UCLA Health’s Desert Horse-Grant Named to Modern Healthcare’s Class of Top 25 Innovators

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UCLA Health Media Relations

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 24, 2020) - Desert Horse-Grant, senior director of UCLA Health Research and Innovation, and co-executive director of UCLA Biodesign, has been recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of this year’s Top 25 Innovators. The program recognizes leaders who are instituting innovation and leading transformative programs that measurably improve patient-centered care through advances in technology.

“At UCLA Health, innovation has always been central to providing our patients with the highest-quality care and cutting-edge treatments,” said Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System. “This year, the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic have called for unprecedented innovations, and Desert’s leadership in facilitating the translation of discoveries made in the lab directly to the patient have accelerated transformative solutions that benefit the health ecosystem as a whole.”

Since joining UCLA Health in 2017 as senior director of Research and Innovation, Horse-Grant has led efforts to identify and develop key programs that accelerate the translation of lab discoveries to the patient’s bedside.

As a cornerstone of this work, she co-created and co-leads UCLA Biodesign, a national and international program that launched in 2019 to revolutionize medicine through the development of novel technologies and training of the next generation of transformers. Through its fellowship program, physicians, engineers and business leaders from diverse backgrounds come together to tackle some of the most pressing challenges in healthcare by developing innovative technologies – from advanced devices to sophisticated digital therapeutics.

Before joining UCLA Health, Horse-Grant was the director of Strategy and Operations for Solid Tumor Translational Research across Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington Medicine, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington. Previously, she spent 13 years at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where she held several leadership roles, including helping to design and implement the first cross-disciplinary Brain Tumor Center. She also led efforts to form new collaborations among physicians and scientists.

According to Modern Healthcare, many of this year’s honorees pushed solutions that directly address the coronavirus pandemic, and their innovations and approaches to problem solving will be useful long after the crisis is over.

"While healthcare always looks for ways to transform, 2020 required more nimble, innovative adaptations than ever before. As communities hunkered down, providers and other industry members quickly found new ways to care for their patients, and they couldn't be afraid to try something new. This year's Top 25 Innovators exemplify the best of those transformations,' said Aurora Aguilar, editor of Modern Healthcare. "They put quality first and still looked for ways to improve their work during uncertain times. We congratulate the class of 2020."

The complete ranking is featured in the August 24 issue of Modern Healthcare magazine, and profiles of the winners are available at ModernHealthcare.com/awards/top-25-innovators-2020.