NASHVILLE—North Nashville was chosen as a finalist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize. As a 2023 finalist, North Nashville is one step closer to the national Prize, which celebrates communities at the forefront of advancing a fair and just opportunity for health by collaborating to build positive solutions to barriers that have created unequal opportunities for health and well-being.
NashvilleHealth and Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center (MWCHC) are spearheading the effort to reduce health disparities and advance health equity in North Nashville, in collaboration with Meharry Medical College, Belmont University, The Sycamore Institute, The Transit Alliance of Middle Tennessee, The Nashville Food Project, the Urban League of Middle TN, and Stars Nashville.
This Health Equity Coalition is currently designing its first pilot project, focusing on uncontrolled high blood pressure in MWCHC’s Nashville service area. North Nashville is a disparity hotspot for high blood pressure (hypertension) also known as ‘the silent killer.’ Many people don’t realize they have hypertension until it leads to deadly chronic illnesses such as heart disease and stroke.
“The Health Equity Coalition is truly unique and has incredible potential to impact so many lives in North Nashville. We are thrilled to be recognized as a finalist for the RWJF Culture of Health Prize,” said Mark Yancy, CEO of NashvilleHealth. “With this kind of support, we can take our pilot project to the next level.”
“In the 25 years that I’ve been in Nashville, I’ve never seen a group convene this quickly and focus on actionable, community-specific data that allows us to measurably improve health outcomes affecting vulnerable communities”, said Katina Beard, CEO of Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center. “We appreciate the RWJF for acknowledging our work and we are honored to be a finalist with other communities working to create change across the country.”
North Nashville joins 13 other finalist communities from across the country. Winners will be announced this fall.
“The community leaders and organizations being considered for the RWJF Culture of Health Prize demonstrate the power of collaboration in ensuring everyone in America has what they need to live their healthiest lives possible,” said Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “We look forward to engaging with each finalist community being considered for the Prize to learn more about how they are making lasting transformations for all to thrive.”
To get to this stage in the process, communities had to showcase the breadth of work and collaboration happening across organizations to improve the health and well-being of residents. To become a finalist, the Health Equity Coalition had to demonstrate how its efforts reflect the six Prize criteria:· Addressing structural racism and other structural injustices in order to create conditions that advance health
· Committing to sustainable policy, systems, environmental and cultural changes.
· Working alongside partners across sectors, and elevating the expertise and solutions held by people with
firsthand experiences of health inequities.
· Engaging in cultural work that envisions and advances a more just future.
· Making the most of available community resources and fostering sustainability.
· Measuring and sharing qualitative and quantitative indicators of progress in culturally relevant ways.
If selected as a Prize winner, North Nashville will be given a $250,000 prize and a national platform to share its story and lessons
learned with the country. The community will join a network of other national and community change leaders, including past Prize-winning communities.
To learn about the work of the 50 previous Prize winners, visit www.rwjf.org/prize.
NashvilleHealth creates a culture of health and wellbeing by serving as a convener to open dialogue, align resources and build smart strategic partnerships to create a bold plan for health and wellbeing in Nashville.Check out our latest newsletter
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