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Press Release

GE Announces Winners of HealthyCities Leadership Academy's Open Innovation Challenge

October 11, 2016

GE and partners to fund 9 communities to pilot new models for population health

OSSINING, NEW YORK - OCT. 11, 2016 - GE announced today the nine winners of the HealthyCities Leadership Academy Open Innovation Challenge. Each of the winning communities will receive an initial award of $25,000 in prize money to help develop population health improvements through partnerships with public and private entities, and will be eligible for a final prize award of $250,000 after a year of collaborative learning and support. 

A part of GE’s healthymagination commitment, the HealthyCities Leadership Academy is a new program to mentor and support leaders in their communities as they develop and support new strategies to tackle population health challenges. The goal of the initiative is for community and business leaders to work together to help the cities, towns and communities where they live and work to address significant health challenges.

“GE is committed to enabling better health for more people through supporting the development and deployment of innovative population health strategies,” said Sue Siegel, CEO, GE Ventures and healthymagination. “Improving the health of a community is a complex effort that requires collaboration from many stakeholders. Each of the nine winning proposals brings in local businesses to help governments, foundations and private organizations more effectively develop and implement community health initiatives that truly make a lasting impact.” 

Winning communities were determined after a thorough evaluation of all eligible entries based on their ability to demonstrate a clear potential to improve the health of all socioeconomic strata of the targeted community. Selections were determined by a panel of distinguished judges who have expertise in the fields of population health, public health, and healthcare. Don Berwick, a judge, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said, “GE is testing an approach to unleash the power of the private sector to transform the health and wellbeing of communities. I believe this has the potential to create new social and economic value for communities, their people and their businesses. I look forward to continued partnership with GE and these participants as this program unfolds.”   

The HealthyCities Leadership Academy Open Innovation Challenge Winners and their areas of research and innovation are:

  • Atlanta, Georgia - Health Promotion and Prevention of Nutrition-Related Disease 
  • Wayfield Foods, the HEALing Community Center and Emory University will work to improve the diets, health and well-being of an Atlanta neighborhood through increased and integrated use of food and health literacy services.  The impact will be achieved by linking community-based healthy food assets, promoting healthy dietary behavior, and changing clinical care models to reinforce healthy behaviors to improve health.
  • Burlington, Vermont - Substance Abuse Recovery and Employment
    • This proposal focuses on using local business partners to improve the lives and economic wellbeing of people in recovery, as well as improve economic outcomes for the county. Burlington Labs, a local drug testing company, and the local Chamber of Commerce, will to host a series of discussions and planning sessions with human resource staff from across the county, to develop strategies and best practices to employ people who are in recovery.
  • Camden, New Jersey - Reducing Childhood Obesity
    • In collaboration with Campbell Soup Company, this city will focus on measurably improving the health of young people in the Camden community by sharing best practices and developing a long-term sustainability plan.
  • Charlotte, North Carolina - Development of Resources on Tobacco, Nutrition and Exercise 
  • The Charlotte Chamber Healthy Charlotte Council is creating an employer toolkit, focused on physical activity, tobacco prevention and healthy eating, aimed at promoting a culture of well-being among Charlotte-area residents. This initiative is being led by a business organization - a unique undertaking among the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S.  It aims to reach nearly 3,000 Chamber member organizations that employ nearly 300,000 people representing a cross-section of the community. The Healthy Charlotte Employer Toolkit will engage stakeholders through social and traditional channels, community events and meaningful, intentional cross-community connections. 
  • Goodyear, Arizona - Land Use Planning
    • The community of Goodyear, Arizona is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.  In collaboration with John D Kuhn Ventures, Abrazo West Campus, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Adelante Healthcare and other partners, Goodyear intends to participate in the inception and design phase of the Goodyear Wellness Park. 
  • Lebanon, New Hampshire - Innovations in Advance Care Planning with Employers
    • Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system faculty and staff, working with trained community members, will develop a system of Advance Care Planning for Dartmouth-Hitchcock employees.  The program offers employees and their families an opportunity to have facilitated conversations to prepare them if unexpected injury or illness prevents them from making their own healthcare decisions.  Combined with innovations in document completion and storage, this program gives employees and their families confidence that decisions will be honored if they are unable to speak for themselves.
  • Pasadena, Texas - Food Security
    • In collaboration with the Houston Food Bank, Harris County Public Health, Indoor Harvest Corporation, PeopleFund, the Pasadena Health Center (FQHC) and others, this proposal strives to produce and distribute local sources of produce in the north Pasadena community in Harris County.  Additionally, this proposal seeks to increase consumption of these healthy foods by implementing "food prescriptions" to people in need and develop a need-based Food Scholarship Program which will provide free food at a Houston Food Bank partner agency, called a “Scholarship Pantry.” 
  • Miami, Florida - Diabetes Assessment and Treatment
    • In collaboration with West Kendall Baptist Hospital, Healthy West Kendall and LifeWallet, a corporate partner, this proposal aims to enhance the role of the Healthy Hub, a free, one stop screening and referral-to-care kiosk.  The Hub uses the American Health Association’s Life’s Simple 7 assessment to generate a health score using biometric information gathered by a nurse. Currently many of the Hub visitors are at risk for diabetes and this proposal aims to intervene with those pre-diabetic patients to improve both their clinical and personal health outcomes.
  • Toledo, Ohio - Improving the Built Environment
    • During this project, the Health Downtown Toledo Coalition will work to build on the efforts of the 22nd Century Committee Master Plan; which has developed a framework to maximize downtown Toledo’s current assets, foster business growth, and attract increased downtown residential living.  The Coalition will partner with ProMedica, Owens Corning, Fifth Third Bank, and community partners to drive population health improvements.  

As part of the program, the nine winning communities will participate in a year-long learning collaborative that will formally kick off with a two-day, in-person workshop at GE’s Global Leadership Institute in Crotonville, New York, on October 11-12, 2016. Activities that follow include in-person and virtual training sessions by experts in the field of health and the broader determinants of population health, site visits by many of these experts and GE to provide peer support and mentorship around the winning community program being implemented, and other opportunities to create connections, partnerships and innovations that incubate and scale their ideas. At the conclusion of the program in 2017, the most successful communities will compete for additional funds from a total pool of $250,000.

For more information and to read about the challenge process, visit

About GE

GE (NYSE:GE) is the world’s Digital Industrial Company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive. GE is organized around a global exchange of knowledge, the "GE Store," through which each business shares and accesses the same technology, markets, structure and intellect. Each invention further fuels innovation and application across our industrial sectors. With people, services, technology and scale, GE delivers better outcomes for customers by speaking the language of industry.

About GE’s healthymagination commitment

GE’s healthymagination commitment is about better health for more people. We continuously develop and invest in innovations that deliver high-quality, more affordable healthcare to more people around the world. For more information about our healthymagination commitment, visit



Kristin Schwarz, 646-682-5601

[email protected] 

Kristin Schwarz
GE Corporate
[email protected]
+001 646 682 5601

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