New Community Collaborations Focus on Education, Jobs, Safety to Improve Health

Nov 9, 2011, 3:32 PM, Posted by

Twelve coalitions across the United States have been awarded Roadmaps to Health Community Grants by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). What's unique about these projects is that they include broad collaboration among everyone from policymakers, business, education, health care to the traditional public health and community organization players, and focus on the factors outside the doctor's office that can have a big impact on health, like education, income, employment and community safety.

Just a handful of examples include:

  • Rhode Island KIDS COUNT and its partners will raise awareness about the strong connections between education and health, increase access to high-quality education and help Providence youth successfully enroll in and graduate from college, among other programs.
  • Alameda County Public Health Department will make consumer-focused banking services more accessible to residents of low-income neighborhoods to help ensure financial security, which affects people’s ability to get health insurance, pay for preventive medical care, and afford healthy and safe places to live.
  • The Wellspring Initiative will help create entry-level jobs and improve living conditions in several low-income, blighted neighborhoods in Springfield, Mass. to ultimately improve residents’ health.

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, a collaboration between RWJF and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, will also include other efforts to mobilize local communities, national partners and leaders, such as a prize program to recognize communities pioneering healthy changes.

Descriptions of all 12 grant recipients are available here. NewPublicHealth will be profiling the Roadmaps grantees in the coming months as they begin their work. Read more news related to the County Health Rankings.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.