Wanted: New ideas to achieve health justice in Connecticut

December 19, 2011

Have you heard about the HealthJusticeCT Challenge? You have the opportunity to win a $10,000 cash prize to support your project to achieve health justice for an under- resourced and/or underserved community.

UPDATE: The deadline has been extended until February 10th!

Before we go any further, it’s important to note that HealthJusticeCT is a grantee of and partner with the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health). I interviewed Heang Tan, project manager and face of HealthJusticeCT, to get a little more information about why they’re doing the challenge, and what they’re looking for.

Jenn: Why are you running this challenge?

Heang: I’d say our goal with the HealthJusticeCT Challenge is two-fold. One, we really want to find solutions to achieving health justice. The problem of racial and ethnic health disparities is a large, multi-faceted problem, but there are finite resources when it comes to addressing this problem. There’s no silver bullet to tackling something this huge. We need all hands on deck, as well as new and and innovative approaches to complement the work that’s ongoing.

We also want to support the mission of HealthJusticeCT.org, which is to be a vibrant online platform for Connecticut residents to talk about the issues surrounding health justice and to create public will for health equity. The competition helps support the further development of that community in that it serves as a place for fostering and sharing innovative ideas.

Heang Tan, Project Manager, HealthJusticeCT and Jenn Whinnem, Communications Officer, CT Health

Heang: The $10,000 cash prize should be a good reason. But, in addition to the money, you’ll get some real visibility for your project. You’re tapping into an existing community that can support and encourage your project, even beyond the life of the prize money. And lastly, you’ll have an opportunity to impact the community in a positive way.

Jenn: Who should enter this contest?

Heang: Anyone who has a viable idea to address the issue of health disparities in their community is encouraged to enter. Whether you’re an individual, or an organization, we want to hear about and maybe even fund your great idea.

If you’re working on the issues of health justice and health equity we want to hear from you. This is a great opportunity for our nontraditional partners to get involved, too. Good health goes beyond the walls of the doctor’s office, and that means anyone can participate in this challenge. Maybe you’re a teacher or a social entrepreneur or you work in the business community. We’re interested in solutions from everyone.

I read this article recently about improving the sidewalks in the neighborhoods. It helped improved people’s health and addressed the obesity epidemic in that community. It’s a Canadian story, and the ideas are applicable here. I’m thinking, what if a community organized to make their neighborhood more safe and walkable? Create some kind of neighborhood-wide exercise program? This is what I mean by nontraditional.  And if you like this idea and want to do enter this contest and you might just get the funding you need to make this idea into a reality.

Jenn: Any other important details?

Heang: Go here to find out how to apply. There are two parts: a written application, and a video. The instructions for both are on that page, as well as how we’ll select the winner. Most importantly, the deadline is [updated] Feb 10, 2012. So don’t wait – apply now! Information about decision criteria, deadlines, and more can all be found here.

2 Responses to Wanted: New ideas to achieve health justice in Connecticut

  1. Lina Paredes says:

    This is a great idea! Can’t wait to see the creative entries!

  2. Heang Tan says:

    Thanks, Jenn, for sharing information about the challenge!

    Lina, I am excited to see what folks will come up with!

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