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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

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New Orleans Health Department receives Roadmaps to Health Prize from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

February 22, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA –  The City of New Orleans is one of six inaugural winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Roadmaps to Health Prize. The prize honors outstanding community partnerships across the United States which are helping residents live healthier lives. The New Orleans Health Department  has received a cash prize of $25,000 in recognition of its efforts and was honored Thursday, February 21st at an event held at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey.

New Orleans is being recognized for its innovative strategies to improve health, including transforming the New Orleans Health Department, developing strong multi-sector partnerships, improving the built environment, and addressing the social determinants of health including education and efforts to reduce murder. The New Orleans Health Department plans to use the funds to further the Fit NOLA initiative.

Fit NOLA is the City’s comprehensive plan to achieve healthy weight and fitness for everyone in New Orleans. Through this initiative, the City of New Orleans will focus on becoming one of the ten fittest cities in the United States by 2018.

"We are extremely excited to receive this award," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. "This is evidence that partnership and collabration between government, the community and the private sector can have an amazing impact on our city. We have shown that we can bring together all stakeholders and partner in a single coordinated effort to improve the health of our city. This award will allow us to continue our work and positively effect the lives and health of New Orleanians through Fit NOLA."

“I applaud the New Orleans community’s public-private efforts to build a healthier and stronger city. The Roadmap to Health Prize will help the city accomplish its transformative Fit NOLA initiative and become one of our nation’s healthiest cities by 2018," said U.S Senator. Mary L. Landrieu.

“I am incredibly proud of our community for receiving an inaugural Roadmaps to Health Prize, and grateful to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for honoring our work in New Orleans to improve health,” said Dr. Karen DeSalvo, the City’s Health Commissioner. “This was very much a team effort, one that reflects our vibrant network of partners who work with our team in the Health Department every day. We plan to use these funds to build capacity in our Fit NOLA initiative, a program focused on physical and nutritional fitness for all who live, learn, work and play in New Orleans.”

“These prize winners represent leadership at its finest—trailblazers creating a culture of health,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “Today we honor leaders from government, business, public health, health care, and education who stand shoulder-to-shoulder working toward better health. The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize shines a light on their accomplishments; we hope it will inspire others to take bold steps to improve health in their communities.”

New Orleans was among six communities selected for the award from more than 160 applications. The other winning communities are Santa Cruz County, California; Cambridge, Massachusetts; Fall River, Massachusetts; Manistique, Michigan; and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Learn more about the RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize and watch a video profile of New Orleans and the other prize winners at

The RWJF Roadmaps to Health Prize is part of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program. In 2009, RWJF partnered with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute to create the County Health Rankings. The Rankings serve as an easy-to-use health snapshot of the many factors that influence health, and help community leaders identify areas where improvement is needed. The County Health Roadmaps project supports communities working together to make progress on those factors. Find out more at


About the New Orleans Health Department:

The New Orleans Health Department strives to serve New Orleanians as a 21st century health department and a model for the nation, capable of improving population health through data-driven decision making and policy development. Their mission is to protect, promote and improve the health of all community members so they can achieve their full potential, foster an optimum health-related quality of life for those that live, learn, work and play in New Orleans, and ensure conditions that enable health and healthy choices. For more information visit:

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter (@RWJF) and Facebook (

About the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute is the focal point within the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health for translating public health and health policy research into practice. The Institute strives to:

  • Address a broad range of real-world problems of topical importance to government, business, providers and the public;
  • Promote partnerships of inquiry between researchers and users of research, breaking down barriers between the academic community and public and private sector policy makers; and
  • Make useful contributions to public health and health policy decisions that improve the health of the public.

For more information, visit

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Last updated: 5/18/2016 2:20:10 PM

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