TRACK D - Medical Device & Digital Health:

Importance of the Pediatric Patient Voice in Healthcare

The "Importance of the Pediatric Patient Voice in Healthcare" session will be a panel with the president and four youth members of the International Children’s Advisory Network, a network of children that advocate for the importance of the patient voice in pediatric healthcare. The panelists are the experts on their conditions. Hear their stories and learn what it’s like to live with chronic, complex, or rare medical conditions. Learn more at

Leanne West, MS
Principal Research Scientist & Chief Engineer of Pediatric Technologies, Georgia Tech Research Corporation (GTRC)

Leanne West, MS, is  a Principal Research Scientist and the Chief Engineer of Pediatric Technologies at Georgia Tech. As Chief Engineer, she coordinates research activities related to pediatrics across campus  and serves as the technical liaison for the partnership with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.  She is also the President of the non-profit, the International Children’s Advisory Network, which focuses on patient voice in healthcare.  


Her research focuses on mobile and wireless health system and sensor development, user interfaces, system integration, and diagnostic devices.  Ms. West has seen her invention of a wireless personal captioning system installed at commercial venues through her start-up Intelligent Access, LLC. She has another wearable system for identifying specific dog behaviors that has also reached the commercial market. She has received the following awards: Woman of the Year by Women in Technology in 2014, Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Achievement in Research Enterprise Enhancement Award in 2014, GTRI Innovative Research Award team member in 2014, and the Optical Society’s 2012 Paul Forman Engineering Excellence Award team member.  


She was appointed to the board of the Georgia Technology Authority by the Georgia Speaker of the House, David Ralston. She was named one of Georgia’s “40 Under 40” by Georgia Trend magazine in 2004, and she was selected for the 2008 class of Leadership Georgia. Ms. West is an active participant at her organization. She was the GT Chair for the Georgia Charitable Campaign and was twice elected Chair of the Georgia Tech Executive Board, the faculty governance body of Georgia Tech. 

Ananya Ganesh
Twelfth Grader, The Westminster Schools

Ananya Ganesh is a senior at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta. She is passionate about improving health outcomes and has been involved in independent research for the past 4 years. She has won several research awards for her work on early onset scoliosis. A firm believer of education as a pathway to empowerment, three years ago Ananya launched an initiative called Girls Maker Initiative to bring innovation and creativity through hands-on STEM projects to girls in rural areas. As a member of iCAN, Ananya has been sharing her experience of living with adrenal insufficiency and why empowerment matters. Along with her teammates, she presented research on patient and caregiver perception relating to barriers to academic performance at the 2019 iCAN Advocacy & Research Summit. Ananya’s goal is to increase awareness about chronic illnesses and inspire other kids like herself that their voices matter. 

Ava Meisner
Tenth Grader, Chamblee High School

Ava Meisner is a sophomore at Chamblee High School.  She is a year-round competitive swimmer and member of the student government association.  She hopes to study medicine to become a surgeon or behavioral science. 

She has endured multiple sports-related injuries, including chronic shoulder issues and a broken ankle; both requiring significant and ongoing rehab. Ava has been a KIDS Ga Member since its creation 5 years ago. 

Kalee Polk
Eighth Grader, Mason Creek Middle School

Kalee Polk is an 8th grader attending Mason Creek Middle School. She was born with Biliary Artesia and has had two Liver transplants. Kalee is a proud member of KIDS GA Since 2014, she has been a member of the FBLA and History Club. She enjoys playing soccer and basketball. Kalee wants to study Healthcare Administration to become an advocate for Pediatric Medicine. 

Maci Yeager
Eleventh Grader, Chamblee High School

Maci Yeager is a junior at  Chamblee High School.  She is in the marching band and also competes on the swim team.  She is hoping to become a physical therapist. She has lived with Asthma and food allergies her entire life. Maci has been a KIDS Ga Member since its creation 5 years ago. 

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