January 20, 2023
Public well being thrives on modern concepts and new views that may break down limitations in entry to care. The Pitch Competitors on the UNC Gillings College of World Public Well being offers college students and up to date alumni the chance to discover inventive options to urgent public well being challenges by pairing them with a coach who may help them convey their concepts to life and pitch them to a panel of judges.
The Gillings College not too long ago wrapped its second Pitch Competitors on Nov. 17, 2022. After a spherical of video eligibility, eight groups of scholars and alumni participated on this head-to-head problem, leveraging their public well being information to discover options to enhance vitamin schooling, help psychological well being and entry to out of doors areas, assist bystanders reply to emergency occasions, and extra.
“Our college students are vital to the way forward for public well being,” stated Anne Glauber, MPH, affiliate director of analysis and innovation on the Gillings College. “This competitors permits us to encourage college students to harness their information, ardour and willingness to disrupt the established order by transferring their modern concepts into affect. It was nice to once more see sturdy scholar participation with groups addressing a variety of public well being points.”
Judges at this 12 months’s Pitch Competitors chosen three profitable groups:
- HIV/AIDS Community for Catastrophe Survivors (HANDS) – First Place
The HIV/AIDS Community for Catastrophe Survivors (HANDS) ensures continuity of take care of folks with HIV (PWH) who evacuate throughout hurricanes. The workforce consists of Grasp of Public Well being (MPH) college students Lauren Fidelak (well being habits), John Rowell (well being habits) and Cotie San (EQUITY). They had been coached by Jesse Milan, JD, president and CEO at AIDS United. As first-places winners, the workforce obtained $3,000 money and $3,000 in-kind consulting providers from BlueDoor Group.
- Nutriscope – Second Place
Nutriscope makes licensed nutritionists and dieticians simply accessible to flee the danger of life-threatening ailments and issues and enhance high quality of life. The workforce consists of Chitra Saravanan (twin Grasp of Enterprise Administration/Grasp of Healthcare Administration scholar), Austin O’Connor (Grasp of Instructional Innovation, Know-how, and Entrepreneurship scholar) and Michael Brandewie (Grasp of Enterprise Administration scholar). They had been coached by Maura Rampolla, government coach and MPH ‘96 alumna in maternal and youngster well being. As second-place winners, the workforce obtained $1,500 money.
- Switchback Gear Collective – Third Place
Switchback Gear Collective supplies low-cost second-hand out of doors gear, expertise and information to make the outside accessible to all. The workforce consists of MPH international well being college students Chloe Coletta, Joanne Johnson and Abby Nelson. They had been coached by Nicole Bates, DrPH, adjunct assistant professor and alumna of each the MPH and Physician of Public Well being (DrPH) applications on the Gillings College. As third-place winners, the workforce obtained $750 money.
The Switchback Gear Collective workforce additionally received the Individuals’s Selection Award, chosen by the in-person and on-line attendees of the competitors finals. The workforce obtained $200 money.
Different groups that participated within the pitch competitors finals included:
- Educowtion – a social enterprise that positioned seven heifers and three bulls within the Lamoratoit major college in Karamoja, Uganda, which were stored on website. These cows presently present a supply of milk, bringing again crucial vitamins to highschool kids and growing attendance charges which were affected due to local weather change’s affect on the supply of cattle within the area.
- V-Card – an app that gives customers the instruments and assets to make well-informed choices round intercourse with their companions.
- BetterTravel – a understandable, novel cell software that goals to facilitate journey for people with accessibility wants.
- First on Scene – an all-in-one app to instruct bystanders how you can handle medical emergencies and find emergency assets at UNC.
- Eve Most cancers Care (ECC) – an app that serves as a personalised most cancers screening assistant, with schedules and proposals based mostly on well being and historical past.
The Pitch Competitors launched in 2020 because the World of Distinction Pupil Pitch Competitors, hosted by the Gillings College’s innovation and entrepreneurship workforce and supported by Entrepreneur in Residence Don Holzworth, MS. Along with the head-to-head competitors, this system emphasizes the significance of teaching in serving to college students form their concepts into ventures which can be sensible and financially sustainable. Coaches are members of the Gillings College’s Advisory Council and Public Well being Basis Board, and plenty of are alumni who share their very own experiences as Carolina public well being college students.
“We couldn’t have requested for a greater coach and expertise on this course of,” stated one scholar participant. “Once we submitted our preliminary software, we had no concept of the potential and wide-scale purposes of our idea. With the assistance of our coach, we had been in a position to develop and launch our enterprise over the course of 1 semester.”
“It was a memorable studying alternative for me, in addition to an exquisite likelihood to get to know these brilliant, enthusiastic college students!” stated Marcia Angle, MD, who participated as a workforce coach. “And the pitch competitors occasion itself was exceptional and heartwarming as a result of these sensible, energetic younger folks recognized public well being issues after which ingeniously designed methods to constructively tackle these real-world wants. What an inspiration all of them are!”
Glauber says that the competitors might be held each different 12 months with the intention to give Gillings college students a possibility to take part throughout their tenure or quickly after commencement.
“It’s a novel alternative for future college students to see a path for his or her modern concepts to return to fruition and make an affect,” she stated.
Contact the UNC Gillings College of World Public Well being communications workforce at [email protected].