The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced the winners of the Knight News Challenge: Health, an effort launched by Knight in August to identify solutions that harness the power of data and information to improve the health of communities.
The seven winning projects will receive grants totaling more than $2 million to develop new tools and approaches that provide data-driven solutions to a range of challenges, from prescription drug abuse and youth crisis counseling to better medical resource allocation and the problems inherent in connecting communities with local health services.
The winning projects are Camden Health Explorer/Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers, which received $450,000 to create an interactive dashboard with real-time healthcare enrollment, cost, and outcomes metrics that can be used to make the local healthcare system more efficient; Crisis Text Line/DoSomething.org, which received $350,000 to provide youth with free crisis counseling via text messaging; Homebrew Sensing Project/Public Laboratory, which was awarded $350,000 to create low-cost tools that enable residents to monitor hazardous chemicals in their community; Ohana API/Code for America, which received $210,000 for its effort to connect the public with community resources through a centralized database that aggregates information on health, human, and social services and makes that information accessible via search engines or SMS; Open Humans Network/PersonalGenomes.org, which received $500,000 to develop an online portal that connects people who are willing to share their personal health information with researchers to advance medical breakthroughs; Positive Deviance Journalism/Solutions Journalism Network, which was awarded $180,000 to team up with newsrooms and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to scan data sets for examples of positive health results that can lead to important stories; and SafeUseNow/Principled Strategies, which received $208,000 to use data to identify incidents of prescription drug abuse by tracking combinations of prescribers, patients, and pharmacies that may be contributing to the problem.
In addition to the challenge winners, two partners provided separate awards to projects that addressed one of their interest areas: the California HealthCare Foundation awarded an additional $122,500 to Positive Deviance Journalism in support of that organization's focus on using health data to influence local policy making, and RWJF awarded $50,000 to the Streetlights project for its efforts to use public health data to improve the health of communities.
"By addressing the vital area of health, each winner highlights the transformative impact that data, when used correctly, can have on communities," said Michael Maness, the Knight Foundation's vice president of journalism and media innovation. "In this way, the projects tackle real-world problems while opening up opportunities for people to explore new ways to apply data — within the health sphere and beyond."
For more information on the winning projects, visit the Knight Foundation Web site.