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.

Pioneer Pitch Day

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 »

Submitted by (@orarobins)

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Pioneer Pitch Day

Start With The Basics

In the name of discouraging dependence, public assistance is meager. If we wish families to require less assistance, we must first give them more. With food stamps, welfare recipients still live well below the federal poverty level – often on less than half the FPL. Families become so vulnerable to misfortune that they are often unable to achieve good health or financial independence. Two examples: My research shows ...more »

Submitted by (@joanne)

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Pioneer Pitch Day

Peer-delivered health services in integrated care

Research has demonstrated that individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) die up to 25 years earlier than the general population. Many of the risk factors for these deaths, such as smoking, obesity, and inadequate medical care, are behavioral. Pathways to Housing seeks to address a fragmented system of healthcare through patient-centered and peer-supplemented integrated care. Peer-delivered services (provided by individuals ...more »

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Pioneer Pitch Day

Teddy the guardian - medical sensors wrapped an a toy to make examination less stressful and fun!

Teddy The Guardian is individually designed and completely organic teddy bear with built-in medical sensors that tracks child's vital signs like heart rate, body temperature and oxygen saturation and sends recorded values using wireless technologies to parents' smartphone. Every time a child gives Teddy a finger or puts Teddy’s paw on his forehead or hugs him for example, sensors detect values within short period of time, ...more »

Submitted by (@teddyguardian)

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Pioneer Pitch Day

open source medical devices: end diabetes uploads

Eliminate the need for diabetics to manually upload data. Most diabetics are not "in range" as a result of fragmented care ensured monopolistic licensing practices. I'd like to start be creating an open source medical device that simply proxies existing devices so that their owners can regain proper control. Then, augment with a suite of medical devices; insulin pumps and glucometers would be nice forerunners. ...more »

Submitted by (@benjaminwest)

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Pioneer Pitch Day

Keeping Silos out of Intersections: A New Model of Care for Children

In the heart of Kansas City, Missouri reside the state’s largest Head Start program and a children’s hospital. Several years ago, both of these entities recognized the importance of working together to serve the children and families that were most vulnerable. Today, they have a unique partnership that brings under one roof early childhood education and childcare, a health clinic, and other social services to create a ...more »

Submitted by (@charleygirl13)

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Pioneer Pitch Day

Community-based Healthy Living Events

Our tagline “for the love of play” drives our athletically inspired, healthy lifestyle company to create programs that motivate our clients to participate in healthy lifestyle behaviors. The capacity to participate in these acts, both as an individual and as a community, empowers one to value and trust in the paradigm shift that leads to a healthier lifestyle. Through integrated partnerships we propose to establish free ...more »

Submitted by (@play00)

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Pioneer Pitch Day

A FQHC/Human Service Partnership: Engaging Disconnected Youth & Families

Primary Health Network (PHN), a large FQHC, serving 15+ Counties in PA & OH, has difficulty engaging disconnected youth/families to receive primary health care & dental services. Many of these youth are system involved (Juvenile Justice, Child Welfare, & Mental Health). In an effort to connect this high-risk population, PHN is partnering with Youth Advocate Programs (YAP) to hire “Wellness Advocates” who live in the same ...more »

Submitted by (@cpowell)

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E-Learning for Medicare Counselors

SHIP and HICAP volunteers across our nation go out into the community and help our seniors with their Medicare and Medicaid problems. As well an intense dedication to serve others, their task requires an in depth knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid. Educating counselors is a challenge. With the advent of Medicare Part C and Part D, the complexity of the system increased significantly. Currently the Medicare website ...more »

Submitted by (@joekirby)

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Pioneer Pitch Day

Restoring health for parents and children

Nearly half a million babies are born too early every year in the U.S. Some do not survive and others have major health problems. At the same time, 7.5 million couples struggle with subfertility and the choice of whether to use expensive technology that often puts babies at risk of being born too early and in poor health. Restorative Reproductive Medicine (RRM) addresses these issues by identifying and correcting ...more »

Submitted by (@josephstanford)

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Pioneer Pitch Day

Chart Chat

Product and service vendors use live chat software to engage customers and answer questions in real time to give individualized service even during off hours. While patients are increasingly gaining access to their electronic medical records through internet based portals, they are not interactive in real time. Although many portals allow viewing of test results, request for prescription refills, completion of forms, ...more »

Submitted by (@francinebarr)

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Pioneer Pitch Day

P.A.C.T. Clinics

P.A.C.T. stands for Prevention, Accountability, Compliance, and Treatment. Ideal patients are non-complaint, have multiple diagnoses, and they lack responsibility for their care. Non-compliance costs the healthcare system billions of dollars. A P.A.C.T clinic focuses on preventive care. They monitor medication intake, provide education, and offer incentives for participation. The clinic I work for implemented a diabetes ...more »

Submitted by (@jilltemple2)

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