A Culture of Health exists when “individuals, communities, and organizations prioritize and promote enhanced well-being for all and value health as being fundamental to the nation’s future.” This vision has gained traction with some leaders and stakeholders, while opportunities await for reaching other groups.
Building a Culture of Health
In 2014, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced its deep commitment to improving health, well-being, and equity in America; to build a Culture of Health where everyone in every community has a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. A Culture of Health is not an RWJF funding initiative or a program, but an organizing principle that uses an Action Framework to guide the Foundation’s work, and to catalyze, chart and measure the nation’s progress in achieving improved health, well-being, and equity.
This assessment focuses on the broader concepts of a Culture of Health—the principle, Action Areas, and health equity—and whether the Framework is understood by and incorporated into the work of staff, grantees, partners, and other stakeholders.
About the Assessment
In 2016, the Foundation commissioned the Center for Public Program Evaluation to assess the progress and challenges in achieving a Culture of Health during its first year (June 1, 2015, to September 30, 2016). The assessment team was overseen by Tracy Costigan, senior learning officer at RWJF; and included George Grob, president, Center for Public Program Evaluation; and a diverse, 19-member advisory committee.
Summary of Methods
The assessment team selected a sample of groups who they felt would be most affected by a Culture of Health; best positioned to contribute to it; and be essential to its success. These included groups within and close to RWJF, as well as others further afield, but who would be likely to both contribute to and be influenced by the Culture of Health.
The assessment included observations in the following eight areas:
1) Implementation and Outreach
2) Uptake of and Conceptual Agreement with Culture of Health
4) Influence of the Culture of Health Vision and Action Framework
5) Spreading the Message
6) Practical Guidance
7) New Ideas to Build a Culture of Health
8) Tracking Progress