Spotlight Awards

What are the Spotlight Awards?

As part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, the Aetna Foundation, along with the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Counties, created the Spotlight Award. The Spotlight Award works to highlight several of our participating cities and counties that have stepped up with home-grown solutions to tackle their local social determinants of health.

Exceptional community health programs shed light on promising models of community-based efforts to improve health that can be sustained and replicated throughout the U.S., and also provide a platform for sharing best practices among Challenge finalists.

Selection Criteria: 

The Challenge finalists selected a category that best represented their practice or process. Applicants considered models from the following four categories: planning/approach, community engagement, cross-sector collaboration and partnerships, and health-related public policy changes.

The Challenge partners and a subcommittee of the Advisory Council evaluated applications according to the listed criteria: (a) addresses a specific community need; (b) helps to reduce barriers that prevent individuals or communities from achieving health and well-being; (c) innovative; (d) generalizable; (e) sustainable; and (f) relates directly to the overall project goals.

2018 Spotlight Award Winners

men and women do exercises   kids sitting outside

Bridgeport, Connecticut: The planning process to create the East End fresh produce-focused pop-up market is bringing all members of the community together. 
Camden, New Jersey: The Camden SMART Initiative is training local residents to build rain gardens to reduce city flooding. 
Chatham County, North Carolina: The health department is using mapping to target obesity. 
Danville, Virginia: Groups are working together on effective and inclusive health policies. 
Leon County, Florida: Tallahassee's iGrow is teaching local youth how to address food security.   
Louisville, Kentucky: Outdoor education camps are encouraging kids to increase physical activity. 
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina: The Village HeartBEAT program is working with faith-based organizations to promote healthy lifestyles. 
Miami, Florida: The Little Havana project is building trust in the community to improve their built environment. 
Thurston County, Washington: the county is harnessing web-based tools to map the community’s walkability. 
Waco-McLennan County, Texas: The health district is inspiring more fresh and locally grown food through community events and in a mobile farmer’s market.

Our five honorable mentions: Baltimore, Maryland; Chester County, Pennsylvania; Durham and Cabarrus County, North Carolina; Jersey City, New Jersey; and St. Petersburg, Florida.

Check out our map page to see all of the HealthyCommunity50 projects.