We know that our health is influenced greatly by education, housing, income and numerous other factors outside of the health care we receive. This acknowledgement drives much of our work to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all Americans to live longer and healthier lives, now and for generations to come.


Healthy Weight for All Children—In 2007, RWJF announced that it would dedicate $500 million to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic in America. The relentless rise in childhood obesity rates has abated, and in some areas has even decreased. Moving forward, RWJF will stress the importance of achieving a healthy weight for all of our nation’s children, especially in poor communities and those of color.

Health Care Coverage For All—For decades, RWJF has worked to improve access to affordable, high-quality coverage for all Americans. The Affordable Care Act has created new opportunities for more than 30 million uninsured Americans to acquire coverage. Our objective is to ensure that all who are eligible for coverage know what is available to them and how to make the most of it.

Bridging Health and Health Care—For too long being healthy has been defined as not being sick. But good health extends beyond the walls of medical offices to the places where people live, learn, work and play. RWJF will continue to invest in programs that bridge health and health care, balancing treatment with prevention, community action and individual responsibility.

Cost, Quality, and Value—RWJF is committed to seeking the best possible outcomes and  highest value from our national investments in health care, public health and population health. This includes reducing wasteful spending, increasing the reach and efficacy of fundamental health services, and investing in the identification and spread of strategies to improve the quality and reduce the costs of health care and other health services.

Healthy Places and Practices—To help build public demand for a Culture of Health, RWJF will identify, support, and spread the word about individual and community actions that promote lifelong health for all Americans. We are committed to finding strong examples of places and practices reflecting a culture of health, and sharing the lessons they have to offer with others so Americans can link forces and build small victories into a national movement.

Equal Opportunity—Too many Americans still do not have access to equal choices and opportunities to pursue good health. In the past, RWJF has acknowledged the issue of equal opportunity in all of the programs we support. However, we have come to believe that we must make a more defined commitment to address the causes of unacceptable gaps in opportunity and identify areas that call for immediate attention.

Strengthening Vulnerable Families—RWJF supports finding innovative and effective ways of addressing the many factors that influence the health of our nation’s most vulnerable people. Our work in this area will focus on mental wellness and violence prevention, particularly in early childhood. We cannot call ourselves a healthy nation if we continue to be a violent one. RWJF has chosen to address how health is diminished by all forms of violence—child abuse, bullying, post-traumatic stress, domestic abuse, street violence—and how the cycle can be broken.

Discover, Explore, Learn—RWJF recognizes that in order to achieve a Culture of Health we must continually discover and explore the cutting-edge ideas and emerging trends that have the potential to accelerate our progress. We remain open to new ways of addressing issues of health and seek to actively anticipate the future, evolving our strategies to ensure that we take advantage of the most pioneering thinking.

21st Century Leadership—RWJF takes great pride in its legacy of identifying leaders with the potential to transform our nation’s health and providing them with the support they need to realize their promise. We remain deeply committed to investing in the development of health innovators and are in the process of restructuring and refocusing many of our human capital programs to better meet tomorrow’s demands for widespread leadership. Read more about our new approaches.   

The Future of Nursing—RWJF has supported the advancement of the nursing profession for more than 30 years. We continue to address issues such as the nursing shortage, professional development, and expanding the scope of nursing practice with the aim of ensuring that nurses play a key role in helping our nation achieve a Culture of Health.

Health in Our Home State—RWJF honors the legacy of its founder by supporting work to improve the health and lives of our neighbors in New Jersey. As the largest private foundation in our home state, RWJF provides support to core institutions, collaborates with community organizations, and works with leaders to address health needs and to support economic development across the Garden State.  

Building a Culture of Health

Learn how the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is dedicated to building a Culture of Health in Risa Lavizzo-Mourey's 2014 annual message.

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