Hearst Health Prize

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

The final Hearst Health Prize for Excellence in Population Health in partnership with JCPH, concluded in 2020.

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 identify and promote promising ideas in the field that 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 results of successful programs are expressed in terms of actual improvements in health outcomes and/or health behaviors, not just financial measures, clinical process measures, or measures of participation.

The Winner will received a $100,000 cash prize, and up to two Finalists received a $25,000 cash prize, in recognition of outstanding achievement in managing or improving population health. This is not a grant program.

Five Years of The Hearst Health Prize

Five Years of The Hearst Health Prize

In its most fundamental sense, population health seeks to improve or manage the health of a specific population. It 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 that to design social and community interventions and new models of health care delivery that facilitate care coordination and improve access
  • Foster and support engagement among stakeholders in the community and the healthcare delivery system

Population health interventions strive to 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. Successful programs demonstrate proven outcomes in managing or improving the health of a population through efforts that may incorporate enhancements in technology, care delivery, processes, care guidance and more. The results of successful programs are expressed in terms of actual improvements in health outcomes and/or health behaviors, not just financial measures, clinical process measures, or measures of participation.

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 tools that improve the quality of care delivered
  • An educational program that increased medication compliance for a specific population
  • A design initiative for a built environment that increased 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 was open to legal residents (either individuals or groups of individuals) of, and organizations or institutions domiciled and conducting operations in, the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who have reached the age of majority in their state or district of residence at time of entry. Void where prohibited by law. None of the following were eligible to submit an entry to the Hearst Health Prize: Jefferson College of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University, the Jefferson enterprise and affiliates; Hearst; their respective affiliates; the employees of any of the foregoing; Judges; any person who has served as a Judge for the competition in the previous competition year; the family members of any of the foregoing; or any entity in which any of the foregoing has a financial relationship. Employees of Jefferson College of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University, the Jefferson enterprise and affiliates; Hearst, their respective parents, affiliates and subsidiaries; and the Judges (and members of their immediate family and/or those living in the same household of each such employee or Judge) were not eligible.

No program which has previously been recognized as a Winner, Finalist or Honorable Mention in any other contest conducted by Sponsor or Hearst, or which has won any recognition that includes a financial award for the program or activities described in the entrant’s submission, was eligible to participate.

The population health program, project or initiative submitted for consideration must be currently active (not proposed or in the planning phase) and include outcomes or preliminary findings for at least one year. Submissions were not accepted from individuals or entities that have already won any recognition that includes a financial reward. The Hearst Health Prize is not a grant program.

Applications were vetted and scored by faculty at the Jefferson College of Population Health. Up to 15 of the top scoring submissions will be referred for review by a distinguished Panel of Judges comprised of noteworthy and respected leaders in health care. Review of the submissions will be conducted using the structured evaluation criteria outlined below. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

The Hearst Health Prize competition was not a grant program to support a prospective initiative; only submissions that described an implemented project with outcomes were considered. 

For the 2020 Hearst Health Prize, the judges considered 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 or services provided (20%) – 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 to team members within their regular processes)
  3. Promotion of communication, collaboration and engagement (20%) – 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
  4. 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
  5. Innovation (15%) – incorporating the use of a novel approach, technology, tool, intervention or collaboration

Any submissions that did not primarily focus on a population based in the 50 United States or District of Columbia were not considered in the Competition.

Finalists were notified of their status  in January 2020.

The winner of the prize was announced during the Population Health Colloquium, on October 6, 2020.

Please read the official rules governing the Hearst Health Prize. 

©2020 Hearst Health Prize, all rights reserved.