Sep 27

The Impact of Innovation Contests in Federally Qualified Health Centers

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT Virtual Event / Zoom
  • Olivia Jung, PhD
  • Andrea Dorbu, MPH

In today’s dynamic business landscape, the realm of healthcare organizations presents a multitude of untapped possibilities for innovation. Unveiling these prospects hinges on the active involvement of frontline clinicians and staff in the art of organizational troubleshooting, a process streamlined through structured methods such as innovation contests. During this enlightening session, we will unveil insights derived from our extensive research and experiential knowledge amassed through orchestrating innovation contests across a comprehensive array of 54 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs).

FQHCs play a critical role in the U.S. health system as safety net providers that receive federal grant funding to deliver primary and supportive care services regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. There is an imperative for innovation and advocating the voice of the frontline workers in this setting, as many FQHCs are severely resource-constrained but also charged with developing systems of patient-centered care that respond to the unique needs of diverse, medically-underserved areas and populations.

Join us in this session as we unravel the strategies, findings, and valuable takeaways from our experiences navigating this terrain. Discover how the convergence of innovation contests and healthcare organizations can be harnessed to foster transformation, leverage untapped potential, and usher in a new era of responsive and efficient business practices.

Olivia S. Jung, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and a faculty associate at the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard University. Olivia’s research in healthcare is informed by her interdisciplinary training in health policy, organizational behavior, and general management. Olivia studies ways to motivate and organize bottom-up, distributed innovations by patients, staff, and clinicians like nurses, advanced practice providers, and doctors at the frontlines of healthcare organizations and systems. Her research program is built around examining organizational structures, incentives, and cultures that support innovation—from generating ideas to implementing practices—that aim to improve health care delivery processes and outcomes. Olivia partners with organizations including hospitals, federal health centers, and government agencies like NASA to collect original data using field experiments/RCTs, surveys, interviews, and observations, and to design, implement, measure, and analyze the impact of innovation generation and implementation processes. Olivia holds a PhD and AM in Health Policy & Management from Harvard Business School at Harvard University, a BS in Economics from the Wharton School of Business and a BA in International Studies from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Andrea Dorbu, MPH is a research associate at the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard University. She collaborates with faculty, staff, postdocs, and doctoral students in the creation, design, and implementation of interdisciplinary research projects. Her research interests focus on mechanisms driving change and the resulting societal impacts. Andrea received her Master of Public Health in Healthcare Management from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Columbus State University.

This event is open to everyone. For event inquiries or questions, reach out to us at

Related resources (research journals by speakers)

Employee Engagement in Quality Improvement and Patient Sociodemographic Characteristics in Federally qualified Health Centers

Ideas from the Frontline: Improvement Opportunities in Federally Qualified Health Centers

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