Cambia Grove Launches Fourth TRAILS Startup Competition Solving for Palliative Care


Cambia Grove, a health care innovation hub, announces its fourth TRAILS Competition focused this year on improving the experience of people living with serious illness through palliative care. Cambia Grove invites health care startups of all stages to submit solutions that improve care of seriously ill people and their families for the chance at a personalized accelerator program, in order to help the winning TRAILS team optimize their palliative care solution through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) with Banister Advisors. 

The Center to Advance Palliative Care released data demonstrating 90,000,000 Americans live with serious illness today. As baby boomers continue to age, the demand for serious illness care is expected to more than double within the next 25 years.   

“Palliative care is whole person care. A typical team is interdisciplinary, made of providers and social workers that must communicate really well in order to provide person focused support for the patient.” said Maura Little, Executive Director of Cambia Grove. “We’re using the interactive framework of the TRAILS Competition to charge the palliative care space with innovators primed to collaborate. We’re excited to partner with Banister Advisors to develop solutions that improve the experience of people living with serious illness and expanding their access to palliative care in the face of COVID-19 and underlying systemic racism in the health care system.” 

The TRAILS Competition was designed to provide promising startups access to knowledge within the health care system to better understand how their solution can be positioned to create impact. Through this year’s tailored accelerator experience, the winning startup will be connected to established health care professionals and organizations working to advance palliative care within Banister Advisors’ vast network. 

“We are grateful to be working with the Cambia Grove’s TRAILS competition and the greater community of entrepreneurs to advance health care innovation,” said Vanessa Brewster Laughlin, Banister Advisors Principal. “As this year’s prize partner, we look forward to collaborating on real solutions with the 2020 winner and offering our client experience to help alleviate historical inequities and systemic barriers to palliative care.”

Entries must be submitted to the TRAILS Competition application page by September 22, 2020 11:59PM PDT to be eligible. Semifinalists will receive feedback including a candid evaluation of the product’s ability to address the challenge statement. Five finalists will be announced October 26, and invited to virtually pitch their solution to a panel of judges November TBD, 2020. 

Precursor palliative events and the 2020 TRAILS Competition challenge statement have given innovators a grounding in palliative care. At Cambia Grove’s June Under the Aspens the guest speakers identified areas for personalizing palliative care, including improving communication and decision-making about care options and broadening pain management to assuage psychosocial and mental pain. Peggy Maguire, President, Cambia Health Foundation; Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Palliative Care Solutions, sees “opportunity for enabling communicative empathy with the convenience of digital.”

Two additional virtual events being held for innovators interested in learning more about palliative care are the formal competition launch today at 12pm PT and tomorrow, the community can join Amy and Maya of Seattle Children’s Hospital for a Pediatric Palliative Care Roundtable discussing the role of children’s palliative services and how it differs from adult palliative care.

For more information on the TRAILS Competition, including dates and details on submission requirements, please visit the TRAILS Competition application homepage.

TRAILS Competition Testimonials

Spring TRAILS judge Wendy Sue L. Swanson MD, MBE, former Pediatrician and Chief of Digital Innovation at Seattle Children’s Hospital, calls the competition’s prize incomparable.  

“What’s great about the TRAILS Competition is that the prize is not just money, or not just a trophy, or not just any press that’s gained,” said Swanson. “It’s earnestly the partnership that all three of our hospitals up and down the west coast that said ‘you know what, if you win, we’ll invite you into our hospital. We’ll help you shadow with clinicians, we’ll engage you with patients and families where we can, and we’ll help you think about your journey with access,’ and that’s the best prize I would suggest that’s out there.”  

Spring TRAILS winner Carly Kiselycznyk, Founder, CEO of BrainChild Technologies, speaks to the value of personal interaction with the providers making the decision implement her company’s product.

“As a startup founder, one of my greatest concerns is that our technology will actually be useful for providers. We can have a completely new and innovative solution, but it will not matter if no one has the time, money, or energy to implement it,” said Carly Kiselycznyk, Founder, CEO of BrainChild. “Seeing how providers interact with patients is essential to better understand the realities of providers’ day-to-day workflow and incorporate solutions to these pain points early in development. This opportunity from Cambia Grove provided a unique and invaluable experience that is rarely available to startup founders.”