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Tacoma is Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2023 Culture of Health Prize Winner

Tacoma is Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2023 Culture of Health Prize Winner


November 16, 2023



Maria Lee, Media & Communications, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054


Tacoma is Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 2023 Culture of Health Prize Winner


TACOMA, Wash. —Today, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced that Tacoma is one of nine communities chosen to receive the 2023 RWJF Culture of Health Prize. The Prize celebrates communities across the country where people and organizations are collaborating to build positive solutions to barriers that have created unequal opportunities for health and well-being. 

“Every city has its challenges, and Tacoma is no different in that regard. What makes Tacoma special is the people who call it home and our partners who work every day to build a culture of health,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Our strength comes from deep partnerships and a shared vision for a better future for Tacoma that drives all of us forward, together.” 
"The City of Tacoma has proven time and again to be an invaluable partner to further our mission at United Way. Together, we have embarked on initiatives such as Growing Resilience In Tacoma (GRIT), a guaranteed income research demonstration, and have collaborated seamlessly with the Center for Strong Families and South Sound 211,” said President and CEO of United Way of Pierce County Dona Ponepinto. “Our shared commitment to the well-being of our community shines brightly through these collaborations and, together, we are forging a path toward a stronger, more resilient Tacoma for all."  
“Equity and access are at the heart of workforce development in Tacoma and Pierce County. We strive for our work to empower individuals from all walks of life to access ‘earn while you learn’ training and apprenticeship opportunities to gain job experience and certifications in high-demand industries,” said WorkForce Central CEO Katie Condit. “As we work in partnership with the City of Tacoma, we are building a future where every member of our community has an equal shot at success and the tools to make it happen.” 

Since partnership within communities is at the heart of the Prize, it is awarded to whole cities, towns, tribes, reservations, and counties. Tacoma joins eight other 2023 Prize winners, including Austin, Texas; Baltimore, Maryland; Detroit, Michigan; Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Reservation; Houston, Texas; Los Angeles County, California; Ramsey County, Minnesota; and Zuni Pueblo. 

“The work of our current and past Prize winners highlights the real staying power of community-born solutions, and their success inspires greater collaboration across public and private sectors,” said Julie Morita, MD, RWJF executive vice president. “This year’s winners demonstrate what’s possible when we work in partnership and ensure that community members with lived experience take the lead to identify and dismantle barriers to health and well-being.”

As a Prize winner, Tacoma will receive $250,000, national and local promotion of Tacoma’s stories to inspire others, and other opportunities to expand its networks and accelerate progress toward building a healthy community.