Monthly Archives: January 2012

‘Go Viral to Improve Health’ and Win Up to $10,000

WASHINGTON, January 23, 2012 - Students pursuing degrees toward careers in health, engineering, and computer science could earn a distinctive addition to their resumes by participating in “Go Viral to Improve Health,” a contest that challenges undergraduate and graduate students to create innovative health-related apps and offers $18,000 in prizes.

“Go Viral to Improve Health” is the second annual collegiate challenge sponsored by the Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering to spur students to work in interdisciplinary teams and transform health data into mobile apps, online tools or games, or other innovative products that solve vexing health problems.

The team that designs the best product will receive a $10,000 prize sponsored by Heritage Provider Network and the opportunity to demonstrate their app during the plenary session of “Health Datapalooza,” the third annual Health Data Initiative Forum, June 5-6, Washington, D.C. The second and third place teams will receive awards of $5,000 and $3,000 respectively, and both will have the chance to display their winning technologies in the exhibit hall at this national gathering of software engineers, developers, and health leaders. Teams will be reimbursed up to $1,000 of their travel costs to the forum.

Entries will be assessed on their design, usability, and how well they integrate public health data. Expert judges include Deborah Estrin, professor of computer science, University of California, Los Angeles; Reena Singhal Lee, senior technical manager, Google; Richard Merkin, president and CEO, Heritage Provider Network; Todd Park, chief technology officer, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Barbara Rimer, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Participating teams must consist of between two and five members and include at least one undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a health-related degree and one undergraduate or graduate student pursuing a degree in computer science, engineering, or a similar major. Additional team members may come from any program or major. Teams must use data from the Health Indicators Warehouse (, a vast collection of health data and indicator sets made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and are encouraged to use other data sources as well. Additional eligibility criteria and terms are spelled out at

Students must register their teams for the challenge by Feb. 10, 2012. Once registered, teams have until noon EST on March 28 to submit their apps. Further details about “Go Viral to Improve Health” can be found at and on Facebook at Questions can be directed to

The Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Engineering along with the National Academy of Sciences and National Research Council make up the National Academies. They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter. For more information, visit

Heritage Provider Network, Inc. is one of the largest physicians’ groups in the United States, providing medical care to approximately 700,000 individuals. It is on the cutting edge of the accountable care model of health care delivery and is dedicated to quality, affordable health care and putting patients’ wellness first. For more information, visit

Christine Stencel, Senior Media Relations Officer, Institute of Medicine
202-334-2138; e-mail
Randy Atkins, Senior Media Relations Officer, National Academy of Engineering
202-334-1508; e-mail

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Site features a call for bipartisan guest blogettes and passionate conversation

LOS ANGELES, January 17, 2012 - Meghan McCain, MSNBC contributor, author, columnist and political junkie has re-launched her official online political magazine, announced EQAL, the media company that builds influencer networks around celebrities and brands. The blogette, which Meghan will update daily, will feature politics 101, up-to-date election commentary, hot topics, and Meghan’s essentials for life. is a community for politically charged women who are looking to talk politics and for women looking to learn more about our election process.

Meghan issued a call to blogettes. She says, “Anyone that is interested and active in this election cycle and would like a platform to voice your opinions and perspective on 2012, please apply! I am looking for the fun and fearless political junkies out there that can bring a fresh look.”

McCainBlogette recently featured its first blogette called No Such Thing as a Free Lunch or Degree. All bloggettes are asked to submit their blogs to the blogette galley.

Users get a sneak peek into what makes Meghan tick. She talks style, music choices and her latest obsessions. “We’ll cover it all, from the politics of dating to the absurdities of the 2012 election, and I hope you’ll share your honest opinions with me.”

“We wanted to help Meghan McCain re-launch McCain Blogette to offer her a way to build a robust community around ideas and to empower women to speak out about their views,” said Miles Beckett, Co-Founder and CEO of EQAL, “With the election ramping up, re-launching Meghan’s community is a great way to bring the election conversation online in a new way.”

About Meghan McCain:

As the daughter of U.S. Senator John McCain, Meghan McCain was propelled into the national spotlight at an early age. Meghan’s unparalleled exposure to American politics gave her the opportunity to hear voters debate the most complex issues first-hand. Meghan’s time on the campaign trail with her father inspired her acclaimed memoir, Dirty Sexy Politics. The book chronicles her personal journey across the American political landscape. Campaigning with her father also inspired Meghan to publish My Dad, John McCain, an illustrated children’s book that brings her father’s heroic story to life. As a columnist for The Daily Beast, she passionately discusses women’s issues, social issues, marriage equality and her firm belief that there is room for all walks of life in the GOP. While in college, Meghan worked at Newsweek magazine and Saturday Night Live. She is a graduate of Columbia University and currently resides in New York City.

About EQAL:

EQAL is a media company that builds influencer networks around celebrities and brands. Their celebrity and brand networks include the official websites and social media accounts for celebrities including Tori Spelling, Lauren Conrad, Bethenny Frankel, Nick Cannon, Elle and Blair Fowler and the brand partnership with Philadelphia Cream Cheese that recently won a Gold Effie Award. Their celebrity networks generate more than 1.8 billion impressions and reach over 25 million people each month. EQAL’s “hub and spoke” strategy focuses on building an integrated media property by increasing social media numbers, driving traffic and engagement to the celebrity’s official website, and providing new revenue opportunities.

EQAL was founded by Miles Beckett and Greg Goodfried, creators of the online sensations lonelygirl15, KateModern (with Bebo) and Harpers Globe (with CBS television). The two are widely credited as being the first to create quality serial programming for the internet, for integrating products into online programming and for originating the first “online to on-air” programming with a network television show. Miles and Greg are frequent speakers on digital entertainment and brand integration in the online space as well as the future of entertainment on the internet and beyond. The company continues to evolve at the rapid speed of the medium as it combines quality content, celebrity influencers and technology.

Contact for

Melissa Kwechansky, EQAL


Jill Siegel, EQAL