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New Jersey College Students Answer Horizon’s Call to Help Transform Health Care -- Teams from Stevens and Seton Hall Take Top Prizes in Horizon’s Health Care Transformation Challenge

For 85 years, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) has been the leading innovator in the health insurance industry. The company recently reached out to undergraduates who attend a New Jersey college to help shape health care for the next 85 years and beyond. College students throughout the state were invited to take part in the first-ever Health Care Transformation Challenge sponsored by Horizon BCBSNJ. A total of more than $15,000 in prize money was awarded to the top teams.“Horizon celebrates our 85th anniversary this year and it’s important to us that we stay on the cutting edge by engaging with younger folks who understand the importance of health care and want to help get the word out to Millennials who may not know enough about their options,” said Christopher M. Lepre, Horizon BCBSNJ Senior Vice President, Marketing Business Units and a competition judge. “We decided to go to the source and ask New Jersey’s college students to help us make health care more accessible and understandable to their generation. Every team was original, innovative and forward-thinking, but one Seton Hall team blew us away with their concept for creating a YouTube series to increase Millennials’ knowledge of health care.”Student teams were given the opportunity to hone their creative thinking by submitting new and innovative marketing or technology ideas. The teams, comprised of two to four students, chose one of the following options: shopping for health plans, getting preventive care or taking advantage of wellness benefits. Finalists presented their ideas to a panel of expert judges who specialize in marketing and technology.Of the finalists, three groups from both the Marketing and the Technology track won prizes, for a total of six winning teams.Marketing Track Winners:

  • 1st Place: The “PR Pirates” from Seton Hall University - Emma Glackin, Kiana Dixon, Eric Lamarid and Katherine Steiner ($5,000 cash prize)
  • 2nd Place: The “Exquisite” team from Rutgers University’s School of Pharmacy – Seung Chan (Peter) Lee, Justin Park, Soham Shukla and Tracy Zhang ($2,500 cash prize)
  • 3rd Place: The “1-2-3 Health” team from Seton Hall University – Anthony Barley and Tea Scott ($1,000 cash prize)

“Technology is evolving at a staggeringly rapid pace and when it comes to digital expertise we must look to those who have an abundance of it; our younger generation,” said Douglas E. Blackwell, Horizon BCBSNJ Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, also a competition judge. “We were beyond impressed with each presentation, but the students from Stevens set an unbelievably high bar with their idea to create a machine learning tool to predict diagnosis for four key diseases. We felt as though we were looking into the future and it was bright.”Technology Track Winners:

  • 1st Place: The “Diagnose.me” team from Stevens Institute of Technology – Matthew Sabatin and Mike Wezyk ($5,000 cash prize)
  • 2nd Place: The “”GoodVibe Medical” team from New Jersey Institute of Technology – Mart Nacir and Kaila Trawitzki ($2,500 cash prize)
  • 3rd Place: “The Horizon” team from Rutgers University – Nikhil Mathur and Priyanka Patel ($1,000 cash prize)

For more information about the Health Care Transformation Challenge, including a full list of participants and winners, photos, videos and descriptions of each presentation, please visit the Horizon BCBSNJ Health Care Transformation Challenge website at http://hctc.horizonblue.com.

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state's oldest and largest health insurer is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health service corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, vision and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is leading the transformation of health care in New Jersey by working with doctors and hospitals to deliver innovative, patient-centered programs that reward the quality, not quantity, of care patients receive. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serving more than 3.8 million members.