Richmond Selected as Finalist for RWJF Culture of Health Prize

Richmond 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, Richmond 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.

“This is truly an amazing recognition as it points to what we have set out to accomplish; a city that works for everyone,” said Mayor Levar M. Stoney. “This selection as a finalist helps reinforce we are moving in the right direction to create a healthy community for all of RVA. We have changed the way we approach public education, poverty and job creation, which enables us to better reach those who need our help the most.”

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

“Building a culture of health in Richmond is not just about physical health, “said Richmond City Health District Director Dr. Danny Avula. “It’s about safer, greener neighborhoods, more reliable transportation, cradle to career social and educational supports, and building hope and agency in communities with high rates of poverty. Richmond has been working hard to ensure fairer access to resources for all residents and to become a healthier, more united city, and we are so pleased to advance as a RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalist community.”

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, Richmond 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, Richmond 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.

To learn about the work of the 27 previous Prize winners, visit