Congratulations to Trinity Health’s Innovation Challenge Winner in West Michigan: The Health Project of Mercy Health Muskegon!

trinityCongratulations to Trinity Health’s Five Innovation Challenge Winners

Trinity Health is pleased to announce the five winners of its first Innovation Challenge.

Earlier this year, Trinity Health launched its inaugural Innovation Challenge, intended to help identify, fund and implement ideas aimed at reducing readmission rates and improving care for patients who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. The applicants for this award were submitted by Trinity Health ministries, the system office and organizations external to Trinity Health that were willing to work with a Trinity Health ACO or bundled payment program to implement, test and replicate a solution.

“Our five Innovation Challenge winners offered the most creative and bold ideas to provide better health, better care and lower costs for our dual eligible patients,” said Scott Nordlund, executive vice president, Growth, Strategy and Innovation, Trinity Health. “We believe these innovative solutions have tremendous opportunity to transform our Ministry and our industry to become even more people-centered.”

Congratulations to the following winners whose innovations were chosen from 67 internal and external applicants from around the country:


  • “Employing Older Adults as Companions with a New Technology to Reduce Hospital Admissions” (AgeWell Global in partnership with Holy Cross, Fort Lauderdale, FL)
  • “Applied Artificial Intelligence to Stop Dual Eligible Patient Readmissions” (Jvion, in partnership with St. Joseph, Syracuse, NY)
  • Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders” (Mercy Health – Mercy Campus, Muskegon, MI; Judith Kell)
  • “Whatever it Takes: A 24/7 Triage and PRN Treatment Service” (Trinity Health At Home; Dr. Steven Stein)
  • “Hospital at Home” (Trinity Health At Home; Erin Denholm)


Trinity Health is funding each of the winning innovations with as much as $350,000. The funding was awarded to applicants that proposed an entirely new model of care or an “adapted” model that has been previously implemented. Adapted solutions built upon a successful model previously tested while piloting an approach that is a new and /or unique service for dual eligible patients at Trinity Health.

“The grants we award to each of the winners will be used to fund their innovative, breakthrough ideas and associated project plans,” said Anna Marie Butrie, vice president, Innovation Program and Services for Trinity Health. “These innovations were designed specifically to help us better serve some of the most vulnerable patients in our communities in a compassionate and transformative way.”

In the U.S., nearly 11 million people are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid. These “dual eligible” patients represent a group comprised of low-income seniors and younger people with disabilities whose care is frequently very complicated and challenging.

According to the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, some of the key characteristics that distinguish dual eligible patients from typical Medicare beneficiaries include:

Very low incomes (55 percent have annual incomes below $10,000, compared to six percent of other Medicare beneficiaries)

  • Substantial health needs (half are in fair or poor health, more than twice the Medicare rate)
  • More likely to have mental health needs
  • More likely to live in nursing homes

Dual eligible patients also have higher 30-day and 90-day readmission rates. During a recent three-month period, dual eligible patients cared for by Trinity Health’s Accountable Care Organizations experienced readmission rates about 106 percent higher than that of non-dual eligible patients.

You can learn more about the first Challenge on the Trinity Health Innovation Challenge website.


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