Culture of Health Request for Information

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has issued a Request for Information from colleges, universities, multi-campus systems and higher education networks/associations in the U.S. that are helping to build a culture of health on their campuses and in their communities.  The Foundation has specifically reached out to CUMU member institutions to share their work.

Background Information

Our health and well-being can be greatly influenced by complex social factors: where we live, how we work, the soundness and safety of our surroundings, and the strength and resilience of our families and communities. Nearly one-fifth of all Americans live in low-income neighborhoods offering few opportunities for healthy living: little access to nutritious food, inadequate housing, poor education, pollution, high rates of crime, and scarce job opportunities. These factors have a tremendous impact on health, and one sector alone cannot address them all. At the same time, every community has assets that can be leveraged to enhance the conditions that support health.

To accelerate progress in achieving better health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has proposed a vision for a national Culture of Health enabling all in our diverse society to lead healthier lives.  Building a Culture of Health means creating a society that gives all individuals an equal opportunity to live the healthiest lives possible, whatever their ethnic, geographic, racial, socioeconomic, or physical circumstances happen to be.  This approach must focus largely on what happens outside of the health care sector, recognizing the importance of the decisions that individuals and families make, as well as the factors found in communities, business and corporate practices, schools, and the many other spheres of everyday life.   Building a Culture of Health demands that we join forces across sectors and engage individuals and organizations who may not have considered their primary role to be influencers of health – including the higher education sector, its students, faculty and staff.  Learn more about the project’s mission at the Culture of Health website.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is not looking for a comprehensive list of every program or initiative a campus, multi-campus system or network/association is involved in.  Rather, we are interested in successful or promising efforts that have potential to be sustained, brought to scale or replicated.  We are particularly interested in efforts that involve multi-campus and/or multi-sector collaborations, and those that strategically leverage both an institution’s academic mission (e.g., teaching, research, community engagement) and its business operations (e.g., procurement, human resources, real estate development, investment and lending) to support a culture of health. Although we are seeking responses from across higher education, we especially encourage responses from institutions that are under-represented in our information-gathering efforts thus far: community colleges, minority-serving institutions and those in rural settings.

This Request for Information (RFI) is for planning purposes only and should not be construed as a solicitation for applications or as an obligation on the part of RWJF to provide support for any ideas identified in response to it.  An analysis of responses– with respondent identifying information removed – may be made available on the RWJF website.

Submission Information

You can submit your response from the perspective of an individual college or university campus or a multi-campus system.

When you click on the appropriate link, you will be directed to the MyRWJF portal.  If you have never accessed the portal, you will need to “register” under the “first time visitor” box. f you have previously signed into MyRJWF, then you will enter your email address and password, then select “sign in”.  If you do not remember your password from previously accessing MyRWJF, use the “Forgot your password?” link.

Once registered or signed in, look for the section titled “My current applications.” Select the Colleges and Universities as Partners in Building a Culture of Health on Campus and in Communities link to begin.

All responses must be received by 3 pm ET on June 28, 2017.

We are eager for CUMU members to share their work for this worthy cause.

If you have any questions, please contact: