2018 classmates win two innovation competitions
With one innovation contest win already under their white coats and scrubs, two recent West Virginia University School of Dentistry dental hygiene graduates took the top prize from yet another invention challenge.
The clinic invention designed by Samantha Farley and Kristen Hanlan has earned the 2018 Department of Dental Hygiene graduates a total of $13,000 in prize money to help in the patenting and production process of the equipment.
Without revealing the complete properties of the invention, it is designed to improve the efficiency, convenience and sanitization of crucial equipment used in dental clinics daily and for nearly all oral healthcare procedures.
On May 16, Farley and Hanlan won a $10,000 grand prize from the West Virginia Clinical and Translational Science Institute. The team of dental hygienists was among 7 groups presenting at the annual WVCTSI meeting’s shark tank session.
Contestants had to prove to a panel of experts from West Virginia University and Marshall University that their invention could solve inefficiency and procedure issues and provide more effective patient care.
Farley and Hanlan’s 4-minute innovation and commercialization pitch for their prototype earned them the competition’s grand prize.
The dental hygienists initially began work on the invention as part of their senior year research projects. Aside from presenting to faculty and classmates, Farley and Hanlan have traveled nationally to share their idea. They have been encouraged to expand upon their dental clinic and oral healthcare invention for use in hospital surgical settings as well.
The two have won close to $13,000 in prize money. They placed first in the WVU Launch Lab Fall Kick Off competition, third in the WVU Women’s Pitch competition, made top 10 in the Draper competition at Smith College, and took first prize in the WV Clinical and Translational Science Institute Shark Tank competition.
WVCTSI is funded by an IDeA Clinical and Translational grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (2U54GM104942-02) to support the mission of building clinical and translational research infrastructure and capacity to impact health disparities in West Virginia.
"It gives me pride to see where this association started and where we are currently. I am asking that you take a moment and reflect back to your days at the school and where you are today."
The WVU School of Dentistry is providing dental students and residents with real life experience through partnerships with Wheeling Health Right and the corporate world that provides cutting edge tools and technology.
The Rural Undergraduate Shadowing in Healthcare Program (RUSH) is designed to provide participants with a unique experience that offers insight into what it is like to practice a health profession in rural West Virginia. Participants must be a current WVU student in good academic standing that is planning to pursue a health career with the long-term goal of practicing in rural and/or underserved areas of West Virginia in one of the following disciplines: Medicine-Family Medicine, Medicine-Pediatrics or Dentistry. Selected students shadow a rural practitioner for a total of 20 hours during specific dates agreed upon by the participating practitioner and the student and work with the WVU Institute for Community and Rural Health and the WVU PreHealth Professional Development Office to identify other rural-related programs relevant to your chosen health profession discipline including research and service activities. RUSH students also meet one or more times with the PreHealth Professional Development Office to put together their professional school application which includes guidance on class choice, writing a personal statement, mock interviews, and obtaining a committee letter. This year's RUSH-ers are Eva MacFarland, a junior majoring in Biology and Psychology, from Bridgeport, WV. She will be shadowing with Dr. Joanna Bailey at Tug River Medical Center in Pineville, WV. Kristin Ruddle, a junior majoring in Biology from Brandywine, WV. She will be shadowing with Dr. Stephanie Sisler at Wellspring Family Medicine in Terra Alta, WV. Ryan Kirk, a junior from Weirton, WV majoring in Biology will be shadowing with dentists at Minne Hamilton Health Systems in Grantsville, WV.