Photograph Dr. J. Nadine Gracia is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health (Acting) Calling all software developers, entrepreneurs, and innovators – the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) seeks your help in empowering women in minority and underserved communities to fight and prevent cancer.

Each year, more than 300,000 new cases of breast, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer are diagnosed in the United States. While these diseases touch every community, disparities in education, prevention, early treatment, quality of care, and access to support mean that minority and underserved women bear a disproportionate burden.

In the face of these disparities, HHS has launched a new challenge to help turn the tide: the “Reducing Cancer among Women of Color” App Challenge. The challenge invites developers to create an application (app) for mobile devices that can help improve the prevention and treatment of breast, cervical, uterine, and ovarian cancer. Up to $100,000 will be awarded for apps that provide high-quality health information to women and community health workers, interface securely with patient health records, and strengthen communication across provider care teams.

This month, as we reaffirm our commitment to promoting prevention and fighting cancer in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are turning to new platforms and new approaches in our effort to address cancer disparities. We are reaching consumers where they are – recognizing that minorities rely heavily on mobile devices for accessing information. We are turning to new technology, and sourcing solutions directly from those who understand it best. And we are raising awareness about health equity among new audiences – including those who are already dedicated to thinking innovatively about solutions for tough challenges.

The ‘Reducing Cancer among Women of Color’ App Challenge is a partnership between the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and HHS’s Office of Minority Health. To learn more, visit

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