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HomeHealth Equity Innovation Challenge: Judges and evaluation process

Judges and evaluation process

To identify top ideas and awardee recipients for funding and mentorship, Johnson & Johnson will work with an external group of public health and health equity experts with the aim of ensuring a relevant, localized, and independent assessment in each of the five Challenge cities.
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Spelman College

Individuals appointed by Spelman College will help shortlist top submissions from the five Challenge cities for further evaluation by the expert judges.
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Meet our judges

  • Helene D. Gayle, M.D., M.P.H., began serving as the 11th president of Spelman College on July 1, 2022. Dr. Gayle previously served as president and CEO of The Chicago Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, from October 2017 through June 2022. Under her leadership, the Trust adopted a new strategic focus on closing the racial and ethnic wealth gap in the Chicago region.
  • Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D. is a designated University Professor at the University of Connecticut, one of only two currently at the school. He is the Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Endowed Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery. He is the Chief Executive Officer of The Connecticut Convergence Institute for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Laurencin earned a B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, and his M.D., Magna Cum Laude, from the Harvard Medical School, and received the Robinson Award for Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, a Fellow of the American Orthopaedic Association, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Surgical Association. Dr. Laurencin served as Dean of the Medical School and Vice President for Health Affairs at the University of Connecticut.
  • Eddie Martinez (PGP: He/Him/His) is the executive director of the Latino Equality Alliance (LEA), a non-profit organization whose mission is to advocate for equity, safety, and wellness for the Latinx LGBTQ community. He has more than 20 years of non-profit management and civic engagement experience including 18 years with The Wall Las Memorias Project, an HIV/AIDS organization in Los Angeles. Mr. Martinez studied business marketing at Long Beach State and currently a council member for the City of Huntington Park.
  • Through her venture fund, thirty-plus angel investments, and mentorship of entrepreneurs, Kathryn Finney is fostering economic, financial, and social opportunities for Black owned-businesses across the United States. Named one of the most influential women in tech, Kathryn is the founding Managing Partner of Genius Guild. This Chicago-based venture fund invests in scalable businesses led by Black founders using innovation to build and promote healthy communities. Some of her investments include Health in Her Hue, Stimulus, and Rarebreed.
  • Kiera Smalls helps connect resources and opportunities to the people who need them most. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Kiera has done this work in industries ranging from technology and entrepreneurship to health and fitness.
  • Dr. Uché Blackstock is a physician and thought leader on bias and racism in healthcare. She is the Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, which partners with healthcare and related organizations to address racism in healthcare and to eradicate racial health inequities, through trainings and consulting services.
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