Twelve Communities Chosen as Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize Finalists

    • September 26, 2013

Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced the 12 communities that have been chosen as finalists for the second annual RWJF Culture of Health Prize. These finalists are one big step closer to the RWJF Culture of Health Prize, which honors communities that are transforming health by bringing together a broad range of partners to improve health outcomes for residents. The 12 prize finalist communities are:

  • Bexar County, Texas                                      
  • Brownsville, Texas                                          
  • Buncombe County, North Carolina          
  • Canton, Ohio
  • Durham County, North Carolina                               
  • East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana
  • Franklin County, Maine                                
  • Sitka, Alaska
  • Spokane County, Washington                   
  • Taos Pueblo Tribal Community, New Mexico
  • Van Buren County, Iowa                                              
  • Williamson, West Virginia

“Selected from more than 250 applicants, the 12 RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalist communities distinguished themselves with creative strategies to help people lead healthier lives,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “These communities are shining examples of a growing movement to create a culture of health across our nation.”

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize is an annual no-strings-attached $25,000 cash prize that will be awarded to up to six of these finalist communities in June 2014. The Prize is guided by the principle that every community—regardless of health status and available resources—possesses the potential to improve and be a healthier place to live.

To earn Prize finalist status, communities excelled in six criteria:

  • Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
  • Implementing a strategic approach to improving health that focuses on the multiple factors that influence health.
  • Addressing problems that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
  • Developing sustainable, long-term solutions to shared community priorities.
  • Securing and making the most of available resources.
  • Measuring and sharing results.

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize was launched to further the work of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The program provides data, tools and potential solutions to help policy-makers and the public improve the many factors that influence health in their community. The Rankings show communities where there are areas to improve and the Roadmaps show how communities can take action to expand opportunities for healthier choices. The RWJF Culture of Health Prize honors communities that are creating a culture of health. Find out more at

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners will be announced in June 2014.


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at


About the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute is the focal point within the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health for translating public health and health policy research into practice. The Institute strives to:

  • Address a broad range of real-world problems of topical importance to government, business, providers and the public;
  • Promote partnerships of inquiry between researchers and users of research, breaking down barriers between the academic community and public and private sector policy makers; and
  • Make useful contributions to public health and health policy decisions that improve the health of the public.

For more information, visit

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937

2012-2013 Prize Winners

Meet the First RWJF Culture of Health Prize Winners

These six communities are creating a culture of health in their backyards. They were selected from more than 160 applicants for their innovative strategies.

Learn more

More on the Rankings and Roadmaps

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

Ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation, the County Health Rankings illustrate what we know when it comes to what’s making people sick or healthy. The County Health Roadmaps show what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play.

Learn more