“Don’t Accept The Status Quo.”
Who knew, debate class, a visit to the infectious disease unit and a national entrepreneur contest would launch 17-year-old Hannah Verma, a high school senior and her company Aerocleanz on a mission to innovate hand sanitizers.
17-year-old Hannah Verma, a senior at Lake Highland Prep in Orlando was shadowing doctors in the ICU when she witnessed a doctor move from the isolation room to another patients room without washing his hands. As the day progressed, Hannah watched this same, ‘non hand-washing behavior’ occur time and time again on different floors throughout the hospital.
A child of doctors and a practiced high school senior health policy debater, Hannah was concerned. Her discomfort fueled her curiosity which led her to the research on hand washing. When she discovered the CDC’s finding, “53% of doctors don’t watch their hands between patients,” she understood the immensity of the problem.
It was Hannah’s conversations with her parents, both of which are doctors, which helped her understand the issue from a doctor’s or nurses perspective. To follow hand washing protocol, her parents explained, a nurse or doctor had to not only use hand sanitizer, they were required to rub their hands together for a full minute. And required to wash their hands between every patient, whether or not they had touched a patient.
Standing in the shoes of busy medical professionals, Hannah realized this wasn’t failed hand-washing advocacy, this was a problem of convenience or rather, inconvenience.
Hand washing was too inconvenient for the busy hospital doctor or nurse.
Watch and be inspired as Hannah share’s how this epiphany ignited her curiosity and led her around town to partner and be mentored by some of the best of the best. Oh and did we mention, along the way she won the Bright House Bright Ideas National Competition.
At the end of my time with Hannah, I couldn’t help but ask her to advise parents and teachers on what to do to encourage more high school students to become innovators and entrepreneurially engaged. Don’t miss her sage like advice…
Hannah is another example of the truth- you are never too young or too old. You are exactly the age you were created to be at this very time. And you, yes you, are here to bring your talents, gifts and abilities to the world like no other can or will.
You, you were born to rock- rock just like Hannah, you were.