From soccer standout to inventor, business owner, and entrepreneur, Ryan Bass still thinks fondly of his time at Notre Dame and credits the level of education he received for helping him find success in his career.
The Comeback Kid
A 2009 graduate of Notre Dame, Ryan Bass started day one of his freshman year at Jackson High School. As a teenager who was not Catholic and who had been involved with Jackson’s soccer team since 7th grade, Ryan was not particularly fond of the idea of going to Notre Dame for high school. However, his father was insistent that Ryan would get a private school education but, when he went to enroll, Ryan was placed on a waiting list.
On day two, Ryan’s father showed up at his school and told Ryan a spot had opened up: Ryan was now a Notre Dame student. Ryan reflects, “Notre Dame was out of my comfort zone and it forced me out of mine; I had to adapt. I think there has been an immense amount of value in that.”
As a transfer student, MSHSAA rules determined that Ryan was allowed to play only JV sports for his freshmen year. He was involved in both soccer and baseball and by the next year, he was playing varsity as the goalkeeper for the Notre Dame soccer team.
One of his memories about Notre Dame soccer involved a rite of passage and a lot of bleach. Every varsity soccer player sported bleached blonde hair. “It was a rite of passage,” he laughs. “It was how you could tell who was on varsity.”
After graduation, Bass continued both his academic and athletic careers at Rockhurst University where he played soccer and majored in psychology with a minor in business. After playing only seven games his freshman year and having to medically redshirt following a season riddled with injury, Bass proceeded to become a two-time All-American and make a Final Four appearance in his senior season. After college graduation and a few soccer trials in the U.S. and Iceland, Bass began to think about his professional life back home.
Bass began his professional career as an intern with the Cerner Corporation’s Firsthand Foundation. There he says he found that “Data Analytics, unexpectedly, was one of the things that I liked. It made sense after (professional) soccer didn’t work out to just jump in with Cerner and begin my professional career in healthcare IT.” Bass became fully employed by Cerner and climbed up the company ladder over the course of several years. “Cerner gave me a number of prominent connections within healthcare,“ said Bass. “For example, a Cerner world cup soccer tournament allowed me to foster a relationship with Matthew Swindells who provided health policy advice to Tony Blair’s UK government.”
Bass worked remotely with Cerner after a move to Fort Myers, FL before transitioning to a new job at Lee Health. “At Lee, I was tasked with stepping again out of my comfort zone of inpatient to ambulatory and it vastly broadened my understanding of healthcare and regulations. It prepared me well for my first management role, Manager of IT Governance, at Naples Community Hospital (NCH).” It was at NCH that Bass began asking questions about unique device identifiers which led to the idea behind his entrepreneurial endeavor.
A Caring Company
The pandemic gave Bass a unique opportunity to shift his focus to creating a company of his own. He founded CAREier which specializes in tracking unique implant devices such as pacemakers, hips, knees, shoulders, breast implants, and any other medical devices sold in the United States and globally. Bass says the goal behind his idea is to “create one platform that automates the tracking and communication process for these devices.” When asked about the meaning behind the name, he states, “It’s what we do. We are carriers of information.” The name is a play on carrier pigeons, and Bass says that the “care” portion of the name reflects their unparalleled focus on healthcare.
“When a recall happens a manufacturer can use our system to send out messages directly to the distributors, providers, patients, payors, hospitals, and any other interested stakeholders,” said Bass. It can send millions of messages instantly. If a radio has a recall you get a letter in the mail, but there was no system for how to tell patients if there was a recall on one of the implanted devices.” Bass saw this as an opportunity.
He said, “At this point, CAREier fills the obvious need!” The platform he created utilizes voice communication, texting, email, and patient portals (among other mediums) to send messages and allow for acknowledgment. This not only benefits the patients but also provides documentation and protection against liability for the hospitals and manufacturers.
While the company is still pre-revenue at this point, Bass is extremely hopeful for the future and the opportunity it holds. As of today, his program has interest in Kansas City, Cape Girardeau, Pittsburgh, Naples, and Europe as well as support from Cerner Corporation and Emergo by UL, one of the largest medical device manufacturer consulting groups in the world. For now, Bass says he is just trying to figure out the best path to take. “I am just trying to make the best decisions I can to continue moving the company forward,” he said.
A Different Level: The Notre Dame Difference
A lot has happened since Ryan became a student at Notre Dame, but he says he still reflects fondly on his time as a student. “I still remember many of my teachers and keep in touch with several friends from high school.” Notre Dame allowed for a different level of interaction and relationship that he says still benefits him in his life today. “The teaching was at a different level and so was the preparation.” Ryan says, “My time at Notre Dame was a very good experience, and I still hold so many people from ND in a very high regard today!” As he thinks about the future and the education of his children, Ryan can confidently say that “going to a private school is something I am going to have my kids do!”
If you have any questions for Ryan or about CAREier, you can check out their website at www.CAREier.com, email them at email@example.com, or feel free to call Ryan directly at (816) 810-1544.