Thomas Jefferson University

The Hearst Health Prize for Excellence in Population Health

$100,000 Hearst Health Prize for
Excellence in Population Health

Click here to view the Finalists
for the 2016 Hearst Health Prize 

We invite you to return to this website for regular updates.

Population health is essential to transforming from an illness-centered healthcare system to one focused on protecting and improving health.  We created this prize to help promote promising new ideas in the field that will help to improve health outcomes, and thus proliferate best practices more rapidly.  Our goal is to discover, support and showcase the work of an individual, group, organization or institution that has successfully implemented a population health program or intervention that has made a measurable difference.

The winner will receive a $100,000 cash prize in recognition of outstanding achievement in managing or improving population health.

In its most fundamental sense, population health is a systematic, holistic approach that aims to prevent disease by keeping people healthy and improving the quality of care. Population health programs and interventions work to:

  • Connect prevention, wellness and behavioral health with traditional health care delivery
  • Focus on improving the quality and safety of care, improving access to healthcare services and helping to prevent/manage chronic diseases in the service of a specific population
  • Advance policies and solutions to address socio-economic and cultural factors (social determinants of health) that have an impact on health outcomes
  • Leverage technology and information systems to design social and community interventions and new models of health care delivery that facilitate care coordination and access

Population health interventions improve the health outcomes of a specific population, such as an employee group, a physician’s practice, a hospital’s primary geographic service area, a set of individuals with a particular clinical condition, a community or a distinct group (like preschoolers or the elderly) within it. These programs demonstrate proven outcomes in managing or improving the health of a population through pioneering programs that may incorporate enhancements in technology, care delivery, processes, care guidance and more. Examples may include:

  • A program that improved transitions of care for an elderly, disabled population.
  • A technology, tool, or system that improved patient safety.
  • Care guidance or clinical decision support within the clinical workflow that improves the quality of care.
  • An educational program that increased medication compliance for a specific population.
  • A built environment initiative designed to increase physical activity.
  • A model that improved efficiencies and quality of follow-up care.
  • A community stakeholder collaborative model that decreased visits to the ER for homeless populations.

The competition is open to individuals, groups of individuals, organizations, or institutions, but none of the following are eligible to submit an entry: JCPH; Hearst Corporation; their respective affiliates; the employees of any of the foregoing; Judges; the family members of any of the foregoing; and any entity in which any of the foregoing has a financial interest.

The population health program, project or initiative submitted for consideration must be active (in process, not just in planning phase) and include outcomes or preliminary findings.

Submissions were vetted by the Jefferson College of Population Health and reviewed by a distinguished Panel of Judges comprised of noteworthy and respected leaders in health care. Review of the submissions was conducted using the structured evaluation criteria outlined below.

The Hearst Health Prize competition is not a grant program; only submissions that describe an implemented project with outcomes will be considered.

The judges will consider the following criteria when evaluating submissions. The percentage of weight each criterion carries toward the overall score is indicated in parentheses:

  1. Population health impact or outcome, demonstrated by measurable improvement (30%) – improvement in health outcomes or health behaviors for the target population that is measurable with quantitative and/or qualitative data that show a change, impact or result. The data should capture or illustrate measurable improvement or change in health of the defined population as a result of the intervention; could also include changes in: policy; individual behavior, knowledge or attitudes; institutional practices or processes; and reduction or elimination of barriers to care
  2. Use of evidence-based interventions and best practices to improve the quality of care provided (35%), particularly through the use of clinical decision support or care guidance (i.e., the project, initiative, tool or intervention is based on or encourages adoption of best practices based on available evidence and is available within the clinical workflow)
  3. Scalability and sustainability (15%)  –  indicators or measures that document the ability of the model/program/tool to be adapted or “scaled up” for use by a larger group or population or by similar populations in other geographic settings or communities, and demonstrate its financial viability independent of grant funding or external financial support
  4. Promotion of engagement, collaboration and communication (10%)  – the establishment or reinforcement of connections among different stakeholder groups (multiple care providers, patients, community agencies, etc.) that enables effective exchange of clinical information, patient involvement in decision making, and/or smooth transitions from one care venue to another care venue or to the community
  5. Innovation (10%)  – incorporating the use of a novel approach, technology, tool, intervention or collaboration

Finalists will present at a special poster session on March 7, 2016 at the Population Health Colloquium in Philadelphia.  The winner of the prize will be announced during the opening session of the Population Health Colloquium, on the morning of March 8, 2016.

A full description of rules governing the Hearst Health Prize can be found here