Innovation Challenge

Health care workforce needs are critical in New Hampshire and require new and innovative thinking to address recruitment, retention, and sustainability. The primary goal of the Innovation Challenge is to promote and support innovative ventures in the health care workforce space in New Hampshire. This is a multi-stage, competition style event series designed to evaluate and provide financial support for proposals and ideas. Through the Innovation Challenge we also intend to publicly increase awareness and create inspiration through hearing about others’ work, building community, and networking with industry leaders. 





The 2024 winners have been announced!


First Place: $100,000

Androscoggin Valley Home Care Services’ “The IDEA” (Inter-Disciplinary Elite Aides) intends to build a local LNA hierarchy, trained in every community health care organization (HCO) serving one rural community. LNAs will be trained, tested and “certified” to work in each HCO, essentially completing an orientation to learn work, its routines, culture, etc. These LNAs will then be eligible to access a web-based scheduling system on which all partner HCOs will post open shifts. LNAs will be able to choose any day/time/shift/health care organization 24/7 to work when they so desire, thereby filling needs on a day-to-day basis and relieving the pressures of real time short staffing, not just short staffing due to vacant positions in the HCOs.

Second Place: $60,000

Lightcap Health of Durham was named second place for its project, “PULSe,” (Personality-Based, Understanding, and Long-term Support for Healthcare Workers), which will be an innovative video subscription as a service (SaaS) platform aimed to reduce nurse burnout. The program will do so by offering videos tailored towards people’s personalities based on a holistic approach to education and goal setting for healthy behaviors. 

Third Place: $40,000

Third place went to New Hampshire Hospital in Concord for its project addressing mental health workforce development. This initiative will be to recruit and develop a workforce from underserved populations (new Americans and low-level offenders or those seeking a “second chance”) to serve the unique needs of acute psychiatric patients in the Granite State while being paid a living wage during training to meet current and future mental health workforce needs.

We’re in the process of planning for next year. If you’re interested in volunteering to be a part of it, please email Kate for details. 

Proposals may be focused on talent pipeline and recruitment, pathways, education and training, equity, public policy, data, technology, leadership, sustainability and retention, or something else that helps to bolster the health care workforce in the Granite State.




Detailed Process Timeline

  • Monday 2/26 – Applications launch on HealthForce NH website.
  • Tuesday 3/5 – Online information session to answer questions.
  • Thursday 3/21 – Additional online information session to answer questions (details below).
  • Thursday 4/4 – Application deadline on website no later than 8:00pm.
  • Tuesday 4/16 – Round 1 – Semi-Finalists notified and will be required to pitch their idea at public event on 5/1/2024; those not selected also notified.
  • Wednesday 5/1 – Round 2 – Semi-Finalist pitch event, open to the public.
  • Thursday 5/2 – Optional opportunity for semi-finalists to submit no more than one page addressing feedback from the live pitches and any clarifying or additional information (details will be sent in advance).
  • Week of 5/6 – Judges to meet in-person and determine the winners.
  • Wednesday 5/15 – Round 3 – Winners will be announced at the final event, open to the public.


  • All ideas need to be original thinking or original adaptations and applications of existing programs, changed to be unique.
  • Competition is open to individuals, established organizations, or brand-new organizations within any industry; innovation in/for NH’s health care workforce is the primary objective. 
  • The proposed venture must operate in and have primary intended impact on New Hampshire’s health care workforce.
  • All individual applicants or at least one team member must be legal residents or U.S. citizens. All individual applicants or at least one team member must have a legal residence in New Hampshire.
  • All applicants, whether individuals or members of a team, must be 18 years of age or older to win. Documentation may be required.
  • To be eligible to win, semi-finalists are required to have representation for the pitch event on 5/1/2024 and the final winner announcement event on 5/15/2024. 
  • Monetary awards will be given to each winner following the end of the competition. Proceeds may be taxable, please check with your tax professional on the specifics of your situation. HealthForce NH is not responsible for payment of any taxes due, and it is the sole responsibility of awardees to pay all taxes due.
  • HealthForce must have a signed W-9 from all winners before a check can be issued.
  • Winners will be required to sign a contract which contains the provisions set forth in this document and such other provisions as shall be reasonable as to use of funds, reporting, release and hold harmless, ownership of intellectual property, among others.
  • Winners will be contacted post-competition to provide periodic updates on their venture. Winners may also be asked to participate in future HealthForce Innovation Challenge events to help promote the competition. 
  • All decisions of the judges are final.
  • Confidentiality: By the submission of your Business Plan, you understand and agree that a short description of your Business Plan will be considered a “public summary” of your plan and may be used in public documentation related to the competition. We will provide a copy of your business plan to competition staff and judges and will inform them that no additional copies are to be made. 
  • Violation of any one or multiple rules for eligibility may result in disqualification at any point.

Please note: Interpretation and enforcement of these regulations are at the sole discretion of HealthForce NH and the decisions of the judges are final. HealthForce NH reserves the right to change the rules at any time.

Information Session and Questions

If you have additional questions, please contact HealthForce NH’s Senior Director, Kate Luczko, at

All applicants will be evaluated by the judges based upon the following criteria:

  • Assessing the need
  • Business model clarity and viability
  • Team quality and competencies
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
  • Marketing and Operations
  • Realistic implementation and sustainability opportunities
  • Financial feasibility
  • Effective use of the monetary award
  • Impact
  • Innovation
  • Completeness of plan and attention to detail
  • Pitch and presentation quality

Applications are open until 8:00pm on Thursday, April 4, 2024.

Applications for the 2024 competition have closed! Stay tuned for details for the 2025 competition.