RWJF Culture of Health Prize Criteria
Six elements or criteria are central to the RWJF Culture of Health Prize, serving as the lens through which all applicant communities’ submissions are judged throughout the process:
- Defining health in the broadest possible terms.
- Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions.
- Creating conditions that give everyone a fair and just opportunity to reach their best possible health.
- Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
- Securing and making the most of available resources.
- Measuring and sharing progress and results.
Read on to learn more about each criterion.
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.
For more information on the RWJF Culture of Health Prize, please contact:
Carrie Carroll, Deputy Director, RWJF Culture of Health Prize