Breaking down barriers to health equity

What is health equity?

GuideWell’s mission is to “help people and communities achieve better health.”  As a core part of our mission, GuideWell is dedicated to helping ensure every person has an opportunity to reach their full health potential.

A 2017 report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation states that inequities in health care - such as lack of health insurance, unaffordable medical expenses, and structural racism in health care - require removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.”

Achieving health equity for every person is much more than having  equal access to quality health care. Unfortunately, there are deep social, economic, and environmental barriers that create health disparities between different population segments that must be addressed to truly achieve health equity. The COVID-19 pandemic and the recent focus on systemic racial injustice have accelerated the critical need to address health disparities for disadvantaged populations and communities across the U.S.

An analysis of survey data from Johns Hopkins University found that coronavirus infection rates were three times higher in U.S. counties with predominantly black populations than in predominantly white ones, and COVID-19 death rates were six times higher.

Those who are most vulnerable to health and health care disparities are people of color, low-income groups, older adults, individuals with special health care needs, and individuals living in rural and inner-city areas.

GuideWell is dedicated to ensuring every Floridian has equal access and opportunity to attain their full health potential. The Reshaping Health Access Challenge demonstrates GuideWell’s commitment to finding solutions that will help to improve health equity for disadvantaged populations and communities across Florida that persistently experience health disparities.

Challenge Overview

The Reshaping Health Access Challenge is a four-month competition hosted by GuideWell. The challenge seeks organizations with novel approaches to enabling access to quality, affordable health care and health education to populations and communities in Florida experiencing high levels of health inequity.

Applicants showing the most potential will be selected to compete in one of four regional pitch competitions taking place in Orlando, Jacksonville, Tampa, and Miami this Fall. Due to social distancing restrictions in response to COVID-19, the regional pitch competitions will be hosted virtually.

Finalists from each region will be invited to the Statewide Challenge, which will be held at the GuideWell Innovation Center in Orlando’s Lake Nona Medical City. The Statewide Challenge will kick off the Reshaping Health Access Forum, an invitation-only, collaborative event bringing together experts and stakeholders from across the state and nation to focus on building opportunities for equal health access and education in Florida.

Regional Pitch Competitions

GuideWell will host a series of regional pitch competitions across Florida (Central Florida, North Florida, West Florida, and South Florida). Selected applicants from each region will be invited to pitch their solution for a chance to win a $5,000 prize per organization. Due to COVID-19, events will be virtual.

Regional Awards:

$5,000 award to each Regional Finalist

Statewide Challenge

GuideWell will host the statewide challenge finale where regional finalists will compete for a $40,000 grand prize. The competition will close with a networking event open to all applicants of the challenge and Reshaping Health Access Forum invitees. The statewide challenge winner will be announced during the opening remarks of the Reshaping Health Access Forum.

Statewide Award:

$40,000

Reshaping Health Access Forum

In partnership with the Florida Blue Foundation, GuideWell will host a one-day, invitation-only forum that will convene over 250 national, state, and community subject matter experts in health equity as well as influential community leaders across Florida. 

The forum will include panels of subject matter experts and national thought leaders on health equity. In addition, the forum will include facilitated break-out discussions focused on bringing transparency to the underlying issues in health equity.

Focus Areas

GuideWell is seeking innovative solutions from for-profit, non-profit, social innovators, or grassroot community organizations with programs, platforms, technology services, and systems that have the potential to improve access to health care and provide affordable solutions to the underserved populations in Florida. Solutions should address one of the two high-priority gaps GuideWell believes are critical barriers to achieving health equity in underserved communities and populations.

Health Access

Solutions or services that improve access to affordable, quality health care services to 1) economically disadvantaged or rural communities or; 2) underserved or at-risk populations (underserved minorities, seniors, individuals with disabilities, veterans, incarcerated populations, etc.).

Health Literacy

Solutions or services that improve the ability to obtain, read, understand, and use health care information in order to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment.

Health Access

Solutions or services that improve access to affordable, quality health care services to

  1. Economically disadvantaged or rural communities or;
  2. Underserved or at-risk populations (underserved minorities, seniors, individuals with disabilities, veterans, incarcerated populations, etc.).
Health Literacy

Solutions or services that improve the ability to obtain, read, understand, and use health care information in order to make appropriate health decisions and follow instructions for treatment.

Apply by July 24, 2020

Eligibility Criteria

GuideWell is seeking innovative grassroot solutions from for-profit, non-profit, social innovators or community organizations with programs, platforms, technology services and systems that have the potential to  improve access to health care and provide affordable solutions to the underserved populations in Florida.

Applicant organizations must be established corporations in good standing in their state of incorporation with a Federal tax ID. 

Preference will be given to organizations headquartered in Florida, however strong applicants located outside of Florida will be considered as long as the proposed solution has immediate potential to serve Florida populations or communities.

Participant Benefits

  • Potential to win up to $45,000 in non-dilutive funding to further expand your solution
  • Ability to form strategic partnerships that result in a comprehensive approach that addresses multiple facets of health equity
  • Opportunity to collaborate with GuideWell
  • Access to mentors and subject matter experts in the health care industry
  • No cost or equity requirements to participate (other than travel to program activities)
  • Opportunity for potential industry media exposure in print, TV and digital marketing outlets

Apply by July 24, 2020

Judging Criteria

  • Impact Reverse
    Impact: Ability to create a difference within Florida communities or populations
  • Traction to Date Reverse
    Traction to date
  • Unique Approach Reverse
    Unique approach to improving health access and health literacy in Florida
  • Sustainable Business Model Reverse
    Sustainable business model
  • Potential Scale Reverse
    Potential scale of social impact to serve all Florida communities
  • Leadership Team Credentials Reverse
    Leadership team credentials

Program Timeline

June 22 - July 24

Application Window Open

July 27 - August 10

Judging Window

September

Reshaping Health Access Regional Pitch Competitions

October 28

Reshaping Health Access Statewide Challenge 

October 29

Reshaping Health Access Forum (Challenge Winner Announced)

Apply by July 24, 2020