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Health Equity Innovation Challenge
Health Equity Innovation Challenge
A movement to find and invest in the best ideas across the U.S. to end healthcare disparities.

acial and social injustices and inequities have long plagued society and the health of communities of color across the United States. Our team at Johnson & Johnson recently announced Our Race to Health Equity—a bold aspiration to help eradicate racial and social injustice as a public health threat by eliminating health inequities for people of color.

Investing in community-based solutions developed for the community by the community is an essential component to closing the racial health and mortality gap. We’re launching the Johnson & Johnson Health Equity Innovation Challenge to seek and accelerate innovations that have the potential to advance health equity.

The Challenge aims to support potential innovative solutions from local entrepreneurs, innovators and local community-based organizations – beginning in six cities where Black and Hispanic communities experience significant health inequities: Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York City and Philadelphia. A local approach to achieving health equity requires investing in the people driving change within their own communities. Johnson & Johnson will award funding to selected applicants from a pool of at least $1,000,000, as well as potentially provide:

  • Mentorship from leaders across the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies1 as well as from experts outside of Johnson & Johnson
  • Visibility through coordinated communications
  • Access to Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS ecosystem,2 which provides leading healthcare start-ups with access to educational programming and networking, resources, amplification opportunities, and the chance to connect with therapeutic area experts and investors

The opportunities for change, founded in innovation, are boundless. Our goal is to bring transformative potential solutions one idea at a time, to one community at a time.

We’re looking for ideas and potential solutions that may help resolve the health inequities impacting Black and Hispanic communities. At Johnson & Johnson, we strongly believe we can do better to make care accessible—for everyone.

Application Process and Selection Criteria

A group of external experts with experience in public health, healthcare delivery, advocacy, entrepreneurship and academia will review local innovators’ submissions with the aim of ensuring a relevant, localized and independent assessment. Each community innovator’s application will be evaluated based on the ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Focus on health inequities experienced by Black and Hispanic people
  • Health impact to defined metro area with the potential to expand
  • Feasibility and practicality of solution
  • Implementation plan and timeline
  • Risks and challenges
  • Team quality and capabilities
  • Initial funding request does not exceed $75,000
  • Submissions on behalf of academic institutions, large corporations and national organizations are not eligible

Focus Areas

The goal is to improve health outcomes and reduce health disparities by promoting health equity, specifically through locally generated3 ideas to identify potential solutions that:
    Prevent and Treat Illnesses that Disproportionately Affect Black and Hispanic Communities
    Prevent and Treat Illnesses that Disproportionately Affect Black and Hispanic Communities
    Such as advancing innovative solutions aimed at preventing or addressing health conditions through new screening and diagnostic technology platforms
    ON NOW
    Enhance Equitable Access to Healthcare
    Enhance Equitable Access to Healthcare
    Such as technology solutions that help advance health equity and care for diverse individuals
    ON NOW
    Stimulate Diversity in Science
    Stimulate Diversity in Science
    Such as solutions that encourage more young Black and Hispanic individuals to pursue careers in STEM and solutions that expand the diversity of the local clinical research workforce
    ON NOW Scientists wearing full protective suit working in the laboratory alt
    Advocate for More Trusted Community-Based Healthcare
    Advocate for More Trusted Community-Based Healthcare
    Such as promoting culturally competent care or addressing bias in clinical care
    ON NOW Nurse talking and doing a emotional support to a female senior patient at hospital alt

Areas of Geographic Focus

The Johnson & Johnson Health Equity Innovation Challenge will begin with a focus on Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia.

The Challenge has the opportunity to identify potential solutions that could have a significant impact in these communities and potentially in other communities across the country.
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Meet Our Judges

Johnson & Johnson has convened nationally and locally recognized health equity experts to judge the applications. Judges with diverse experience in public health, healthcare delivery, advocacy, entrepreneurship and academia will ensure innovations are reviewed through a relevant, localized and independent lens. Learn more about our judges.

Academic Partner
Tulane faculty members will help shortlist approximately 50 top submissions from the six cities for further evaluation by the expert judges.
Applications Deadline
Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia applications must be completed and submitted by Friday, November 12, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. ET to be considered. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Race to Health Equity

Johnson & Johnson is committed to eradicating racial and social justice as a public health threat by eliminating health inequities for people of color. The company is committing $100 million over the next five years to invest and promote health equity solutions.

1 Mentorship, including subject-matter assistance, may be provided if requested and if such assistance does not present any legal or compliance issues for the Johnson & Johnson Health Equity Innovation Challenge. Any mentorship will be non-binding on the Award recipient and will in no way be construed as directing the use of Award Funds by the Award recipient.

2 As appropriate by expertise and/or regulatory considerations.

3 Submitters should be located within defined greater metropolitan areas of Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Philadelphia.

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