Shayne, a fourth-grade student at Chenoweth Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky, examines a crayfish as part of Kentucky’s West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative, which combines parks and public health. The initiative is part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge. Photo courtesy West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative

Shayne, a fourth-grade student at Chenoweth Elementary School in Louisville, Kentucky, examines a crayfish as part of Kentucky’s West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative, which combines parks and public health. The initiative is part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge. Photo courtesy West Louisville Outdoor Recreation Initiative

Communities are going above and beyond to focus their work around local social determinants of health as part of the Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge. Now, midway through the two-year effort, the challenge is recognizing some of the communities that have seen results already.

On Jan. 31, the Aetna Foundation announced that 10 communities participating in the challenge were receiving Spotlight Awards, $25,000 prizes to boost continued efforts to making healthier and more equitable communities, and an additional five were receiving an honorable mention prize of $10,000 for the same.

The Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge is a partnership of the Aetna Foundation, APHA and the National Association of Counties, helping to lift the public health work that is making a difference in 50 small- to mid-size U.S. cities and counties. Since 2016, participating organizations have received funding to make their health efforts reach those whose health needs are greatest.

To continue reading this story from the April 2018 issue of The Nation’s Health, visit the newspaper online.