2023 Culture of Health Prize
Call for Applications
Application is Now Closed
Application closed as of: March 29, 2023 3:00 PM ET
Culture of Health Prize
The Prize honors the work of communities where people and organizations
are collaborating to advance health, opportunity, and equity for all.
Introduction & Purpose
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize (“the Prize”) honors the work of communities that foster health and wellbeing for all by addressing systemic inequities. In the 10 years since it launched, the Prize has recognized more than 50 communities across the country that are at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity, and equity for all. The Prize serves to inspire change and highlight community-led solutions that are breaking down the barriers to health and wellbeing caused by structural racism and other forms of discrimination.
Across the country, people who experience health inequities are at the forefront of challenging and changing the conditions driving those realities. In Drew, Mississippi, communities are addressing the lack of safe and affordable housing by tearing down deteriorating buildings and rebuilding new, accessible homes. National City, California, is championing efforts to let residents, regardless of their immigration status, determine the city’s growth. Dozens of community partners and hundreds of residents helped shape the city’s new Paradise Creek apartments and park complex, which brings food, transportation, and environmental justice to a part of the city where many people had felt left behind. The work of past Prize winners shows us that addressing structural racism and other structural barriers is critical to creating the community conditions to establish health equity, and progress is most powerful when the people leading change share their own stories and solutions to the issues they see.
The Prize shines a light on communities that are paving the way to health equity, from cities and counties to tribes and regions. Every community’s journey and strategies are unique, but across the board, Prize communities create and sustain a Culture of Health through deep cross-sector partnerships, efforts led by those directly affected by inequities, and sustainable solutions that address policy, systems, and environmental factors.
In 2023, RWJF will select up to 10 winning communities through a competitive selection process to receive a range of resources and supports including the following:
- A $250,000 Prize.
- National and local promotion of communities’ stories that will inspire others’ efforts.
- Training to enhance outreach to media, policymakers, advocacy networks, and grassroots organizations.
- Opportunities to expand networks by connecting with other Prize communities as well as national and local leaders working to build a Culture of Health.
- Access to technical assistance, coaching, and workshops to enable Prize winners to accelerate their progress.
This call for applications seeks communities that exemplify the six Prize selection criteria described below. These criteria illustrate important aspects of what it takes for communities to build a Culture of Health.
Eligibility & Selection Criteria
The following eligibility criteria reflect that the RWJF Culture of Health Prize honors the work of communities that bring health equity to life by addressing systemic inequities. First and foremost, the Prize recognizes diverse, cross-sector partnerships that center people who are most impacted by local or regional health inequities and the opportunities they see to improve health and wellbeing. Some examples are economic opportunity, housing justice, healthcare access, criminal legal reform, or many other topics. The Prize is awarded to either whole cities, towns, tribes, reservations, or counties.
Eligible applicants must represent one of the following:
- City, town, village, borough, or other municipality with a publicly elected governing body;
- County or parish;
- Federally recognized tribe or a state-designated American Indian reservation;
- Native Hawaiian organization serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islanders in Hawaii;
- Region, defined as geographically contiguous municipalities, counties, and/or reservations.
Partnership within communities is at the heart of the Prize. To be eligible, applicants should represent multiple unique organizations whose partnership predates the Prize application.
Types of organizations include, but are not limited to:
- Community coalitions
- Community development organizations
- Government agencies or departments
- Grassroots and advocacy organizations
- Hospital or healthcare organizations
- Local and regional foundations
- Nonprofit community-based organizations
- Resident groups
To be eligible for the Prize, applications must designate a local U.S. government entity or tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity operating within the community to accept the $250,000 Prize on the community’s behalf should they win. Community partners can decide together how to use the unrestricted funds to benefit the community; budget reports on Prize expenditures are not required.
Key Dates & Deadlines
- February 16, 2023 (2:00 p.m. ET)
Optional applicant webinar. Webinar recording.
- March 29, 2023 (3 p.m. ET)
All applications due. Please direct any technological inquiries to HRiA at least 24 hours in advance of the deadline.
- Week of May 8th
Applicants will be notified whether or not they are selected as finalists and interviews will be scheduled with those selected.
- June 2023
Interviews and either in-person or virtual site visits will be conducted by a review team with selected finalist applicant communities.
- October/November, 2023
National announcement and celebration of winners.
- Number of Awards: Up to 10 awards will be awarded.
- Amount of Award: $250,000
- Award Duration: A one-time Prize will be awarded in Fall 2023.