For Immediate Release: May 5, 2020
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KANSAS CITY, MO. (May 5, 2020)—On May 1, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC), in partnership with the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC), awarded the 2020 Healthcare Innovation Prize to a team that developed the first pain-free, kid-friendly cure for warts called WartPatch.
The Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Prize launched in 2018 in collaboration with UMKC to encourage and promote healthcare innovation and progress. The contest, dubbed “UMKC’s Venture Challenge,” seeks projects that can improve the patient/member experience through care delivery innovation, digital health capabilities, tools, devices, and/or apps, or other advancements that positively impact the value proposition.
“At Blue KC, we are constantly seeking ways to address the challenges that exist in the U.S. healthcare system and we believe that innovation in how we deliver healthcare and in the treatments we use are critical to achieving improved health in our community,” said Blue KC’s Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer, Jason Spacek. “The UMKC Venture Challenge is an exciting way to identify promising projects that will do just that.”
This year, first place was awarded to WartPatch, which stimulates the immune system to fight off warts. It combines two established treatments: immunotherapy and painless microneedle patch technology, to create an innovative combination of healing and prevention. The team earned a $5,000 prize which will be used to help perform laboratory analysis to make a case to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that the product is ready for human testing.
The WartPatch team includes:
- Molly Pasque, a UMKC School of Medicine (SOM) medical student in her first year
- Reid Waldman, M.D., a graduate of the UMKCs 6-year BA/MD Program and adjunct professor of humanities at the UMKC SOM
- Tim Durso, M.D., a dermatology resident in his final year in San Antonio
- Ming Lee, M.D., a dermatology resident in his final year at Boston University
- Madeline DeWane, a UMKC SOM medical student in her final year
- Kyle Ryder, a life sciences consultant and the team’s business developer
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.
About the University of Missouri-Kansas City
The University of Missouri-Kansas City, one of four University of Missouri universities, is a public university serving more than 16,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on its six-part mission: placing student success at the center; leading in life and health sciences; advancing urban engagement; excelling in visual and performing arts; embracing diversity; and promoting research and economic development. For more information about UMKC, visit umkc.edu. You can also find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, see us on Instagram and watch us on YouTube.