UW Health is proud to announce the name of its new innovation hub, and it has a local flavor.

Isthmus Project, which represents the geography of UW Health’s hometown, is a very fitting reflection of the program’s core mission of bringing the powerful ideas and innovation of UW Health and the School of Medicine and Public Health to reality, according to Thomas “Rock” Mackie, Isthmus Project director, and UW Health chief innovation officer.

“An isthmus is a land bridge across two bodies of water,” he said. “Like an isthmus, our program is a bridge connecting an idea or innovation to the marketplace or bedside.”

The winning name was submitted by Innocent Okechukwu, a project manager in distinctive programs at UW Health. In total, more than 100 names were suggested, and the decision was tough, Mackie said.

“I want to thank everyone who submitted a name,” he said. “The overwhelming response to our request shows the passion our faculty and staff have for the work we do and the potential we have to change the world we see around us.”

Isthmus Project’s goal is to provide a front door for health-system innovators – whether they be faculty physicians, pharmacists, residents, nurses, staff or others – to seek support for their creative ideas and projects that aim to achieve better health outcomes or to solve problems facing UW Health patients, providers and the health system but that are also scalable to create value beyond UW Health and UW-Madison.

Isthmus Project already has several projects in the works, Mackie said. He expects to have six to 12 projects going on at one time for about one to two years per project.