FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           PRESS CONTACT:

June 25, 2014                                                                            Brenda Lopez 956.544.8352


PRESS RELEASE: Congressman Vela Congratulates Brownsville for Receiving RWJF Culture of Health Prize

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Filemon Vela (D-Brownsville) congratulated the City of Brownsville for being selected as one of six winners of the RWJF Culture of HealthPrize awarded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Brownsville was selected from more than 250 applicants from across the country.   Brownsville will receive a cash prize of $25,000 in recognition of its commitment to building a Culture of Health.

Specifically, Brownsville is being recognized for its work to help people live healthier lives because of initiatives and projects such as the Brownsville Farmer’s Market, a comprehensive smoking ordinance, Tu Salud ¡Sí Cuenta! a community-wide obesity prevention campaign, the La Plaza Multimodal Bus Terminal, the resaca restoration project and Brownsville in Motion.

“I congratulate the City of Brownsville for receiving this recognition,” said Congressman Vela.  “I will continue to support city and community leaders as they work on projects which improve the health and enhance the lifestyles of our citizens.  I have seen firsthand how successful these initiatives have been in South Texas.”    

The awards were announced today at the Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight: Health.  Representatives from Brownsville were on hand to accept the award from RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey.

“The success of our endeavors in creating a healthier city, physically and economically, largely depends on the continued engagement and support of city and community leaders, as well as the community itself,” said City Commissioner Rose M.Z. Gowen, MD. “We must capitalize on the momentum built by this collaborative partnership to ensure health and prosperity for all our citizens.”

The RWJF Culture of Health prize winners excelled in six criteria:

  • Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
  • Working strategically across the multiple factors that influence health.
  • Addressing problems that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
  • Developing sustainable, long-term solutions to shared community priorities.
  • Leveraging and maximizing resources.
  • Measuring and sharing results.


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