The Scattergood Foundation, a grantmaking organization that works toward advances in the behavioral health field, is partnering with The Kennedy Forum for its 2015 Innovation Award, a $25,000 cash prize designed to improve behavioral health policy and practice.
For-profit and nonprofit organizations from across the nation are eligible to apply, and the top five finalists will be invited to participate in The Kennedy Forum’s annual conference in June 2015.
The Kennedy Forum, lead by former U.S. Representative Patrick J. Kennedy, seeks to “unite the health care system and rally the mental health community around a common set of principles,” including the implementation of the 2008 Parity Law and reducing stigmas associated with mental health.
This is the first time that The Kennedy Forum will partner with the Scattergood Foundation to facilitate the three-year-old Innovation Award. The organizations plan to work together to promote all the ideas submitted for the Award to a national audience.
The partnership has put together guidelines to define innovation, but are “really seeking to get the community to define what innovation is,” said Joe Pyle, the Scattergood Foundation’s president.
Once submitted, each nomination is accessible for public comment, which the Scattergood Foundation carefully tracks. Last year, 994 individuals were engaged in the discussion around behavioral health innovations and nearly 9,000 votes were recorded.
“What we’re hoping is that we not only get the community to put forth ideas, but we enhance the conversation between communities,” Pyle said.
Although a panel of experts will ultimately determine the finalists, “the commenting and support that is happening from the public weighs extremely heavily in the rubric that the judges use,” Pyle said.
After the submission period closes, on March 12, 2015, nominations will be entered into a database available on the Foundation’s website. The database is an intentional way to keep the conversations going, Pyle said, and more than a dozen former nominees have been contacted by or have initiated dialogue with another organization as a result.
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“What we’re hoping is that we not only get the community to put forth ideas, but we enhance the conversation between communities,” he added.
Both of the previous Award winners, California-based TangramCare in 2014 and Pat Deegan PhD & Associates, LLC, in 2013, whose CommonGround web app is available in clinics across Pennsylvania, presented mobile technology ideas to support patient care.
Other areas of interest for the Scattergood Foundation and The Kennedy Forum include ways to increase access to care, bringing research into practice, and using data more effectively.
“One of the key roles that the Scattergood Foundation is trying to take on is how to elevate the conversation about behavioral health to get more people to participate,” Pyle said. “For us, the Innovation Award is a key way to do that.”
The winner of the 2015 Award will be announced on April 17, 2015.
Image via Scattergood Foundation-30-
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