The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has announced the nine winners of the 2018 Award for Health Equity, which celebrates individuals who have changed systems and policies at a local level to increase the chance that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to live the healthiest life possible. The winners receive a cash prize and will be honored at an awards presentation on December 12, 2018, at the Foundation’s headquarters in Princeton, N.J.
The RWJF Award for Health Equity was launched in 2015, supporting national membership organizations from public health, health care, social justice, civic leadership, community development, education, planning, and philanthropy in recognition of their important work in the field. Those organizations find and select changemakers in their community who are improving well-being for the people they serve.
This year’s honorees include a CEO who deployed mobile dental and harm reduction clinics to improve oral health and overall health in isolated rural communities; two community leaders who are transforming blighted properties into social hubs and community markets for local refugees and immigrants; and a teen activist who uses traditional Lakota talking circles to help native youths heal from the effects of intergenerational trauma and reconnect with their roots.
“These award winners represent everything that the Foundation is investing in to make the healthy choice the easy choice across the United States,” said Richard Besser, RWJF president and CEO. "Their work exemplifies the commitment and innovative thinking needed at the local level to remove barriers and create opportunities for health and well-being."