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Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to building a National Culture of Health—catalyzing a nationwide shift in the way all in our diverse society perceive and pursue health. Working alongside citizens as well as national and community leaders is integral to achieving this goal of making health a fundamental social value that guides public and private decision making. “Our job is to find the earliest and strongest examples of a culture of health, share the lessons they have to offer, and serve to link together the leaders of change so they can join forces and build small victories into a national movement,” says Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF President and Chief Executive Officer. “The National Prevention Council (NPC) and Prevention Advisory Group are critical partners in helping to achieve this goal.”

RWJF's County Health Ranking System tracks factors that can affect a child's health well into adulthood, like the level of family support.

RWJF's County Health Ranking System tracks factors that can affect
a child's health well into adulthood, like the level of family support.

RWJF directly supports and contributes to the success of the National Prevention Strategy (NPS) through a variety of efforts:

  • In 2013, RWJF’s NewPublicHealth online forum featured a series of posts outlining the Federal Government’s role in creating healthy communities. Interviews with NPC member agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Corporation for National and Community Service, showcase member actions that advance the NPS. Creatively designed infographics and informative issue briefs also prompt the public to examine how health is affected by transportation, education, and employment.
  • In 2013, RWJF re-convened the Commission to Build a Healthier America, an interdisciplinary group of leaders in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors originally brought together in 2008 to develop recommendations to reduce health disparities. The Commission’s most recent report references the NPS effort to integrate health improvements across sectors and highlights the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities as an important multi-sector Federal collaboration that supports health-oriented community development.
  • RWJF funds the National Collaborative on Education and Health, a public-private partnership that grew out of the NPC Prevention Advisory Group’s Education and Health Working Group. The Collaborative aims to support schools in creating optimal conditions for student health, wellness, and learning. Current goals include:
    • Incorporating health and wellness metrics into education data systems
    • Identifying new models for delivery of school health services
  • RWJF’s County Health Rankings provide a revealing picture of how health is influenced by where people live, learn, work, and play. Counties are ranked using data on health behaviors, clinical care, the physical environment, and social and economic factors such as family and social support. In 2014, new measures related to housing, transit, access to mental health providers, injury-related deaths, food environ­ment, and exercise opportunities were added to the Rankings. All of these measures directly reinforce the priorities outlined in the NPS.
  • The foundation supports the NPS recommendation to integrate health into cross-sector decision making through funding the Health Impact Project, a national initiative designed to promote the use of health impact assessments (HIAs).

The foundation regularly identifies new ways to support the NPS. Moving forward, RWJF will be working with a variety of partners to create measures for organizations, such as those implementing the NPS, to evaluate interventions aimed at improving the social and environmental determinants of health.

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