The Empowered Health Cancer-Free Challenge is a call for new, revolutionary ideas and solutions that meet people where they are and empower them to live longer and healthier lives, cancer-free. These solutions are bold, accessible, and impactful, changing the fundamental ways we communicate and approach cancer care and prevention among cancer survivors, providers, and the general public.
The CDC predicts that one in three people will have cancer. We also know that more than half of all cancer deaths are entirely preventable.
Treatments, medicines, and well-coordinated care are crucial. But what if more people could avoid or survive cancer through another means—by empowering them to take charge of their health?
Could we reduce cancer deaths by building a culture of empowerment to help people feel supported to advocate for themselves—before, during, and after their cancer care journey?
These questions inspired EmPOWERed Health—a new CDC Foundation program that encourages people to take an active role in their health to prevent, treat, and beat cancer. Research has proven that people feel more in control of their health when they’re supported by clear, respectful, and appropriate communications with their healthcare providers. This empowers people to take charge of their health, get cancer screenings, ask questions, and follow through on care plans that prioritize their own choices. How might we translate this wisdom into ideas and solutions that can be scaled to benefit all?
That’s where your ingenuity comes in. Your bold solutions will advance the CDC Foundation’s mission of eliminating preventable cancers as well as helping survivors live longer, healthier lives. The top five ideas will be publicly featured on the EmPOWERed Health platform and considered for implementation by the CDC Foundation.
Help move us closer to a more accessible and just future—where people feel empowered to overpower cancer, together.
You! We are looking for innovative thinkers from all industries and sectors. If your life has been touched by cancer in any way—be it a loved one, your community, or personally, whether you work in healthcare or outside of it—we want to hear your ideas. No matter who you are, or from what sector you hail, your innovative solutions could help millions of people striving to feel more in control of their own health.
You may be a cancer survivor reimagining better care after your own journey, a caregiver who’s seen it all, a digital health expert designing to motivate behavior change, or a provider rethinking better systems to dialogue with patients, or a member of the public with a great idea. Any and all are invited to participate!
We especially invite participation from people experiencing disproportionately higher rates of new cancer diagnoses, cancer deaths, and financial hardships.
For people to feel empowered, they need 1) the right amount of information at the right time, presented in ways they can receive it, 2) treatment as respected equals by their providers, 3) the confidence to make shared decisions and feel in control. [EmPOWERed Health Landscape Summary]
CDC Foundation found that how empowered people feel directly affects how proactive they become, as influenced by their histories of disempowerment, trauma, race, class, and education. As such, more marginalized communities suffer worse outcomes, financial hardships, and deaths from cancer.
How do we meet people where they are so the benefits of empowerment can be realized by those who need it most? How do we address their specific concerns?
We seek actionable solutions that not only address specific behaviors, but also create a culture of empowerment across the entire cancer continuum to…
galvanize millions of people to feel in control of their health,
solve for the learned helplessness and inaction many feel as isolated individuals,
address the specific needs of marginalized communities in a pandemic,
drive behavior change before people become cancer patients,
facilitate better communications between patients and providers,
train patients to be sophisticated health consumers and their own advocates,
rethink the ways we share information to empower people, and
mitigate the power hierarchies that keep providers and patients from making decisions together
Solutions can be designed for the public, cancer patients/survivors, health providers, or everyone. These can be tools specific to particular groups, or broader solutions that can be customized.
Five Top Ideas will be selected for their ability to meet the evaluation criteria, and may be refined further, developed, and publicly featured on the CDC Foundation’s EmPOWERed Health platform, where users nationwide are supported to become proactive in their own health, improving patient-provider conversations and shared decision making. The tools will be used by individuals to facilitate health empowerment in the prevention and treatment of cancer, and by patients and providers to improve shared decision making.
Top Ideas will be announced Wednesday, May 26, 2021. As a Top Idea Winner, you will receive:
Funding Award: $5,000 to each of the 5 Top Idea Winners, as either a cash prize or a donation to a U.S. based organization that works to improve health and/or cancer outcomes.
Media coverage and visibility: Throughout the Challenge, participants are elevated through coverage via communications efforts, including an extensive social media and email campaign. We will announce the winners across CDC Foundation and partner social media channels, email campaigns, and websites.
Global Recognition: When we announce our winners to our thousands of international participants and partner base, you will be recognized as an Empowered Health Top Idea Winner, with your ideas being considered for implementation by the CDC Foundation.
Exposure to Experts: All submissions and participants will be visible to experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CDC Foundation, and partner organizations focused on improving cancer outcomes.