Cicero, Il Receives RWJF Culture of Health Prize for Efforts to Improve Health and Well-Being

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Recognizes Cicero, IL for Forging Partnerships for Change


Cicero, IL (September 18, 2018) Cicero, a suburb west of Chicago, is one of four winners of the 2018 RWJF Culture of Health Prize awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Prize honors communities for its unwavering efforts to ensure all residents have the opportunity to live healthier lives.

Cicero is being nationally recognized for pursuing innovative ideas and bringing partners together to rally around a shared vision of health. Chosen from nearly 200 applicant communities across the country, Cicero’s award-winning efforts are community led and include, mental health counseling and trainings to help generate trauma awareness and combat its negative effects, community members and organizations rallying to keep their school-based health clinic open, and parents joining forces to prevent violence on school routes.

“It’s been inspiring to see Cicero residents, social service organizations, schools and the town come together to create lasting change for our community,” said Mariana Osoria, Vice President of Centers for Family Focus and Co-Chair of the Cicero Community Collaborative, “We’ve all experienced the impact this collaboration has on our community, and it’s exciting that our work is being recognized through the receipt of the RWJF Culture of Health Prize.”

“The 2018 RWJF Culture of Health Prize winners understand good health requires far more than access to good health care. It requires a thriving community with access to quality education, good jobs, and safe, affordable housing,” said Richard Besser, MD, RWJF president and CEO. “These inspiring places are engaging community members in decision making to give all residents the opportunity to live well, no matter where they live, how much money they make, or the color of their skin.”

Cicero will receive a $25,000 prize, join a network of Prize-winning communities, and have its inspiring accomplishments shared throughout the nation. The other three winning communities are: Eatonville, Florida; Klamath County, Oregon; and San Antonio, Texas. Cicero is the first community in Illinois to win the distinguished Prize.

To become an RWJF Culture of Health Prize winner, Cicero had to demonstrate how it excelled in the following six 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.
  • “The community of Cicero has developed a focus on health that expands beyond the traditional definition,” said Sean Garrett, CEO and President of United Way of Metro Chicago. “Through wrap around services that meet the needs of the entire family, Cicero is truly building a stronger neighborhood for all. We’re proud to partner with them through our Neighborhood Network Initiative. Their recognition as a 2018 RWJF Culture of Health Prize winner is well deserved.”

    On Friday, September 21 at 10:30 a.m. the Cicero Community Collaborative will be hosting a celebration event at the Cicero Community Center. Community members are welcome to join in the festivities.

    Cicero will join this year’s other Prize-winning communities at the Culture of Health Prize Celebration and Learning Event at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation headquarters in Princeton, New Jersey on October 9-11.

    Learn more about Cicero’s work, as well as this year’s other Prize winners through a collection of videos, photos, and more at www.rwjf.org/Prize.

    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 www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.
    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 http://uwphi.pophealth.wisc.edu.

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