Frequently Asked Questions

Have a question about the Challenge?

Primary contact for all questions related to The Challenge:

Learning Network questions and webinar suggestions, and
Materials for posting on your webpage of The Challenge’s website
JeVonna Ephraim, Program Manager
• 202-777-2429

Media and communication questions
Katy Frame, BRG Communications
• 703-739-8358

Learning Network
What is the learning network? What will it include?

The Challenge’s online learning network will serve as an interactive learning community for the HealthyCommunity50 finalists’ cross sector teams as well as for those applicants that were not selected as Phase 2 finalists in The Challenge. The learning network will provide a platform for communities to engage with other finalists through forums and discussion and sharing of best practices. It will also provide finalists with various technical assistance opportunities and implementation resources for their projects.

Who can participate in the learning network?

All Phase 1 applicants to The Challenge and their cross sector teams will be invited to join the learning network, whether or not they were chosen as Phase 2 finalists. The content will be tailored to the needs of the finalists, but the learning network will also serve as an opportunity for all applicants to engage and learn valuable strategies to promote in their own communities.

When will learning network events be held?

Regular webinar events will be held and will start later this fall. Ample notice will be given about the specific topics and dates.

How will topics and speakers be selected for learning network events?

The initial topics have been selected based on the technical assistance areas that were requested by finalists in their Challenge applications. However, we are not limited to these topics and will identify future topics as necessary. Speakers will be selected by The Challenge staff and will include a combination of the Advisory Council members, additional subject matter experts and representatives from finalists’ communities.

How can I suggest a learning network topic?

To suggest a learning network topic please contact Challenge Program Manager JeVonna Ephraim.

Are finalists required to participate in the learning network, and to what extent?

There is no formal requirement to participate in all learning network activities, however finalists’ participation and active engagement, particularly in activities that pertain to their project, is strongly encouraged. Learning network activities include formal webinars, discussion groups, and cross-finalists’ communication with each other.

Contacting Finalists
How can I communicate directly with someone in a finalist community?

Applicants invited to join the learning network will have the opportunity to communicate directly with an individual in a finalist community via ongoing discussion forums or email through the online platform. For those not in the learning network please refer to each finalist community’s unique webpage on for additional contact information.

How can I find more details about a specific finalist's project?

Each finalist has a webpage linked to the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge map page. Either click on the pin point on the map, or click on the location name directly under the map. 

Finalists' Unique Webpages on
What are the data collection and submission expectations for participating communities?

Content posted to your webpage should be relevant to The Challenge and your project. Content may include articles, pictures, videos and/or links to other relevant content. Please note that if you are submitting pictures or videos, you must have the consent of those pictured.

In addition to a project description, we would love to see:

  • Status updates (how is your project doing in reaching its goal?)
  • Calls to action (How can visitors to your webpage can help to make this community healthier?)
  • Contact information (If someone wants to learn more, you can provide an email address, links to social media accounts etc.)

Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

  • Keep it brief, inviting and relevant.
  • If available include links to related content (partner organization website, Facebook page, news article or direct email link).
  • If you’re linking to copyrighted content, please adhere to the requirements of the content (linking to an article that requires logging in is fine. Saving that article as a PDF and linking to the file is not OK).
How do we post information on our webpage?

All finalists’ webpages will be managed by the partners’ staff. To submit content for your webpage please email materials to JeVonna Ephraim. When submitting information, please be sure to include any text that you wish to accompany your picture and make sure links are working correctly. If you wish to add events or time sensitive information, please send at least 1 week in advance to ensure it will be posted in time. You will be notified once the submitted content has been posted.

Who will see the content on our webpage?

The content on your webpage will be public so it will be visible to anyone who visits The Challenge website. We do not limit anyone from viewing the website; therefore, information that you would not like to make public should not be posted.

Can we provide contact information for our project to invite others to email or phone us directly if they want to know more about our project?

Yes. It is your decision as to what is added to your webpage. We encourage you to add contact information for you or your team, although the final decision is yours..

What should we submit as baseline data?

We will be providing more detail about what to submit as baseline data for the quantitative measures listed in your proposal. In the meantime, keep in mind that baseline data should reflect a time period that occurred prior to the implementation of your project’s interventions. Whatever your intended source is for baseline data (e.g., existing online reference databases and/or surveys of residents) you may want to begin to access or collect it as soon as possible.

What is the due date for submission of baseline data for our quantitative measures?

As noted above, we will be providing more information about submission of baseline data, including the due date. As of now, we are finalizing the process and the due date for submission of quantitative data. Any updates will be communicated as soon as they are available. 

How do we submit our data?

We will provide more information about the data submission process.

How can we get help with submitting our data?

Instructions about data submission will be provided. The instructions will include information about how to secure technical assistance with data entry and/or other data submission questions. In the meantime, Please email your questions and concerns to or call Debbie Nadzam, Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge director, at 216-523-7348.

Can I change my metrics from my original proposal?

Please email with any changes you would like to make to your measurement plan, including an explanation of what metrics you want to add or delete and why you want to do so; we will consider your request and provide a response.

What information should be included in the quarterly reports?

The format for quarterly reports will be provided to all finalists.

Expectations of Finalists
What are the data collection and submission expectations for participating communities?

Participating communities will be expected to collect and submit data only for their selected quantitative measures three times during The Challenge: at baseline (Q4-2016), midterm (Q4-2017) and at the end of year two (Q4- 2018).

Will there be another challenge in the future?

Initial discussions are being held to explore possibilities at this time.

How is the Challenge being evaluated?

An external third party will conduct a formal evaluation of the overall Challenge.

How will each finalist's project be evaluated?

Several quantitative metrics currently in use in the public health field will be used to assess baseline, midterm and final rates. Each finalist’s performance will be compared to its own baseline rates for the targeted metrics. In addition, several qualitative metrics will be used to evaluate the project (e.g., extent to which a cross-sector team will be established). Interviews and surveys will be conducted to assess the qualitative metrics during the project and at the end of the Challenge competition.

When will site visits take place?

Site visit protocols are currently being developed and will be provided to all HealthyCommunity50 finalists well in advance of any planned site visits.

Can we add or remove project partners?

Your project was accepted into The Challenge, in part, because of the collaborating partners (cross-sector team) you listed and described in the submitted proposal. If there is a need to update your project’s collaborating partners (additions or deletions), please email an explanation to

How will midterm award winners be selected?

Midterm award winners will be selected by reviewing each finalist’s progress at the end of the first year of The Challenge.

How will final winners be selected?

Final winners will be selected through a review of quantitative and qualitative performance (Appendix 2 of the RFP) and via interviews conducted during an onsite visit near the end of the second year of The Challenge. In addition to APHA, NACo and CEOs for Cities, members of The Challenge's expert Advisory Council will also participate in the review of participants' performance and onsite visits to recommend winners.

How will awards be disbursed throughout The Challenge?

All awards will be mailed in check form to the entity and address listed on the W-9 form submitted during the initial application process.

Do we need to submit a budget that details how we are spending the $10,000 community seed grant?

Although we do not require you to submit a budget that details how you are spending the $10,000 community seed grant, we recommend you keep track of it internally to assist with future budgetary planning and to be included in your annual report.

Challenge accepted!

thumbnail of HealthyCommunity50 map of finalists and project focus areas

HC50 Learning Network

HealthyCommunity50 finalists can log into the Learning Network to join discussions, connect with fellow finalists, get inspiration and cheer each other on!