Health Is
Where We Live
Where We Learn
Where We Work
Where We Play

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Discover your State & County Health Ranking
Discover your State & County Health Ranking
 

What Works

Maximize your chances of success by choosing policies and programs that have been shown to work in real life and that are a good fit for your community. Our What Works for Health database provides evidence summaries and ratings for policies, programs, and systems changes that can improve health. A sampling of them is included below.

Mental Health First Aid

Provide an 8- or 12-hour training to educate laypeople about how to assist individuals with mental health problems or at risk for problems such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders

Take Action

The Roadmaps to Health Action Center lays out a series of steps for creating healthy communities. Explore each of the seven steps below to find guidance and tools for taking action.
  1. Work Together
  2. Assess
  3. Focus
  4. Choose
  5. Act
  6. Evaluate
  7. Communicate
  1. Work Together

    Working together is at the heart of making meaningful change. Every community is different, and as a result, efforts to improve health will vary. However, there is one constant we know: when people work together with a shared vision and commitment to improve health, it can yield better results than working alone.

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    Common Questions

    • We want to include partners from all sectors to improve health, so how do we invite people to be part of our team when we don’t know them?
    • How do we build trust?
    • How do we move to action?
  2. Assess Needs & Resources

    Start by taking stock. Consider the challenges you face. Identify your strengths, assets, and resources. Ask if there are some who face challenges that others do not.

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    Common Questions

    • What data will help us understand our community?
    • Where do we find data?
    • How do we know we have enough data?
    • What does all this data mean?
  3. Focus on What's Important

    Decide which problem(s) to tackle. Without focus, all issues seem equally important. Taking time to set priorities will ensure that you direct your community’s resources to the most important issues.

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    Common Questions

    • What if everything feels like a priority?
    • How many priorities are reasonable?
    • What if members of our team disagree about priorities?
    • How can we narrow our focus?
  4. Choose Effective Policies & Programs

    Evidence matters. Selecting and implementing policies and programs that have been shown to work in real life and that are a good fit for your community will maximize your chances of success.

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    Common Questions

    • How do we know if a strategy will work?
    • Should we always pick the strategy that has the most evidence?
    • What about innovative approaches?
  5. Act on What's Important

    Move to action. Since there are no “one size fits all” blueprints for success, communities build on strengths, leverage available resources, and respond to unique needs.

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    Common Questions

    • What does it take to move from planning to action?
    • How do we create political will for our leaders to adopt new approaches?
    • How do we support our strategies?
  6. Evaluate Actions

    Ongoing evaluation of your efforts helps you know if what you’re doing is working the way you intended and achieving the results you desire.

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    Common Questions

    • Where do we start with evaluation?
    • How do we know if we are making a difference?
    • How can we demonstrate progress in the short term?
  7. Communicate

    Effective communication throughout each step is essential for your efforts to be successful. What you say and how you say it can motivate the right people to take the right action at the right time. How will you get your most important messages to the people who influence your work?

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    Common Questions

    • How do we keep everyone who is working on our strategies up to date and in the loop?
    • How do we share our story so that others are inspired to improve health?

2017 RWJF Culture of Health Prize Winners!

Building Healthier Communities that Thrive

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently honored eight incredible communities from across the United States who embody what it means to build a Culture of Health. Selected from more than 200 applicants, this year’s RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners are: Algoma, Wisconsin; Allen County, Kansas; Chelsea, Massachusetts; Garrett County, Maryland; Richmond, Virginia; San Pablo, California; Seneca Nation of Indians in western New York; and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

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