Connecticut Health Investigative Team: Project Summary

C-HIT is dedicated to producing high-impact public service journalism on key health and safety issues that engage and empower consumers to make informed health care choices. They have more than 1.2 million readers through 14 media partnerships with newspapers, local websites, WNPR, and TV stations, among others in the state.

The Affordable Care Act brought health insurance coverage to a quarter-million consumers in Connecticut, and for many of these folks, it’s the first time they have ever had health insurance.  Yet, C-HIT has learned that many are not taking advantage of their annual free wellness visit. C-HIT is planning a day-long health fair targeting this population. C-HIT will start the process by engaging readers on social media to learn what people would like to see at the fair.

The team has received sponsorship from ConnectiCares, a major insurer, and will also partner with exhibitors they have covered, at times critically, in a new and pro-active way. A strong pool of freelancers and media partners will help promote the event, especially targeting the underserved and disenfranchised populations.

C-HIT had great success last year with a breast cancer forum, which raised $25,000 in new revenue, and increased their social media and website traffic considerably.

What knowledge will be gained from this experiment?

C-HIT has established itself as a high quality, highly competitive source of medical information for Connecticut residents. The team says its goal is to establish a financial platform more reliant on private sources than foundation grants.

The nonprofit is approaching this project with insights from its first event iteration—a women’s health conference on breast cancer, which drew 140 attendees and raised slightly more than $25,000 in sponsorships in October 2014—that it could produce a high-quality event that could generate meaningful revenue that answers our commitment serve our audience.

The team believes it can build on that experience by hosting a fair with a broad range of health care topics. If proven successful, the experiment will show that engaging an audience and sponsors on key health issues is a replicable way to find financial solvency. Hosting events will help C-HIT continue to expand its visibility, which will lead to a larger audience and also strengthen its individual donor reach.