The Medical Center of the Americas (MCA) Foundation officials announced Monday that their organization was named a winner in The Innovation Fund summer grant cycle.
The organization along with five other organizations across the country was awarded 75,000 dollars from The Workers Lab, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The money will help bring the MCA Foundation’s innovative ideas around worker health and safety to life.
“It is evident with COVID-19 that nurses are one of the unsung heroes of healthcare. They work at the frontlines, often encountering situations that require creativity and flexibility to protect the health and safety of themselves and their patients,” says Nancy Lowery, Director of Innovation at the MCA Foundation. “We are excited that this grant from The Workers Lab Innovation Fund will allow the MCA, in collaboration with nurses, other frontline healthcare workers, and the regional Fab Labs, to design and implement a program specifically created for nurse innovators.”
The MCA Foundation, through its Innovation Center, plans to launch the Nurse to Innovator Project, which shows great potential for developing a program that could have a significant impact on the region by moving ideas from the bench to the bedside.
This program will link nurses and makers in the binational El Paso – Ciudad Juarez region and empower them to generate solutions that respond to their needs and improve workplace safety.
In July, The Workers Lab put a call out for innovations to improve worker health and safety. During this COVID-19 pandemic, workers are keeping people fed, housed, and healthy, all while putting their own lives at risk. In response, The Innovation Fund Summer 2020 competition focused on surfacing ideas for protecting and supporting workers, their families, and communities.
“Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was clear to us that the areas of worker health and safety were lacking focus, prioritization, and investment,” said Jeshua John, Program Manager at The Workers Lab. “The crisis has given even more clarity to this problem and to the need for new ideas aimed at solving it. We could not be more proud to fund the innovative work these six winners are bringing to the table at this critical time.”
To learn more about the MCA Innovation Center and the Nurse to Innovator project, click here. Read more about all of The Innovation Fund Summer 2020 winners on The Workers Lab Blog.