For the past 7 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded the Culture of Health Prize to American communities that are pursuing innovative ideas and creating solutions to put good health within everyone’s reach. This summer, I photographed one of the five winning communities: Lake County, Colorado, nestled amongst the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains. The area is characterized by a rich mining history that ended when the last mine closed in 1995, devastating the local economy. After struggling with poor health outcomes for children and teens and failing schools, the county has turned itself around in the last ten years with the strength of its partnerships between county government agencies, local nonprofits, grassroots activists and engaged youth, particularly amongst Latinx residents, who make up a third of the population.
No matter the issue, the county uses a tried-and-true formula to improve the lives of its residents: review data, engage many voices, make a plan, act on it together, measure success.
You can read more about the Culture of Health Prize winners here.