Ten U.S. community health programs participating in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge received the Aetna Foundation’s “Spotlight Award.” The awardees will receive a $25,000 prize to further support their programs, which will help build sustainable models that can be used in other communities.
“Where a person lives has a profound impact on how they live – particularly when it comes to their health,” said Mark T. Bertolini, the chairman of the Aetna Foundation and chairman and CEO of Aetna. “The Spotlight Award recipients are outstanding examples of how important progress can be made when communities work together to look at the biggest issues facing their neighborhoods and develop healthy, home-grown solutions.”
The Spotlight Awards highlight the early success stories from participants that have demonstrated significant progress since the launch of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge.
“Communities invest heavily in local residents’ health and well-being, often serving as a safety net for low-income and vulnerable residents,” said Roy Charles Brooks, president of the National Association of Counties. “We know just as each community is unique, so too are the health challenges they face. These award winners are examples of what can be achieved when counties work with community partners to solve serious, complex public health issues.”
In addition, five community health programs were recognized as Honorable Mention awardees and will receive a $10,000 prize to advance their work. The programs are a part of the Healthy50 — the 50 finalists in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, which will award $1.5 million in prizes to cities and counties that show measurable improvements in health outcomes over the course of several years through cross-sector partnerships.
“Since the Challenge launched, we have seen numerous improvements and advancements in the health of the 50 participating communities,” said Georges C. Benjamin, M.D., executive director of the American Public Health Association. “The Spotlight Awards are a moment to showcase the innovative work being done in cities and counties to address social determinants of health.”