Pioneer Pitch Day

Announcing the Finalists

UPDATE: Find out which ideas we selected to advance to Pitch Day out of the 500+ submissions we received, and follow us on Twitter for future updates.

Pioneer Pitch Day is an opportunity for innovators with ideas for transforming health and health care to pitch their ideas – live and in person – to an esteemed group of judges and RWJF program staff.

Pitch Day will take place on October 16 at AppNexus’ headquarters in New York's Flatiron District. Thomas Goetz, RWJF Entrepreneur-in-Residence and former executive editor of Wired, will host this invitation-only event in conjunction with the foundation’s Pioneer portfolio, which is focused on funding transformative innovations in health and health care.

How Does the Process Work?

First, we issued an open call for ideas on this website (submissions closed as of September 6th). We received over 500 submissions, and selected eight of these for continued consideration. Now, the teams behind these ideas will attend Pitch Day in NYC on October 16 to make the case for funding in front of an esteemed panel of judges. (Learn more about the judges.)

Following Pitch Day, one or more of these teams will be invited to have a meeting with Pioneer program staff and will potentially be invited to submit a full proposal for funding.

What Kinds of Ideas is Pioneer Looking For?

We’re not looking for incremental improvements. We’re not looking for apps. We’re looking for original solutions to entrenched problems that could dramatically improve Americans’ lives.

Read about our funding strategy and explore our existing programs and grants. You can also follow our blog, Pioneering Ideas, for information on the work we fund and our teams’ ideas about transforming health and health care.

Campaign: Pioneer Pitch Day

The Simple Things: A National Campaign for Compassionate Presence in Healthcare

How does a language or a tradition become extinct? It does so when fewer people are taught to use it, and when alternatives become more highly valued and customary. In healthcare, compassionate presence is, in this way, endangered. The necessary focus on efficiencies and checklist systems for compliance and safety can chip away at perceptions of available time and opportunity to demonstrate compassion. Presence cannot ...more »

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Identifying Autoimmune Disease Triggers and Developing Vaccines Against Them

Multiple Sclerosis, Juvenile Diabetes, Crohn's Disease and Juvenile Rheumatoid Arhritis ALL have epidemiological and molecular evidence linking a genetic predisposition to an environmental trigger. What if a screening process cross matched a handful of infectious agents against these 4 diseases? What if, once a match were found, a vaccine could be develop which could prevent and reverse these diseases? What if experts ...more »

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Enhancing mental health of minority nurses: Eliminating nurse peer to peer bullying

Eliminating nurse peer to peer bullying in the form of racial bullying, incivility, horizontal abuse, scrutinization, and delegitimization of the professional role. The innovation is how to create a psychosocial healthy work environment conducive to the delivery of quality care. If successful this would reinforce the nursing paradigm of a caring profession. The vision is to duplicate the strategy to eliminate bully ...more »

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Campaign: Pioneer Pitch Day

GetLearn(ed): A Global Classroom for Medical Professionals to Thrive in the Future of Health Care

Imagine yourself in 2018. Half what you knew about your profession five years ago is now obsolete. Worse yet, you don't know which half. People's lives depend upon your having the right information. The practice of medicine is shifting at warp speed, rendering the information needed to succeed as clinical experts inadequate. Twenty years ago, concepts like self-marketing, electronic records, and telehealth were non-existent ...more »

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A Marshall Plan to Improve Life Expectancy in Impoverished American Communities

While looking for grant prospects to fund small-scale programs to address intractable problems in a Baltimore community where life expectancy is on par with Pakistan, I often see proposal requests from American agencies such as USAID and wish their opportunities were available here. For half a century our nation has tolerated insufferable urban conditions that mirror post-war devastation beyond U.S. shores where our substantial ...more »

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Five Minute Mental Health Clinics

We have historically undertreated or ignored mental health issues but this is about to change with the ACA as Americans will get access to mental health services. Millions live with chronic stress, self-medicate with alcohol, illicit substances or misuse prescriptions. A fourth of adults suffer from mental illness but only 1/3 receives treatment. Almost 10% of the population has a depressive disorder which increases the ...more »

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Music and Song as an Interactive Calming Tool Easing Fear and Pain for Children in Hospitalization

Music and song can literally transform a child's experience,during challenging hospital routines and procedures. Scared, sometimes under anesthetized, occasionally even forcefully restrained during necessary treatment, children's suffering can be minimized, even sometimes eliminated, simply by using music. As the parent or nurse sings to or with the child everyone relaxes as endorphins run through the central nervous ...more »

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Campaign: Pioneer Pitch Day

EHK: Miranda Rights for Your Health and Health Care

In the U.S. health system, what you DON’T know and DON’T say can be used against you. Pervasive health knowledge gaps plague the U.S. public. Many know little - or overlook much - regarding fundamental concepts of determinants of health, engagement, and the basic mechanics of health care and health benefits. Health care reform’s major challenge is NOT poor marketing of the ACA and Essential Health Benefits (EHB); ...more »

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Breastfeeding as a Healthy Workplace Initiative

Experts at the CDC in Atlanta estimate that 15% to 20% of obesity could be prevented through breastfeeding (Dietz, 2001). A study of on-the-job moms suggests that expecting to return to work does not effect the initial decision to breastfeed but the timing of quitting breastfeeding and returning to work is ‘highly and powerfully linked’ (Kimbro, 2006). We should be incorporating breastfeeding into a healthy workplace ...more »

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Social and Emotional Learning: A Powerful Framework for a Healthy Lifestyle

Throw away the notion that eating well, exercise and regular doctor visits are the only keys to having a happy and healthy lifestyle. Let us pitch to you on how focusing on social and emotional health can be a key factor in transforming youth and will lead to the "typical" indicators of good health later in life. We will teach these skills in collaboration with schools and by developing these skills in youth, we will ...more »

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PsychMed: Evolving Mental Health Care Provision by Linking with Primary Care

Over 57 million Americans are affected by mental disorders, yet there is a lack of access to mental health care providers (MHCs). A majority of such people are treated by primary care providers (PCPs), who may lack resources or training for appropriate care, resulting in underdiagnosis and undertreatment. Better integration of physical and mental health care is needed to address this gap, particularly for PCPs in solo ...more »

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Pharmacy Home for the Underserved

Medicines are essential in the equation of health. We propose a pharmacy home (PH) for the sickest and costliest patients, indigent or underinsured, the 5% who account for 50% of all health care costs. The PH will: create a pharmacy benefit manager for the underserved, devise an intelligent formulary, provide medication free or at minimal cost, perform medication reconciliation, screen for drug-drug interactions, reduce ...more »

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