Across the nation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is collaborating with a wide array of partners to remove these barriers, and create communities where healthy choices are easy and available to all. From large cities to small towns, from urban to rural environments, we support efforts to create or expand on the types of systems that many of the healthiest, most equitable communities have in common. For instance:
- Local policies that encourage healthy living and make it easy to sustain a healthy lifestyle;
- Consideration of health and equity in decisions about how communities are planned, designed and built;
- Local data that help illustrate what a healthy community can look like, identify local gaps and challenges, set common goals for improvement;
- Investments from hospitals, universities, community development organizations, banks, and others with expertise and capacity to help communities solve pressing issues; and,
- Networks of people and organizations who appreciate the many social, economic and environmental factors that shape health—and want make a difference.
Bringing about these kinds of changes requires the engagement of all sectors of a community—from government and policymakers, to business owners and civic groups, to parents and volunteers. It takes a lot of hard work. But across America, these changes are happening, and communities are transforming in ways that help put better health within everyone’s reach.