Innovation Challenge Semi-Finalists Named

April 16, 2024


Top Prize Up to $100,000 in HealthForce NH Competition to Help Solve the Health Care Workforce Shortage


The HealthForce NH team at the Foundation for Healthy Communities today announced the semi-finalists of the Innovation Challenge, designed to promote and support innovative ventures in the health care workforce space in New Hampshire (NH).


After extensive evaluation and deliberation by a panel of judges constituting employment, business, health care and government, five semi-finalists were selected from a diverse pool of applicants. “The semi-finalists come from different backgrounds and perspectives, and all have demonstrated creativity in their proposals, which is critical as new and innovative thinking is needed to address recruitment, retention, and sustainability,” said HealthForce NH’s Senior Director, Kate Luczko.


The competition was open to individuals, established organizations, or new organizations within any industry. All proposals needed to reflect original thinking or original adaptations and applications of existing programs, changed to be unique. “The semi-finalists named below met all the criteria and more and have the potential to make a significant impact on helping NH grow, retain, and sustain a skilled health care workforce,” said Luczko.


The five semi-finalists are (initiative name, lead organization name):


  • “Digital Health Navigation Training Center,” Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and Geisel School of Medicine
  • “LNA for New Americans,” Second Start
  • “Mental Health Workforce Development,” New Hampshire Hospital
  • “PULSe,” Lightcap Health
  • “The IDEA,” Androscoggin Valley Home Care Services


The competition to win up to $100,000 for first place, up to $60,000 for second place and up to $40,000 for third place is far from over. The semi-finalists will now participate in a live pitch event, open to the public, on May 1st from 5:30pm-7:30pm at The Venues at The Factory, 252 Willow Street in Manchester. They will then have the option to submit no more than a one-page addendum document addressing feedback from the live pitches and clarifying or providing additional details. They will then undergo further scrutiny from the judges during a judges’ evaluation period the week of May 6th. Final winners will be announced on May 15th at an event open to the public from 5:30pm-7:30pm at Lakes Region Community College, 379 Belmont Road in Laconia.


“We congratulate our semi-finalists and all applicants for their passion and ingenuity,” said Luczko. “We are excited for the live pitch event, and ultimately what implementation of their proposals will mean to our mission of solving the workforce challenges facing the health care industry in New Hampshire.”


About the Foundation for Healthy Communities and HealthForce NH


The Foundation for Healthy Communities (FHC) is a non-profit organization that builds healthier communities for all by leading partnerships, fostering collaboration, and creating innovative solutions to advance health and health care.


HealthForce NH, an initiative of FHC, takes a broad, systemic approach to, leveraging their cross-sector position and offering leadership to the field while convening partners to cultivate resources, amplify existing efforts, and monitor the health care landscape. HealthForce does this work with a shared goal of creating an environment where current and future members of the health care workforce can flourish.


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Download the press release here.


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