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Senator Kirk Explores Healthcare Innovation at MATTER


CHICAGO, Aug. 28, 2015 – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) today toured healthcare technology incubator MATTER to discuss the future of healthcare with entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

Located in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart, MATTER is a community of health technology startups and industry leaders working together to fuel innovation in health IT, medical devices, diagnostics and biopharmaceuticals.

Friday’s discussion focused on how MATTER is working to support the success of next-generation health technology startups and unite healthcare industry leaders in order to improve the quality of healthcare and drive economic growth. Senator Kirk met with Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER; Jeff Aronin, co-chair of MATTER and CEO of Marathon Pharmaceuticals, and representatives from AbbVie, Astellas Pharma, and BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, who are among MATTER’s industry partners.

Senator Kirk also sat down with some of the entrepreneurs working at MATTER to develop innovative healthcare solutions, including the founders of MedMatch, a new technology for hiring medical professionals; SuperBetter, an app that has been shown to reduce depression & anxiety; Innoblative, a medical device company, and GTX Surgery, a company that makes surgical simulation available on mobile devices.

Sen. Kirk has worked for several years to further healthcare initiatives in the Senate. As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Senator Kirk has been instrumental in drafting the Healthier Innovations for America Bill. This legislation would be a Senate counterpart to the House’s 21st Century Cures Act, passed this year with bipartisan support 344-77, which brings health care innovation into the 21st Century and encourages the development of the next generation of cures and treatments. As a member of the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Kirk worked to increase funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH) to $32 billion in FY16, which is a $2 billion increase from FY15 making it the largest increase in over a decade.

“From the invention of the cell phone to the zipper, Illinois has long been a center of innovation,” Senator Kirk said. “MATTER’s elevation of our entrepreneurs, startups and industry leaders is a reason why Chicago stands among the global players of healthcare innovation.”

“MATTER is honored to host Senator Kirk and discuss how entrepreneurs are working to build the future of healthcare here in Chicago,” said MATTER CEO Steven Collens. “We’re grateful for Senator Kirk’s commitment to supporting business growth and healthcare innovation, and we look forward to working with him as MATTER continues to grow.”

“MATTER is helping to make Chicago a global hub for healthcare innovation, and we are fortunate to have leaders like Senator Kirk who are aligned with the mission of health care innovation,” said Jeff Aronin, co-chair of MATTER and CEO of Marathon Pharmaceuticals. “By working together with entrepreneurs, we can build the next generation of healthcare technology that will improve patient lives.”


MATTER is a community of healthcare entrepreneurs and industry leaders working together in a shared space to individually and collectively fuel the future of healthcare innovation. MATTER’s mission is to proactively connect and promote collaboration among entrepreneurs, scientists, physicians and industry partners to bring next-generation products and services to market that improve quality of care and save lives. MATTER, a not-for-profit organization, was developed by a team of entrepreneurs and industry leaders with the support of the state of Illinois. MATTER began as a project of ChicagoNEXT, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s council on technology and innovation, which is part of World Business Chicago. For more information, visit and follow @matterchicago.