FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | February 1, 2023 | Chapel Hill, NC

Innovate Carolina, UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Novant Health Innovation Lab, of Novant Health System, and the Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT) are excited to announce the acceleration of a new initiative aimed at increasing digital health innovation capacity and driving social impact across North Carolina and beyond.

Through the NC Health Innovation District initiative, DHIT, Innovate Carolina and Novant Health Innovation Lab will partner with leading organizations, experts, and communities to deliver and evolve a state-wide collaboration platform including digital health masterclasses, roundtables, workshops, and real-world challenges in order to facilitate readiness and adoption of digital health innovations.

By leveraging the latest technologies and social innovation approaches, this initiative will create new partnerships and models of engagement across North Carolina that will help improve access to healthcare, enhance patient outcomes, decrease healthcare costs, and reduce health inequities. These innovations can also be scaled beyond the state to help other communities both nationally and abroad.

“We are thrilled to launch this initiative and partner with forward-thinking organizations and individuals committed to driving innovation and positive outcomes in the field of digital health,” says Michael Levy, CEO of DHIT.

“By developing our state’s innovation and digital health capacity, we can begin to fully leverage the latest technologies and social innovation practices that will make a significant impact on the health and well-being of communities across North Carolina and beyond the state,” says Sheryl Waddell, Director of Economic Development and Innovation Hubs for Innovate Carolina at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“By working collaboratively across a diverse ecosystem, including payers, consumers, providers and researchers, we can support innovation that will improve public health, support digital enablement and reduce health inequities,” said Paula Kranz, Vice President of Innovation Enablement, Novant Health and Executive Director, Novant Health Innovation Lab.


At UNC-Chapel Hill, we believe that the world’s complex challenges unite us around a common calling: Together, innovate for all. Innovate Carolina is UNC-Chapel Hill’s department for innovation, entrepreneurship and economic development that provides a full-scale hub designed for today’s problem solvers: innovation-minded faculty, students and community partners who use their ingenuity to nudge the world forward.

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Novant Health is an integrated network of hospitals, physician clinics and outpatient facilities that delivers a seamless and convenient healthcare experience to communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. The Novant Health network consists of more than 1,800 physicians and over 35,000 team members who provide care at more than 800 locations, including 15 hospitals and hundreds of outpatient facilities and physician clinics. In 2021, Novant Health provided more than $1.1 billion in community benefit, including financial assistance and services. Opened in early 2022, the Novant Health Innovation Lab explores, drives and accelerates possible technical integrations and strategic enterprise innovation to resolve team member challenges, improve patient outcomes, increase return on investments and foster community engagement. The Novant Health Innovation Lab is made possible by funding from the Novant Health Foundation. For more information about donor, community engagement and vendor opportunities, email

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The Digital Health Institute for Transformation (DHIT) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit education and research institute supporting communities through the process of digital health transformation. We collaborate with leading academic institutions, associations, and industry to cultivate talent and ecosystems with our immersive learning platform, harnessing real-world experiences that drive the adoption of next generation skills, emerging technologies, and mindsets needed to foster the digital health leaders and innovators of the future, today.

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The NC Health Innovation District combines virtual and physical programming and facilities to catalyze innovation in the digital health space and drive population health improvement, with a particular focus on underserved communities. The initiative will unite health innovation districts across the state, including Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Wilmington and other centers to share learnings and best practices.

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Media Contact:

Lee Phillips