Summer interns move the needle on innovation projects

September 8, 2022

We’ve wrapped up another summer of the OSF Innovation summer internship at the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center. The two-and-half month program welcomes students from across the U.S. to work on a variety of OSF Innovation projects.

This year, 22 students were accepted into the program to not only work on new efforts, but to continue building out innovative concepts already underway. Take a look at the eight projects our interns worked on this summer.

The 2022 projects

Project Janus: Amanda McGee (Bradley University) and Evan Hazzard (Illinois State University)

Advanced Analytics project managers within OSF Innovation typically spend about 34 hours a month managing projects. This group was charged with building a project management system within Microsoft Teams to make this process easier. As a result, the team created three pieces of automation software that will routinely fill out project documentation, send Teams notifications to collaborators on a given project and monitor collaborations on projects, ensuring tasks are competed on-time. Next, Advanced Analytics will test the system and hand it off to an automation engineer once adopted.

PNC Stars: Lydia Williamson (Bradley University), Scott Chernobrov (Bradley University), Hailey Fetting, (Bradley University), Kadin White (Bradley University) and Sydnee O’Donnell (Loyola University)

Student interns present at podiumThanks to an ongoing grant from PNC Bank, this team of interns is continuing the efforts of interns past in generating new content for the Jump STEAM program. This summer, the group created STEAM Stars, a scalable and flexible e-learning platform that can be used in the classroom and at home. The educational website includes accessible and interactive content that teaches young people about various aspects of health care using videos, animations, comics, picture books and completely functional video games. The group also developed an activity book to teach students about different health care careers and designed index cards that include small activities. You can interact with STEAM Stars at

Digital Innovation and Design project: Devun Schneider (Bradley University) and Harika Bollam (Bradley University)

The OSF HealthCare Marketing and Communications team currently uses a third party to manage health care provider information on the Ministry’s website. This team created two in-house databases and a website interface with the ability to maintain accurate and relevant provider and location data and accurate information aides in consumer-facing doctor and location finding directories. This solution is expected to reduce costs while increasing efficiency.

Brachytherapy: Connor Bernitt (University of Iowa), Emily Bultinck (Purdue University), Tucker Ross (Purdue University), Megan Loghry (Bradley University), Brooke Wetherill (University of Michigan) and Mark Hanley (University of Illinois)

Brachytherapy is a form of internal radiation where seeds or capsules of radioactive material are placed inside a patient’s body in or near a tumor by catheter or applicator. Used to treat cancers like oral, cervical, endometrial, prostate and eye, this type of treatment is more direct, reducing the likelihood of damaging surrounding tissue. It increases survival rate, decreases the number of treatments a patient may need and is less expensive. However, this procedure requires a high set of technical skills.

As an extension of a previous intern project, this year’s group designed brachytherapy trainers for cervical and endometrial cancers. Their work is expected to increase awareness on the effectiveness of brachytherapy, develop confidence in key skills, encourage physician usage and improve patient outcomes and experiences. The team also developed additional devices for training to manage different ailments, including a finger dislocation trainer, a laryngectomy and tracheostomy trainer, a bariatric arm trainer, a pressure ulcer trainer and a heart puzzle for Jump STEAM summer camps.

Readmission modeling – post discharge variable and model exploration: Swapnil Kulmepalya Ramanna (Indiana University)

Working with the Advanced Analytics team, this student explored the development of a new predictive model to identify hospital patients who have the potential to get readmitted following discharge. The functional area of OSF Innovation already has a predictive model that can pinpoint inpatients who have yet to be discharged, allowing case managers to get the necessary intervention in place to reduce the risk of readmission. This new model would get incorporated into an ambulatory workflow, giving primary care physicians a better idea of who is at risk as well. This would give them more insight into patients who are placed in nursing homes, hospice or home care.

Office of Innovation Management project: Joseph Piccione (St. Ambrose University)

The OSF Innovation Studio team is in the process of exploring 40 active innovative opportunities from our own Mission Partners. This intern got the chance to work on a variety of these projects. This included performing financial analyses and researching market size, competitors, possible revenue and growth factors.

Pringle Robotics: Pilot autonomous Bots in health care environment: Zachary Briggs (Eureka College), Jack Patterson (Bradley University) and Kai-Lin Chang (University of Illinois)

Student interns work with robot 

Pringle Robotics in Peoria aims to solve real world problems in the hospitality, health care and retail industries with advanced robotic solutions. This intern team got the chance to test three bots within OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center to validate their use. Over two-and-half months, the group was able to deploy a disinfection robot within the hospital’s maternal fetal area with success. They also tested an escort robot for visitors to OSF Saint Francis. Next, the team explored the use of a secure delivery robot to transport and distribute items like lab samples, medications and other supplies. Based on their testing, the goal is to implement both the escort and disinfection bots to other areas of the hospital.

Oasis food truck: Peter Vozenilek (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Thomas Vozenilek (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)

More than one million people in Illinois are considered food insecure by the United States Department of Agriculture. This means they lack access to enough food which can lead to negative social and health outcomes. As one way to solve this issue, this team created a concept for a food truck that will serve healthy meals to people who don’t have easy access to nutritional foods. If this project moves forward, donors would sponsor the meals and food truck. And community-based organizations could help identify people in need of food and dole out tokens for them to receive a meal.

What’s next?

I’m blown away by the talent we saw this year and I can’t wait to see where all of our interns end up after they graduate. In the meantime, our Mission Partners will continue to advance their projects in the near future at OSF.

Stay up-to-date with the latest internship opportunities here.

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