Are You Poised for Progress?

Does your community have a shared vision for health and the people, plans, and resources that can help make the community a healthier place for all to live, learn, work and play? You can find out by taking this self-assessment tool, which is built on the foundation of the County Health Rankings model of health, the Take Action cycle, and the criteria used to select RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners. This tool can identify your strengths in building a healthy community and indicate where more focused effort is needed. Learn more about what it takes to build a Culture of Health by viewing the RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners’ stories.

Key Activities for Building a Healthy Community - How Ready is Your Community?

Download this worksheet

Questions to Consider We're doing this well We could do more of this We haven't started yet Need Help?
The Action Center can guide you

Are diverse stakeholders from multiple sectors working together effectively (including employers, community advocates, health care and public health professionals, government officials, grantmakers, policymakers, educators, and others)?


Work Together: Recruit Diverse Stakeholders From Multiple Sectors 

Are you working with community members, including those who may not have formal power, are most vulnerable or are experiencing the worst conditions for good health (such as members of low-income communities and youth)?


Work Together: Recruit Diverse Stakeholders From Multiple Sectors 

Work Together: Work Together to Address Health Inequities

Using the Rankings and additional data, have you done a thorough assessment of your community’s needs and assets?


Assess Needs and Resources: Identify Community Assets and Resources

Do you understand your community’s vulnerable populations and the challenges they face?


Work Together: Work Together to Address Health Inequities

Assess Needs and Resources: Collect Your Own Data

Are you working with everyone in your community - especially those disproportionately affected by poor health - to ensure they have a role in prioritizing your community efforts on the factors that most influence health, such as those focused on social and economic factors and health behaviors?


Focus on What’s Important: 
Prepare to Prioritize

Work Together: Work Together to Address Health Inequities

Are you choosing evidence-informed strategies where they exist, with an emphasis on policy, systems and environmental change?


Choose Effective Policies and Programs: Explore Policies and Programs

Where evidence doesn’t exist, are you creating innovative strategies, and evaluating these new strategies along the way?


Evaluate Actions: Prepare to Evaluate

Are you implementing strategies that will create opportunities for all members of the community to make choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life regardless of race/ethnicity, limited English skills, gender, age, religion, income, educational level, geographic location, sexual orientation, or ability?


Choose Effective Policies and Programs: Consider the Impact

Do the priorities you are working on reflect a reasonable balance between meeting immediate needs and bringing your community’s long-term vision for health improvement to life?


Focus on What’s Important: Prepare to Prioritize

Focus on What’s Important: Prioritize the Issues

Are you implementing strategies that change policies, systems or environments, as well as programs that meet individual needs?


Act on What’s Important: Build Public & Political Will

Act on What’s Important: Organize and Mobilize the Community

Are you making effective use of financial and non-financial resources, such as particular experience and expertise of individual leaders and/or organizations?


Act on What’s Important: Identify Resources to Support Your Activities

Are you bringing consideration of health impacts into public and private sector decision making?


Act on What’s Important: Identify Allies and Opponents

Are you engaging in thoughtful, regular monitoring and evaluation of your strategies as well as their long-term impact?


Evaluate Actions: Identify Indicators and How to Collect Data

Evaluate Actions: Collect Credible Data

Are you sharing your work and your results with the community?


Evaluate Actions: Share Your Results 

Communicate: Use the Power of Story

Are you seeking out opportunities to learn from others outside your community?


Community Stories - 
Health improvement efforts from around the country