Biz Notes


The Medical College of Wisconsin

Two Medical College of Wisconsin female researchers were honored at MCW’s ninth annual Women in Science Awards Luncheon on Oct. 29.

The recipient of the $10,000 Women Pioneers in Research Award for 2015 was Dr. Mary Eapen, professor of medicine (hematology and oncology) and senior scientific director for research operations in the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research.

The recipient for this year’s $1,000 Edward J. Lennon, M.D. Award for an Outstanding Woman Postdoctoral Researcher was Sushma Kommineni, a postdoctoral fellow in pediatrics.

In other MCW news, Dr. Elizabeth Ellinas, associate professor of anesthesiology and chief of obstetric anesthesia, was selected to participate in the 2015-16 Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program for Women.

Lastly, three MCW leaders received a Distinguished Service Award, which is MCW’s highest faculty and staff honor. They are Joseph Besharse, Marvin Wagner Professor, chair of the department of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy, and research director of the Eye Institute; Richard Katschke, associate vice president of communications; and David Mattson, professor of physiology.

Dr. Carolina Conti

MHS Health Wisconsin, a wholly-owned subsidiary of St. Louis-based health care company Centene Corp., presented its 8th Annual Summit Award to Dr. Carolina Conti, a board-certified internal medicine physician in Milwaukee.

The award acknowledges health care professionals for providing exemplary care and clinical excellence to MHS Health members throughout Wisconsin. A single award is presented annually.

Conti was recognized for her ongoing contributions to improve the care, quality and long-term health outcomes of MHS Health’s members.

Winners of the annual Summit Award demonstrate superior performance in areas such as establishing a “patient-centered medical home” for new enrollees; providing routine preventive and well-care services for both adults and children; and offering open access to appointments and follow-up care after emergency room and hospital visits.

MHS Health Wisconsin, founded in 1984, is a health maintenance organization (HMO) that provides coverage for Wisconsin in BadgerCare Plus, SSI and Medicare Advantage. The health plan currently serves about 80,000 members.

Jeff Rusinow

Jeff Rusinow, who founded Milwaukee’s first angel network and who has been a part of six successful startup exits over time, was inducted into the Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame during a Nov. 4 dinner tied to the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium.

Rusinow was elected by a group of state investors that included the past three inductees: Dick Leazer, a founder of Wisconsin Investment Partners; George Mosher, a Milwaukee “super angel” investor; and Roger Ganser, a co-founder of Venture Investors LLC.

Rusinow founded Silicon Pastures in 2000 after spending 22 years in retail management, holding senior positions at Macy’s, Gimbel’s, Hudson Bay Co. and Kohl’s Department Stores.

He has directly invested in more than 35 startups, including six successful exits, and he is president of ETR Group, which previously owned and managed the world’s largest Christmas-specific portal on the Internet,

Rusinow is a founding donor of BrightStar Wisconsin Foundation and serves on the investment committee of the Wisconsin Super Angel Fund. He is the lead angel investor in three recent graduates from Gener8tor, a Wisconsin-based accelerator, and he serves on the board of the American Bird Conservancy and the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters.


The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation received a Silver Excellence in Economic Development Award for their 2015 project in the category of Sustainable & Green Development for communities with populations greater than 500,000 from the International Economic Development Council.

The honor was presented at an awards ceremony on Oct. 6, during the 2015 IEDC Annual Conference.

The organizations were recognized for The Wisconsin Profitable Sustainability Initiative (PSI), which demonstrates the range of economic, social and environmental benefits that can be realized by small and mid-size manufacturers through the implementation of sustainable business practices.

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