Better ideas. Better outcomes.

Impact Statement 2017

Kent ISD Groundhog Shadow Day Learning in the Shadows

“We took the students through the SHI journey. The SHI journey walks through the life cycle of an innovation from the idea phase up to a product ready for use.”

As important as classroom learning can be, nothing replaces real-life experience for its educational value. The students of Kent Intermediate School District bustled with excitement on a February morning, Groundhog Shadow Day, as they separated into groups and headed to a workplace of choice for a day of job shadowing. Ten juniors and seniors from Northview and Forest Hills signed up to spend the day at Spectrum Health Innovations.

“Although we have worked with Kent ISD on other events, this was the first time we’ve participated in Groundhog Shadow Day,” says Lori Henry, PMP, project manager, Spectrum Health Innovations. “We took the students through the SHI journey. The SHI journey walks through the life cycle of an innovation from the idea phase up to a product ready for use.”

Brent Mulder, PhD, senior director, Spectrum Health Innovations, greeted the eager students with a welcome video and an introduction to SHI. Other members of the SHI team took the students through the steps of a typical project SHI might undertake: discover, ideate, assess and develop in collaboration with others, launch, outcomes.

Students heard from business analysts, engineers, project managers and communications specialists about the parts they play in developing a project. They participated in an ideation session, brainstorming ideas. A professor of engineering talked about collaboration between SHI and university students to assess the problem and then develop solutions and working prototypes. Students then learned how a prototype is launched—from licensing and negotiating terms to executing agreements. Finally, they heard about outcomes, because the goal of all projects that complete this journey is to improve the patient experience.

Lindsey Tilley, career exploration coordinator in technology and design, Kent ISD, says: “The students were overwhelmingly impressed with what they saw and heard. This kind of event brings a whole new level of relevance to their future career goals, and the students came away with a new awareness about the opportunities that await them. Whereas most such events tend to focus on one occupation, the SHI team brought a wide range of role models and experiences.”

Survey scores from students after the event gave Groundhog Shadow Day at SHI high scores: 95 percent rated the experience worthwhile; 97 percent said the hosts were well prepared; and more than 94 percent indicated that the experience will help them plan class selection in high school.

“We look forward to events like Groundhog Shadow Day,” says Lori Henry. “It’s a chance for us to share the career options in health care innovations in a meaningful way, with the hope of having a positive impact on the future academic and career choices of these students. We are appreciative of Kent ISD for the opportunities they provide for students and local companies to collaborate, and we look forward to more opportunities like this.”

Feeling Inspired?

Contact Us to Learn More


  • “The best part of this experience was learning the opportunities we have in our community for our health that I took with me to share with others.”

  • “I learned about the career that I wanted. I learned about what everyone does, and how they do their job.”

  • “The best part was learning about all the things you do and how you collaborate together,
    it was very informative.”

Innovations Impact Report