About us

Our Team


Abby Trutor-Mead
Director of Innovation

Abby Trutor-Mead is the director of innovation at hiCOlab. Her focus for the lab is on building energy around the grassroots transformation of the healthcare delivery system, using human-centered design methods to foster deep partnerships with the people providing and receiving healthcare. With a background in analytics and an intense desire to understand the why behind things, Abby transforms research data into actionable information that drives new and creative solutions to make life better or easier for people. Abby’s research interests include service delivery design, resource optimization, and wellbeing.

Abby received her bachelor’s degree from New York University and her MBA from McGill University and the University of Vermont. When she’s not at work she devotes her time to hanging out with her husband, doing weekend warrior projects, and celebrating the amazingness of the world from her toddler’s point of view, which includes many “why?” questions

Emilee Hoffman
Innovation Coordinator

A natural born “people person”, Emilee enjoys working directly with patients, caregivers, and providers as hiCOlab’s Innovation Coordinator. Emilee is a native Vermonter who earned her degree in Sociology from the University of Vermont. She is excited to share the principles of human-centered design with those directly involved in the healthcare process to gather meaningful insights and transform systems. Emilee is invested in helping to deliver quality and nurturing healthcare to her community and beyond. In her spare time, Emilee loves baking cookies, practicing yoga, and biking around Burlington with her husband and four children.


Jeremy Beaudry
Lead Healthcare Experience Designer

Jeremy's research and design practice focus on creating collaborative tools and methods with organizations, communities and leaders in the service of systems-wide change and innovation efforts. He publishes, publicly presents, and leads workshops on the power of participatory design to change organizations and systems from the inside out. After helping a close family member navigate the complexity of healthcare during a serious illness, he was drawn into that world as a place to use his experience and skills as a designer to create more humane healthcare service experiences.

Jeremy occasionally writes about design, healthcare, and social impact here.

Mitchell Tsai
Medical Director

Dr. Tsai completed his undergraduate and graduate medical training at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. After finishing the Perioperative Management Fellowship program at the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care at Stanford University Medical Center, he went on to obtain his Master’s of Medical Management from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

He has developed a professional reputation as problem-solver who has built a strong network of connections in the OR and of thought leaders at UVM Medical Center and beyond. His medical student reading elective is now offered at several medical schools across the country, and his CV includes his 1991 Guinness World Record for leapfrogging.

Tsai is an Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and has courtesy appointments in both Surgery and Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation. He spends his spare time with his wonderful wife and blended family of 5 children, where he is not only learning constantly about the differences between management and leadership, but also relishing the opportunity to life an amazing life.



Claude Deschamps, MD
CEO, UVM Health Network Medical Group

Dr. Deschamps serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the University of Vermont Health Network Medical Group. He is also a thoracic surgeon at the University of Vermont Medical Center and a senior associate dean for clinical affairs at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM in Burlington, VT. In describing his vision for hiCOlab, Dr. Deschamps remarks: “The patient experience, the service to the patient, is on the forefront of what our patients are asking from us. They are asking us to be good doctors, they are asking from us to have great care, but they also need an experience through it that is favorable, that reminds them that we really give them our best, and I think this is where innovation comes in. A different way of thinking about how the patient should be approached, how their family should be approached and that's why I think innovation is so important in health care.”