The Community Impact Award is a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by the National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University. The goal of the award is to recognize a diverse entrepreneur who is solving suburban healthcare issues.

Please use the purple arrows to left/right scroll through the company summaries below. 

We are not issuing a scoring rubric for this award. We’d like you to use your professional expertise to choose the team you think best fits the award’s mission of rewarding and encouraging a diverse entrepreneur who’s making advances in suburban health.

Please submit your selections no later than 5 PM on Friday, September 18.

Totally Pregnant

Ownership: N/A

Self reported impact: Potential to do so in the next 12 months.

One sentence summary:

Resilient Mom: Amplifying Earlier Care and Community Connection in a Unique Maternal Health Digital Platform

Description of impact:

Resilient Mom is a unique digital platform driving maternal health improvements in underserved populations. We uniquely connect to women NOT under care. We drive earlier care, earlier high-risk detection, and better access to social determinant support.

Other digital maternal health tools require women to be current patients engaged with a physician. Unfortunately, many underserved women are not engaged with a physician and do not get early care and support.

Research suggests that 60% of women with poor birth outcomes did not have their high-risk condition detected early. This has devastating quality of life impacts while costing $8 billion per year.

Our evidence-based approach leverages the proven strengths of our existing proven platform purchased by 13 hospitals, including NYU Langone. With hospital customers we customize a white-label version with their brand. Using that custom version, we do outreach to add 100s of new patient prospects each month. With Resilient Mom that same outreach superpower is partnered and branded with a trusted local community group, delivering the same outreach, connection, and 100s of new monthly connections. We have identified several local community groups as our first partners, subject to funding of this project.

Resilient Mom can be rolled out 8 weeks after funding, with the first evaluation study done 12 weeks later. Success measures:

  • women receiving 1st-trimester care and
  • women getting care within 30 days after their delivery.

Violet

Ownership: Minority

Self reported impact: Has made a demonstrable impact on suburban health.

One sentence summary:

We help the queer community find and book queer-competent mental healthcare.

Description of impact:

We launched Violet in February 2020 to validate our thesis that queer people want help finding queer-competent care. Since inception, we’ve helped ~30 LGBTQ+ clients access more than $20,000 in mental healthcare. A subset of our clients reside in long island and utilize Violet to access queer-competent providers in New York City. We’re very proud of being able to help our community invest in ourselves.

Our plan for the rest of 2020 is to fundraise and scale our MVP. We’re working to launch an overhauled product in 2021 that will support a much larger audience throughout NYC, which houses the largest concentration of LGBTQ+ people in the US. We’re also scoping partnerships with large insurers, like my prior employer — Oscar, to make queer-competent care more accessible. 

HEP, LLC (Pop-doc)

Ownership: Woman

Self reported impact: Potential to do so in the next 12 months.

One sentence summary:

Web-based, customized, simple, safe, and effective joint-health activities and controlled exercises that help people attain, regain, maintain and preserve healthy musculoskeletal function and feel less pain.

Description of impact:

The annual costs of musculoskeletal care in the USA is about $874 Billion. About 127 million people suffer from musculoskeletal conditions. The obesity and opioid epidemics represent relevant and serious problems in this country. Appropriate ‘exercise’ has been shown to alleviate pain, burn calories, elevate mood, increase productivity, diminish falls, and lengthen life. By educating people about their musculoskeletal system, and inspiring, empowering and motivating at-risk (or all) people to perform appropriate ‘exercise’, we can make a positive impact on suburban health. The integrity-based Pop-doc.com joint-health activity platform tracks and monitors the usage of customized, appropriate ‘exercise’ and helps attain, regain, maintain and preserve healthy joint function and feel less pain. The platform meets people where they are and elevates the qualities (motion, tone, flexibility, strength, condition and endurance) of their joint function. Since it is web-based, it reaches all communities that have internet access. Together, we make a bigger impact and positively influence those people, communities, and geographic areas that need it most.

Sonavi Labs

Ownership: Minority, woman

Self reported impact: Potential to do so in the next 12 months.

One sentence summary:

Sonavi Labs created Feelix, an Ai-enabled platform that includes digital screening devices, supportive software and an integrated cloud system to aid in the detection and management of diseases.

