Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge

logo, Healthiest Cities & Counties Challenge

The Healthiest Cities and Counties Challenge is a grant initiative that was designed to accelerate systems-level approaches to improving community health. The program began in July 2020 and ended in September 2022.

About the Challenge

APHA teamed up with the Aetna Foundation, the National Association of Counties and Healthy Places by Design to lead the Challenge and support city- and county-level teams in advancing health equity within their communities.

The program offered one-on-one technical assistance and peer learning opportunities to 20 communities in California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and West Virginia. The selected jurisdictions showed a readiness to expand cross-sector collaboration, build resident leadership and power, and take collective action. 

Over the two years, the communities worked to reduce disparities in chronic disease outcomes with a focus on improving access to healthy food and healthcare services.

New Health Equity Tool

Explore six interactive stories that span the life of the program, highlighting the collaborative, community-led strategies used to achieve health equity. You will also find tips to adapt the approaches to systemic change to fit your community context.

Access the health equity tool.


Read more about the Challenge and each community’s work in the following reports, which feature accomplishments, successful approaches, lessons learned and community stories:

Learn more at healthiestcities.org.