SHI Blog

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Competition Update: Thermal Bra Project

Spectrum Health Innovations (SHI) and Central Michigan University (CMU) students have teamed up to design a bra that will keep breast cancer survivors warm.

A cold chest is a common side effect for women who’ve under gone a mastectomy and received breast implants or reconstruction as a result of the procedure.

Josephine Faber, breast cancer survivor and manager for United Lifestyles at Spectrum Health was frustrated that there were no known solutions for combating this problem, so she came to SHI looking for help.

“I wanted something that would be easy to put on and take off. Being a breast cancer survivor, I wanted to feel a sense of normalcy with a bra that was also nice looking” says Jodie. “I didn’t want to do this on my own, so I reached out to the experts at SHI”.

Jodie soon found out that she wasn’t the only one with this particular problem. A solution to this particular problem could impact a lot of people, not just those who’ve had a mastectomy.

During the fall and winter semesters, SHI and CMU students collaborated to develop a working prototype through Jodie’s guidance. Combining the knowledge of both engineering and fashion students, they were able constructed a bra with thermal properties.

The fashion students decided to take the thermal bra to CMU’s New Venture Competition. They gave their company a logo and named it Embrace when the team realized they were going to start a business.


The Embrace Team
The Embrace Team

On March 24th, CMU fashion students attended the CMU New Venture Competition and pitched their company Embrace to a panel of judges. With the help of Spectrum Health Innovations, Embrace was awarded $250 for second runner-up pitch.


Lunch Panel Sponsors
Lunch Panel Sponsors

Spectrum Health Innovations and the three fashion students will continue to work together to finalize plans for launching the bra. Together we will be thinking about logistical questions like manufacturing and sales. SHI is looking forward to working with the team on a product that has the potential to impact many women!

You can read more about the thermal bra project from CMU’s news article here.


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