RWJF and United Health Foundation Award $700,000 in Community Health Grants to National Business Coalition on Health Members

    • May 9, 2014

Washington, D.C.—To reduce debilitating and expensive chronic diseases and unnecessary procedures, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and United Health Foundation (UHF) are awarding a total of $700,000 in community health grants to nine National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) member coalitions. The awards will provide the coalition communities with resources to assess their key health challenges and plan or implement efforts to solve them.

Activities from the various coalitions across the United States include efforts to decrease obesity and tobacco-use rates, jumpstart healthy eating and living efforts, lower the prevalence of childhood obesity, and reduce elective pre-term births.

Five coalitions that recently completed a community health improvement planning process will receive $100,000 each to carry out their action plans. In addition, four coalitions will receive $50,000 each for their health planning efforts, capitalizing on the lessons learned through participation in previous NBCH-United Health Foundation programs. The funding plays an important role in moving these communities from education and assessment – using data such as that included in United Health Foundation’s America’s Health Rankings® and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s County Health Rankings – to action to improve community health.

“Supporting and nurturing businesses to engage with their communities to identify and address priority local health issues is the first step in solving them,” said Reed Tuckson, M.D., senior adviser, United Health Foundation. “We believe that these partnerships, supported by the combined efforts of the United Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations, will produce real, meaningful health enhancements.”

Nine coalitions selected
The five coalitions awarded the $100,000 implementation grants are: Lancaster County Business Group on Health in Pennsylvania; Memphis Business Group on Health; Chicago-based Midwest Business Group on Health; St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition; and Savannah Business Group in Savannah, Ga. The four coalitions awarded the $50,000 planning grants are: Arizona Business Coalition on Health; Florida Health Care Coalition; Oregon Coalition of Health Care Purchasers; and Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health.

“These grants will enable our business coalition members across the country to move from assessment to action,” said Andrew Webber, NBCH president and CEO. “It’s important for the business community to engage in improving community health and the efforts resulting from these grants are leading the way.”

RWJF recently selected NBCH for a Partner Grant in support of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program. NBCH will work with member coalitions to identify their technical assistance and training needs to engage in community health improvement work. Based on this assessment, they will develop employer-focused tools and connect members to appropriate content experts and consultants to facilitate their work.

“The road to better health for our towns, counties, states and the nation is paved with collaboration,” said Paul Kuehnert, DNP, RN, team director and senior program officer, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “We can make significant progress on the health problems we face if the business community and leaders in public health, government, education, philanthropy and other sectors work together. These new grants will help inspire the changes we know need to happen to improve health.”

About America’s Health Rankings®

America’s Health Rankings® is an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by state basis. It is published jointly by United Health Foundation, American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention. For more information, visit

About the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. 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. More at:

About the National Business Coalition on Health

NBCH is a national, non-profit, membership organization of purchaser-led business and health coalitions, representing over 7,000 employers and 25 million employees and their dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. For additional information visit:

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937