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 for all.

2019 RWJF Culture of Health Prize Finalists Annnounced!

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the 12 communities chosen as finalists for the 2019 RWJF Culture of Health Prize from nearly 200 applicant communities.

Learn more

New: Looking at Health Improvement through Five Years of Prize Communities

We know that communities awarded the RWJF Culture of Health Prize are committed to health and opportunity – and now we’ve just released a new report that shows what innovative programs and policies past Prize winners have implemented.

Read the report

How Are Communities Building a Culture of Health?

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize recognizes communities that have come together around a commitment to health, opportunity, and equity through collaboration and inclusion, especially with historically marginalized populations and those facing the greatest barriers to good health. The Prize honors those communities that are working to give everyone the opportunity to live well, including residents that are often left behind. Building a Culture of Health is to follow these principles:

Defining health in the broadest possible terms...

means using comprehensive strategies to address the many things that contribute to health, opportunity, and equity in our communities. This includes acting across multiple areas that influence health, such as the factors in the County Health Rankings model: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment. Communities are also encouraged to show how they respond to key challenges and build on the strengths of their community. 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 and equity 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 collaboration 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 residents from excluded or marginalized populations and those most affected by poor health are involved as full participants in making decisions and driving solutions; and 2) what actions the community is 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, and fostering leadership skills and capacity among all community members. Communities are encouraged to demonstrate how they are: 1) inspiring people to take action to support change for better health; 2) developing methods for buy-in, decisionmaking, and coordinated action; 3) building a shared sense of accountability; and 4) continuously communicating about community improvement efforts.

Securing and making the most of available resources…

means adopting an enterprising spirit toward community 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; making equitable decisions about how to invest resources; and cultivating a strong belief that everyone in the community can be a force to improve the community so that all people can live their healthiest lives possible. Communities are encouraged to demonstrate how they are creatively approaching the generation, allocation, and alignment of diverse financial and non-financial resources to improve the community’s health and well-being.

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 measurable 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.

2018 Prize Winners

Four communities received the 2018 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize 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, national and local promotion of their story and successes to inspire other's efforts, 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