The need for innovative science and engineering to help hospitals help patients

January 26, 2017

4:00 p.m.

ASA Conference Room 6115, Gates & Hillman Centers

Please join us for a fireside chat with Dr. Jeffrey Cohen, President and CEO of Allegheny General Hospital and Dr. Alan Russell, CMU Highmark Distinguished Career Professor & Director of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute for a candid discussion about the problems afflicting American Healthcare.

The delivery of healthcare, particularly on the in-patient setting, is facing rising costs and a lack of robust quality measures. Patients suffer from preventable errors, accidents such as patient-falls continue to occur and infections/environmental hazards complicate patient recovery. These problems plague American Healthcare even as diligent, skilled and passionate clinicians work to help patients and deliver the best care at the right time for the best price.

Join us as a hospital leader discusses these problems, hoping to find the technologies and researchers that can bring innovation to hospital infrastructure and practices that are begging for disruption. The discussion will include perspective on creating “just in time” data and logistical analysis, policy and staffing changes, environmental tools and standards, patient solutions and quality measures.


Dr. Jeffrey Cohen is a practicing Urologist w a concentration in Oncology.  He graduated from Syracuse University in 1976 w BS in Biology and SUNY - Upstate Medical Center w an MD in 1979.   Dr. Cohen completed a residency in Urology at Case Western Reserve in 1984 and went on to do a fellowship in Urology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in 1985.   Upon completion he entered clinical practice at Allegheny General Hospital in 1985. 

During his career he developed multiple technologies and procedures including Laser Lithotriopsy, Fiberoptic based endoscopy, Piezo electric transracial ultrasound, primary endoscopic urethral realignment and Cryosurgery.   Dr. Cohen was the Director of Urology from 1998 until 2016.   He was the Chief Medical Officer of Allegheny General from 2013 - 2014 and became President of AGH as of 7/1/16.  

Dr. Cohen is also the President of a private company, Chemimage.  Chemimage uses spectroscopy to detect environmental threats such as chemical or bio agents, drugs or explosives.  He lives in Squirrel Hill with his wife Ellen, four children and 3 golden retrievers. 

Dr. Alan Russell (Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry, 1987, Imperial College of Science and Technology, University of London) is the Highmark Distinguished Career Professor at Carnegie Mellon University where he directs the Disruptive Health Technology Institute.  From 2012-2016 Dr. Russell served as the Executive Vice President and the Chief Innovation Officer of the Allegheny Health Network and Highmark Health.

He was the Founding Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, serving in that capacity from 2001-2011. Dr. Russell has founded three biotechnology companies (including one that became a successful public company) and was also the Founding President of the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society. 

Dr. Russell was the longest serving member of the Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration and Chaired the 10-year scientific review of the Center for Devices and Radiologic Health, publishing the key “Protecting the core of CDRH regulatory science in the face of financial and strategic threats” report. Dr. Russell has served many scientific roles for the Department of Defense, including being a member of the Defense Health Board.

For the last 25 years, the Russell laboratory has been discovering what can be achieved by exploiting the rich interface of chemistry, biology and materials.  Dr. Russell’s work has impacted fields as diverse as chemical and polymer synthesis to tissue engineering and homeland defense. 

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