Patients | Choices | Empowerment

Competition Information

Competition News

The Amgen Foundation is supporting the Patients | Choices | Empowerment competition with Ashoka's Changemakers to answer the question of how we can elevate patients’ voices to improve health outcomes globally.

Winners Announced! The three winners will each receive a prize of USD $10,000.

You may continue to read and comment on all entries. As always, we welcome your feedback.

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Welcome Letter

Dear Changemakers Community,

The Amgen Foundation is supporting the “Patients| Choices| Empowerment” competition with Ashoka Changemakers to answer the question of how we can elevate patients’ voices to improve health outcomes globally. Since 1991, the Amgen Foundation has been an integral component of Amgen’s commitment to dramatically improve people’s lives. The Amgen Foundation hopes that the end result of this competition will help build a global community of organizations that are working to ensure that patients have an active role in their personal healthcare and ultimately lead to sustainable solutions that will have a broad social benefit beyond the competition itself.

With the diagnosis of illness, patients suddenly face a maze of decisions, questions, and options. These decisions can be overwhelming and patients may not know where to turn or how to respond. Imagine a world where patients can make decisions with confidence and clarity, in concert with people who care and can help. Such a world generates empowered patients and offers collaborative solutions at every stage of health care and treatment.

We hope to foster innovations that empower the patient and provide avenues for informed decisions. Solutions could include:

  • new methods of changing the training and interactions of healthcare providers to act in partnership with patients to make the right decisions at the right time;
  • programs that support the emotional and social needs of patients to promote prevention, wellness, and health literacy; or
  • interactive technologies that provide instant information and local resources for patients and their families to understand health conditions and actively participate in health care decisions.

Following the Changemakers competition, selected entries may be invited to submit proposals to the Amgen Foundation for future funding consideration. The Amgen Foundation will consider awarding up to USD $1 million in grants to support promising innovations in patient empowerment submitted by qualifying nonprofit organizations. In particular, the Amgen Foundation seeks innovations that demonstrate potential to produce significant improvement in health and health care around the world and that reflect Amgen’s dedication to impacting lives in inspiring and innovative ways. To be eligible for future Amgen Foundation funding, organizations must operate in the U.S. or Europe and meet the grant guidelines of the Foundation. For more information, please visit http://www.amgen.com/citizenship/guidelines.html.

With healthcare a key concern for people across the globe, we hope this competition will surface solutions to allow patients to make informed decisions to improve their own quality of care. We invite you to submit projects that tap the medical experience, knowledge, and wisdom of current and past patients, health care practitioners, advocates and other key stakeholders. Solutions should ideally work for people where they live -- regardless of age, status, or education level. Tell us about model solutions that can be replicated at the widest scale and across various diseases and populations for maximum impact.

Jean Lim

President, Amgen Foundation

Eligibility, Guidelines and Criteria

Who should enter:

The competition is open to anyone (person or organization) anywhere in the globe. If you have a patient empowerment initiative that elevates patients’ voices to improve health outcomes, then you should participate. But we only can accept your entry in English, Spanish, Portuguese or French.

Why you should enter:

  • Be a part of a global online community that cares about the change that you are making on the ground
  • Visibility to our community and to our partner, the Amgen Foundation
  • A chance to win!

What you can win:

  • Early entries, received by 5PM EDT on August 25th, will be considered eligible to win one early entry prize of USD $1,000, and will remain eligible to win the competition.
  • Three USD $10,000 cash prizes in unrestricted funding to boost your project.
  • Further opportunities offered by The Amgen Foundation. The Welcome Letter provides more details.

How to enter:

  • Take a look at this video or take a look at the step by step instructions.
  • Read through the tips on how to make your entry stand out.

Read all the fine print below on how you can win.

The competition is open to all types of individuals and organizations from all countries.

We consider all entries that:

  • Reflect the theme of the competition: Patients| Choices| Empowerment
  • Demonstrate innovative solutions that elevate patients’ voices to improve health outcomes.
  • Indicate growth beyond the stage of idea, concept, or research. At a minimum, entries should be at the demonstration stage and indicate success. While we support new ideas at every stage and encourage their entry, the judges are better able to evaluate programs that are beyond the conceptual stage, and have demonstrated a proof of impact, even at small scale.
  • Are submitted in English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish.

