CHCF Data Design Award Announced at Health ‘Datapalooza’

Challenge highlights importance of engaging. visual stories to depict change in health care costs

The demand for compelling displays of health care data is intensifying as the industry strives to improve care delivery, encourage better self-care practices, and promote transparency with respect to costs.

With that in mind, the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) took advantage of a meeting of the Health Data Initiative Forum in Washington, DC, last week to announce and demo the first-place award in its competition, The Picture of Health: A Data Design Challenge.

“With the spotlight now on the health care delivery system and opportunities to increase quality, lower costs, and improve the nation’s health, making data more accessible to policymakers, professionals, and the public can inform these critical efforts,” notes Mark D. Smith, MD, MBA, president and CEO of CHCF. “The top entries illustrate that when information is presented in an engaging format, it can tell compelling stories behind the numbers.”

The first-place award of $5,000 goes to Christian Basa, Kyle Kim, Kwang Pak, and Ryan Roberts from Providence Health and Services Southern California. The team’s submission, “The Landscape of Health — Picturing the Cost of Health Care over the Last Generation,” depicts costs over 50 years through static and interactive formats.

“The team’s design is intuitive, colorful, and inviting,” says Maribeth Shannon, director of CHCF’s Market and Policy Monitor program. “This creative presentation transforms complex data into a logical display that engages and informs the audience.”

Entrants were asked to create in-depth, visually stimulating presentations from raw health care cost data targeting policymakers and the public, while using a portion of the data from specific sources. A five-member panel judged entries based 40% on their creativity and inventiveness, 30% on their educational components, and 30% on the persuasiveness and elegance of the presentations.

Other top awards:

  • Second place ($3,000): Neil Halloran, web developer and CEO,
  • Third place ($1,000): Michael Thompson, founder, Accelerator

Five $500 honorable mentions were awarded to:

  • John Aristizabal, visualization and animation professional, West Wireless Health Institute
  • Abby Cajudo, independent submission
  • Josh Cothran, independent submission
  • Lisa Maiuro, senior consultant, Health Management Associates
  • Amy Neuwelt and Jessica Tomlinson, a team from the Public Health Institute

See a slideshow of all the top entries at

Freeing the Data

The data design challenge represents CHCF’s ongoing efforts to encourage more accessibility and creativity when it comes to depicting data related to important topics, including public health, government spending, consumer products, and scientific knowledge.

CHCF is a founding member of The Health Data Consortium, formed at the June 2011 Health Data Initiative Forum, to encourage the creation of an “ecosystem” that uses health data more innovatively.

Contact Information:
Steven Birenbaum

About the California Health Care Foundation

The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.