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Today I talked with Gayle Harris, Director of the Durham County Health Department, and Abbey Cofsky, Senior Program Officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation about the RWJF Culture of Health Prize and its vision in our communities.

Listen to the interview:

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Durham County, North Carolina to Receive the RWJF Culture of Health Prize For Innovative Efforts to Improve Health

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces Winning Communities at the

Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health

Durham County, North Carolina is receiving a $25,000 prize in recognition of its efforts and accomplishments to improve health. The community is one of six winners of the Robert Wood Johnson’s Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize and will be announced on June 25 at the Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health in Aspen, Colorado.

Selected from more than 250 applicants from across the country, the six RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners have made significant accomplishments in building a national Culture of Health. In addition to Durham County, the communities honored are Buncombe County, North Carolina; Brownsville, Texas; Spokane County, Washington; Taos Pueblo, New Mexico; and Williamson, West Virginia.

To build a healthier community, Durham County is addressing multiple factors that impact health. Local clinicians offer low-cost treatment to the uninsured while others donate their time to improve access to specialty medical services. The East Durham Children’s Initiative is one of numerous parent, family, and child support programs that promote education among underserved populations, and the Holton Career & Resource Center supports high school graduation by providing alternate educational paths for youth. Smoke-free public places, workplace wellness programs, and a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian plan have contributed to better health.

In addition to the announcement of the RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners, the June 25 announcement will also launch the call for applications for next year’s RWJF Culture of Health Prize. To learn more, go to

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize was launched to further the work of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps (CHR&R) program, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps help communities understand the many factors that influence health and identify strategies community leaders can take to improve health. Find out more

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all Americans to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

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