Along with Ashoka Changemakers, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA Health founded this program to fund partnerships to address these important issues in the Los Angeles area.
The nominees included projects that were designed as collaborative efforts among UCLA faculty and community partners. Twenty-nine projects comprising the initial field sought to identify creative solutions to barriers to community health. Community members were invited to vote online to select the final winners.
The five winning projects, according to Changemakers, feature a diverse range of projects focused on overcoming specific conditions in order to build the capacity of youth, families and communities at large. The common thread among each community health project is the ability to perfect a solution that harnesses their academic skills and reflects the drive of UCLA and its partnerships across the community. By addressing a specific health condition, they can strengthen the resolve of national health programs and other innovative projects ranging from prevention to youth development — ultimately encouraging diversity in the healthcare workforce. The winners each received $20,000 in startup funding.
The competition wasn't just a fundraiser. Helping U Help Your Community explored and built transformative partnerships among UCLA faculty and community partners. Its funding was meant to support the projects that will make a difference in the health of the United States.
Many worthy and innovative community-health projects lack the right resources. A small grant or investment means a great deal for community programs that operate on limited budgets. This initial investment is meant to continue these worthy projects and attract further investments in the name of a healthier planet. Although not every nominee received funding, the online competition enabled every project to discuss their goals and strategy.