About the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge

Redesigning inequitable systems that affect health is a multifaceted endeavor that requires diligence and dedication from a variety of sectors. The strategies, partnerships and initiatives, that need to be activated to cultivate healthier communities, must be responsive to the intersection of each community’s racial, economic, educational and other social factors. Additionally, placing community engagement at the forefront of the decision-making processes is necessary to meet local health needs. Recognizing the importance of cross-sector collaboration and community leadership in advancing health equity and preventing chronic diseases, the Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge (HCCC) was created.

The American Public Health Association, with funding from the Aetna Foundation, works in partnership with the National Association of Counties and Healthy Places by Design to support 20 communities across 11 states to address local health challenges through the Challenge. The HCCC aims to accelerate systems-level approaches to curate collaborative and community-led initiatives that improve community health.

Cities and counties, in this new iteration of the Challenge, will receive grant funds and technical assistance over two years so that they can increase access to foods that support healthy eating patterns and improve access to health services.

We believe that work across sectors can result in powerful, sustainable approaches that advance health equity, and we can't wait to see what the next two years have in store. 

report cover, HCCC HIGHLIGHTS, July - December 2020New Report: HCCC Highlights

Read about key milestones and lessons learned, as well as success stories from our Challenge communities.

The report (PDF) gives an overview of food access and health services wins as well as other takeaways.

"We proved we could do hard things under duress...This is significant because we proved we can mobilize as a collaborative quickly and respond to immediate needs while continuing to focus on systemic changes." --Wikes County

"What has been reinforced for us is how important it is to manage data and information resources efficiently." --Greenbrier County