Corathers Health Consulting
Dedicated to the Advancement of Medical Innovations




The CHC Education Connection

Learning from Extraordinary Innovators™

As a separate service to our primary business line, the CHC Education Connection can assist organizations to access medical giants of healthcare innovations to address highly specialized topics, themes or future trends.

The CHC Education Connection encourages innovator insight across specialty lines.

Top Ten CHC Educational Titles:

●  Orthopedics, Photonics and the Future

●  Eyes, Photonics and the Future

●  Dermatology, Photonics and The Future

●  3D Printing, Surgery and The Future

●  Surgeons and Engineers: Collaborative Pathways for Innovation

●  The Future of OR

●  The Future of Surgery

●  The Future of Minimally Invasive Surgery

●  Mobilizing the Medical Visionary from Within

●  Mentoring and The Next Extraordinary Physician Innovator™

Plus, in keeping with the theme of innovation, there are a variety of educational formats available.

Note: Physician Educators are Independent Contractors

Thoughts from Distinguished Innovators

Success breeds success. It’s a powerful cycle that begins with education and the exchange of ideas. For medical innovators, the CHE Education Connection is the catalyst for launching your cycle of success. It connects you and your ideas with magnanimous medical innovators.

At Corathers Health, we are humbled by the giants of our industry who allow us to be a conduit for sharing their experiences and insight on healthcare innovations.


When asked what key message of encouragement would you impart to physicians, scientists, engineers and corporations working toward the next breakthrough in healthcare, the extraordinary Kenneth Kamler, MD, orthopedic microsurgeon and author of Doctor on Everest said…

‘Everyone should have his or her own Mount Everest. It doesn’t have to be a mountain; it doesn’t even have to be something physical. It’s a seemingly unreachable goal that you work toward step by step. You may well find there’s no one step you can’t take and you achieve the “impossible”. Even if you fall short, the effort will bring out qualities and strengths you didn’t know you had, and which otherwise might have lain dormant your whole life.

As test pilot Chuck Yeager said after he became the first person to break the sound barrier, “The real barriers were in our minds.”’


Raymond J. Lanzafame

Raymond J. Lanzafame, MD, MBA, FACS, is a senior physician executive and surgeon internationally recognized as a leader and innovator in medicine and surgery. He holds key leadership and board-level positions in multiple professional and scientific organizations, panels and task forces. Dr. Lanzafame is the executive director and scientific program chair of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons, executive editor of Photobiomodulation Photomedicine and Laser Surgery and on the editorial boards for General Surgery News, Journal of Laparoendoscopic Surgery, Journal of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons (JSLS), Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, and Lasers in Medical Science.

Coming from your position with an extremely comprehensive knowledge base about photonics in healthcare, what guiding principles or concepts (or unmet needs) have perhaps led to some of the greatest innovations in photonics?

There’s an old saw that quips that necessity is the mother of invention. That clearly was the case when lasers burst on the scene in 1960. Leon Goldman pioneered a good deal of work to understand the technology and how it might be used to solve clinical problems in his own discipline of dermatology, but also in other spheres. He is regarded as a father of laser medicine and surgery. Similarly, Isaac Kaplan in Israel was interested in treating burns and ultimately partnered with an engineer to create the first practical CO2 laser and subsequently their company spawned a number of advancements and technologies. Isaac is also regarded as a father of laser surgery.

Ophthalmologists quickly embraced lasers being able to treat the retina and other conditions that couldn’t be addressed otherwise. Anderson and Parrish described selective photothermolysis, which has become the basis for numerous advancements, enabling the precise targeting of tissues and lesions with light and facilitating treatments that are highly precise, less invasive, reduce scarring, reduce bleeding and discomfort, among other attributes. There are many more examples and we are seeing developments in tissue engineering, photobiomodulation (stimulating or inhibiting cell and tissue responses with light), photodynamic therapy (PDT is the use of a drug plus light to destroy tumors or kill bacteria), optical diagnostics, and tissue fusion.

Beyond some of the pioneering specialties in photonics, based on your wide and deep knowledge on this topic, what surgical subspecialties are natural fits for great advancements through photonics?

