From Faith-Based Organizations Empowering Healthy Habits to Pop-Up Markets Rebuilding Community Trust: $1.5 Million Awarded to Local Solutions Addressing Social Determinants of Health
HARTFORD, Conn. — As part of an ongoing commitment to supporting community health and wellness, the Aetna Foundation today announced the two grand prize winners of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge (the Challenge). The Mecklenburg County, N.C., Village HeartBEAT program won the $500,000 grand prize from the mid-sized city or county category (population 250,001 600,000) and the Coalition United to Reach Equity (CURE) in Bridgeport, Conn., was awarded the grand prize of $250,000 in the small-sized city or county category (population 65,000 200,000).
The Challenge was launched in partnership with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the National Association of Counties (NACo), empowering 50 small-to-mid-sized cities and counties nationwide to make measurable, scalable improvements to public health issues in their local communities. Since its inception, the Challenge awarded a total of $1.5 million in grants and prizes to the 50 participating programs to support their efforts to tackle the most pressing health issues facing their communities. In addition to the two grand prize winners, eight programs were designated as runners up in recognition of their achievements, each receiving prizes ranging from $25,000 - $50,000 to help continue their work.
The awarding of the Challenge prizes, funded by the Aetna Foundation, is part of a $100 million commitment by CVS Health and its affiliates to making community health and wellness central to the company's charge for a better world. The new Building Healthier Communities initiative, which will be funded over five years by CVS Health and the CVS Health and Aetna Foundations, builds upon the outstanding tradition of community investment by CVS Health and Aetna and helps to advance CVS Health's purpose of helping people on their path to better health.