Celebration of Innovation


Innovator of the Year

The Innovator of the Year award honors an individual who embodies innovation and has made a global impact in the 21st century. This recipient uses their talents and creativity to better society and improve lives, while inspiring others along the way.

Eyal Zimlichman, MD, MSc
Deputy Director General
Chief Innovation & Transformation Officer
Sheba Medical Center

Prof. Eyal Zimlichman serves as Deputy Director General, Chief Innovation & Transformation Officer at Sheba Medical Center, Israel's largest hospital. Previously, he held the position of Lead Researcher at Partners HealthCare's Clinical Affairs Department in Boston and was heavily involved in the efforts to implement a strategic care redesign initiative there. Prof. Zimlichman has served on several advisory committees commissioned by the Office of the National Coordinator for health information technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is chairing as well as participating in several committees at Israel's Ministry of Health. He is also a founding member of the International Academy for Quality and Patient Safety. 

Prof. Zimlichman is the founder and director of Sheba's ARC innovation program, which aims to redesign healthcare through digital health solutions by 2030. He is board certified in internal medicine, completed a degree at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and has earned his MD at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

Leaders of Innovation

The Leader of Innovation Medal is presented to front-runners who make significant or trendsetting contributions to education, industry, or other professional fields that exemplify Thomas Jefferson University’s mission and innovative spirit.

Carol A. Ammon, BSN ’17, MSN ’20, DNP ’21, MBA
College of Nursing
Founder and Chief Executive Officer and Chairman (Ret.)
Endo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Carol A. Ammon, BSN ’17, MSN ’20, DNP ’21, MBA, founded Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., in 1997 and served as its chief executive officer until 2005 and chair until her retirement in 2007. During her tenure, she grew the company from 28 employees with $100 million in equity to more than 750 employees and a $4 billion market capitalization.

Prior to forming Endo, she spent 23 years at E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company, in roles spanning research and development, finance, manufacturing, and sales and marketing. In 1993, Ammon was appointed president of the generic pharmaceutical business unit of the DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company, and became president of its U.S. Pharmaceutical Division in 1996.

The Eastern Technology Council named Ammon CEO of the year in 2004. She also received the 2003 Greater Philadelphia Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in health sciences, as well as the 2005 Paradigm award, the most prestigious award for professional women in Greater Philadelphia. 

Ammon earned her BA in biology from Central Connecticut State University and her MBA from Adelphi University. She earned her BSN, MSN, and DNP from the Jefferson College of Nursing, graduating in 2017, 2020 and 2021 respectively with honors. She also holds honorary doctorates from Central Connecticut State University, Adelphi University, Jefferson University and the University of Delaware. 

She serves as a trustee for the University of Delaware, as a director and past vice president of the Hagley Museum and Library, and as past chair of the University of Arkansas Multiple Myeloma Advisory Board. 

Since 2019 Carol has served on the Jefferson College of Nursing Campaign Advisory Council, providing insight and assisting Dean Marie Ann Marino, EdD, RN, FAAN in positioning the college to solve complex healthcare problems. She established the Carol A. Ammon Foundation in 2004 to contribute to healthcare and education organizations.

Jeffrey W. Bruner, BS ’73
Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce
President, Hemp Black 

Jeffrey Bruner is currently the President of Hemp Black, a manufacturing company that is exploring the use of hemp in everything from clothing to building materials. His previous company, TexInnovate, was recently acquired by Ecofibre, an Australia-based biotechnology company. 

Bruner is also the founder of The Quantum Group, a leading developer of specialty yarns and fabrics, which was acquired by Twitchell Technical Products in 2017.

He received his BS in Textile Design in 1973 from Thomas Jefferson University (then Philadelphia College of Textiles & Science), where he later taught for three years. He also has certificates from Leicester Polytechnic and City & Guilds of London Institute. Bruner holds 38 patents for processes and materials used in the construction of office chairs, structural textiles, elastomeric yarns, and artificial turf. 

Bruner is a member of the Kanbar College Advancement Council, and previously served on the Fashion and Textiles Futures Center Campaign Leadership Committee and the School of Design and Engineering Advancement Council.

He received the Frank L. Giese Textile Award from Jefferson-East Falls in 2013.

Bruner is the benefactor of the Francis J. Zeglen Textile Scholarship Fund, the Peggy Goutmann Textile Scholarship Fund, and the Frank L. Scardino ’58 Scholarship Fund, which supports students majoring in Textile Design, Textile Materials Technology, and/or Textile Engineering.

Bernard L. Lopez, MD ’86, MS ’03, CPE, FACEP, FAAEM
Sidney Kimmel Medical College
College of Graduate Studies
Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, Thomas Jefferson University
Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Community Engagement
Professor and Executive Vice Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine
Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University

Bernard Lopez, MD, MS, is professor and Executive Vice Chair in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College. He serves as Senior Associate Dean of Diversity & Community Engagement at Sidney Kimmel Medical College, and Associate Provost of Diversity and Inclusion at Thomas Jefferson University. In these roles he leads the institution’s strategic efforts on diversity and inclusion within the academic pillar and guides the recruitment and retention of students, residents, faculty, and staff from underrepresented groups in healthcare. 

Dr. Lopez graduated from Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel Medical College) in 1986, and completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in 1989. In 2003 he received a degree in Pharmacology from the Jefferson College of Graduate Studies. 

Dr. Lopez has been published in numerous journals, and is a member of several medical organizations, including the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine, the National Medical Association and the American Society of Hematology.