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The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

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DHMH Press Releases : Public Health Challenges

​Contest Launched to Seek Ideas to Use Data to Address Public Health Challenges


BALTIMORE (March 20, 2012) –The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) has partnered with the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP) and the Abell Foundation to launch a contest seeking practical ideas for the innovative use of data to address public health challenges facing Maryland.
The Maryland Health Data Innovation Contest encourages applicants to propose solutions using data from more than 16 existing health-related databases in combination with various other publically available state and Federal databases. Applicants are encouraged to propose ideas that leverage Maryland's health information exchange infrastructure and lead to significant health gains, while respecting privacy. A total of $5,000 in prize money, provided by the Abell Foundation, will be awarded for the best ideas.
"We're interested in great new ideas about how to use data for health," said Dr. Joshua M. Sharfstein, Secretary of DHMH. "We encourage everyone to participate by submitting ideas and commenting on the ideas of others."
"A key to bringing our healthcare delivery system into the 21st century is not so much generating more data-as we generate a lot today-but rather how we use it to improve quality and become more efficient. Putting security and patient privacy at the center of all we do, we must also seek innovative, data-driven ways to better care for patients," said David Horrocks, President of CRISP.
The innovative contest includes a specific category for efforts to address cardiovascular disease, as well as a general category for other public health improvements. Individuals who wish to participate can visit for more information on the contest and to submit an application online. Applications will be evaluated partially based on votes and page views from the public. Members of the public are encouraged to browse the site and submit comments and votes for the best ideas even if they do not submit ideas. Submissions will be accepted from March 20 through April 16, 2012. Finalists will present their ideas on May 2, and winners will be chosen that day. For more information about the contest or how to apply, please contact
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