Global team

Danina Kapetanovic appointed Executive Director of Hacking Health (PRESS RELEASE)

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For immediate release



Montreal, May 22, 2019 – Hacking Health Foundation announced today that its Board had appointed Ms. Danina Kapetanovic as the new Executive Director. This leadership appointment is effective immediately and follows the decision from Ms. Isabelle Vézina to step down as Executive Director of the organization to pursue personal endeavors. Ms. Vézina succeeded Luc Sirois, co-founder of Hacking Health, and successfully structured the not-for-profit organization while developing high-impact partnerships for the movement and strengthening the global core team.

“We regret Isabelle’s departure as the Executive Director but are happy to welcome her to the Board where she will continue to contribute to the movement’s growth. We are delighted to welcome Danina to Hacking Health and believe that her experience with UN agencies will be instrumental in the next phase of development of our organization,” says Luc Sirois. The Board was impressed by Ms. Kapetanovic’s experience – both on a professional and personal level – and her leadership capabilities.

“Ms. Kapetanovic brings tremendous international experience solving impactful global health challenges,” says Hadi Salah, Hacking Health co-founder and member of the Board. “She’s a collaborator at heart, bringing together essential stakeholders, including governments, NGOs, global foundations, charities, and innovators to solve these challenges.”

Ms. Kapetanovic has an impressive track record of accomplishment at United Nations agencies in various countries. She speaks four languages, and her last experience was Executive Manager, Public Partnership Division, with UNICEF in New York City (USA) where she had a profound impact during her tenure.

The Board and the Global Team feel fortunate to have someone of Ms. Kapetanovic’s caliber and experience step up to lead Hacking Health.  “We believe that Ms. Kapetanovic will continue to rally our leaders from across the world and attract new partners to join their forces and bring more innovation to healthcare,” concluded Ms. Vézina.


About Hacking Health

Created in 2012 and headquartered in Montreal, Hacking Health is a not-for-profit organization that fosters innovation in healthcare. All around the world, Hacking Health’s volunteers create ecosystems of innovation and have organized +140 hackathons in 63 cities (17 countries, five continents). These events bring together doctors, nurses, administrative staff of healthcare institutions, patients, designers, developers, engineers, and entrepreneurs to co-create concrete solutions to real healthcare issues. Hacking Health counts 39 vibrant chapters with +600 volunteers who want to have an impact on healthcare.

Contact information:

Delphine Davan
Head of Communications
Hacking Health
Telephone: 418 931-5778


Delphine DavanDanina Kapetanovic appointed Executive Director of Hacking Health (PRESS RELEASE)
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Hacking Health, Innovation Beyond Hackathons

Hacking Health is a not-for-profit organization created in Montreal in 2012 with head office at the CHUM Hospital. We have developed 12 entities across Canada (from Vancouver to St-John’s) and are present in 50+ cities around the world. All these entities (called chapters) are built by multidisciplinary teams of volunteers who want to bring innovation to healthcare and integrate new technologies for the benefit of patients.

All over the world, our 600+ volunteers organize high energy, collaborative competitions such as health hackathons. During these events, we pair healthcare professionals with patients, technologists, designers, entrepreneurs and other experts to build concrete solutions to healthcare challenges – see all future and past events here.

Listen to the interview of Annie Lamontagne, Special Projects Advisor and former Head of Global Growth at Hacking Health.

Listen to the podcast on iTunes, Podbean, Stitcher or Youtube.

From fun short events to transformative innovation hubs

The cornerstone of Hacking Health’s global success is the community built in each location. Chapters organize not only one-time weekend hackathons but also meetups and workshops which work as a regular forum for ideation, knowledge exchange, and networking opportunity.

Not each idea born during a hackathon turns into a company, nor do all participants have entrepreneurial aspirations, but people always make new connections and acquire new knowledge,” says Annie.

Hospitals, like CHUM, partner with Hacking Health with the desire to give medical professionals a different perspective on their problems with the opportunity of building tomorrow’s healthcare. Read the press release about our collaboration with CHUM here.

Health innovation management

As Annie likes to emphasize in the interview, health innovation management is an emerging and evolving science, and even when hospitals are open to new ideas, they might struggle in implementing them into their practice.

“At one time a speech therapist designed a solution for her clinical practice. She did not want to start a company but wanted to see her idea used in her everyday work. Before that was possible, she hit a lot of barriers inside the institution and had to put a lot of effort in justifying the legal requirements, get management approval, etc., to be able to use the solution,” says Annie Lamontagne.

Another successful hackathon participant was Dr. Denis Vincent, an Edmonton-based physician, who suffered a loss of a patient due to a misplaced fax document. He started looking for a solution to prevent such things from ever happening again. At the Hacking Health Edmonton hackathon in 2013, Dr. Vincent created ezReferral, a cloud-based, secure medical referral management tool that keeps all parties on the same page: family doctor, specialist, and patient.

Read other success stories: CarePRN, IUGO Care, EyeWare, Haleo, etc. Just to name a few.

Hacking health uses different approaches for attracting participants from the clinical practice to join the events. One of them is to turn to IT departments inside healthcare institutions to identify the healthcare workers who complain the most. Hacking health sees them as champions — they are those who refuse to accept the status quo and wish to see changes. They usually become the most influential ambassadors of innovations within institutions.

One of the aspects Annie is passionate about is rethinking the inclusion of older healthcare specialists in the innovation processes. “These are people with tremendous knowledge and experience, still wish to be active, and we need to value their participation.”

Some questions addressed during the interview:

  • How are hackathons in healthcare evolving over the years?
  • Hacking Health is active in 17 countries. What can different chapters learn from each other?
  • How to organize a hackathon?
  • How to motivate participants to join hackathons?
  • How do Hacking health events differ from other digital health events and how do they attract participants?
  • How do hackathons in hospitals look like?
  • What follows hackathons in clinical settings? Do hospitals adopt change management solutions?


Post in collaboration with Tjaša Zajc, author of Faces of Digital Health

Delphine DavanHacking Health, Innovation Beyond Hackathons
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