Economic Development Newsroom

Ted Smith Accepts White House Award

Tuesday September 25, 2012

Ted Smith, Louisville Metro’s Chief of Economic Growth and Innovation, was named a “Local Innovation Champion of Change” late last week, by the White House through a program that recognizes innovators in various sectors of the economy.

“I knew when I asked Ted to come back to Louisville and head up, first, our Innovation office, and now the Department of Economic Growth and Innovation, that city government was getting someone who thinks outside the box and who wants to do good things in our city,” said Mayor Greg Fischer.

Smith was recognized because of his work in helping Imperium Health Management finance their start-up, a new coordinated care company that will assist doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers establish and organize newly required Accountable Care Organizations.

“Because their payment from the government is reimbursed, they needed a one-time financing source up front, in order to provide their services while waiting for reimbursement,” said Smith. “Without that commitment from the federal government, and our short-term loan, they would’ve been unsuccessful meaning no new hires in this exciting new healthcare area in Louisville. It made sense for the local and federal levels of government to work together for everyone’s success.”

The White House program highlights the movement of innovation in government across America. In addition to celebrating success, the Champions of Change event provides a great opportunity to share innovative city government products, services, and business models with other cities and discuss how to scale these innovations to others, challenging all cities across the nation to similar levels of improvement.

Thirteen local government officials were honored for “creating a more open and innovative government through entrepreneurship.”

Smith will travel to Washington DC on September 25, with officials from Imperium Health to accept his award.