HHS Facebook App Challenge Winners Take Home $10K

The Department of Health and Human Services named three winners for its Facebook Lifeline Application Challenge.

Three Facebook applications designed to help people prepare for emergencies and get support from friends and family in an emergency – from personal medical emergencies or car accidents to natural or man-made disasters – were recognized by the department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

Two recent Brown University graduates, Evan Donahue and Erik Stayton, partnered as Team ALP to win first place with their application, named Lifeline. The Las Vegas team JAMAJIC 360 with David Vinson, Erick Rodriguez, Gregg Orr, and Garth Winckler came in second with an app also named JAMAJIC 360. Third place was awarded to AreYouOk? developed by TrueTeamEffort, a team of 11 University of Illinois students led by Alex Kirlik, the agency said.

The challenge called on software application developers to design new Facebook applications that could enhance individual and community resilience by establishing social connections in advance of an emergency.


The winning app is anticipated to be launched in the coming months, prior to the start of hurricane season. The team also receives $10,000 and complimentary passes from Health 2.0 to attend the spring Health 2.0 conference in Boston. JAMAJIC 360 receives $5,000 for second place and TrueTeamEffort receives $1,000 for third place.

“We’re really excited about the potential of the lifeline app to help people not only to reach out to friends and family for the kinds of assistance they may need in an emergency, but also to help improve their personal health and preparedness,” said Nicole Lurie, M.D., HHS assistant secretary for preparedness and response and a rear admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service. “Having people you can depend on for help is especially important during a disaster, so we want to encourage everyone to identify those people in advance. Since so many people use Facebook to connect with one another, it seemed like a natural way to help people to identify their lifelines.”

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