Louisiana city awarded $1.2M for healthcare innovation projects

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Baton Rouge, La., secured a collective $1.2 million in federal and private-sector funding to launch Health-Tech Catalyst, a three-year healthcare innovation initiative, according to The Advocate.

The effort seeks to facilitate innovation and collaboration among healthcare professionals, researchers and entrepreneurs to improve patient care and outcomes.

"This is an avenue to advance great ideas such as decreasing duplication of care or making it easier for patients to reach facilities," Steven Ceulemans, Baton Rouge Health District's executive director, told The Advocate. "It wouldn't matter which hospital you are in. If you're a busy doctor in Baton Rouge but have an innovative idea, you're going to be a driving force but you can't do everything yourself."

Health-Tech Catalyst will comprise three parts: an innovation incubator for new technologies, a program in which hospitals collaborate to increase clinical trial access or develop experimental treatments, and an investment capital arm for healthcare startups.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration donated $600,000 to the initiative, which was matched by the fundraising efforts of Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Baton Rouge Area Chamber and Baton Rouge Health District.

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