UTSPH and City of Brownsville recognized for community health initiatives

The city of Brownsville, Tex., was selected along with 11 other communities from across the nation as finalists for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) second annual RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize. The University of Texas School of Public Health is a primary partner in Brownsville community health programming.

The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize is an annual no-strings-attached $25,000 cash prize that honors communities whose efforts illustrate an enduring commitment toward creating a culture of health for its residents.

“The School of Public Health and the City of Brownsville have collaborated on numerous initiatives over the last five years, along with a dynamic planning effort to improve the design and quality of life for residents of our community,” said Dr. Belinda Reininger, Associate Professor at The University of Texas, School of Public Health.

“This recognition by the RWJF is an honor and confirms that together we can build a vibrant and healthy Brownsville,” said City Commissioner Rose M. Z. Gowen, M.D.

“Many partners have worked hard to implement proven-effective programs and strategies that make the healthy choice, the easy choice,” said Lisa Mitchell-Bennett, MA, MPH, Program Manager with The University of Texas, School of Public Health, Brownsville Regional Campus.

To earn Health Prize finalist status, Brownsville and UTSPH had to illustrate how its efforts foster healthier outcomes for its citizens and reflect the six RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize criteria:

  • Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners and community members.
  • Implementing a strategic approach to improving health that focuses on the multiple factors that influence health.
  • Addressing problems that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
  • Developing sustainable, long-term solutions to shared community priorities.
  • Securing and making the most of available resources.
  • Measuring and sharing results.

“Selected from more than 250 applicants, the twelve RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize finalist communities distinguished themselves with creative strategies to help people lead healthier lives,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “These communities are shining examples of a growing movement to create a culture of health across our nation.”

Brownsville community initiatives include the Brownsville Farmers’ Market, which was featured in a Texas Department of State Health Services’ video called “Increasing Fruits and Vegetables,” Brownsville’s Biggest Loser Challenge, CycloBia and “Tu Salud Si Cuenta” media campaign.

The Rankings show communities where there are areas to improve and the Roadmaps show how communities can take action to expand opportunities for healthier choices. The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize honors communities that are creating a culture of health.

Watch the video submitted to the RWJF as part of the application that summarizes the city’s accomplishments at Brownsville Accomplishments. Go to www.countyhealthrankings.org  to learn more about the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize.