MedStar Health Receives Cool Idea Award From Protolabs for NICU Feeding Device Invented by MedStar Franklin Square Nurse with MedStar Inventor Services

Tiffany Morris, RN, BSN, a MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center NICU nurse, holding her award-winning invention: MedStar Health’s gravity feed syringe holder.


MedStar Health is proud to announce that a new device, invented by Tiffany Morris, RN, BSN, a MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center nurse, received the Cool Idea Award: Healthcare Grant from digital manufacturing leader, Protolabs. This news, shared in a press release by Protolabs, is a celebration of the “innovative ideas our MedStar Health associates have to treat people and advance health,” said Stephen Kinsey, director of MedStar Inventor Services at MedStar Institute for Innovation, which partnered with Tiffany in the development of the device. 

MedStar Health’s gravity feed syringe holder offers a new alternative to what can be a time and labor intensive process of feeding newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Currently, a nurse must hold a syringe above an incubator by hand while milk or liquid formula drains into the baby via a stomach tube. The device illustrated the premise that simple, elegant solutions can have a substantial impact on patient care. With the use of the compact device, a gravity feed syringe can be suspended from the top of the incubator, freeing the nurse to manage other duties while still attending to the baby during feeding.

The Protolabs grant, which provides in-kind manufacturing services to support development of medical products, was used to iterate and advance Tiffany’s design. Now with added elements to ensure safety and ease of use, the holder design has also been adjusted to accommodate a variety of syringe sizes and to attach to an IV pole, expanding its potential use beyond the NICU.  

The Cool Idea Award: Healthcare Grant is an extension of Protolabs’ signature Cool Idea Award. It is open to members of the Cleveland Clinic Healthcare Innovations Alliance—a network of healthcare organizations focused on innovation that includes MedStar Health as a founding partner.

To learn more about the award and early-stage device, read the full press release here. For more on how MedStar Inventor Services is transforming the innovative ideas of MedStar Health associates from concept to reality, read about our work here, which includes the team’s MInnovations program that helped identify and advance this innovation and many others from MedStar nurses.