Cicero, Illinois Selected as Finalist for RWJF Culture of Health Prize

Community Health Efforts Recognized as Cicero Advances in Prize Selection Process

Cicero, IL (March 13, 2018) – Cicero, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, has been chosen as a finalist for the RWJF Culture of Health Prize given by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The national Prize honors communities that embody the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's commitment to health as a shared value and have the ability to organize multiple stakeholders to ensure positive health outcomes for the entire community.

"We are thrilled to advance as a RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalist community. Thanks to collaboration across all sectors we've been able to build a culture of health and create sustainable systems, as demonstrated by the dramatic reduction in community violence and gang activity," said Meg Hefty, Associate Director of Sarah's Inn, and a steering committee member of the Cicero Community Collaborative, a coalition of local service providers. "To the Cicero community, this is an opportunity to share nationally the remarkable work our local community has been achieving over the past decade."

The Prize is guided by the principle that every community has the potential to leverage its unique strengths and be a healthier place for residents to live and thrive. To earn finalist status, Cicero had to demonstrate how their efforts reflect the six Prize criteria:

  • Defining health in the broadest possible terms.
  • Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented long-term solutions.
  • Creating conditions that give everyone a fair and just opportunity to reach their best possible health.
  • Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
  • Securing and making the most of available resources.
  • Measuring and sharing progress and results.

"Selected from nearly 200 applicants, these RWJF Culture of Health Prize finalists recognize what it takes to build a healthy community. They have set themselves apart with innovation grounded in evidence; partnerships across non-profit, education, business, and local government sectors, among others; and an unrelenting commitment to all residents having an opportunity to lead their healthiest lives" said Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO. "We now look forward to visiting these finalist communities to learn more about their work and to help spread their ideas and solutions throughout America."

The community of Cicero joins nine other finalist communities from across the country. Winners will be announced this fall. If selected as a Prize winner, Cicero will be given a $25,000 cash prize and a national platform to share their story and lessons learned with the country. The community will also be part of a national network of past Prize winners.

Cicero is a part of the United Way of Metro Chicago Neighborhood Network Initiative, a region-wide collective impact strategy focused on addressing the greatest needs in 10 Chicago neighborhoods. Founded in late 2014, the Cicero Neighborhood Network is guided by lead agency Cicero Community Collaborative and supported by the United Way of Metro Chicago. The Network set a bold goal of 10,000 Cicero children successfully meeting developmental and academic benchmarks by 2027, and supporting youth and families is the key that inspires community efforts to implement actions toward better health.

To learn about the work of the 35 previous Prize winners, visit

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

About Cicero Community Collaborative
The Cicero Community Collaborative (CCC) is a coalition of local service providers whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for Cicero children, youth and families by working together to improve educational outcomes, parent engagement, health, and safety. To stay in the loop, follow the Cicero Community Collaborative on Facebook.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

About the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute advances health and well-being for all by developing and evaluating interventions and promoting evidence-based approaches to policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. A focal point for health and health care dialogue within the University of Wisconsin-Madison and beyond, and a convener of stakeholders, the Institute promotes an exchange of expertise between those in academia and those in the policy and practice arena. The Institute leads the work on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the RWJF Culture of Health Prize. For more information, visit

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