Connecticut Women of Innovation® Honors Dr. Laurie Caines of UConn Health

Dr. Laurie Caines was awarded for her academic innovation and leadership at the 18th annual Women of Innovation® awards of the Connecticut Technology Council.

Laurie Caines, MD of UConn Health (Tina Encarnacion/UConn Health)

Dr. Laurie Caines of UConn Health and its School of Medicine has been honored for her outstanding achievements in academic innovation and leadership in Connecticut.

On October 25 Caines was recognized at the 18th annual Women of Innovation® awards, presented by the Connecticut Technology Council.

Caines, a primary care physician at UConn Health, serves as associate professor of medicine and interim assistant dean of Clinical Medical Education at UConn School of Medicine. She is also Director of the Clinical Skills Assessment Program where she trains the next generation of doctors. She has had multiple roles in undergraduate medical education.

She is honored as an awardee of an innovative grant from the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to create a clinical reasoning assessment for medical students and serves as treasurer of the Directors of Clinical Skills Education.

“It was an honor to receive the Women of Innovation Award,” says Caines. “I am fortunate to have had many female mentors over the years who have motivated me to pursue my academic interests. Several of these women encouraged me to apply for the grant I am currently working on with the NBME to design a tool to better assess clinical reasoning in medical students. It has been really interesting collaborating with people across the country on this interesting work.”

Caines also applauded her fellow Connecticut Women of Innovation winners and finalists: “It was wonderful meeting the other finalists who are working on wonderful projects here in Connecticut.”

She was recognized at the awards ceremony held at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven along with all nine award winners and all 34 finalists in seven innovation and leadership categories. The event (first in-person since 2019) brought together CTC members, sponsors, partners and supporters, government representatives, as well as finalists’ colleagues and families. A lively networking reception was followed by a short ceremony recognizing all finalists and announcing the winners.

In addition to CTC host and lead sponsor Medtronic welcoming remarks, the program included remarks by Paul Lavoie, Connecticut’s Chief Manufacturing Officer, and Dr. Christine Broadbridge, SCSU’s Executive Director of Research and Innovation. Dr. Dwayne Smith, interim president of Southern Connecticut State University, and Colleen Bielitz, Million Women Mentors CT State leader, were also in attendance. Congratulatory remarks, by video, were shared by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz.  Blumenthal and U.S. Senator Chris Murphy provided congratulatory certificates to the winners and finalists.

The winners beyond Dr. Caines in the Academic Innovation & Leadership category, were – Ivana Milanovic – Professor of Mechanical, Aerospace & Acoustical Engineering, University of Hartford; CommunityDana Gilland – Senior Vice President, Environmental Social Governance, ApiJect Systems Corporation; CorporateNancy Miller – Director, Project Engineering, Triumph Group; EntrepreneurialMichelle Frank – Chief Growth Officer, Goodroot, Inc.; ResearchElise Courtois – Director, Single Cell Biology Lab; Senior Research Scientist, The Jackson Laboratory and  Akiko Iwasaki – Sterling Professor, Immunobiology & Professor, Dermatology & Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology, Yale University; CollegianFei Dou – Ph.D. Candidate, University of Connecticut; and YouthAna-Lois Davis – Student, CREC Academy of Aerospace & Engineering. There were co-winners in two categories, Academic Innovation and Leadership, and Research Innovation and Leadership. Lead event sponsors Medtronic, Day Pitney LLP and Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP announced and presented the awards. Scholarship sponsors presented awards and checks to the youth finalists.

“I am extremely impressed with the great contributions these outstanding women have had and continue to have on the technology ecosystem and our society. The class of 2023 certainly have earned this distinction,” said Giovanni Tomasi, President/Chief Technology Officer of RSL Advanced Lighting Technologies and Board Chair of CTC.

“The Connecticut Technology Council is proud to host the Women of Innovation event back in person and with the generous support of our members, sponsors, and partners,” said Milena Stankova Erwin, CTC’s Executive Director.  “The energy in the room was palpable. We were thrilled to welcome our guests, honor our finalists and celebrate their impressive accomplishments and noteworthy contributions.”

The award-winners and finalists – selected from a field of over 80 nominees – are scientists, researchers, academics, manufacturers, student leaders, entrepreneurs, and technicians who are catalysts for scientific advancement throughout Connecticut.

The 18th annual Women of Innovation® sponsors were led by long-time supporter Medtronic (Platinum); Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP and Day Pitney LLP (Gold); University of Connecticut (Silver); and Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development; FuelCell Energy, Inc.; and McCarter & English (Bronze).  Supporting sponsors are Bento Engine, Carillon Technologies, Empowering Pathways LLC, HyAxiom Inc., iCleanse, KeyBank, Nassau Financial Group, NBT Bank, Nel Hydrogen, Precision Combustion, Inc., RSL Advanced Lighting Technologies, Thorney Advisors, and Visual Technologies Inc.  Scholarship funding was provided by Carillon Technologies, FuelCell Energy, and The Jackson Laboratory, supplemented by individual contributions and CTC funds. Media Sponsor was WTNH News 8.