A big heart comes in handy when you’re in the business of healing hearts.
Wright State University biomedical engineering alumna Bridget Frost does just that, working as a project manager for a company that provides technologies for the treatment of abnormal heart rhythm.
“The most rewarding parts of the job all tie to improving people’s lives — knowing a patient is getting a fuller life once treated with our products and impacting my coworkers’ lives by giving them career advice or helping them through challenging situations,” said Frost.
For the past four years, Frost has worked for Mason-based AtriCure, Inc., in new product development for devices used in cardiac surgery for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.
Atrial fibrillation, or Afib, is an abnormal heart rhythm caused by erratic electrical signals in the heart. A normal heart rhythm creates regular electrical signals that are essential for the heart to beat in a steady, rhythmic way to pump blood to all parts of the body. If the electrical signals become irregular, the heart beats abnormally.
Atrial fibrillation causes physical changes to the structure and shape of the heart. It can scar, stretch and stiffen the heart muscle and increase the risk of stroke fivefold.
At AtriCure, Frost leads projects through the development cycle, including post-market improvements and follow-up. She works closely with a cross-functional team to ensure that quality products are made that meet product requirements and standards.
“The most challenging part of my job is joining a project team mid-stream and quickly coming up to speed to make an impact,” she said. “It’s also important, and sometimes challenging, to choose and prioritize projects based on business and patient need.”
Frost is also program coordinator for the company’s Engineering Development Program, which enables associate engineers to rotate through various departments in order to hone their engineering skills and knowledge. In addition, she works closely with the company’s co-op program to recruit students and mentor them.
“Mentoring people, whether it’s my direct reports or students in the co-op program, is really where I thrive,” she said. “I find great passion in helping others. My job allows me to do that in multiple facets.”
Frost grew up the in Cincinnati suburb of Silverton and attended Mount Notre Dame High School.
“I fell in love with physics my senior year of high school, and that inspired me to change my interest from nursing into a more science-based career,” she said. “Biomedical engineering was a good mix of that interest I had in physics, anatomy and caring for people.”
After graduating in 2004, she enrolled at Wright State.
“The engineering program was a respected program, and I really enjoyed the campus atmosphere,” she said.
Frost said Wright State equipped her with the skills and knowledge she needed to launch a career in engineering.
“The course work was geared toward my interest in medicine and taught general classes that helped me gain knowledge in the other areas,” she said.
Frost said the highlight of her time at Wright State was the friends she made and shared experiences with.
“I worked for the Office of Disability Services while on campus, which was really rewarding and brought me joy when I was helping fellow students with their day-to-day routines,” she said. “I also met my future husband at Wright State so that was also a perk.”
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering in 2008, Frost joined AtriCure for six months to research new technologies. She then worked in retail for two years before joining a start-up company in its product development group to make medical devices for general surgery. It was there where she helped create and test an injectable cleaning solution for laparoscopic surgery.
In 2017, she returned to AtriCure, which provides technologies for the treatment of atrial fibrillation and related conditions.