Winners Announced for the 2014 Health IT Student Innovation Award

TAG-Ed-HIT Award Winners-2014

ATLANTA (November 21, 2014) – TAG Education Collaborative (TAG-Ed), the Georgia Department of Education (GaDoE), and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) announced Pine Grove Middle School and Coffee County FBLA as the 2014 Student Innovation Award Winners.

Sponsored by the Verizon Foundation, this competition challenged student teams from Georgia middle and high schools to develop a mobile app or mobile optimized website that connects young people with opportunity, information and resources on the prevention and cessation of tobacco usage.

Four high school and three middle school teams were chosen as finalists and invited to market their applications to healthcare and industry representatives attending the Health IT Leadership Summit on November 20, 2014 at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. Summit attendees selected the team with the most compelling solution through a text voting system.

“Middle and high school students using their skills and imagination to develop concepts is always exciting to see and the energy and enthusiasm they bring the Health IT Summit every year is incredible,” said Michael Robertson, Executive Director of TAG Education Collaborative.

Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and State Health Officer, presented the awards at the summit. Cash prizes were awarded to the school or program of each finalist team, and the grand-prize winners received an additional cash prize.

“You will help us to connect with Georgia’s young people in an environment they’re very familiar with – a digital environment,” said Dr. Fitzgerald at the Summit. “Your work has the potential to help Georgia reverse its course and reduce the awful burden of tobacco use among young people.  Thank you to all of you.”

To demo the winning high school project, visit

To view the winning middle school project, visit or

The other high school finalists included: Meadowcreek High School, Southeast Bulloch High School and the Steampunk Robotics Technology Club. Middle school finalists included: Tucker Middle School and the Steampunk Robotics Technology Club.  Three of the seven finalists were from outside the metro-Atlanta area.

About TAG Education Collaborative

TAG Education Collaborative is dedicated to developing science, technology, engineering and math initiatives in Georgia. Through partnerships with statewide STEM programs, TAG-Ed fosters student interest in STEM in order to increase appreciation for the opportunities available through technology careers. TAG-Ed hosts an internship program for high school students, two web-based team challenges for students interested in Health IT and web design, and the Vine Event, an annual fundraiser benefiting STEM education. For additional information, visit TAG Education Collaborative or contact Michael Robertson at (404) 920 – 2038 or

About The Verizon Foundation

The Verizon Foundation helps people to live healthy, safe and independent lives by addressing disparities in education, health care and sustainability. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information, visit

About the Georgia Department of Public Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and wellbeing; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. In 2011, the General Assembly restored DPH to its own state agency after more than 30 years of consolidation with other departments. At the state level, DPH functions through numerous divisions, sections, programs and offices. Locally, DPH funds and collaborates with Georgia’s 159 county health departments and 18 public health districts. Through the changes, the mission has remained constant – to protect the lives of all Georgians. Today, DPH’s main functions include: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Infectious Disease and Immunization, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacy, Nursing, Volunteer Health Care, the Office of Health Equity, Vital Records, and the State Public Health Laboratory. For more information about DPH, visit

About the Georgia Department of Education (GaDoE)

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) oversees public education throughout the state. The Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) Division of the GADoE is responsible for the career and leadership development of students in middle and high schools. The department works with the nine Career Technical Student Organizations (CTOs) to enrich the curriculum in the CTAE Pathways. Many of these CTOs are state chapters of national organizations. Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) provides opportunities for students to develop vocational and career-supportive skills. Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) enhances the delivery of compassionate, quality health care by providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development of all health occupations students. For more information, visit




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