Mark Hanley, a former patient, becomes an intern with OSF Innovation.

From patient to innovation engineer

By the time Mark Hanley was 14, he had undergone two surgeries to fix multiple heart defects. A year shy of high school, he learned he would need one more.

Mark’s mind was put at ease when Dr. Matthew Bramlet, a pediatric cardiologist at OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, showed him a 3D model of his heart from Jump Simulation, a part of OSF Innovation, that would be used to plan his surgery.

“It was kind of an out-of-body experience, but it was reassuring knowing my surgeon was able to view my heart and get a better understanding of its anatomy before the operation,” said Mark. “My only concern was whether I’d be able to go to school and play baseball.”

The surgery was a success. Mark was able to go to school full time and play a variety of sports. Six years later, he is now an industrial engineering college student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In the summer of 2022, he returned to the place that showed him a model of his heart to pay it forward.

Paying it forward

About Author: Denise Molina-Weiger

Denise Molina-Weiger is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since March 2015. She initially came to OSF to write about the work taking place at the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, one of the world’s largest simulation and innovation centers and went on to become the Media Relations Coordinator for OSF Innovation which was developed to help the hospital system lead the way in transforming care.

Before joining the OSF HealthCare team, Denise was a reporter for Peoria Public Radio for ten years, writing on everything from politics, housing and transportation issues to hospital care in the region. She earned her bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting from Western Illinois University in 2003 and received her master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2004.

Denise lives in West Peoria with her husband, son and two crazy dogs. In her spare time, she likes to snuggle on the couch with her family and watch cooking shows on Netflix. She loves taking road trips with her family and then complaining about it when they are over.

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Categories: General, Innovation