Communities recognized for work to improve public health: Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge

Communities are going above and beyond to focus their work around local social determinants of health as part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge. Now, midway through the two-year effort, the challenge is recognizing some of the communities that have seen results already.

On Jan. 31, the Aetna Foundation announced that 10 communities participating in the challenge were receiving Spotlight Awards, $25,000 prizes to boost continued efforts to making healthier and more equitable communities, and an additional five were receiving an honorable mention prize of $10,000 for the same.

The Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge is a partnership of the Aetna Foundation, APHA and the National Association of Counties, helping to lift the public health work that is making a difference in 50 small- to mid-size U.S. cities and counties. Since 2016, participating organizations have received funding to make their health efforts reach those whose health needs are greatest.

“Where a person lives has a profound impact on how they live — particularly when it comes to their health,” said Mark Bertolini, MBA, chair of the Aetna Foundation and chair and CEO of Aetna, in a news release. “The Spotlight Award recipients are outstanding examples of how important progress can be made when communities work together to look at the biggest issues facing their neighborhoods and develop healthy, home-grown solutions.”

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