ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced that Howard County is one of nine communities chosen as a finalist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) 2021 “Culture of Health Prize.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront the growing inequity across the U.S. of fair and equitable access to affordable healthcare, and the opportunity to live a healthier life. Here in Howard County, we remain committed to addressing disparities and creating a culture of health. By leveraging partnerships, building coalitions, and integrating services we will create the greatest community impact. Being named a ‘Culture of Health Prize’ finalist emphasizes our commitment to doing just that.
The Prize recognizes communities across the United States that are working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity and equity for all. These communities have placed a priority on health and are driven to ensure everyone has the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible.
To earn finalist status, Howard County had to demonstrate how its efforts reflect the six Prize criteria: (1) defining health in the broadest possible terms; (2) committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions; (3) creating conditions that give everyone a fair and just opportunity to reach their best possible health; (4) maximizing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members; (5) securing and making the most of available resources; and (6) measuring and sharing progress and results. In addition to Howard County, Anne Arundel County was also named a finalist community.
One example of the many partnerships in Howard County helping the community is the “Climate of Hope” project, a joint creation by Columbia Community Care and the Community Ecology Institute. The “Climate of Hope” project focuses on creating climate aware agriculture featuring renewable energy integration, cultivating climate victory gardens and educating the community on climate change.
Next up, Howard County, along with the other eight Prize finalist communities, will participate in a series of virtual community reflection conversations with leaders, residents and representatives from the Prize program. The winner will be announced this fall.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health. Since 1972, RWJF has supported research and programs targeting some of America’s most pressing health issues. Through its collaborations, RWJF strives to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being.