Allen County has been chosen as a finalist for the fifth annual RWJF Culture of Health Prize given by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As a finalist, Allen County is one step closer to the national Prize which honors communities that understand health is a shared value and everyone has a role to play in driving change.

Selected from more than 200 communities across the country, Allen County joins 10 other finalist communities. Winners will be announced this fall.

“We are excited to advance as a RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalist community,” said David Toland, CEO of Thrive Allen County. “This is a validation of a decade of work by hundreds of Allen Countians to turn around our community by focusing on health.  From building a new hospital, to passing the first rural Tobacco 21 policy in Kansas, to constructing more than 20 miles of new trails, to the Allen County Farmers’ Market, to recruiting an FQHC and additional doctors and dentists, to establishing Community Gardens, to reducing Allen County’s uninsured rate from 21% to 10% in two years—everything we have been doing together as a county has been reflected in being named a finalist for this prestigious award.”

The Prize is guided by the principle that every community has the potential to improve and be a healthier place to live and thrive. To earn finalist status, Allen County had to demonstrate how it excelled in the six Prize criteria:

  • Defining health in the broadest possible terms.
  • Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions.
  • Cultivating a shared and deeply-held belief in the importance of equal opportunity for health.
  • Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
  • Securing and making the most of available resources.
  • Measuring and sharing progress and results.

“The RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalists continue to show what’s possible when communities make health a high priority and bring diverse partners together,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “Our team looks forward to visiting these communities to learn more about how they are leveraging their unique strengths to build a Culture of Health.”

 If selected as a Prize winner, Allen County will be given a $25,000 cash prize and opportunities to share their story and lessons learned with the country. They will also join a national network of past winning communities.

Allen County’s proposal has been a joint effort of Thrive Allen County and Allen County Regional Hospital.

To learn about the work of the 27 previous Prize winners, visit www.rwjf.org/prize