Shortly after joining UHG, I was asked to sit in on user interview sessions for the Military and Veterans group. In these interviews, the impending closure of the TRICARE service centers was discussed as a source of anxiety for military beneficiaries. Though this was outside the scope of the project, I put together a concept for a simple mobile app to help decrease the pain beneficiaries felt as a result of the closure.

The idea was submitted to the CEO’s “2014 Hemsley Innovation Challenge” and ultimately won, being selected from over 700 entries. As a result of winning the competition, the project was subsequently green-lit and funded for production and the MVP version of the app was released in the summer of 2014 as UnitedHealthcare Beacon.

Below is a video capture of the demo application that was presented at Innovation Day:

Below are the live presentation and recorded presentations given at Innovation Day:


The MVP (minimum viable product) was a scaled back version of the Virtual Service Center concept presented at Innovation Day. It was developed as a responsive mobile web application and released in summer 2014. It was sunset when UHG no longer managed the TricareWest region. However, prior to that point analytics showed that the app was utilized by beneficiaries in all three regions.



2014 “Hemsley Innovation Challenge” UnitedHealth Group Employee Innovation Competition Winner, Intelligent Urgency Category

Project: Virtual Service Center

UnitedHealth Group, UHC Military & Veterans, May2014

Platform: Mobile


  • Ideation & Concept Development
  • UI/UX Design
  • Video presentation script
  • Live “power pitch” script and execution
  • Art direction of volunteers to complete a POC demo app as well as several items of printed material including a tradeshow booth and handout pieces
  • On Innovation Day itself, I not only worked the tradeshow booth, walking executives through the concept to gain support, but delivered the live “power pitch” to an audience of about 300 coworkers, vendors, and judges.