Please complete the entire entry form and submit before the deadline on September 29, 2010 US at 5:00 PM EDT.

Assessment Criteria

The winners of this Changemakers collaborative competition will be those entries that best meet the following criteria:

  • Innovation: This is the knock-out test. The entrant must describe a systematic and/or disruptive innovation in community action. The innovation should be a unique model of change, demonstrating a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field with the possibility for large-scale expansion.
  • Social Impact: It is important that the innovative idea provides a system-changing solution toward engaging and revitalizing communities. Some innovations will have proven success at a small level, while others will have potential to grow, engaging millions of people. Still others will achieve their impact quickly, while some will seed change for the long term. We look for breadth and depth, numbers and stories that make a substantive difference in local communities. Judges will consider the solution's potential for scale and replication, in addition to the entrant’s ability to formulate a clear “road map” to reaching larger goals.
  • Sustainability: For a solution to be truly effective it must have a long-term plan for securing financial backing and community support. Entries should describe not only how they are currently financing their work, but also how they plan to finance their work in the future. The most successful entrants go beyond discussing whether or not they will charge for services and describe a business plan. They should also demonstrate that they have strong partnerships and support networks to address an ongoing need, and to aid in scalability and the maintenance of a clear financial strategy.

Competition Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules

Online competition submissions are accepted until September 29, 2010 US at 5:00 PM EDT. At any time before this deadline, competition participants are encouraged to revise their entries based on questions and insights that they receive in the Changemakers discussion. Participation in the discussion enhances an entrant’s prospects in the competition and provides the community and the judges an opportunity to understand the entrant’s project more completely.

There are five main phases in the competition:

  • Entry Stage, July 14 – September 29, 2010: Entries can be submitted until 5PM EDT on September 29, 2010, and throughout this stage anyone can participate in an online review discussion with the entrants.
  • Early Entry Deadline, August 25, 2010: Entries received by 5pm EDT on August 25, 2010 will be considered for the Early Entry prize.
  • Online Review and Judging, September 30 – November 16, 2010: Online review and discussion continues. Simultaneously, a panel of expert judges and a team of Ashoka staff select the competition finalists.
  • Voting, November 17 – December 1, 2010: The Changemakers community votes online to select the award-winners from the field of finalists.
  • Winners Announced, December 8, 2010: The Changemakers competition winners - the finalist individuals or organizations that receive the most votes - will each receive a cash prize of USD $10,000.

Participation in the challenge provides the opportunity to receive feedback from fellow entrants, Changemakers staff, judges, and the Changemakers community. Showcasing initiatives and demonstrating social impact advise potential investors about how best to maximize the strategic impact of their investments.

Following the Changemakers competition, selected entries may be invited to submit proposals to the Amgen Foundation for future funding consideration. The Amgen Foundation will consider awarding up to USD $1 million in grants to support promising innovations in patient empowerment submitted by qualifying nonprofit organizations. In particular, the Amgen Foundation seeks innovations that demonstrate potential to produce significant improvement in health and health care around the world and that reflect Amgen’s dedication to impacting lives in inspiring and innovative ways. To be eligible for future Amgen Foundation funding, organizations must operate in the U.S. or Europe and meet the grant guidelines of the Foundation. For more information, please visit http://www.amgen.com/citizenship/guidelines.html

Early Entry Prize

Early entries, received by August 25th, will be eligible to win one early entry prize of USD $1000. Being an Early Entry Prize winner does not preclude you from winning the competition in any way, or guarantee finalist status – all entries will be equally evaluated per the Changemakers criteria at the completion of the entry period.

Participation in the competition provides the opportunity to receive feedback on your solution from fellow entrants, Changemakers staff, judges, and the Changemakers community. Showcasing your solution and the challenges involved in creating social impact advises potential investors about how best to improve funding/investing patterns for the sector and to maximize the strategic impact and effectiveness of their future investments.

Disclaimer - Compliance with Legal Restrictions

Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. All grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.

Judges Panel

Albert Jovell

Fundació Josep Laporte

Jesse Dylan

Creative Director, Lybba

Patricia Rutherford

Vice President, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Judith Schaefer, MPH

Research Associate , MacColl Institute, Group Health Research Institute

Lillie Shockney, RN., BS., MAS

Administrative Director, Johns Hopkins Breast Center