Description of impact:

Asthma and COPD are two of the world’s most common and pervasive chronic conditions. Pneumonia and tuberculosis are two of the world’s most deadly acute diseases. The Feelix platform is designed to evolve the standards of disease management and detection by allowing the ability to screen for abnormalities using hand-held, digital acoustic devices, embedded with advanced analytics but simple enough for anyone to use. The Feelix devices incorporate adaptive noise suppression and other advanced features, like Bluetooth connectivity, on-board storage and a proprietary classification algorithm to aid in the detection and management of chronic and acute conditions such as asthma and COPD.
With the Feelix device, patients in rural and suburban communities can remotely manage chronic illness while having more consistent and effective engagement with care teams from any location. We believe that chronic disease exacerbations can be predicted, and potentially avoided by deploying the Feelix platform’s advanced machine learning capabilities. We have already begun working with Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to study minority asthmatic patients, and the INOVA hospital in Virginia to monitor patients recovering from lung transplants.
We are working to deploy the Feelix platform to patients who frequently visit the ER through pilots we are launching over the next year. Within five years, we anticipate millions of patients around the world using Feelix devices to help manage their health.

Beautifully Fed Food

Ownership: Minority, woman

Self reported impact: Has made a demonstrable impact on suburban health.

One sentence summary:

KC Dearson Inc (DBA Beautifully Fed Food) is a women of color led corporation celebrating diaspora cuisines, nourishing our communities one delicious bite at a time, through plant-forward culinary classes and food-justice education, in Brooklyn, NY currently but in all 5 boroughs by the end of 2021 and throughout the US and beyond by 2025

Description of impact:

Our folks are dying disproportionately of diseases that are largely preventable, like COVID-19 and diabetes. Fortunately, research has shown that interventions like ours, focused on increasing access to quality foods and promoting behavior change are successful and sustainable.
Often food education spaces shame people of color, and folks living on low to moderate incomes for their health challenges and ignore the systemic injustices, such as the saturation of fast-food restaurants. This is why we offer cooking skills development and culturally relevant nutrition education alongside ways to get involved with local food activism so that together we can make changes that will collectively have a positive impact on our health, our families, our communities and ultimately our world.
The impacts we have already seen from participants in our programs include: a recognition that many of the trends they are seeing in the world today around eating: farm to table, bone broth etc., is not NEW after all, it’s part of their ancestral and cultural foodways that they had simply forgotten; weight that was difficult for some people to lose before our programs are dropping off now, and with very little effort; decreased reliance on medication to lower blood pressure and blood sugar, cooking more and eating out less and having FUN in the process!
Our model also includes building “community wellness centers” with a farm, communal kitchen & a retail food store and franchising it in POC areas.

Ibere, LLC

Ownership: Minority, woman

Self reported impact: Has made a demonstrable impact on suburban health.

One sentence summary:

Providing psychiatric evaluation and medication management.

Description of impact:

Located in Valley Stream, NY, Ibere is a startup company geared towards providing mental health services. By partnering with local churches and schools we are able to offer education, intervention, and treatment, the sole purpose is to bring awareness and healing to an issue that is often swept under the rug or ignored in the black community.

SoulJoy Wellness

Ownership: Minority, woman

Self reported impact: Has made a demonstrable impact on suburban health.

One sentence summary:

SoulJoy Wellness is a lifestyle media brand that creates an empowering community for the Black Faith Community with live and on demand wellness classes.

Description of impact:

SoulJoy Wellness is a lifestyle media brand that creates an empowering community for the Black Faith Community. The SoulJoy Wellness platform provides live and on demand health & fitness classes along with articles, tips and news about health, mind and body.

The SoulJoy Wellness platform serves as an information source and community building space and adapts to changing needs. On August 1, SoulJoy Wellness held its first online faith and wellness summit. This 3.5-hour self-care Saturday event provides sessions on meditation, Christian yoga, and Gospel fitness along with healthy product demonstrations. Because of the positive feedback, September 26th is the next summit date.

Since the beginning of the COVID lockdown, SoulJoy Wellness has provided information and encouragement to the community. Mind, body, soul health is the focus. There were numerous social media interviews that include mental health experts addressing both adults and children. The interview of a Long Island pastor who was hospitalized with COVID and has since recovered gave the participants a closer look at the other side of COVID. This pastor a very active walker who credits the SoulJoy Wellness movement for getting him started.

