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Congratulations to the Winners and Finalists of the Gelia Castillo Award for Research on Social Innovations in Health

Congratulations to the Winners and Finalists of the Gelia Castillo Award for Research on Social Innovations in Health

The Gelia Castillo Award for Research on Social Innovations in Health (GCARSIH) aims to recognize the outstanding social innovations that address persistent, societal and health systems challenges. In 2020, we set out to find brilliant solutions that address complex gaps in health care and to celebrate the changemakers who create effective, meaningful and sustainable solutions for Filipinos.

A total of 67 entries were sent in by innovators across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. After screening by respective RHRDCs and evaluation by innovation, healthcare, and health research experts, we are proud to present the finalists and winners of this year’s award:

Presenting the Winners:

1st place - Holistic Water Systems for Pumping Water Uphill

  • This innovation was initiated by the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation (AIDFI) to help villages across the country gain access to clean and safe water. AIDFI is a Philippine Social Enterprise engaged in the designing, manufacturing, and installation of low- cost technologies for the basic needs of the poor with its AIDFI model hydraulic ram pump as its flagship. The environment friendly ram pumps water uphill to waterless communities in an increased volume 24/7 without fuel or electricity, thereby improving the lives of communities in terms of health, nutrition, and sanitation.

2nd place - University of the Philippines Diliman Psychosocial Services

  • UPD PsycServe is a three-year-old special project under the UPD Chancellor’s Office. This innovation successfully provided the university with a model on how to respond to the increasingly pressing mental health and wellbeing concerns of its students, faculty and staff in a systematic, holistic, and caring manner. The work of PsycServ has proven to be most helpful within and outside the campus that processes are underway to establish it a regular office in the university.

3rd place - Kalinga Health: A Hub-and-Spoke Social Enterprise Model in Engaging the Private Sector for Improved Tuberculosis Care

  • This innovation was initiated by Innovations for Community Health, in partnership with ACCESS Health International. Kalinga Health is a healthcare systems innovation-social enterprise that aims to solve the "missing cases" of tuberculosis, those that are mostly seen in the private sector but are inadequately treated. This is achieved through one-stop treatment and diagnostics hubs that act as "intermediaries" or "interfaces" to the private sector by connecting the public sector, the National TB Program, and a network of engaged private providers (physicians, polyclinics, laboratories, and hospitals). 

Presenting our Finalists:

Baby Bonding Philippines

  • Baby Bonding is a preventive and early intervention program for parents and babies based on social brain research that healthy bonding between babies and carers prevent future health problems. This program was initiated to innovate Baby Bonding in the Philippines for the “last, least and littlest” be given the best start possible.

BHW Academy

  • BHW Academy is a comprehensive, outcome-based capacity-building program that was developed to further professionalize the role of Barangay Health Workers. This innovation uses a community- and systems-based approach through curriculum development, stakeholder management and policy development.

falls PACT

  • The falls PACT program involves incorporating cognitive training elements into a series of physical exercises. It engages senior citizens in fun and challenging activities to help address the decline in both physical and cognitive functions.

Zuellig Family Foundation - Health Change Model

  • The ZFF Health Change Model promotes greater accountability among local chief executives and municipal health leaders in creating health care systems that are responsive to the needs of the poor. Interventions include transformative training, practicum with coaching, and mentoring.

PPE Needs Dashboard App

  • The PPE Needs Dashboard is a web application that aims to bridge the gap between under-resourced health facilities and those willing to contribute to their PPE needs. It also provides a way for organizations to manage and coordinate donations and deliveries of PPEs.


  • This innovation of the Southern Philippines Medical Center helps address the mental health access gap for people in areas with limited psychiatric services, in Regions 10 and 11. The Telepsychiatry program revolutionized the mental health care service in the country by starting the first virtual live consultation. 

Young House Heroes Initiative

  • This innovation is inspired by the belief that young people can help their fellow young people cope with mental health issues even when they are stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Young House Heroes Initiative focuses on strengthening key areas of intersectionality in the current mental health delivery framework of the Philippines.

Congratulations to the winners and finalists of GCARSIH. We celebrate you, the innovators – your exceptional solutions truly inspire us all.