, and Threat Detection Division within the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and as Principal Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Dr. Van Gieson has served as the Chief Judge on the Nokia Sensing XChallenge and a Judge on the QualComm Tricorder XChallenge on behalf of the XPrize Foundation. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Biomedical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Virginia. He has published on topics ranging from genomic analysis to autonomous systems.

Kimberly Sciarretta, PhD

DRIVe Solving Sepsis Program Manager, HHS/ASPR/BARDA

Kimberly Sciarretta, PhD is the Solving Sepsis Program Manager within the Division of Research Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe), Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), within the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  Previously Dr. Sciarretta was a Project Officer within the BARDA CBRN Division, and prior to that, was a technical consultant to multiple US Government Agencies.  Dr. Sciarretta was one of the inaugural members of DRIVe and is leading efforts towards improving patient outcomes for sepsis through strategic interagency activities and critical technology investments with external partners. Dr. Sciarretta received her PhD from the University of Chicago in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology. Her expertise broadly spans medical countermeasure development, biochemistry, synthetic biology, advanced manufacturing and chemical and biological defense technologies.

Runa Gokhale, MD, MPH

Medical Officer, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Runa Hatti Gokhale is a team lead in CDC’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion where she oversees invasive Staphylococcus aureus surveillance and serves as science lead for Agency sepsis activities. She is a Commander in the Commissioned Corps of the US Public Health Service. Runa is board certified in Internal Medicine and Preventive Medicine, and before joining CDC worked as a hospitalist at the Atlanta VA Medical Center, where she continues to attend on the inpatient medicine service. Runa received a BA from Brown University, an MD from Jefferson Medical College, and an MPH from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

No continuing education credits are offered for this session.

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