BCBSIL and MATTER announce $30,000 Health Equity Innovation Challenge

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is collaborating with MATTER to source innovative solutions for advancing health equity.

Submit your solution for a chance to win up to $15,000 and an opportunity to pilot your solution with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

What is health equity?
Every person deserves an opportunity to be as healthy as possible. Health equity means reducing and, ultimately, eliminating disparities in health. Unlike equality, which treats everyone the same despite disparate outcomes, equity takes people’s different histories, challenges and needs into consideration. Consider the following:

  • The average life expectancy in Chicago’s Loop is 85 years. For residents of West Garfield Park, the average is less than 69 years.
  • People who are food insecure are 50% more likely to be diabetic.
  • For people with fewer than 12 years of education (high school or less), the infant mortality rate and overall death rate are almost twice a high as people with at least one year of college.
  • The odds of a child being obese or overweight increases by 20–60 percent if he or she lives in a neighborhood with unfavorable conditions such as poor housing, unsafe surroundings and/or limited access to sidewalks, parks and recreation centers.

The Health Equity Innovation Challenge
How can we help close the gaps for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois members who are facing social, cultural and/or economic barriers to health care by advancing health equity and addressing the social determinants of health?

This challenge is open to all creative ideas and solutions.

Challenge prize
The three winning teams will each receive a cash prize and a six-month membership at MATTER.

  • 1st place: $15,000
  • 2nd place: $10,000
  • 3rd place: $5,000

One of these three winning teams will also have the opportunity to pilot their solutions.

University researchers, students, entrepreneurs and existing startups of all stages are welcome to apply. Submit your 3-minute video pitch by November 12, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. CT.

Learn more and submit your solution at BlueChallengeIL.com.

See the press release from BCBSIL.