• Empowering people living in Watts to become their own environmental justice advocates by training them as citizen scientists who can gather data and map hazards and assets.
  • Offering Asian youth in the San Gabriel Valley culturally sensitive mental health and well-being lessons  that combine teachings about nutrition, sleep and regular physical activity with traditional Chinese medicine practices.

These ambitious and practical ideas to narrow or eliminate longstanding disparities in health care are among those proposed by the 15 finalists in the third annual Health Equity Challenge, which is sponsored by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, The MolinaCares Accord and the California Health Care Foundation.

“Since we started this in 2022, we’ve seen a wide array of innovative ideas — from direct interventions to developing new programs to advocating for policy changes,” said Kathryn Kietzman, director of the center’s health equity program. “The students who enter inspire us every year with their intelligence and passion.”

Each of the finalists will receive a $2,500 stipend and 15 weeks of mentorship with a UCLA faculty member or community leader who can help the students further develop and refine their proposals into projects that a community organization could implement. Up to four students will be awarded an additional $2,500 stipend; the community organization will receive up to $50,000 to implement the project.

Read about all the winners in the full news release.