Building a Culture of Health

Since 2013, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has led a pioneering effort to advance a Culture of Health that enables all people in a diverse society to lead healthier lives over generations. Since that time, RWJF and the RAND Corporation have developed the Action Framework and associated national measures to track progress toward a Culture of Health, and have supported other efforts to understand how people and whole communities in the United States think about, value, and prioritize issues of health, well-being, and health equity.

Creating a Culture of Health and Advancing Health Equity

  • Group of women wearing face masks while running in the city during rainy and gloomy weather, photo by RgStudio/Getty Images

    Understanding Our Culture of Health Before the Pandemic Can Help Us Improve It Afterward

    Measuring health and the social and economic factors that influenced it before the pandemic helps us understand the kind of risks the United States faced previously. It can also inform how to move forward toward recovery.

  • A woman choosing from a row of bicycles

    Measuring Progress Toward a Culture of Health... at the Library

    Libraries can provide much more than books and internet access. Libraries across the United States are evolving to play a bigger role in community health. Many offer nutrition programs, mental health support, and even free bike-shares.

  • Group of people planting a tree, photo by South_agency/Getty Images

    New Data on How We're Measuring a Culture of Health

    We are seeing small but positive changes in the appreciation of the social determinants of health and the need for broader community health investments. People are expanding their views of what influences health and there have been some targeted improvements in health care and public health access. Yet, the critical systemic changes needed for more transformative health improvements have been slower to follow.

Understanding American Health Mindset and Expectations

  • Authorities receive a shipment of COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States through the U.N. Covax program in La Paz, Bolivia, September 26, 2021, photo by Josué Antonio Castañeta/Ulan/Pool/Latin American News Agency via Reuters

    American Attitudes About Vaccine Globalism

    Overall, American support for sharing vaccines with other countries was high even before the Omicron variant. This may reflect recognition of the need to proactively address the pandemic beyond U.S. borders to truly be on the path to recovery.

  • Shoppers carry purchases at the King of Prussia Mall, in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, December 8, 2018, photo by Mark Makela/Reuters

    American Views on COVID-19 Health Risks, School and Economy Reopening

    Much of the discussion about opening schools and the economy has focused on the educational and economic effects that closures may have on the most vulnerable groups. But some of these groups still remain wary of the increased health risks of opening.

  • Volunteers help at an annual Thanksgiving turkey giveaway, Inglewood, California, November 23, 2020, photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    COVID-19 Has Offered Opportunities for Communities to Come Together

    The past year has been among the most turbulent in recent memory. Might recent crises provide a catalyst for a renewed sense of civic engagement that transcends some of the race and class divisions COVID-19 has exacerbated?

  • Customers are served at the Destiny USA mall during the reopening as COVID-19 restrictions are eased in Syracuse, New York, July 10, 2020, photo by Maranie Staab/Reuters

    How Much Do Americans Value Their Health During the Pandemic?

    Do Americans believe that limiting the spread of COVID-19 justifies the social and economic costs of physical-distancing measures? Researchers conducted a survey to better understand how Americans weigh health against other priorities.

Engaging Civically for Health

Assessing How Communities Build a Culture of Health

Activating Social Change for Well-Being

  • Aerial view of Santa Monica city and beach

    Measuring Wellbeing to Help Communities Thrive

    The city of Santa Monica wanted to incorporate wellbeing into city planning, policies, and programs. RAND researchers, as part of a team of experts, helped create a framework for measuring wellbeing and applying the findings to city planning.