Public Health  
 August 2, 2021

Loyola University Chicago and Lyfebulb Announce Partnership and Launch 2021 Innovation Challenge Call for Entries

A Total of $75,000 Will Be Distributed to Up to Three Finalists

CHICAGO and NEW YORK August 2, 2021 – Loyola University Chicago’s Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health announces its partnership with Lyfebulb, an innovation accelerator bridging the gap between patient communities and the healthcare industry, to launch the 2021 Innovation Challenge: “Meeting Our Moment – Reimagining Innovation, Improving Health Equity, and Building Resiliency.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has really highlighted the disparities in the U.S. health care system,” said Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD, founder and CEO of Lyfebulb. “As a platform that promotes experiential innovation, we are pleased to partner with the Parkinson School and eager to see the range of solutions that create better health care delivery models.”

The Innovation Challenge seeks to source a range of innovations from diverse sectors to address the effects of emerging infectious diseases (such as COVID-19) by improving population and public health, health care delivery, and health equity.

According to research from the COVID Equity Response Collaborative, disproportionate health and economic disparities are prevalent in several suburban Cook County communities hardest hit by COVID-19.

“Now is the time, as the country emerges from the pandemic, to drive innovation and develop solutions to improve responsiveness to health crises and identify strategies to eliminate health inequities,” said Elaine Morrato, DrPH, MPH, CPH, founding dean, Parkinson School. “Our focus at Parkinson is on a holistic view of people and society, preparing students to understand how systems and social determinants of health converge as our students are called to innovate and advocate,” she said.

Proposed solutions may include, but are not limited to, digital technologies, devices, consumer products and solutions, and community programs and services. The 2021 Innovation Challenge is open to U.S.-registered organizations in the early/idea stage of development through growth and individuals associated with an established organizational entity. Applicants from underserved communities are encouraged to apply.

Finalists will be announced in late September and will receive an invitation to pitch their solutions to an expert panel of judges comprised of leaders in public health, venture philanthropy, and health care delivery during a two-day, virtual summit (November 16-17, 2021). A total of $75,000 will be distributed among no more than three finalists to advance the development of their innovation. The Innovation Challenge is funded by the generous endowment from Bob and Betty Parkinson, which created the Parkinson School.

Visit to apply and to view eligibility criteria, terms, and conditions. The deadline is September 10, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. EDT on There is no entry fee.

About the Lyfebulb and Loyola University Chicago Partnership

The partnership reflects a shared commitment to advancing health equity and improving health outcomes for individuals, populations, and systems. The inaugural 2021 Innovation Challenge seeks to strengthen and engage entrepreneurs from health care, technology, and other sectors as well as the Lyfebulb and Loyola communities. Additionally, the 2021 Innovation Challenge will generate awareness around the effects of emerging infectious diseases and identify promising solutions that reduce health disparities and improve health care delivery for all.

About the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health

Loyola University Chicago launched the Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health in Fall 2019 to educate the health entrepreneurs of the future and impact health care accessibility and equity nationally. The Parkinson School offers 17 degree programs and three certificate and internship programs through four areas of study: Public Health Sciences, Healthcare Administration, Health Informatics and Data Science, and Applied Health Sciences. In Fall 2021, it will launch a new 4+1 BSPH/MPH dual-degree program. The Parkinson School builds on the foundations of Loyola’s nationally recognized Stritch School of Medicine and its Biomedical Programs, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, and Loyola’s partnership with Trinity Health (known in the Chicago area as Loyola Medicine). To learn more about the Parkinson School, follow us on Twitter @LoyolaParkinson or on Instagram @loyolaparkinson.

About Lyfebulb

Lyfebulb is an innovation accelerator that bridges the gap between patient communities and the healthcare industry by working directly with patients and care partners to generate insights and build new solutions to reduce the burden of living with chronic disease. Lyfebulb operates across 11 disease states and counting. For more information, visit, InstagramLinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Karin Hehenberger LinkedIn.

For more information:

Loyola University Chicago Contact:

Taylor Utzig

Communications Specialist


Lyfebulb Contact:

Karin Hehenberger, MD, PhD

CEO & Founder