HIGHLAND HEIGHTS, Ky. — Have an idea on how to get information on COVID-19 vaccines out there? Northern Kentucky University wants to hear it. 


What You Need To Know

  • NKU's Institute for Health Innovation (IHI) hosts Vaccine Idea Challenge

  • Challenge calls on regional college students to pitch their ideas for getting vaccine info to medically underserved communities

  • Teams will pitch their ideas in five-minute videos for a chance to win cash prizes

  • On April 26, finalists will compete in a live virtual event to pitch their proposals to a panel of judges

NKU's Institute for Health Innovation (IHI) is hosting the Vaccine Idea Challenge, which is calling on regional college students to pitch their ideas for getting accurate and timely COVID-19 vaccine information to medically underserved communities.

The challenge "calls for creative strategies that ensure equity and increase access to the COVID-19 vaccine," said a release from the university.

NKU's Vaccine Idea Challenge banner. (Northern Kentucky University)

Teams of students and advisors can propose solutions that accelerate outreach and overcome vaccine barriers to one or more medically underserved populations, which may include communities of color, immigrant populations, those who are housing insecure, rural communities and those who speak English as a second language.

“Finding the proper outlet that fully engages any of these communities is an ongoing challenge,” said Dr. Valerie Hardcastle, executive director of the IHI and vice president for Health Innovation at NKU. “Some hesitate to accept medical care; others are disengaged from communication streams or lack access to transportation and the internet. We need proactive solutions to remedy these challenges so that we can reach all of our residents and support them in making well-informed decisions about vaccination.”

Teams will pitch their ideas in five-minute videos for a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $250 to $2,000. On April 26, finalists will compete in a live virtual event to pitch their proposals to a panel of judges from the IHI, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, the Northern Kentucky Health Department and community leaders representing the underserved communities.

The deadline to submit proposals is April 20. Community members can virtually join the live pitch competition on April 26 at 5 p.m. and register online.

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