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About Us

Our Mission:

At CareAline, our mission is to help patients live safely and fully by providing clinically proven vascular access securement devices to patients and hospitals. Our goal is to increase safety, comfort and style for patients with implanted lines. 

Meet Our Team: (to read more about our founders' story, click here)

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Kezia Fitzgerald – CEO, Chief Innovation Officer & Co-Founder, CareAline® Products, LLC

Kezia has always been a problem solver, creating and innovating solutions to many every day obstacles. She discovered a need for change in how vascular access lines were being managed during her daughter Saoirse’s treatment for Neuroblastoma. Seeing the impact of this problem on her daughter and her family, she created and iterated the design of the CareAline® Sleeve for PICC Lines and the CVC Wrap for Central Lines while Saoirse was in treatment. Kezia did this while she was battling her own cancer at the same time. After Saoirse’s death, Kezia and her husband Mike started CareAline Products, LLC and brought her innovations to market. Knowing how they had helped their daughter get through treatment more safely and comfortably inspired Kezia and Mike to make them available to all children and adults with PICC and Central Lines. CareAline® Sleeves and Wraps are supported by evidence, FDA registered medical devices used buy hospitals, and loved by thousands of patients and caregivers worldwide.

Kezia’s unique, proactive view of healthcare and talents for continuous innovation have spurred the creation of new products and designs to improve quality of life for patients and caregivers that also meet the needs of ever-changing hospital staff workflows and hospital safety protocols.

Kezia has won multiple awards and is on the board of advisors for AI in Medicine and the International Society for Pediatric Innovation (iSPI). She is an Alumni in Residence and a Healthcare Industry Mentor for the 2018 MassChallenge Cohort, where she also drove CareAline to a Gold Winner Award in the 2017 MassChallenge. Kezia is a developer and leader of the Young Innovators Workshop for iSPI’s Pediatric2040 conferences. Kezia is sought after to speak about healthcare innovation from the parent/patient perspective, patient experience and improvement as well as her and her daughter’s journey and experiences in the healthcare world.

When she is not innovating in healthcare, Kezia is first and foremost, a mother of two to her daughter – Saoirse – who died from Neuroblastoma in 2011 at 18-months-old, and son – Lochlan – who is a crazy (and healthy!) five year old. Kezia hopes that someday, no other parent and patient will endure the struggles she has experienced, and that children will be free from toxic treatments and lifelong medical complications.  Kezia is a young adult cancer fighter, cancer momcologist and is currently in her second battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. She holds a BFA in Photography from Columbia College Chicago.

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Mike Fitzgerald

Managing Director

Co-Founder

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Ron Bor

Director of Operations 

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Claudia Hoyen, MD

Chief Medical Advisor

Director, Pediatric Infection Control,

UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital

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Cassie Brugger

Regulatory / Clinical Trial Advisor

With healthcare experience spanning clinical trials, outcomes research, quality improvement, and assessing new health technology and products, Cassie is passionate about supporting products and tools that help to deliver the right care at the right time for patients and their families.

Currently, Cassie oversees administration of two federally-funded commercialization centers (www.TREATCenter.orgwww.NEPDC.org) at Simbex, a medical device and consumer health product development company. Additionally, she provides advisement in medical device reimbursement and helps clients communicate the value of their product to healthcare stakeholders through various forms of communications and marketing.

Prior to joining Simbex, Cassie worked with the High Value Healthcare Collaborative managing quality improvement and healthcare delivery science projects for the HVHC’s Health Care Innovation Award (HCIA) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). These projects focused on high cost, high variation in care topics including congestive heart failure, diabetes, joint replacement, sepsis, and spine surgery. 

Cassie holds a M.A. in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Denver with a focus on public health and health behaviors in vulnerable populations. While earning her graduate degree, Cassie worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator at the Denver VA Medical Center and University of Colorado Hospital for industry sponsored and PI-initiated studies.  She graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a minor in Political Science and Certification in Peace and Conflict Studies.

 

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