USF doctoral nursing students recognized in Florida Blue Health Innovation Competition

Published Oct. 23, 2018

University of South Florida (USF) doctoral nursing students Lauren Wright and Tram Pham are finalists in the Florida Blue Health Innovation Competition. The product they created for the competition alleviates depression and anxiety in infants and new mothers.

Wright and Pham took first place in this year's competition with their innovative baby bottle nipple that mirrors the natural shape and flow of a mother's anatomy and lactation. This significantly decreases both postpartum depression in new mothers and future develop of anxiety issues in children. Both students combined their industry experience and educational expertise in mental health care management, nursing and entrepreneurship to bring the product to fruition.

The Florida Blue Health Innovation competition is designed to challenge collegiate students to develop and pitch innovative solutions for a variety of problems. The focus of this year's competition was anxiety and depression to help find solutions that support management and treatment of the mental illnesses.

The team were the two of seven students from USF selected to compete in the finals at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Orlando's Lake Nona Medical City in Oct. 10. They were one of five teams awarded prize money, earning $10,000.

Their product, called The Natural Nipple, already is in the patent pipeline. Wright, a clinical research nurse, and Pham, an RN on the orthopedic trauma floor of Tampa General Hospital, have secured funding from the National Science Foundation to further develop the idea and bring it to market.