By David A. Kindig MD, PhD and Kirstin Q. Siemering DrPH, RD
On April 3rd 2012, the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute will make applications available for the inaugural Roadmaps to Health Prize. The Prize is part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded County Health Roadmaps project and will recognize communities across the U.S. that have successfully mobilized to improve population health.
Communities throughout the country are actively engaged in finding ways to increase the health and vitality of residents. The Roadmaps to Health Prize is rooted in the idea that every community is on a unique journey toward better health. The prize will honor the accomplishments of communities along the continuum of this journey, from those that have achieved tremendous success to those that have struggled against great odds and may just be beginning to see results.
The Roadmaps to Health Prize is a place-based prize that will honor whole communities (rather than individuals or individual organizations). All U.S. communities are eligible to apply. For the purposes of the prize, “communities” are defined as towns, cities, counties, regions (such as contiguous towns, cities, or counties), tribes, and tribal communities.
Up to six winners will be announced early in 2013. Each will receive a $25,000 cash award and their success stories will be celebrated and shared broadly with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring locally-driven change across the country.
To apply on or after April 3rd, communities will submit a Roadmaps to Health Prize essay, up to 15 double-spaced pages in length. For the essay, applicants will be asked to describe their community and four distinct policy and/or programmatic accomplishments that reflect work over the previous five year period. Applicants will also be invited (but not required) to submit a link (such as via YouTube or Animoto) to a multimedia presentation (up to four minutes in length) that showcases their community’s population health accomplishments. The multimedia presentation may consist of photos and/or videos and be accompanied by music and/or narration. Applications are due June 7, 2012.
Communities' accomplishments will be judged according to how well they demonstrate action and achievement for seven key criteria:
- Identifying and empowering people who have the commitment, passion, and skills to inspire and lead change
- Demonstrating the value of working together such as through action-oriented, multi-sector partnerships made up of employers, community advocates, health care and public health professionals, grantmakers, policymakers, educators, and others
- Recognizing the multiple factors that influence health (including health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment) and prioritizing those factors having the greatest impact on overall health according to the County Health Rankings model
- Addressing problems that disproportionately and unjustly affect vulnerable groups, such as ethnic minorities and those with limited income and education
- Planning and implementing policy, systems, and environmental changes that target populations rather than individuals
- Working in strategic and innovative ways to gather and make the most of available resources, such as individual and organizational experience and expertise; federal, state, local, foundation, and charitable dollars; private investment, donated time and materials, etc.
- Engaging in thoughtful, rigorous, and ongoing evaluation that assesses progress toward goals and informs efforts to sustain and build on successes
The official Roadmaps to Health Prize application and additional details will be made available April 3, 2012 at https://www.countyhealthrankings.org/roadmaps/prize.
For more information, please contact:
Roadmaps to Health Prize Manager
David A. Kindig, MD, PhD is Emeritus Professor of Population Health Sciences, Emeritus Vice-Chancellor for Health Sciences, and Director of the Roadmaps to Health Prize at the University of Wisconsin.
Kirstin Q. Siemering, DrPH, RD is Social Media Lead and Roadmaps to Health Prize Manager with County Health Rankings & Roadmaps at the University of Wisconsin.