The prize honors communities for “working at the forefront of advancing health, opportunity and equity. Greenville County is being nationally recognized for pursuing innovative ideas and bringing partners together to rally around a shared vision of health,” according to a news release.
A delegation from Greenville County received the award today at the Robert Johnson Wood Foundation headquarters in Princeton, N.J.
Chosen from nearly 200 applicant communities across the country, Greenville County’s efforts to advance health include:
- OnTrack Greenville, a school-based early warning and response system designed to help keep middle-school students on track to graduate from high school. It is a community-wide collaboration among the United Way, Greenville County Schools, Prisma Health, and local nonprofit organizations.
- The Greenville Housing Fund, working to expand affordable housing options and purchase land in gentrifying communities.
- A resident-based advocacy effort to increase public funding to expand public transit hours and routes.
“The time was right to nominate Greenville because community partners have demonstrated a culture of collaboration and innovation to build a thriving community for all,” Sally Wills, executive director of LiveWell Greenville, said in the news release. “We believe Greenville is an awardee because the leaders, both formal and informal, in this community are shining a light on the many opportunities that we have to improve health and are actively working together to make lasting change.”
“The 2019 RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners recognize that health is about more than just healthcare,” Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, said in the release. “It’s about what happens where we live, work, learn, and play. They are fundamentally reshaping their communities so that everyone has a fair opportunity for health and well-being.
Greenville County will receive a $25,000 prize and join a network of prize-winning communities. The other four winning communities are Broward County, Fla.; Gonzales, Calif.; Lake County, Colo; and Sitka, Alaska. Spartanburg County, a winner in 2015, is the only other South Carolina community to win the prize.
"The Culture of Health award is especially significant to Greenville County at this time because we are on the cusp of moving as a community in the right direction and for the right reason: to return human dignity to everyone in our community, in any way we possibly can,” the Rev. Stacey Mills, pastor of Mountain View Baptist Church and board chairman of the Urban League of the Upstate, said in the release. “People are coming to the table to talk about who is responsible for what aspects of our community and to hold each other accountable. Our culture of health is forming as we work together to tackle social, economic, and environmental inequities wherever they exist.”