Innovation Spotlight: Making the Connection in Navy Medicine


Navy Medicine is at the forefront of innovation in the Navy. Our people are practicing medicine and providing health care in some of the most austere environments in the world. As a result, we are committed to fostering a culture of innovation to ensure the health and readiness of every Sailor, and Marine.

To ensure a culture of innovation, we must ask ourselves: what is innovation?

Cmdr. Hassan Tetteh, physician health policy advisor and lead of the futures and innovation team at U.S. Navy, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery (BUMED) said, “innovation is simply making connections; having the right idea for the right people at the right time.”

He believes that innovation is not the creation of new ideas; rather it is making the connection between an idea and a problem to create new solutions.

He said, “A professor once told me, if you think you have a new idea; you haven’t read enough books.”

Making connections is critical to innovation. By promoting a culture of innovation, Navy Medicine is continually seeking new opportunities to spark those connections.

“At Navy Medicine, innovation is part of a culture that is engendered from the actions of leaders across the enterprise,” said Tetteh.

BUMED is fostering innovation throughout Navy Medicine by encouraging collaboration and education.

“We have a surgeon general assessment cell, which is the surgeon general’s think tank. We bring together subject matter experts to dive into issues relevant to Navy Medicine,” said Tetteh

The surgeon general assessment cell has collaborated on ideas and issues concerning graduate medical education, sustaining critical skills, talent management and digital medicine.

In December, they will host their first ever virtual all hands surgeon general assessment cell conference, featuring former surgeon general Vice Adm. Michael Cowan, retired.

Along with internal collaboration, Navy Medicine participates in external collaboration and training opportunities like TEDMED, the independently-owned-and-operated health and medicine edition of the world-famous TED talks.

tedmedAfter participating in TEDMED Live 2013 and 2014, BUMED will live stream the 2015 TEDMED Live event to all of its employees, November 18-20.

“TEDMED exposes individuals to ideas that are out there right now and changing the world. It provides inspiration, helping people engage in a conversation to realize possibilities that they may not have ever thought of before,” said Tetteh.

“Ideally the stories help inspire or encourage people to think about something in a way they hadn’t thought about before, perhaps make a connection in their own world, or their own job,” he said.

“My goal is to provide as many opportunities and ideas that could help inspire people to think creatively and to think about how they can make those connections in their own particular world,” Tetteh said.

Learn more about Navy Innovation.