SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica recently won the 2016 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Culture of Health Prize. According to Santa Monica’s official Facebook page, a team of individuals representing the city, including Setareh Yavari, Shari Davis, Cynthia Rose, John Maceri, Julie Rusk, and Ana Jara attended an awards ceremony last week in Princeton, New Jersey to join the other winning communities from this year’s award recipients.

The RWJF is “the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated to solely health” and since 1972 has “supported research and programs targeting some of America’s most pressing health issues-from substance abuse to improving access to quality health care.” The Culture of Health Award “honors and elevates U.S. communities that are making great strides in their journey to better health.”

Notable among Santa Monica’s efforts to better health, the RWJF recognized the city for its Wellbeing Index. The Wellbeing Index or Wellbeing Project is the first attempt by a city to produce a data-based guide for steering policy which includes issues pertaining to health. The RWJF noted the city’s effort in addressing homelessness, refashioning Virginia Avenue Park, moving towards better public transportation and fewer cars on the road, and a call to attention on youth programs as measures of increasing the community’s health.

For details about the RWJF, visit

To obtain information regarding criteria for the award, visit

To read an in-depth explanation behind Santa Monica’s recognition as the 2016 RWJF Culture of Health Award winner, visit