Challenge History

The inaugural Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge was a $1.5 million prize competition that launched in 2016. Small and mid-sized U.S. cities and counties as well as federally recognized tribes competed to develop practical, evidence-based strategies to improve measurable health outcomes and promote health and wellness, equity and social interaction. To improve economic vitality by moving the needle on health and wellness, cities and counties addressed issues of health equity and the social determinants of health.

HealthyCommunity50, the first cohort of this Challenge, made incredible progress in their communities. Fifty cities and counties improved health in the areas of healthy behaviors, community safety, built environment, social/economic factors and environmental exposures.

Cities and counties participating in the Challenge considered these goals:

  1. Improving health of the people in their communities as a central goal through a "health in all policies" approach focusing on prevention, well-being and achieving health equity.
  2. Developing replicable strategies which will achieve measurable results.
  3. Assuring synergy with other efforts in their jurisdiction when developing a new program, policy or action.
  4. Leveraging Challenge prize dollars with matching dollars from local funders (public, foundation and/or corporate sector support) to implement and sustain the project.

The Challenge team is thrilled to embark on this new journey with the second cohort of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge and to watch them build on the success of the first cohort!