RWJF Culture of Health Prize

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize honors and elevates U.S. communities that are making great strides in their journey toward better health.

2016 RWJF Culture of Health Prizewinner Shares Strategies and Successes in New Webinar

5byAge5, an initiative in the 24:1 Community just outside of St. Louis, MO, joined County Health Rankings & Roadmaps to discuss preparing children for success in kindergarten and strategies other communities could use to improve youth well-being.

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How Are Communities Building a Culture of Health?

Prize communities are building a movement across the country by serving as examples of how health and well-being are greatly influenced by where we live and work, the safety of our surroundings, and the relationships we have in our families and communities. All Prize-winning communities share characteristics that enable them to catalyze and sustain change. This set of foundational practices shows how creating an environment where better health can flourish improves opportunities for all. Building a Culture of Health is to follow these principles:

Defining health in the broadest possible terms...

means using diverse strategies to address the many things that influence health in our communities. This includes taking action across all of the factors in the County Health Rankings model of health: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment. Communities are also encouraged to show how they respond to community needs and priorities. Given the importance of social and economic factors in influencing health outcomes, strategies addressing education, employment/income, family and social support, and community safety are considered crucial elements to achieving a Culture of Health.

Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions…

means making thoughtful, data-informed, policy, programmatic, and systems changes that are designed to last. This involves having a strategic approach to problem-solving that recognizes the value of evidence and the promise of innovation. Communities are encouraged to demonstrate how residents, leaders, and organizations are collectively identifying priorities and taking coordinated action to implement sustainable solutions to the health challenges they face.

Creating conditions that give everyone a fair and just opportunity to reach their best possible health…

means intentionally working to identify, reduce, and ultimately eliminate disparities in health, in partnership with those most affected by poor health outcomes. This includes cultivating a shared commitment to equity across the community; valuing diverse perspectives; and fostering a sense of security, belonging, and trust among all residents. Communities are encouraged to demonstrate: 1) how they are engaging in collective problem solving, including full participation by excluded or marginalized groups and those most affected by poor health in making decisions and driving solutions; and 2) what actions they are taking to remove obstacles and increase opportunities for all to be healthy.

Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members…

means that individuals and organizations across sectors and disciplines are all working together to provide everyone with the opportunity for better health. This includes building diverse and robust partnerships across business, government, residents, and nonprofit organizations. Communities are encouraged to demonstrate how they are developing methods for buy-in, decision-making, and coordinated action; building a shared sense of accountability; continuously communicating about health improvement efforts; and developing leadership skills and capacity among all community members.

Securing and making the most of available resources…

means adopting an enterprising spirit toward health improvement. This includes critically examining existing and potential resources to maximize value, with a focus on leveraging existing assets; prioritizing upstream investments that address social and economic factors that influence health; and cultivating a strong belief that everyone in the community can be a force to improve health. Communities are encouraged to demonstrate how they are creatively approaching the generation, allocation, and mobilization of diverse financial and non-financial resources to improve health

Measuring and sharing progress and results…

means beginning with the destination in mind and a commitment to measuring the quality and impact of coordinated efforts. This includes: 1) establishing shared goals across sectors and partners; 2) agreeing on definitions of success, with attention to reducing disparities; 3) identifying measureable indicators of progress; and 4) continuously using data to improve processes, track outcomes, and change course when necessary. Communities are encouraged to demonstrate how they are developing systems for collecting and sharing information, determining impacts across efforts, and communicating and celebrating successes when goals are achieved.

RWJF Culture of Health Prize Winners

Communities across the country are coming together to make health a priority. Read the stories of Prize winners by selecting a community below or view all Prize communities and their stories.

2017 Prize Communities

Eight communities have been selected to by the Robert Wood Johnson FOundation to receive the 2017 RWJF Culture of Health Prize, and are honored for their unwavering efforts to ensure all residents have the opportunity to live healthier lives. Learn more about their journeys. 

Join the Movement

The annual RWJF Culture of Health Prize competition recognizes communities that have placed a priority on health. Prize communities receive a cash award, a platform to share their story with the country, and the opportunity to join a national network.

Learn more about the Prize competition and application process

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

For more information on the RWJF Culture of Health Prize, please contact:
Carrie Carroll, Deputy Director, RWJF Culture of Health Prize