logo, Healthiest Cities & Counties ChallengeHealth equity is a guiding priority and core value of APHA. That's why we have, once again, teamed up with the Aetna Foundation and the National Association of Counties to support city- and county-level teams in advancing health equity through the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving health equity,” said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, APHA’s executive director, talking about the Challenge.

“Successful, lasting change comes from cross-sector partnerships and engaging affected individuals and communities, which is why this challenge is so powerful.”

The Challenge is an exciting initiative designed to accelerate systems-level approaches to improving community health over a two-year period (July 2020 through September 2022). Through this grant program, the Aetna Foundation awards a total of $2 million to teams of organizations that will work together in selected communities.

The goal is to reduce disparities in chronic disease outcomes and promote health equity through improved access to foods that support healthy eating patterns and access to health services. 

Each project team will receive $100,000 to implement their multi-year projects, with APHA and NACo providing one-on-one technical assistance and Healthy Places by Design facilitating peer learning opportunities over the course of the two years.

“Together, communities in the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge will be able to achieve enduring transformations to public health,” said Benjamin.

The project teams are located in the following cities and counties:

  • Chula Vista, California
  • Collier County, Florida
  • Deerfield Beach, Florida
  • Dougherty County, Georgia
  • Cumming/Forsyth County, Georgia
  • Perry County, Kentucky
  • New Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Paterson, New Jersey
  • Orange County, New York
  • Rochester, New York
  • Tompkins County, New York
  • Cumberland County, North Carolina
  • Wilkes County, North Carolina
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Cambria County, Pennsylvania
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Kerrville, Texas
  • Greenbrier County, West Virginia
  • Wheeling, West Virginia 

An expert review panel selected the teams following a rigorous review process, which looked at level of innovation of proposed approaches; intended impacts on systems and policy change; and alignment of diverse partners around common priorities. 

The project teams intend to use what they learn over the next two years to produce models and resources that can inform work in other similarly sized cities and counties across the country. 

Learn more by visiting the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge