In an effort to help change outcomes in the Philadelphia region, Independence Blue Cross has announced the “IBX Game Changers Challenge.”
Launched in partnership with Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, ?What If! Innovation Partners and Venturef0rth, the Challenge is a six-week competition seeking innovative solutions to improve the region’s health and wellness.
“We could not be more excited to announce the launch of the IBX Game Changers Challenge,” said IBX President and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty.
“By harnessing the creative energies of our community and soliciting solutions that can improve our region’s health and wellness, we are leading the way with our partners toward creating a healthier community.”
“The health of our community affects us all, and the poor status of Philadelphia’s health, as indicated in a these studies, is simply unacceptable,” said Hilferty.
“The health issues these studies highlight require fresh, creative approaches and out-of-the-box thinking; through the IBX Challenge, we want to change the game to make a difference in the health and wellness of the region.”
The challenge comes at a time when there is a need for action. A recent study published by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation ranked Philadelphia last of 67 Pennsylvania counties in matters related to health.
IBX seeks to serve as a catalyst for health care innovation by inviting the region’s entrepreneurs, health care professionals, college students, technology experts and others to submit high-impact ideas that can scale up to support healthy lifestyles and improve the overall health and wellness of Philadelphia and the surrounding region.
The IBX Game Changers Challenge seeks software applications, devices, products, education programs, or public awareness campaigns that can deliver a positive impact on our region’s health, with special emphasis on driving healthy behaviors such as eating right and getting fit. Entries can propose creating one-time events or campaigns or establishing ongoing for-profit or not-for-profit businesses, although preference will be given to ideas that may give rise to self-sustaining business entities.
Individuals and organizations are asked to submit their ideas through July 10 at www.ibx.com/challenge. Each proposal will be evaluated by a panel of expert judges from a variety of industries, many provided by the initiative’s sponsoring partners. Each proposal will be rated on its feasibility, scalability, sustainability and impact on health metrics. Up to three winners will be announced the week of July 30.
The winners will receive a $50,000 grant toward implantation of the proposed event, campaign or program and up to three months of office space, business support and advisory services at Venturef0rth, a health care-focused incubator in Philadelphia. Winners will also receive business mentoring from Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs and a consulting session with ?What If! Innovation Partners to help build out the idea and maximize its impact.
“The Department of Public Health is proud to partner with Independence Blue Cross on the Game Changers Challenge and its significant commitment to improving the health and wellness of the region,” said Donald F. Schwarz, health commissioner and deputy mayor for Health and Opportunity.
“Through initiatives such as Get Healthy Philly, the city is looking to increase the availability and affordability of healthy foods, decrease consumption of unhealthy foods and beverages, and increase physical activity among Philadelphians. The IBX Game Changers Challenge complements these initiatives nicely, and we are excited about its potential impact.”