This week, the focus of national health care will be on Louisiana as hundreds of software developers and coders from all over the world will converge on Lafayette to compete in CajunCodeFest 2.0 and build innovative applications that encourage and enable people to own their own health by making more informed health care decisions.

The three-day coding competition being produced by the Center for Business and Information Technologies (CBIT) at the University of Louisiana -Lafayette with support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, Lafayette General Medical Center and leading health care innovators including Microsoft and Intel, among others.

"Competing teams will have just over 24 hours to analyze data, brainstorm ideas, and create digital prototypes and compete for a $25,000 grand prize," said Cian Robinson, associate director of CBIT. "We believe that through the power of data innovation CajunCodeFest 2.0 participants will be able to create new solutions for helping people make informed health care decisions."

"We're partnering with UL Lafayette on the CajunCodeFest 2.0 to showcase our commitment to improving health outcomes in Louisiana through innovation." said Kathy Kliebert, interim secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. "We hope this event is a catalyst that will create health-related technology that everyday Louisiana residents can use to make the best possible decisions about their health."

CajunCodeFest  has already attracted a sellout crowd of more than 350 attendees, of which 130 are participants including software developers, healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs from 42 cities, 12 states, and 2 countries, drawing competitors from as far afield as Canada.

The event will feature a world-class array of speakers, including:

  • Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer for U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services
  • Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for the U.S. Dept.of Health and Human Services
  • Kathy Kliebert, Interim Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

At last year's inaugural event, Todd Park, US Chief Technology Officer, and guest speaker, tweeted, "Silicon Bayou - aka Lafayette, Louisiana - is the best kept secret reservoir of innovation mojo in America." The event was indeed a huge success, bringing together 275 people in attendance including 115 code-a-thon participants from three countries, 15 states, and 40 different cities.

CajunCodeFest is part of Innov8, an eight-day series of events highlighting local innovation in Lafayette ranging from digital media to entrepreneurship to cultural arts. Innov8 is held in conjunction with Festival International de Louisiane, a celebration of Francophone music, which recently won the distinction of's best world music festival.

For more information about the event, visit