The SoulJoy Wellness platform will expand online to include private paid classes that are both live and on demand. New Partnerships include Economic Opportunity Commission of Nassau County, Inc. and Memorial Presbyterian Church (MPC). Online and in-person growth continues

Healthy FRIENDZ Nutrition LLC

Ownership: Minority, woman

Self reported impact: Has made a demonstrable impact on suburban health.

One sentence summary:

Nutrition Education Workshops/Presentations

Description of impact:

Healthy FRIENDZ Nutrition LLC (HFZ) has made an impact, in the two years we’ve been in business, and is expected to make an even larger impact on suburban health in the upcoming years.

HFZ was contracted with the Brentwood UFSD for two years. Spring 2019, we worked with an after school class teaching nutrition education & healthy food basics for mental health. It was an interactive experience learning safety, leadership and communication skills, while learning the value of healthy eating and fueling the body. The impact we made on the students was demonstrated when a student came to hug me at the last session, and said “Thank you Miss, for feeding me a full meal”. HFZ was also contracted for the 2019-2020 school year, increasing services to two schools. The Westbury UFSD also contracted our services, for two years to service their health fair. Fruit parfaits, made with Greek yogurt instead of ice cream was served & one young child came back asking for more ice cream, which definitely shows he couldn’t tell the difference, but this, was nutrient rich that tastes good and nourishes his body.

HFZ has worked with the youth run farmers markets in New Cassel, Hempstead, and Roosevelt providing cooking demonstrations and tastings that engaged the community who kept coming back for more cooking tips, tastings and to chat. All of these communities are underserved where there is a need for access to healthy foods. HFZ continues to serve these areas with grants and partnerships.

MyCollegeTimeline

Ownership: Woman

Self reported impact: Potential a year or so down the line.

One sentence summary:

MyCollegeTimeline is a free, online college planning platform for underrepresented Hispanic and Latino high school students. It’s an easy to use platform that’s student driven that walks students step by step throught the college planning process.

Description of impact:

Our mission is to educate, inspire and empower students with hope, knowledge, and guidance along the path to college so that everyone, regardless of social or economic status can define their own future. All of which greatly impacts their health and well being.
Without a college degree, many underrepresented high school graduates will be forced into low to middle-wage jobs, with profound effects on their social and economic mobility which in turn affects their physical and mental well-being.
Low education, low income areas see:
Shortages of primary care physicians and facilities, poor housing options, substance abuse, incarceration, low quality schools, fewer jobs, resulting in a cycle of education and health inequality.
Higher education brings high wages provides health insurance, access to medical care, and the resources for a healthier lifestyle so higher education is key to breaking the health inequity.
MyCollegeTimeline is an online college planning platform with a toolbox of features that supports grades 9 through 12. MyCollegeTimeline is a free service for high school students paid for by corporate sponsors and universities.
To be successful and drive student growth strategic partnerships will be key.
We will create strategic partnerships with Non-Governmental agencies that serve this underrepresented demographic, Community Based Organizations that serve the Latino population, churches, school districts and library systems, to bring my college timeline to student

Project Get Back on Your Feet

Ownership: Minority, woman

Self reported impact: Potential to do so in the next 12 months.

One sentence summary:

A mobile functional fitness center that provides free access to exercise equipment, nutritional coaching, and training to low-income communities across Long Island to promote their mental and physical well-being, and as a result, help empower them to rise above challenges they face in society.

Description of impact:

The attention on physical and mental health is crucial for the success of low-income communities. Given that financial burdens are already a major setback, paying for this physical means of help is out of question. By creating a mobile-fitness center, we aim to eliminate the barriers of a brick-and-mortar gym and address the lack of accessibility to fitness and health by bringing resources, such as instructors and equipment, directly to the community.
Since exercise creates a positive mood and reduces stress, we hope to raise awareness of health and well-being directly through an enjoyable experience. Providing the opportunity to engage in forms of physical activity will stimulate confidence and self-management, which in turn would improve individuals’ self-perception of their well-being. The resulting impact would be an improvement in the emotional, physical, and social functioning of individuals in these communities as a result of access to a supportive environment that may otherwise not be available.
This September, we will host our first community event in a local park in the village of Hempstead. We will run a fitness workshop and use the mobile fitness center to provide nutritional samples and baseline fitness assessments that will equip members with the resources and knowledge to take charge of their own health. We hope to expand this model by directly visiting multiple low-income communities throughout the week to offer free fitness classes and nutritional resources.