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Fall River Wins One of Six National Prizes for Improving Health!
Click here for the Herald News front page article
and here for the award video

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Maurey presents Dr. David Weed an award plaque as Jamison Souza, Julianne Kelly, Michael Coughlin, Marcia Picard, Wendy Garf-Lipp, Nadia Chamblin-Foster and James Corbett join him on stage at RWJF headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey for the award.


Fall River is one of six inaugural winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Roadmaps to Health Prize. The prize honors outstanding community partnerships across the United States which are helping residents live healthier lives. The community has received a cash prize of $25,000 in recognition of its efforts and was honored on February 20th at an event held at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey.

Fall River is being recognized for its innovative strategies to improve health, including efforts to reduce risk and promote positive behaviors related to substance abuse, youth violence and community health.  “Despite Fall River's social and economic challenges, we’ve organized multiple task forces to mobilize resources and leverage support to address these issues,” commented Partners for a Healthier Community Executive Director David S. Weed, Psy.D. “We’ve already seen a 14% reduction in smoking rates over the past ten years and a 37% decrease in youth violence in the past four years,” added Weed.

“These prize winners represent leadership at its finest—trailblazers creating a culture of health,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “Today we honor leaders from government, business, public health, health care, and education who stand shoulder-to-shoulder working toward better health. The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize shines a light on their accomplishments; we hope it will inspire others to take bold steps to improve health in their communities.”

Fall River was among six communities selected for the award from more than 160 applications. The other winning communities are Santa Cruz County, California; New Orleans, Louisiana; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Manistique, Michigan; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Learn more about the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize and watch a video profile of Fall River and the other prize winners at www.rwjf .org.
 

                 
   Click on the above logos above to learn about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Roadmaps to Health.

Click on any of the photos or links below to learn about the application process, the site visit, the media visit, and the award.

The County Health Ranking and Roadmaps project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Population Health Institute of the University of Wisconsin announced a prize competition in April 2012 to recognize and honor the efforts and accomplishments of U.S. communities working at the forefront of population health improvement. One of the key criteria was demonstrating the value of working together such as through action-oriented, multi-sector partnerships made up of employers, community advocates, health care and public health professionals, grant makers, policymakers, educators, and others Given Fall River's ten year history of working on all of the elements that prize applicants needed to address, a fifteen-page written application was prepared and, following several weeks of  production work on a four-minute video, the application was submitted by the May deadline.


In September, we were pleased to hear that we were among eleven finalists for the Prize. In order to select the final six Prize winners, a four-person team arranged to visit Fall River on October 4th and 5th to better understand the community's approach to recognizing and addressing a broad range of health issues. Following a three-hour tour of the City, the group met with Mayor Flanagan before joining another group for dinner and conversation at the Trio Restaurant. The team then met for three hours the next morning with fifteen members of the overall effort to improve the health of the City. The six winners were to be notified in December and an announcement of the Prize winners was to be made in February, 2013 following videotaping in each community during January. Click here for a web page of the tour and group interview and  here for a video of the tour and here for a video of the group interview.

 

On December 19, 2012, we received a call from the Prize Team notifying us that we had been selected as one of the six winning communities (along with Santa Cruz County, CA; New Orleans, LA; Cambridge, MA; Manistique, MI; and Minneapolis, MN). In order to prepare for a national announcement to take place in Princeton, New Jersey on February 21, 2013, a video crew was sent to Fall River on January 30th and 31st to record scenes to be used in major publicity piece about the Prize. The crew began filming at the HealthFirst Family Care Center where they recorded patient care scenes and interviews with Healthy City Fall River coordinator David Weed and and United Neighbors Executive Director Wendy Garf-Lipp. They then went to Standard Pharmacy, downtown Fall River, the South Watuppa Bike Path and  a Teens Against Drug Abuse meeting at SSTAR. Click here for a video of the crew.

Six members of Partners traveled to Princeton, NJ for a two-day meeting at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Population Health Institute in which they were presented with one of six national Prize Awards. The team included MDPH Health Systems Manager Michael Coughlin, United Neighbors Executive Director Wendy Garf-Lipp, Fall River Mass In Motion Coordinator Julianne Kelly, Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard, Greater Fall River Re-Creation Program Director Jamison Souza, and Coordinator David Weed. They were joined by Nadia Chamblin-Foster, Regional Community Benefits Director, and James Corbett, System Vice President of Community Health & Ethics of Steward Health Care. The City of Fall River was presented with an award plaque, a flag and a check for $25,000 by RWJF President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey and praised for its efforts to improve health over the past five years. Click here for a 55-minute video and here for a 14-minute version.

Partners for a Healthier Community hosted a reception to announce the recent award of a national Roadmaps to Health Prize Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), one of six national Prize Awards. A six-member team including MDPH Health Systems Manager Michael Coughlin, United Neighbors Executive Director Wendy Garf-Lipp, Fall River Mass In Motion Coordinator Julianne Kelly, Partners School Wellness Coordinator Marcia Picard, Greater Fall River Re-Creation Program Director Jamison Souza, and Healthy City Fall River Coordinator David Weed traveled to Princeton, NJ to accept the award on behalf of the City. Mayor William Flanagan was presented with an award plaque and a flag and praised Partners for its efforts to improve health over the past five years. Click here for the web page and here for a video of the event. Click here for the Herald News article.

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