Meet Dr. Ben Bassin, Blue Cottage of CannonDesign’s Inaugural Innovation Fellow

Dr Ben Bassin

July 26, 2023

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We’re proud to share Dr. Ben Bassin has joined CannonDesign as our first-ever innovation fellow. In this newly formed role, Ben will focus on health innovation within Blue Cottage of CannonDesign while also helping amplify our company’s entrepreneurial culture. 

Ben will support our Blue Cottage team while remaining an active physician and associate professor of emergency medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. Throughout his career, Ben has positively impacted healthcare from numerous vantage points, including: 

  • Ben serves as the Director of the Emergency Critical Care Center at Michigan Medicine (formerly University of Michigan Health System), the first ED-based intensive care unit in the U.S.

  • He has been a key advisor (and even a chief medical officer) to multiple medical device start-up companies focused on device development, critical care delivery and optimizing healthcare design

  • Ben has contributed to several process improvement and healthcare facility design efforts at Michigan Medicine and with other health systems 

  • He’s also flown in helicopters as a leader of an aeromedical program, served as a SWAT team physician, and traveled the world as a disaster responder 

While Ben’s role with our team is new, he’s long had connectivity to CannonDesign and Blue Cottage  through partnership on projects including the University of Cincinnati Health's Emergency Department, Vanderbilt University Medical Center and University of Kentucky Medical Center 

We recently spent time with Ben to learn more about his perspectives on health design, innovation culture, and more.

Ben Bassin headshot

How does your experience as an ED physician and a startup entrepreneur inform your role within Blue Cottage? 
As an active clinician who has worked in emergency medicine for almost two decades, I’ve interfaced with every inpatient and outpatient service line. I am acutely aware of the current and emerging challenges we collectively face within healthcare delivery. I can tell you these are national problems that require new ways of thinking and novel approaches.

As an innovation fellow within Blue Cottage, I can bring this real-world experience to inform our process improvement and design strategies for health systems across North America. This is a force multiplier opportunity that should help us think big, act boldly and really drive systematic and social change across healthcare. I could not be more excited to embark on the journey ahead with all of you.

In what ways have you contributed to existing CannonDesign projects? How can our teammates access you and your expertise moving forward? 
Working on the UC Health project proved to be a real thrill for me. That system has built one of the premier emergency medicine systems in the country despite practicing in an antiquated, undersized, and dysfunctional space. 

It was a great honor to work with UC and the project team to give them a new space that can help them unlock new levels of training, development, and discovery. We’ve collectively created a new benchmark for emergency care delivery in the United States. Moving forward, I want to help our teams on similar bold, breakthrough projects.

You’ve already had a good look at our in-house incubator Amp. How do you feel Amp can evolve and grow moving forward? 
I have only been officially on board at Blue Cottage since April, but I’ve already spent a fair amount of time with the Amp Development Team (Amp DT) and I attended the Amp summit in Chicago this past February. I think Amp Development is doing a fantastic job of re-imagining Amp and the platform is an exciting vehicle for internal innovation. My goal is to help the Amp DT bring their wildest ideas to reality and expand the reach and impact of Amp across our company.

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Ben has contributed to past CannonDesign projects work with the University of Cincinnati Health.

How does a strong innovation culture help differentiate organizations from their peers and competitors? 
Innovation inherently involves risk. You don’t always know where innovative ideas will take you or if they’ll work out. But the willingness to explore, take risks and follow these adventures that’s what it takes to truly unleash innovation.

CannonDesign is a solutions firm and it has evolved because it can consistently bring the best designs, solutions, processes, and people to the table. If we can further push the innovation envelope, it will keep us at the leading edge of our industry and empower us to fully realize Living-Centered Design.

We’ll get you out of here on this one, what do you love doing outside of work? 
My three children are my pride and joy. I spend as much time with them as possible and that includes a lot of coaching baseball and football or attending daddy-daughter dances. I’m also a lifelong Michigan Wolverine. It’s always, “Go Blue.”