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NACHC’s Health Center Innovation Incubator

Project Overview

NACHC, through its Center for Community Health Innovation, in partnership with NACHC’s experts from Informatics, Population Health, and Training and Technical Assistance and with funding support from the global healthcare company Abbott, has designed a new initiative to guide health centers in using a human-centered design approach to improve health equity by addressing digital and health literacy. With initial seed funding, access to leading experts, and training on human-centered design principles, selected health centers will design and test their solutions – all with the broader goal of sharing what works with health centers nationwide. The NACHC Innovation Incubator program will launch in March 2023.

Award Amount: $40,000 (plus travel stipend)
Application Due: March 27

More information

The aim of the NACHC Innovation Incubator is to position an 8-10 health center cohort to ideate, build and test solutions for their unique populations. Selected health centers will convene over a 7-month period and engage in activities such as:

• Individualized coaching
• Co-designed workshops and design sprints
• Mentoring
• Peer-to-peer work groups
• Access to subject-matter experts
• Curated online resources

Important Documents

Application Questions
Application Link

What is an Incubator?

An incubator is different from a traditional learning collaborative in several ways. First, the aim of an incubator program is to incubate, or in other words, develop and test an idea or solution. Grounding the process in a human-centered design approach means it will begin with understanding the problem facing the patients or end users. Then the idea or solution can be developed through the incubator program using curated online resources, coaching and mentoring, and subject matter expertise. The content areas include, but are not limited to, value proposition, stakeholder mapping, business plan development, communications, and sustainability. Second, the incubator does not end with the conclusion of the program. The health centers involved in the cohort will have the opportunity to pitch their solutions to a group of experts for a chance to receive one of two $25,000 recognition awards. NACHC’s goal is that by the conclusion of the program, every member of the cohort will have the skills and expertise necessary to not only to continue to refine the solution they have designed, but to also to attract new funders and partners to implement and sustain the innovation. After the NACHC Innovation Incubator concludes, NACHC will compile and disseminate the digital and health literacy solutions with other health centers, PCAs, and HCCNs.

Who should participate?

Health centers (FQHCs and FQHC-LALs) who are NACHC members in good standing (with dues paid through December 2022) are eligible to apply. Teams who are interested in solving a problem or barrier with digital and/or health literacy should explore the incubator opportunity. You do not need to be an expert in innovation skills or have a solution in mind at the time of application. A demonstrated need and clear goals for participating in the incubator are key factors in the assessment of applications.

What are the expectations and time commitment for selected health centers?
ActivityFrequencyWhen during the incubator programWho from the health center teamEstimated total time commitment
One-on-one meetings with NACHC coachMonthly for 30 minutes eachMay through OctoberProject lead required; other team members optional4 hours
All incubator participants’ meetingsMonthly for 1 hour eachApril through NovemberProject lead required; other team members optional5 hours
Report and metric trackingMonthlyApril through NovemberProject lead6 hours
Self-paced online modules (13 modules total)Monthly for 30 minutes eachApril through OctoberWhole project team6.5 hours
Activities and homework in between meetings (required) and additional coaching sessions with subject matter experts (optional)
*Does not include piloting time
Monthly for about 4 hoursMay through OctoberWhole project teamAbout 24 hours
Practice pitch sessionOnceAugustWhole project team (as applicable)About 4 hours
Final pitch session (in-person during FOM/IT Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada – date TBD)OnceOctoberWhole project team (as applicable)About 8 hours, plus travel time
About 57.5 hours total
About 8.5 hours per month
About 2 hours per week
Application Questions

Please apply at the link above. If you are having technical difficulties, please email us at innovation@nachc.org.