Henry L. Hillman Foundation Announces Healthy Aging Challenge

PITTSBURGH -- January 18, 2022 -- The Henry L. Hillman Foundation today announced the launch of the Healthy Aging Challenge, a public challenge that will award a total of $2 million to four winning proposals to improve the lives of older adults in southwestern Pennsylvania. This is one of the first open prize competitions of this size in the United States to address the wellbeing of older adults, and the very first to focus specifically on Pennsylvania.

The four winning proposals will receive $500,000 each to implement community projects in the region judged to be transformative, feasible, equitable, and scalable. Eligible lead organizations must be a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, although for-profit entities, government agencies, individuals, and educational institutions may serve as partners on a proposal. Each team must also include at least one member from a community impacted by the proposed project, such as an older adult or a caregiver.

“By 2030, the over-65 population in southwestern Pennsylvania will grow by 40 percent,” said David K. Roger, President of the Hillman Family Foundations. “The Healthy Aging Challenge is an opportunity not only to recognize novel solutions to issues facing older adults, but also a one-of-a-kind chance for partners across our region to share knowledge about how we can best serve our seniors.”

Teams submitting proposals are required to participate in peer-to-peer review of other applicants’ proposals. This will comprise the initial rounds of judging for the Challenge, before finalist proposals are submitted to an Evaluation Panel consisting of local and national thought leaders, issue experts, and community advocates. The four winning teams will also be expected to form a learning cohort to help one another continuously refine and improve their projects during implementation.  

Lead organizations from anywhere in the United States can submit a proposal, but projects must be geographically located in southwestern Pennsylvania. Projects are also expected to show evidence of initial results within a 12-month period.  

Projects may focus on (but are not limited to) issues such as:

  • Age-friendly community development, including aging in place
  • Age-friendly economic development
  • Civic participation and volunteerism for older adults
  • Intergenerational programming
  • Reducing ageism and social isolation
  • Skill-building and employment for professional caregivers
  • Technology for caregivers
  • Technology for older adults

“Henry Hillman valued the importance of innovation—not just in technology, but in delivery and organization—in the health and social sectors to help improve quality of life,” added President David Roger. “The Healthy Aging Challenge is designed to further that legacy through partnership with some of our region’s leading innovators.”

The Healthy Aging Challenge is a follow up to the Healthy Allegheny Challenge launched in 2019 by the Henry L. Hillman Foundation. That competition awarded $1.5 million to the winning entry submitted by Roots of Health, a collaborative project establishing Community Health Worker training and placement program in southwestern Pennsylvania.


The Healthy Aging Challenge is a public competition being conducted with the support of the Henry L. Hillman Foundation. The competition focuses on identifying solutions that improve the lives of older adults in southwestern Pennsylvania. The competition asks organizations that meet the eligibility criteria to register by April 12, 2022 at 5 p.m., and submit their application by May 10, 2022 at 5 p.m. Judging will continue through the summer, with the four winners expected to be announced in August or September 2022.

For more information about the Challenge, application process and deadlines, legal governing rules, evaluation and scoring process, and ways to follow its progress on social media, go to www.healthyagingchallenge.org.  


Henry L. Hillman (1918–2017) was a nationally prominent business and civic leader who, for many years, chaired the Hillman Family Foundations as well as the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of The Hillman Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. During the 1960s, he transformed the company from its roots in heavy industry into a broadly diversified global investment holding company. In 1964, he created the Henry L. Hillman Foundation to inspire, invest in, and leverage great ideas and initiatives that improve the quality of life in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Today, the Henry L. Hillman Foundation works to ensure that southwestern Pennsylvania’s considerable strengths, assets, and advantages are fully leveraged to make it one of the world’s most innovative and forward-looking regions, with a reputation for solving big problems through civic leadership and collaboration.