Spartanburg County Wins RWJF Culture of Health Prize

Spartanburg County is one of eight communities nationally to win the prestigious 2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize. The prize honors communities for working to ensure that everyone in their community has the opportunity to live a longer, healthier and more productive life.

Selected from more than 340 applicants, the winning communities are Bridgeport, Connecticut; Bronx, New York; Everett, Massachusetts; Kansas City, Missouri; Lawrence, Massachusetts; Menominee Nation in northeastern Wisconsin; Spartanburg County, South Carolina; and Waaswaaganing Anishinaabeg (Lac du Flambeau Tribe) in northern Wisconsin. The winners each receive a $25,000 cash prize and the opportunity to inspire other communities and share their successes and lessons learned during their transformational journeys.

Spartanburg County was selected for the successes realized through the community’s focus on data-driven decision making, collaborative partnerships and collective impact.  When faced with alarming teen pregnancy rates, community partners rallied to provide prevention education and safe and friendly places for teens to receive counseling and contraception. From 2008 to 2014, these efforts led to a 53% decrease in teen births and a 55% decrease in teen births among African-Americans. AccessHealth Spartanburg is connecting low-income residents to medical homes and providing wrap-around case management services that focus on the social determinants of health. These efforts have led to a 42% reduction in hospital costs. And efforts to revitalize the Northside neighborhood have focused on safe and affordable housing, recreation opportunities and financial services for residents and quality education.

Click here to learn more about how Spartanburg County won and view a video.

Click here to view a 2-page case study about Spartanburg County’s Road to Better Health.



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 manages the RWJF Culture of Health Prize.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are striving to build a national Culture of Health that will enable all to live longer, healthier lives now and for generations to come. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

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© 2015 South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health