Building Healthier Communities That Thrive

Less than a month ago, I joined Burness, and as I’ve learned the ins and outs of my new work home—and it really does feel like a home here—I’ve also immersed myself in learning what it means to build a Culture of Health in our communities.

There have been no better teachers than this year’s eight incredible Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Culture of Health Prize winners: Algoma, Wisconsin; Allen County, Kansas; Chelsea, Massachusetts; Garrett County, Maryland; Richmond, Virginia; San Pablo, California; Seneca Nation of Indians in western New York; and Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Celebrating its fifth anniversary, the Culture of Health Prize recognizes communities who are collaborating, exploring, learning and innovating to improve the health and well-being of their entire community. With the understanding that health is about more than medical care, these communities are helping their residents succeed by increasing access to safe and affordable housing, quality education and career opportunities.

Each 2017 Prize community demonstrates the type of progress possible when health is at the heart of all decision-making. While each community has distinct approaches to change and progress, all are committed to creating opportunities, fostering inclusion, building partnerships and engaging youth. Check out the videos below to see how these themes are playing out in the Prize-winning communities.

The eight new Prize communities join a dynamic network of 27 other Prize alumni communities across the country who are bringing partners together to create solutions that put good health within everyone’s reach.

Visit to see featured profiles, more videos, and photos from this year’s winners and information on past winners.