Springfield a Top 20 finalist in $9 million Bloomberg Challenge

Springfield a Top 20 finalist in $9 million Bloomberg Challenge »Play Video

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The city of Springfield is catching national attention for an innovative idea they pitched in a national mayor challenge.

More than 300 cities submitted concepts geared toward improving city life in the Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayor Challenge.

Springfield has made it as a top 20 finalist in the national contest. If the city wins, they could receive a grant worth $5 million.

"We saw that it's a mayor's challenge and we had 3 or 4 possibilities we could enter, it just made a lot of sense to take a look at some of the things we could propose," Lundberg said.

Springfield chose to pitch a concept geared toward improving universal access to health care.

Dennis Murphy, former Springfield Fire Chief, has been working on the idea for the last two years.

Murphy said their plan is to bring mobile minivans to the patients' homes.

"We're going to bring the doctor in a box and the way we're going to do that is we're going to send a nurse or a paramedic out in a mobile primary care unit," Murphy said.

Murphy said the idea behind the concept is to cut down on ambulance costs and emergency room visits.

Other finalist cities: Boston; Chicago; Cincinnati; Durham, N.C.; High Point, N.C.; Hillsboro; Houston; Indianapolis; Knoxville, Tenn.; Lafayette, La.; Lexington, Ky.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Philadelphia; Phoenix, Ariz.; Providence, R.I.; St. Paul, Minn.; San Francisco; Santa Monica, Calif.; Syracuse, N.Y.

Even though Springfield, Oregon is the smallest top 20 finalist, Murphy said he still thinks Springfield could be the winner.

"It is innovative, it has been recognized as such," Murphy said. "I think we can beat the competition. If this is 'America has talent, we have talent.'"

Murphy will head to Washington D.C. this week to visit with international fire chiefs about the city's pitch.

The winners will be announced in March.