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CDC Foundation Announces Empowered Health Cancer-Free Challenge, Supported by Amgen

"Challenge" will use open innovation to invite ideas on how to empower people to prevent, beat, and treat cancer.

How might we empower one another to prevent, treat, and beat cancer? That’s the question at the heart of the CDC Foundation’s Empowered Health Cancer-Free Challenge, which launched on April 13.

Empowering people to take a more proactive role in their health can lead to significant improvements in cancer outcomes. The CDC Foundation’s Empowered Health program, sponsored by Amgen, is centered on developing tools to foster empowerment across the cancer continuum, from screening through to survivorship. The CDC Foundation is adopting an innovative approach to program design in partnership with openIDEO, a social impact platform. On April 13 they launched an open innovation challenge, inviting ideas from creative thinkers from all industries and sectors on how to empower people and enhance provider / patient conversations and shared-decision making.

Research conducted as part of the program has shown that attitudes towards empowerment and healthcare decision making can vary depending on educational level, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity. We also know that cancer outcomes can be worse for certain groups, like people of color, or those with lower education levels. To ensure that the the benefits of empowerment can be realized among those who need it the most, the challenge will encourage ideas that are tailored to meet the needs of those with cancer disparities.

Ideas will be judged based on relevance, impact, creativity, and whether they are actionable and equitable. Amgen’s Chief Medical Officer, Darryl Sleep is a member of the evaluation panel, and will provide input to the CDC as to the ideas that he believes will have the biggest impact.

Whether you’re a cancer survivor reimagining better care after your own experience, a digital health expert who has expertise in how to change behavior, a provider who has ideas for a better way to have conversations with your patients, or just a member of the general public with a good idea, CDC Foundation wants to hear from you!


Ideas can be submitted up to May 4, 2021. The top five ideas selected by the CDC will be refined further, developed, and publicly featured on the CDC Foundation’s EmPOWERed Health platform. Winners will also receive $5,000 each as either prize money or as a donation to a non-profit organization of their choice that works to improve health and/or cancer outcomes.

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