Welcome to the Challenge

Where does your community rank? U.S. News & World Report, in collaboration with the Aetna Foundation, released the second annual 2019 Healthiest Communities Rankings, a new report that surveyed more than 3,000 communities nationwide. Watch a recent webinar explaining how the Rankings work. Go to our why healthy cities and counties page to learn more. 

Heat Map, Healthiest Communities Rankings 2019, measuring health and wellness across the US using 81 metrics

Introducing Finalists Feature Series. Our new Finalists Feature Series will share an inspiring anecdote from one of our finalists along with a podcast episode. Our second feature comes from Louisville, Kentucky's West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative, working to increase use of natural areas, spaces and parks. Check out the feature, The Great Outdoorsand Healthy Communities podcast: Episode 12: West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative

Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge WINNER, cityscape, APHA, Aetna Foundation, NaCo logosHealthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Runner Up

Congratulations to our Healthiest Cities & Counties Finalists. Over the course of the Challenge, finalists built on innovative solutions to improve local health outcomes yielding strong and scalable results. Our winners: Tier 2: Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: Village HeartBEAT and Tier 1: Bridgeport, Connecticut: East End NRZ pop-up market and caféRead the News Release

The Mecklenburg County Health Department led Village HeartBEAT program wins the $500,000 grand prize for mid-sized cities and counties (populations 250,001 – 600,000) and Bridgeport's Coalition United to Reach Equity (CURE) earns the grand prize of $250,000 for small-sized cities and counties (populations 65,000 – 250,000). Watch the Aetna produced Village HeartBEAT video. Watch the Aetna produced East End Market video.

The Challenge also awards eight runners-up:

Tier 2: Camden, New Jersey: Camden SMART, Hillsborough County, Florida: Garden Steps, Louisville, Kentucky: West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative, and Miami, Florida: Live Well Little Havana.

Tier 1: Chatham County, North Carolina: Leveraging Partnerships Built Through the Comprehensive Plan, Danville, Virginia: The Health Collaborative, Waco-McLennan County, Texas: Community Efforts to Increase Consumption of Locally Grown Fresh Foods, and Wyandotte County, Kansas: Healthy Community Corridor

What was the Challenge? Over the last two years, we called on 50 cities and counties across the country to strive for a healthy city/county that is economically competitive, inclusive and equitable. They have done just that. The Challenge has awarded more than $1.5 million in prizes to those most able to create a positive health impact in their communities. Go to our about the Challenge page to learn more.

The Challenge partners — the Aetna Foundation, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties — could not be more proud. 

All HealthyCommunity50 projects have made incredible progress in their communities. Check out our map page to learn more about how our HealthyCommunity50 improved health in the areas of healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures.

Just wait, there’s more. Interested in how your city and county can get involved?  Email us


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Our Facebook page features photos, videos and stories of the Challenge in action.

HC50 Learning Network

HealthyCommunity50 finalists can log into the Learning Network to join discussions, connect with fellow finalists, get inspiration and cheer each other on!