Sitka, AK (September 26, 2013)—Sitka was chosen today as a finalist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) second annual RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize. As a finalist, Sitka is one step closer to the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize which honors communities whose efforts illustrate an enduring commitment toward creating a culture of health for all residents. Sitka was selected along with eleven other communities from across the nation for their health improvement efforts and will now be considered for the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize, which will be announced June 2014.

“We are pleased to have advanced as a RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize finalist community,” said Sitka Health Summit Steering Committee member Doug Osborne. “We wouldn’t have made it this far if it wasn’t for all the people in town that are working day in and day out to make out community healthy and vibrant. Gunalchéesh and thanks to EVERYONE involved!”

To earn Prize finalist status, Sitka had to illustrate how its efforts to foster healthier outcomes for its citizens 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.”

The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize is an annual no-strings-attached $25,000 cash prize that will be awarded to up to six of the finalist communities in June 2014. The Prize was launched to further the work of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The program provides data, tools and potential solutions to help policy-makers and the public improve the many factors that influence health in their community. 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. Find out more at www.countyhealthrankings.org.