BENTONVILLE, AR. (April 6, 2022) — Nine teams from across the region brought expertise and collaborative spirit to the inaugural Arkansas Children’s Innovation Center Digital Health Challenge, and a team from Tulsa won the $10,000 prize for creating an app that would seamlessly connect healthcare workers to emotional support resources.

Arkansas Children’s Innovation Center, in collaboration with Cartwheel Startup Studio, Conductor, Startup Junkie Consulting, HealthTech Arkansas and the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Arkansas, offered the teams a list of curated and vetted problems that could be solved with digital solutions. Contestants problem-solved and created for 48 hours in an event known as a hackathon, alongside mentors from the partnering organizations before presenting their solutions to a panel of experts including clinicians, administrators and investors. 

The winning team, “Tulsa’s OK”, included participants Hailey Mortimore, Elena Haskins, Nate Fisher and Cole Anderson, all of Tulsa. The team collaborated to develop an app with a complex decision tree and a closed-loop reporting system that automates steps of Arkansas Children’s WeCARE program.

To ensure each team member is equipped to bring their best to Arkansas Children’s every day, the health system developed WeCARE to provide a dedicated core of trained support staff who provide comfort, care and compassion to teammates experiencing a difficulty related to work or home. One of the challenges presented to the hackthon teams was to improve the process of connecting team members to assistance through WeCARE. Tulsa’s OK app would allow clinicians who have experienced a traumatic event to receive help more promptly, with better defined outcomes and quicker referrals to additional levels of support and care when needed.

Many of the solutions the hackathon teams presented will continue to inspire further innovation throughout the health system.

“The rapid-fire exchange of ideas among all the participating teams highlighted the importance of working together across industries and skillsets to find concepts that help us provide the best care possible to both our patients and our team members,” said Rick Barr, MD, MBA, chief clinical officer of Arkansas Children’s. “Every team brought innovative thinking to the challenges and pushed us to reimagine how collaboration and partnership can elevate healthcare.”

All teams participating in the hackathon retained the rights to the intellectual property incorporated in their solutions, and Arkansas Children’s will continue working with a number of the teams to support product development with the aim of piloting solutions in their hospitals and clinics.


Arkansas Children's, Inc. is the only healthcare system in the state solely dedicated to caring for Arkansas' more than 700,000 children. The private, non-profit organization includes two pediatric hospitals, a pediatric research institute and USDA nutrition center, a philanthropic foundation, a nursery alliance, statewide clinics, and many education and outreach programs — all focused on fulfilling a promise to define and deliver unprecedented child health. Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) is a 336-bed, Magnet-recognized facility in Little Rock operating the state’s only Level I pediatric trauma center; the state's only burn center; the state's only Level IV neonatal intensive care unit; the state's only pediatric intensive care unit; the state’s only pediatric surgery program with Level 1 verification from the American College of Surgeons (ACS); the state’s only magnetoencephalography (MEG) system for neurosurgical planning and cutting-edge research; and the state's only nationally recognized pediatric transport program. Additionally, ACH is nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report in four pediatric subspecialties (2021—2022): Cardiology & Heart Surgery, Nephrology, Pulmonology and Urology. ACH is one of only five hospitals in the nation that have achieved Magnet Status, ACS Level 1 verification and a Beacon award from the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW), the first and only pediatric hospital in the Northwest Arkansas region, opened in Springdale in early 2018. ACNW operates a 24-bed inpatient unit; a surgical unit with five operating rooms; outpatient clinics offering over 20 subspecialties; diagnostic services; imaging capabilities; occupational therapy services; and Northwest Arkansas' only pediatric emergency department, equipped with 30 exam rooms. Generous philanthropic and volunteer engagement has sustained Arkansas Children's since it began as an orphanage in 1912, and today ensures the system can deliver on its promise of unprecedented child health. To learn more, visit