Each year, this highly competitive award is given to communities across the USA that demonstrate a culture of health by defining health in the broadest possible terms. Selected from nearly 200 applicant communities, Greenville County is one of 12 finalists from across the country. Winners will be announced this fall, following a site visit to each community by Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health representatives.
“We are pleased to advance as a RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalist community. We believe we rose to finalist status because the leaders, both formal and informal, in this community are shining a light on the many opportunities that we have to improve health, and are actively working together to make change,” said Sally Wills, executive director of LiveWell Greenville. LiveWell Greenville, Piedmont Health Foundation, and the Jolley Foundation collaborated to submit the application on behalf of Greenville County.
The Culture of Health Prize honors communities that are leveraging their strengths and assets, making the most of available resources to give everyone equitable opportunities to reach their best possible health. Prize criteria include policy, systems, and environmental changes; the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members; and measuring and sharing progress and results.
Greenville’s application highlights the community’s efforts to work collaboratively to build a community culture whose systems are designed to give all residents opportunities live healthy and productive lives. Examples include:
- Tackling significant social, cultural, and health issues such as racial inequity, gentrification, healthy living, homelessness, affordable housing, transportation, and accessibility
- Using data, available information, and innovative approaches to guide work
- Working collaboratively across sectors: business, nonprofit, government, faith, philanthropic, education, and health, among others
“These communities have set themselves apart by recognizing that health is about opportunity. It is connected to every element of our lives – good schools, safe and affordable housing, high-quality jobs that pay a fair wage, and so much more,” said Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO.
If selected as a Culture of Health Prize winner, Greenville County will be given a national platform to share its story and lessons learned with the country, along with a $25,000 cash prize to advance its work. The community will join with other national and community change leaders, including past prize winners, through the national Prize Alumni Network.