State Seeking Innovative Community Health Ideas

In the hopes of improving health across the state, California officials are asking community members to share any innovative programs that have yielded results.

The California Health and Human Services Agency and Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that people can submit ideas online through Sept. 30.

Officials will select six finalists, whose ideas will be presented at a statewide Innovation Conference in early 2016. There is no monetary award for the finalists, but their programs may become replicated elsewhere in the state.

The initiative is called the Let’s Get Healthy California Innovation Challenge.

“Let’s Get Healthy California encourages us all — state policymakers and local communities — to create and share innovations as we strive to make California the healthiest state in the nation,” Human Services Secretary Diana S. Dooley said in a release. “The Innovation Challenge is an exciting opportunity for us to learn from and connect with our local community partners.”

The state is interested in innovative programs that relate to healthy beginnings, living well, end of life, redesigning the health system, creating healthy communities and lowering costs of care.

The innovations should improve health, lead to better care and lower costs, the agencies said.

“We hope that these ideas will launch Californians on a path to living healthier lives,” said Dr. Karen Smith, Public Health director and state health officer.

The initiative was spurred by the Let’s Get Healthy California Taskforce, which Gov. Jerry Brown created in 2012. The goal of the taskforce is to make California the healthiest state in the nation by 2022.

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