Healthiest Cities & Counties In the News


Aetna foundation, APHA and the National Association of Counties Unveil Winners of National Health Challenge (Feb. 12, 2019)

U.S. News and Aetna Foundation Release Inaugural Healthiest Communities Rankings (Mar. 26, 2018)

Aetna Foundation’s New Awards Shine the “Spotlight” on Programs That Are Improving Community Health (Jan. 31, 2018)

RAND to evaluate Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, identify ways to expand public health innovations (Sept. 14, 2017)


Mecklenburg County health program wins national competition
North Carolina Health News, Mar. 11, 2019
Wanda Dupree just wanted celebratory ice cream. But while wondering which flavor would best mark the end of a 16-week health challenge, she ran into her chair aerobics coach, who talked her out of the treat. “I realized that this wasn’t just about this challenge. This was an initiative for us to make lifestyle changes and be able to save our lives […and] take that to our community,” Dupree, a middle-aged woman who participated in Mecklenburg County Health Department’s Village HeartBEAT program, said. “It’s definitely a community because I didn’t get that ice cream.”

Mecklenburg County enacts healthy change through church
NACo County News, Feb. 26, 2019
First settled in the 1750s, when the leading cause of death in Southern Colonial America was Malaria – 1 in 4 Anglican missionaries died within five years of arrival in the Carolinas.  Mecklenburg County, N.C. residents would turn to local healers and minister-physicians for a cure to their ailments. In 2018, the residents once again looked to local faith-based organizations to tackle the current leading cause of death in the area and in the nation, cardiovascular disease (CVD). Mecklenburg County’s Village HeartBEAT (VHB) program, led by the County Health Department and supported by county government, worked to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease risk factors among high-risk African American populations. The program won Aetna’s Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge grand prize and was awarded $500,000.

Bridgeport group to receive national health prize
The Connecticut Post, Feb. 12, 2019
BRIDGEPORT — Gov. Ned Lamont will join other local officials, leaders from the Aetna Foundation, American Public Health Association and National Association of Counties at a major community wide event Wednesday morning to announce Bridgeport’s grand prize in a historic, 2-year health challenge.

Mecklenburg County health initiative earns $500,000 prize
Charlotte Post, Feb. 13, 2019
The Mecklenburg County community health and wellness program earned a $500,000 grant as one of two grand prizewinners of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge. The program’s aim is to combat cardiovascular disease in the community. Gov. Roy Cooper, representatives from the Challenge partner organizations and community members marked the occasion Tuesday at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center.

$1.5 million public health prize competition announces winners
APHA Public Health Newswire, Feb. 12, 2019
Bridgeport, Connecticut’s NRZ East End Pop-Up Market and Café and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina’s Village HeartBEAT initiative emerged today as the top community health projects of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge, a partnership of the Aetna Foundation, American Public Health Association and National Association of Counties. 

More Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge news coverage

Challenge accepted!

thumbnail of HealthyCommunity50 map of finalists and project focus areas

HC50 Learning Network

HealthyCommunity50 finalists can log into the Learning Network to join discussions, connect with fellow finalists, get inspiration and cheer each other on!