New center, council support innovation and healthful aging

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At the Thrive Innovation Center, companies will show how commercially available devices, such as Samsung’s Gear VR headset, can be used to meet specific senior care needs.
At the Thrive Innovation Center, companies will show how commercially available devices, such as Samsung’s Gear VR headset, can be used to meet specific senior care needs.

A new center in Louisville, KY, aims to foster innovation and healthful aging, and a new council there has the goal of promoting the city as a hub of activity related to optimal aging.

The 7,500-square-foot Thrive Innovation Center will open Nov. 1. The nonprofit's space will include technology exhibits, wellness programming and educational programs for the community. The opening theme is memory care.

“We are excited for the opening and encouraged by the collaboration and investment of key industry players,” Thrive Center CEO and Executive Director Sheri Rose said in a statement. “We openly embrace innovation as the means to transform senior care as we know it today,” she added.

The center has received support from national companies headquartered in Louisville, such as Signature Healthcare, Kindred Healthcare and PharMerica, as well as local companies Hosparus Health, Nazareth Homes, Masonic Homes of Kentucky and Delta Dental of Kentucky.

The state, city and companies such as CDW Healthcare, Samsung, Intel, Aruba and Lenovo also are supporting the efforts of the center, which will invite entrepreneurs to work with members of the senior housing and care industry as well as researchers and consumers.

Samsung, for instance, will show how commercially available devices such as its Galaxy S8 smartphone, Gear S3 Smartwatch and Gear VR headset, and SmartThings technology can be used to meet specific senior care needs.

“The center will provide a unique environment to collaborate around the goal of powering better care through technology,” said Bob Rossi, vice president of healthcare for CDW Healthcare.

The center had its ribbon-cutting Oct. 19, just a week after a group filed paperwork with the Kentucky secretary of state to form the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, according to Louisville Business First.

Ten healthcare CEOs are directors of the organization, according to the filing. Among them are Randall Bufford of Trilogy Health Services, Benjamin Breier of Kindred Healthcare, Joe Steier of Signature Healthcare and Greg Weishar of PharMerica. The group itself is seeking a president/CEO.

The council has the goal of helping to transform the city's health-related economy, according to the filing, as well as promoting the city as a hub of optimal aging and related business activities.

Louisville's aging services companies have more than $50 billion in annual revenues and employ more than 21,000, according to the Thrive Center.

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