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Ruston Selected as Finalist for RWJF Culture of Health Prize

March 6, 2018

March 6, 2018

Ruston Selected as Finalist for RWJF Culture of Health Prize

Community Health Efforts Recognized as Ruston, Louisiana Advances in Prize Selection Process
Ruston, Louisiana (March 6, 2018)— Ruston was chosen as a finalist for the RWJF Culture of Health Prize given by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. As a finalist, Ruston 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 making sure good health flourishes for all.

Ruston joins nine other finalist communities from across the country. Winners will be announced this fall.

“We are pleased to advance as a RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalist community. To the Ruston community, this means that we are being recognized for all the hard work we are doing to improve the quality of life for everyone,” said Ronny Walker, Mayor. “The community is beginning to recognize the longstanding barriers to health and opportunity.  Community health is being prioritized and becoming a common goal.  We are working together on poverty, food security, access to medical care, bicycle and pedestrian transportation, parks, and more.”

The Prize is guided by the principle that every community has the potential to leverage its unique strengths and be a healthier place for residents to live and thrive. To earn finalist status, Ruston had to demonstrate how their efforts reflect the six Prize criteria:

Defining health in the broadest possible terms.
Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions.
Creating conditions that give everyone a fair and just opportunity to reach their best possible 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.

“Selected from nearly 200 applicants, these RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalists recognize what it takes to build a healthy community. They have set themselves apart with innovation grounded in evidence; partnerships across non-profit, education, business, and local government sectors, among others; and an unrelenting commitment to all residents having an opportunity to lead their healthiest lives” said Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “We now look forward to visiting these finalist communities to learn more about their work and to help spread their ideas and solutions throughout America.”
If selected as a Prize winner, Ruston will be given a $25,000 cash prize and a national platform to share their story and lessons learned with the country. The community will also be part of a national network of past Prize winners.

To learn about the work of the 35 previous Prize winners, visit

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.


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