These technologies are a “natural” fit for minimally invasive surgery and “robotic” or computer-assisted procedures. There is a growing list of such applications, including interventional radiology, cardiovascular and peripheral vascular surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedic surgery, and gynecology/women’s health, among other disciplines.

As an extremely knowledgeable luminary in the field of photonics, from your viewpoint, are there critical lessons-learned that might help a specialty new-to-photonics move quicker or more efficiency toward successful innovation?

I think the greatest lessons learned are that the adoption of a new technology critically depends upon having reasonable science and clinical data. It is also critically important that clinicians are educated appropriately and that the companies market their technologies appropriately and that doctors and patients have reasonable expectations regarding the utility and capabilities of the technologies and techniques. Overmarketing leads to backlash which leads to non-adoption or undue skepticism. Education of physicians in training and ongoing outcomes research are necessary to create and maintain sustainable adoption and use of these technologies and paradigms.

As a highly-valuable educator, what do you believe is the most important key(s) to the advancement of photonic innovations for healthcare?

In addition to physician education and outcomes research, there needs to be funding for research along with tempered enthusiasm on the part of early adopters and marketeers. Clearly ongoing education and skills training is a critically important step and must include students, residents, fellows and clinicians at all stages. Efforts to bring these to the academic centers is important relative to physicians in training. Outcomes research is necessary. Encouraging students at high school and collegiate levels to pursue STEM (STEAM) careers should not be forgotten or underrated.

Richard Satava


Richard Satava, MD, FACS, is professor emeritus of surgery, University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. His career has included academic and government positions and 23 years of military surgery as well as key leadership and board-level positions in numerous professional organizations and committees.

He is continuously active in surgical education and surgical research, with more than 200 publications and book chapters in diverse areas of advanced surgical technology. Dr. Satava was the surgeon on the project that developed the first surgical robot, which later became the da Vinci Surgical Robot.

As a medical futurist and innovator in healthcare, your passion to train and teach those generations behind you has been monumental. In addition to reaching out to thousands of physicians, scientists and engineers with macro concepts through national and international presentations, you also work with small, focused groups and individuals. Please explain the value of different teaching venues and the potential impact for advancing health care innovations and technologies.

The value in larger venues (conferences, workshops, etc.) is to challenge the audience to reimagine their preconceived (traditional, ingrained) ideas by presenting evidence of success of very advanced technologies (usually still in laboratories and not available except in advanced research scientific journals rather than standard clinical journals). This forces the individual out of their “comfort zone” and the evidence essentially gives them “permission” to accept as fact some facet of their profession that is considered fantasy or science fiction. The value in small sessions is to inspire the individual to actually go beyond what they would usually do/believe, especially because they have “secret” knowledge that is not generally known or available.

How does the Corathers Health model of learning from innovators across specialties (cross specialization) provide additional opportunity for big advancements in healthcare?

Disruptive visions create disruptive change – and this rarely occurs within a single discipline or specialty. Bringing together multiple, disparate individuals in dissimilar professions can provide the forcing function to find commonality in a larger “shared” vision, comprised of multiple perspectives, which leads to big advancements.

As you have personally mentored physicians (and companies) that are now emerging as giant innovators in healthcare, are there any common denominators/traits among this special category that helped catapult them to success (so as for those aspiring to join this elite group, what might they better understand)?

The main components for success in innovation (not the transition of idea to reality) is to have a broad base of knowledge rather than an exceptional depth of a laser-sharp focused idea, which in turn, requires the admission that you do not have all the answers of every part of the new innovation, but you do understand where the particular idea fits into an overall bigger picture (the so-called “dream big” approach). This must be coupled with the willingness to take high risk, which requires acceptance that you will fail often, but by persisting (and adapting if needed) you will eventually reach the goal. No innovator who has succeeded has ever “gotten it right” on the first try. Michelangelo (in 1503) was correct: “The only thing more dangerous than trying too hard and failing … is not trying hard enough and succeeding.”

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the individual authors are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Corathers Health Consulting, LLC.