Christine Anderson of Banner Health has been named a Most Valuable Player by Innovation Leader, a media and events company focused on helping the world’s largest companies build competitive advantage. Anderson is executive director of the Banner Innovation Group (BIG), one of the nation’s most expansive and effective health system innovation programs.

Innovation Leader’s Impact Awards honor companies that have achieved extraordinary outcomes related to their corporate innovation programs. The Most Valuable Player category, new to the 2020 awards, honors outstanding individual achievement.

Christine Anderson, executive director of Banner Innovation Group.

“Christy’s leadership has brought enormous value and has advanced Banner’s work to foster innovation that truly transforms the health care experience,” said Scott Nordlund, chief strategy & growth officer for Banner Health. “She deserves recognition for the resolve, inspiration, and heart she models for all she leads.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson has spearheaded innovative approaches to meet Banner’s need for personal protective equipment (PPE), which has produced more than one million face masks and 30,000 procedure gowns, as well as prototypes for disinfecting wipes, nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs, and N95 masks and filters. Outside of pandemic readiness, she also has overseen the testing of nearly 100 innovation projects since the inception of the innovation program in 2017, with four of those now scaled-up across Banner’s six-state enterprise, including:

• An AI chatbot for emergency care that raised Net Promoter Scores in Banner emergency units by more than 40 percent;

• Chatbot technology that drove Health Risk Assessment completion to 96 percent among seniors that used it; and

• The Savory Scripts program of prescriptions for fresh, healthy foods that Banner “fills” weekly, at no charge—saving individuals more than $1,000 per year and improving BMI and total cholesterol measures by more than five percent.

Anderson’s vision for innovation at Banner involved growing her team’s influence to become the engine of an innovation ecosystem that develops opportunities from within the organization and without. In 2019, she united three teams to form BIG. While continuing to design prototypes within BIG, she expanded its capabilities to include the Banner Ventures Group, focused on direct investment and commercialization, and Innovation Services, focused on shifting culture and corporate strategy.

“2020 has been an incredibly challenging year for innovators in big organizations,” said Scott Kirsner, CEO and editor-in-chief of Innovation Leader. “We are excited to shine a spotlight on the people and programs that have been creating positive change. The Impact Awards are all about the people who keep moving ahead, no matter the obstacles.”

When she joined Banner in 2019, Anderson brought with her a customer-oriented perspective and expertise in building value from consumer trends, developed during her 17-year career at Target Corporation.