Competition winners earn a total of $6,000 in prize money for local non-profit organizations supporting COVID-19 relief efforts

ATLANTA & CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – April 23, 2020 – Sharecare, the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place, and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Center for the Business of Health, announced the results of the North Carolina Well-Being Data Analysis Competition, a student competition designed to drive local insights around well-being in North Carolina. In addition to uncovering data-driven insights and solutions to promote healthier communities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, participants also competed on behalf of local nonprofits leading pandemic relief efforts.

In partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Sharecare and UNC CBOH hosted the virtual competition to engage UNC-Chapel Hill students in solving challenges impacting the health and well-being of North Carolinians, especially as communities across the state combat the impacts of COVID-19. One hundred sixteen students across 29 academic disciplines participated in the 48-hour “hackathon”-style competition, using proprietary data sets from Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index, including data across both well-being and social determinants of health in North Carolina, as well as secondary data sources identified by the students. Based on their analyses, students proposed actionable solutions addressing various determinants – including food security, access to healthcare, access to education, economic stability and more – that can be implemented in communities across the state to improve their resiliency and overall health outcomes. As a next step, Sharecare will partner with UNC CBOH and the winning teams to explore opportunities with peer-reviewed publications and ways to leverage the solutions in future well-being initiatives across the state of North Carolina.

Winners of the student competition are:

  • First Place – Mekhala Dissanayake (Ph.D., Epidemiology, ’21), Erica Zeno (Ph.D., Epidemiology, ’21), Kathryn Carpenter (M.P.H., Health Behavior, ’20), and Emily Newman (M.P.H., Health Behavior, ’20)
  • Second Place – Valentina Marginean (B.S.N., Nursing, ’21), Duncan McBride (B.A., Math/Statistics, ’20)
  • Third Place – Brainard Burrus(M.D./MBA, ’21), Greeshma Somashekar (M.D./MBA, ’21), Jesse Martin (Pharm.D., ’20), and Sarah Glier (M.D./Ph.D., ’23)

The first-place team donated their prize winnings to Legal Aid of North Carolina, and the second and third place teams donated their winnings to Farmer Foodshare.

“On behalf of the Sharecare team, congratulations to all of our winners and participants,” said Jeff Arnold, founder and CEO of Sharecare. “As we adjust to a new normal in a changing healthcare landscape, improving the well-being and resiliency of our communities is more critical than ever. With the insights and solutions presented in this competition, the students demonstrated the power of multidisciplinary perspectives and various dimensions of data in addressing the most challenging issues impacting health and outcomes in our community populations.”

As part of its ongoing measurement through the Community Well-Being Index, Sharecare analyzes both physical and non-physical factors of health across purpose, social, financial, community and physical domains. These insights are leveraged to inform health and well-being strategies for healthcare institutions, government agencies, and various other enterprise populations and communities across the US. By partnering with academic institutions like UNC-Chapel Hill, Sharecare takes a collaborative approach to accelerating data-driven well-being solutions, and supporting their implementation in real-world settings.

The UNC CBOH partners with industry leaders like Sharecare to produce relevant and timely academic scholarship, addressing key challenges across the healthcare value chain. An equally important mandate of UNC CBOH is to offer experiential, interdisciplinary engagement opportunities for students—such as the North Carolina Well-Being Data Analysis Competition—that better prepare graduates to lead successful careers in dynamic healthcare environments. Most importantly, UNC CBOH aims to positively affect the lives of North Carolinians through world-class research, teaching and convening opportunities that engage a diverse set of stakeholders across the healthcare ecosystem.

“Congratulations to all of our winners and participants. The submissions to the North Carolina Well-Being Data Analysis Competition showed incredible sophistication and thoughtful analyses around social determinants of health and the well-being of North Carolinians. While we only recognized three winning teams, each team represents the best of UNC,” said Brad Staats, faculty director for the UNC CBOH and a professor at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School.

With the high turnout and tremendous insights generated in the student competition, UNC CBOH, Sharecare and Blue Cross NC will follow with the North Carolina Well-Being Faculty & Staff Data Analysis Competition. This competition aims to showcase the talent and expertise that exists among faculty and staff researchers across UNC-Chapel Hill, and their abilities to contribute insights-driven solutions for a healthier North Carolina. The weeklong competition will launch Friday, April 24, 2020, and conclude on Friday, May 1, 2020.

About Sharecare

Sharecare is the digital health company that helps people manage all their health in one place. The Sharecare platform provides each person – no matter where they are in their health journey – with a comprehensive and personalized health profile where they can dynamically and easily connect to the information, evidence-based programs and health professionals they need to live their healthiest, happiest and most productive lives. In addition to providing individual consumers with direct access to award-winning and innovative frictionless technologies, scientifically validated clinical protocols and best-in-class coaching tools, Sharecare also helps providers, employers and health plans effectively scale outcomes-based health and wellness solutions across their entire populations. To learn more, visit www.sharecare.com.

About the UNC Center for the Business of Health

The UNC Center for the Business of Health is the academic destination and a leading voice for issues at the intersection of business and health. Launched by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, we are a multidisciplinary initiative seeking to bring together expertise from across UNC to create knowledge, prepare business leaders, and to convene important conversations around the business of healthcare. We do this because healthcare’s greatest challenges will not be solved through any single lens, but through a diverse and collaborative community. To learn more visit cboh.unc.edu.