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OSF HealthCare recognizes emergency department physician with inaugural OSF Innovator of the Year award

John Wipfler, MD, an attending emergency room physician at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria is the inaugural winner of the OSF Innovator of the Year. The honor recognizes individuals who are advancing the OSF Vision of transforming health care.

Michelle Conger, OSF HealthCare Chief Strategy officer and CEO of OSF OnCall Digital Health says the award also acknowledges Mission Partners (employees) who go beyond their traditional role to solve a challenge.

“This isn’t part of their everyday job and so they saw a problem as an opportunity, and applied innovation to be able to solve that. It’s a different way of thinking.”

Dr. Wipfler received the award during a celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center. He was recognized for his work with OSF Ventures portfolio company, Exo®, (pronounced “echo”), a hand-held ultrasound company. He and others collaborated to create a software platform to make ultrasound technology simpler so more providers can use the imaging at the point-of-care to improve diagnosis and treatment and improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Wipfler is excited about the opportunity to expand the use of ultrasound to save lives.

“It’s gonna be fast, it’s gonna be accurate. It’s going to do things we needed it to do,” Dr. Wipfler says. “I’m really excited about that. So, to be able to work with OSF to help create that has been an honor.”

In the not-too-distant future, Dr. Wipfler sees hand-held ultrasound being used in a variety of medical settings.

“I think in the next five to 10 years, you will see every physician out there have a small portable ultrasound in their pocket. They’ll have a stethoscope too probably, but they’re going to have this piece of equipment called bedside ultrasound or actually just an ultrasound probe that hooks up to their phone. It’s going to be saving lives … making a big difference,” Dr. Wipfler predicts.

Conger says Dr. Wipfler also helped advance the Vision for OSF Innovation and the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center with a far-reaching innovation.

“This can help multiple organizations in the U.S. and beyond. That’s one of the things when we started Jump, we wanted to have a global impact, and it is so rewarding to start to see that happen. And this is just one example.”

Dr. Wipfler was selected from among 16 nominees for this year’s Innovator of the Year award.

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