July 26, 2019

UCalgary Nursing and Hunter Hub support hackathon at international conference

Representatives from UCalgary provide guidance at genius bar

Sigma champions world health and celebrates excellence in scholarship, leadership and service.

When Calgary hosts Sigma Theta Tau’s 30th International Nursing Research Congress at the end of this week, something very modern will make its first appearance. In collaboration with Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and with UCalgary Nursing as partner, Sigma will conduct its first-ever hackathon, to be held at the Telus Convention Centre on July 27. Nursing dean, Dr. Sandra Davidson, PhD, will participate and be joined by members of UCalgary’s Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking.

Our faculty is very excited to be part of this event. It’s a great opportunity to showcase the University of Calgary’s entrepreneurial spirit and expertise and the Hunter Hub in particular,” says Davidson, who will be present at the “genius bar” to guide hackathon teams in health-care innovation for the competition. Joining her and sharing her knowledge of entrepreneurship will be Jessica Tsang, BN’08, a nurse practitioner who is the founder/director of Direct Health Canada, a mobile medical clinic offering practical solutions to common barriers to health and health care.

Similar to other hackathons, participants will form groups upon arrival and then develop an executive summary once they learn the topic. After a brief pitch to the judges, the winning group will be announced and receive three hours with Johns Hopkins innovators to further develop their idea. The goal is to bring global researchers with complementary skills and knowledge together to collaborate for innovative solutions to health-care issues.

Other UCalgary members of the genius bar include Kathryn Simone, PhD candidate in the Biomedical Engineering Graduate Program, whose research focuses on the development and application of hardware and software tools for neuroscience research; Elisa Park, manager of the Health Innovation Program at the Hunter Hub, whose expertise is in supporting health innovators to navigate the innovation pipeline from concept to commitment and validation; and Alex Todorovic, the Hunter Hub’s project strategist, technology. His background is in computer science and software development.

Over 800 nurse researchers, students, clinicians and leaders are expected to attend the three-day congress which this year focuses on Theory-to-Practice: Catalyzing Collaborations to Connect Globally.

In 1922, six nurses founded Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, today known as Sigma. The founders chose the name from the Greek words storgé, tharsos and timé, meaning love, courage and honour. With more than 135,000 active members in more than 90 countries, Sigma champions world health and celebrates nursing excellence in scholarship, leadership and service.