Hearst Health Prize

2020 Hearst Health Prize Finalists

Hearst Health Prize

The 2020 finalists are listed below in alphabetical order. The winner will be announced on October 6, 2020. 

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Center for American Indian Health – Family Spirit

Working in partnership with Native American (NA) communities, the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health has developed, implemented, and evaluated promising solutions to reduce health disparities facing Native Americans  through its Family Spirit (FS) program. It is currently the largest, most rigorous, and only evidence-based home visiting program designed for pregnant and parenting Native American families. The program has been proven successful across three randomized controlled trials to improve parenting knowledge and self-efficacy; reduce parenting stress and maternal psychological risks that could impede positive parenting; and improve children’s social, emotional, and behavioral development.


  • Mothers had decreased depressive symptoms and substance use.
  • Children showed improved social, emotional, and behavioral development through decreased externalizing behavior; and fewer internalizing behaviors.
  • Compared to children not participating, FS children showed a decrease in aggression, impulsivity, anxiety and depression, and fussy, disordered sleep and eating.
  • Scaled to 131 tribal communities across 20 states, with 644 home visitors trained to deliver FS.
  • FS adapted by three under resourced non-NA communities in two states.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital – Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families

Launched from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the program examines and addresses the impact of Neighborhood Effect Syndrome in the South Side community of Columbus, Ohio. It works to create positive health outcomes for children by targeting affordable housing, education, health and wellness, safe and accessible neighborhoods, and workforce development. It has improved the health status and reduced unnecessary health utilization and costs for neighborhood children. Relative to two propensity matched neighborhoods, those in the program experienced greater decreases in rates of emergency department use and probability of inpatient admission, as well as a smaller increase in the average length of stay for those admitted. 


  • Vacancy rates dropped from 25% to 6%; owner-occupied home sale volumes increased 50% and home prices increased 22%.
  •  Early child programs have driven readiness scores from 32% to 96%.
  • Graduation rates increased from 64% in 2013 to 79% in 2017.
  •  Violent crime rates declined compared to other Columbus neighborhoods.
  • Decreases in ED use and probability of in-patient admission among Medicaid-eligible children.

Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute – Project Dulce

Sharp HospiceCare

The Project Dulce program is designed to improve health and access to care for underserved, ethnically diverse people with diabetes. It provides interpersonal and digital clinical management support while trained peer educators deliver culturally appropriate diabetes self-management education and support. Studies evaluating the program have demonstrated positive effects on clinical, behavioral, and cost outcomes, including greater improvements in HbA1c (a measure of blood sugar levels) and blood pressure across 10-months relative to standard care. Project Dulce has served more than 20,000 ethnically diverse (65% Hispanic) patients in San Diego County. Alameda County Public Health Services and Adventist Health in Central Valley have successfully replicated the model in California.


  • HbA1c and lipid value improvements at 3, 6, and 12-month time points.
  • Improvements in HbA1c and blood pressure across 10 months relative to standard care.
  • Greater diabetes knowledge and less reliance on culture-based remedies.
  •  Lower one-year costs in ED and hospital costs.
  •  Dulce Digital Me –  Designed to incorporate Digital Dulce components with enhanced personal goal setting and feedback.