Community Voting Is Now Open!

Cast your vote now to help select the winner of the Health Equity Datathon. Voting is open starting Tuesday, March 28th, and closes on Thursday, March 30th. VOTE HERE >>

“Overall, I would say that it was a good learning opportunity for real world application of data analytics and visualization.” “…I couldn’t recommend participating in competitions like these enough!”


Datahon Participant, View Post

Students working together
  • Network and Build Your Resume!
  • Really good FREE food and snacks!
  • Make an Impact – Contribute to Creating Healthy Communities!

Across the state of CA, public health departments are tasked with tailoring interventions and targeting resources to meet the needs of our many diverse communities. Unsurprisingly, addressing COVID-19 related health disparities ranks among the top priorities for advancing health equity and addressing “upstream” health and equity factors, such as the social determinants of health (SDoH,

Public health professionals rely on various data to inform policy and decision-making, but often run into significant limitations in what they can learn from this data and communicate to the public, for a variety of reasons. 

Some examples of challenges cited by analysts include:

  • standard race and ethnicity categories are not conducive to learning about the impact on specific minority communities (e.g., Hmong, Mein)
  • the impacts of COVID-19 (beyond illness and death) on economic opportunities, poverty rates, and other conditions that allow for healthy, happy populations are not yet as well defined and available for “before and after” analysis
  • while the general public has become more familiar with infectious disease related data due to the pandemic, there is still a need to present data-supported statements that are both accurate and easily accessible for people at every level of data/scientific literacy

Your challenge for the datathon is two fold: 

  1. Use the data sources provided to explore what health equity issues exist in CA cities and counties. What specific disparities, issues, and needs can you identify to serve a specific county, city, or community? 
  2. It’s time to “go viral”! Come up with a way to communicate one (or more) of your findings to the public. Winners of the challenge will be chosen by community voting, so you want to craft a message that’s clear, supported by your analysis, and accessible to a broad audience. You can make a visualization, infographic, short video (social media friendly length – 1 or 2 minutes, max.), or…? Have fun and be creative!

You will need to use data/information from at least one of the following sources:

California Health and Human Services Open Data Portal:

CDC Vulnerability Index:

Rural Health Data:

Healthy Places Index:


Tour of California Health and Human Services Open Data Portal


Do No Harm Guide:

AskCHIS is an online health query system that draws upon the responses of more than 20,000 Californians interviewed each year by The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) – the largest state health survey in the United States.:

AskCHIS Neighborhood Edition (AskCHIS NE) provides health estimates for California’s diverse population at the local level (census tracts, zip codes and cities).

[EXAMPLE] EVE (Evaluating Vulnerability and Equity) Model:


Project Submission Start and End Times

Project submission opens on Sunday, March 26th at 9 pm (local time). Project submission closes on Monday, March 27th at 11:59 pm (local time). [Click here to view project submission form.]

Eligibility for Voting and Prizes

To be eligible for a prize, your team and/or project MUST:

  • Be relevant to the challenge topic of health equity in CA (at any geographic level in the state)
  • Clearly show how at least one of the data sources listed in the “DATA” section of the datathon page were integrated into your project.
  • Provide a publicly viewable link to your “communication piece” (e.g., visualization, infographic, up to 1 or 2 minute long video).
  • Make sure that your project does not contain profanity or inappropriate language
  • Complete all of the required fields on the project submission page.
  • All eligible entries will be acknowledged with a prize!

Community Voting

The winners of the Health Equity Datathon will be selected by “the public”. Voting opens at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, March 28th, and closes on Thursday, March 30th, at 11:59 pm. All project submissions that meet the criteria detailed in “Eligibility for Voting and Prizes” will be showcased on the community voting page. 

Before voting begins, you will receive the link to the voting page, and you are strongly encouraged to share it with your network to get more votes for your project!


NOTE: All in-person events will take place on Chico State Campus, in HOLT 268

  • Thursday, 3/23, 4 -6 p.m.:  In person + live streaming kick-off event. Free food and goodies. Network with teams and subject-matter experts, and get a jumpstart on your project! 
  • Thursday, 3/23 through Monday, 3/27: Teams work on their data projects remotely. Subject matter experts and mentors will be available via chat, email, or Zoom to answer questions and assist.
  • Monday, 3/27:  Teams submit their datathon project results by midnight in order to be acknowledged and compete for prizes.
  • Tuesday, 3/28 through Thursday, 3/30: Teams recruit their networks to vote for their project by leaving a comment on their page in the online ballot.
  • Friday, 3/31: In person + live streaming wrap-up event, 4-5 p.m. Join us for refreshments and the announcement of  prize winners! 

Win a Gift Card!

Meet Our Mentors

Here to help you succeed!
Alica Rodman

Alica Rodman

Program Supervisor

Butte County Public Health

Elena Reyes

Elena Reyes


Butte County Public Health

Michelle Weidman

Michelle Weidman

Public Health Policy and Program Analyst

Shasta County Health and Human Services – Public Health Branch

Krishan Bhakta

Krishan Bhakta

Research Specialist

Riverside University Health System

Register Here for the Health Equity Datathon

This is a unique opportunity to learn new skills, build your portfolio and resume, attend fun sessions and connect with other "data heads" in your community.

Participation is FREE! Using open data from curated sources, such as CA state's public health portal, you'll use your creativity and analysis skills to develop a communication piece (e.g., infographics, visual summary of findings, slides, TikTok, etc.) that highlights the data-driven/data-centric insights you uncover. After you submit your project, try to make it go "viral"!
You'll get the word out to your network to vote for your project; prizes, glory, and recognition on a global stage are at stake!
Complete Your Profile
Participation details
You will need to create a team of 2-3 people tackle the challenge within the 4-days allotted. How will you create your team?*