Today, Fishers announced it was chosen as a finalist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize. As a 2019 finalist, Fishers is one step closer to the national Prize which honors communities that are bringing partners together around a shared commitment to health, opportunity, and equity.
Selected from nearly 200 applicant communities, Fishers joins 11 other finalist communities from across the country. Winners will be announced this fall.
“Advancing as a RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalist is a testament to the hard work and dedication of dozens of city leaders and residents committed to making Fishers a vibrant and healthy community,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “Through partnerships with Hamilton Southeastern Schools, the City, and other leaders, our community has been on a journey for the last six years to not only address the mental health crisis in our community, but to bring more economic opportunity, more equitable conversations to the forefront, and develop wraparound services for our residents in need. Being recognized as a finalist means we’re on the right track to providing all residents a quality of life that goes beyond the traditional definition of a great place to live to include health, safety, and opportunity.”
As part of the application process, Fishers showcased its dedication to a sustainable culture of health through: the Fishers Fire and Emergency Services department’s WeCare program; the Fishers Mental Health Initiative; the Fishers Council on Disability; the City of Fishers’ and Hamilton Southeastern Schools’ Chief Equity Officer and associated programming; economic development efforts through Launch Fishers, Indiana IoT Lab, and elsewhere; affordable housing efforts; Township government support; non-profits such as Fishers Youth Assistance Program and Youth Mentoring Initiative; Fishers Parks & Recreation’s nature programs; and a partnership with AARP and senior programming.
The Prize is guided by the principle that every community has the potential to leverage its unique strengths and assets to expand opportunities for residents to thrive. To become a finalist, Fishers had to demonstrate how its 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.
“These communities have set themselves apart by recognizing that health is about opportunity. It is connected to every element of our lives – good schools, safe and affordable housing, high-quality jobs that pay a fair wage and so much more,” said Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “In the coming months, we look forward to visiting each community to learn more about how it is working with local leaders and residents to shape solutions in all these areas that impact health.”
If selected as a Prize winner, Fishers 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 join with other national and community change leaders, including past Prize winners, through the national Prize Alumni Network.
To learn about the work of the 39 previous Prize winners, visit www.rwjf.org/prize.
The RWJF Culture of Health Prize is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.