Reliant Announces Award Recipients Receiving $100,000 to Fund Critical Care Solutions

—Innovations developed by Houston Methodist Critical Care physicians and EnMed students combine engineering and medical expertise—

HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Reliant announced today the award recipients of the Reliant Innovation Fund to two critical care physician-scientists. The Houston Methodist Center for Critical Care in collaboration with the Texas A&M College of Medicine and Houston Methodist EnMed Program joined together with Reliant to recognize the awardees, including Dr. Hina Faisal, Dr. Asma Zainab and the EnMed students who will support their work. The Engineering Medicine (EnMed) program is a unique collaborative endeavor between Houston Methodist and Texas A&M University that allows students to graduate with Medical Doctorates and Master of Engineering degrees in four years.

“Meaningful innovation is core to us at Reliant and the work these institutions, physicians and students are doing is truly amazing,” said Elizabeth Killinger, president, Reliant. “We appreciate how Houston Methodist is making a lasting difference in our community by continuing to revolutionize medicine and we are honored to support them through the EnMed program.”

The Reliant Innovation Fund of $100,000 was created in 2020 to empower physicians and students in the EnMed program to create ground-breaking solutions for critically ill patients with the potential to significantly and rapidly enhance the hospital’s clinical mission. These projects were chosen from a number of submissions because of their ground-breaking nature. Each project selected will receive a $50,000 grant from Reliant to enable this collaboration of “physicianeers” and front-line critical care doctors to bring new solutions to complex medical diseases.

The Houston Methodist physicians awarded as preceptors for the two projects include:

  • Dr. Hina Faisal, an anesthesiologist and critical care physician, will lead a project on 3-D-simulated virtual reality technology to prevent delirium, or confusion, in critically ill patients, which is associated with poorer patient outcomes and increased healthcare costs. This early cognitive intervention in the form of virtual reality may help mitigate delirium in COVID-19, surgical and medical patients. The student supporting Dr. Faisal is Wesley Lim.
  • Dr. Asma Zainab, a critical care physician in the Cardiovascular ICU who focuses on respiratory failure and ventilator use, will lead a project to help personalize care in lung failure, creating models specific to each patient to avoid unnecessary pressure and injury caused by ventilators. The student supporting Dr. Zainab is Johnny McMurray.

“Innovation is at the heart of what we do,” said Faisal Masud, M.D., director of the Center of Critical Care at Houston Methodist. “Thanks to Reliant’s generous contribution and ongoing support, we are able to seek out new ways to provide the best quality care for our most vulnerable patients while supporting our physicians, our students and their research.”

To support first responders and the most vulnerable in Texas, Reliant has donated over $1 million to local community relief funds and initiatives to protect frontline workers and those adversely impacted by COVID-19. The donations are part of its community program, Reliant Gives, to provide support across the state of Texas and parent company, NRG Energy, Inc.’s $2 million donation to pandemic relief efforts.

About Reliant

Reliant powers, protects and simplifies life by bringing electricity, security and related services to homes and businesses across Texas. Serving customers and the community is at the core of what we do, and the company is recognized nationally for outstanding customer experience. Reliant is part of NRG, a Fortune 500 company that creates value by generating electricity and providing energy solutions to nearly 6 million residential, small business and commercial customers across the U.S. and Canada. NRG’s competitive residential electricity business, which includes Reliant, is one of the largest in the country. For more information about Reliant, visit and connect with Reliant on Facebook at and Twitter or Instagram @reliantenergy. PUCT Certificate #10007.

About Houston Methodist

Houston Methodist is one of the nation’s leading health systems and academic medical centers ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the No. 1 hospital in Texas for patient care. Houston Methodist consists of seven hospitals: Houston Methodist Hospital, its flagship academic hospital in the Texas Medical Center, and six community hospitals throughout the Greater Houston metropolitan area. As a consistently recognized leader in patient-centered clinical care, medical research and education, Houston Methodist is committed to using technology to advance patient care.


Media Contacts:
Diana Maddock, Reliant

Gale Smith, Houston Methodist

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