About Us

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, a program of the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, works to improve health outcomes for all and to close the health disparities between those with the most and least opportunities for good health. This work is rooted in a deep belief in health equity, the idea that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, income, location, or any other factor.

The goals of the program are to:

  • Build awareness of the multiple factors that influence health.  
  • Provide a reliable, sustainable source of local data and evidence to communities to help them identify opportunities to improve their health.
  • Engage and activate local leaders from many sectors in creating sustainable community change.
  • Connect & empower community leaders working to improve health.

About County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

The CHR&R program provides data, evidence, guidance, and examples to build awareness of the multiple factors that influence health and support community leaders working to improve health and increase health equity. The Rankings are unique in their ability to measure the health of nearly every county in all 50 states, and are complemented by guidance, tools, and resources designed to accelerate community learning and action. CHR&R is known for effectively translating and communicating complex data and evidence-based policy into accessible models, reports, and products that deepen the understanding of what makes communities healthy and inspires and supports improvement efforts. County Health Rankings & Roadmaps’ work is based on the County Health Rankings model of health, the Take Action cycle, and the CHR&R guiding principles.

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Guiding Principles

  • Harnessing the collective power of leaders from multiple sectors and of community members.
  • Putting health within everyone’s reach by addressing gaps that disproportionately and negatively affect certain populations.
  • Using data, including the Rankings  and additional local data, to identify needs, set priorities and track progress.
  • Using evidence where it exists to guide the work and where evidence is lacking creating new and innovative solutions and evaluating these new efforts along the way.
  • Focusing action on all of the factors that influence health, especially those that contribute the most, such as social and economic factors.
  • Committing to sustainable solutions that focus on systems, policies and environmental changes.
  • Recognizing and building on existing and emerging assets to chart the community’s unique course towards a shared vision of health.
  • Securing and making the most of resources, including fully leveraging human capital and the consideration of health impacts into public and private decision making.
  • Measuring and sharing progress and results widely and using these results to continuously improve progress towards health.
  • Contributing to a national movement to create a Culture of Health by sharing stories and lessons learned and seeking out opportunities to learn from others.


About the RWJF Culture of Health Prize

In 2013, we introduced the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize—now called the RWJF Culture of Health Prize, which honors and elevates U.S. communities working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all. Some of the communities are urban. Others are rural. Some are affluent. Others have high rates of poverty. But they all have one thing in common: In each of these places community leaders, individuals, business, government and educators have forged powerful partnerships to inspire people to live healthier lives. Our goal is to use this award to bring national attention to the prize winners’ strategies, and inspire other communities to follow suit.

About the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute advances health and well-being for all by developing and evaluating interventions and promoting evidence-based approaches to policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. A focal point for health and health care dialogue within the University of Wisconsin-Madison and beyond, and a convener of stakeholders, the Institute promotes an exchange of expertise between those in academia and those in the policy and practice arena.  

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in the United States a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation provides support for the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. For more information visit RWJF.org.