A Project of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Reinvestment Fund

Invest Health - Strategies for Healthier Cities

Featured Team

Des Moines, IA

Des Moines, Iowa represents a tale of two cities. While downtown Des Moines is enjoying a renaissance of sorts— with significant investments made over the last two years in economic development, job growth, and quality-of-life improvements—a group of eight diverse neighborhoods on the northern edge of downtown, which are all part of the 50314 ZIP code, have yet to see the same energy pouring into revitalization.


May 2016

50 Cities Selected for Invest Health

Reinvestment Fund and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced $3 million in awards across 50 mid-size cities in 31 states for Invest Health, an initiative aimed at transforming how city leaders work together to help low-income communities thrive, with specific attention to community features that improve health.

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Invest Health is a new initiative that brings together diverse leaders from mid-sized U.S. cities across the nation to develop new strategies for increasing and leveraging private and public investments to accelerate improvements in neighborhoods facing the biggest barriers to better health. The program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Reinvestment Fund.

This initiative was developed to provide an opportunity for mid-sized cities to transform the way local leaders work together to create solution-driven and diverse partnerships. These partnerships will emphasize making changes in low-income neighborhoods to improve resident health and well-being. These changes can focus on increasing access to quality jobs, affordable housing, and nutritious food, and reducing crime rates and environmental hazards.



BRING TOGETHER DISPARATE SECTORS in mid-sized cities to align around a vision for better health, create innovative ideas, and unlock new sources of investment.

HELP MID-SIZED CITIES ATTRACT CAPITAL to improve health outcomes in low-income communities.

BUILD LASTING RELATIONSHIPS in these cities that extend beyond the length of the program and help inform work in other communities nationwide.

TEST POTENTIAL SOLUTIONS to inform the national conversation about how to best invest to achieve health equity in more communities throughout the U.S.

ADVANCE SYSTEMS-FOCUSED STRATEGIES that reach across sectors to support health improvement in low-income communities.

HELP CITIES USE DATA AS A DRIVER for change, beginning with an evidence-based understanding of the problem and continuing to a data framework for assessing impact.






Ivye Allen

President, Foundation for the Mid South

Jeffrey Brown

Founder, President and CEO of Brown’s Super Stores, Inc.

Ray Daffner

Director of Entrepreneurship Programming at the ARC

Dr. David Fleming

PATH’s vice president of Public Health

Jenny Ismert

Vice President of Housing at UnitedHealthcare

Dr. Otis Samuel Johnson

Scholar in Residence at Savannah State University

Dr. Michael McAfee

President at PolicyLink

John Moon

District Mgr. for Community Development, Federal Reserve Bank of SF

Rebecca Morley

Director of the Health Impact Project

Maggie Super Church

Independent Consultant

Mark Van Brunt

Chief Operating Officer, Raza Development Fund

Paul Weech

Principal, Innovative Housing Strategies, LLC



Invest Health Field Building Cities Announced

Philadelphia, PA, July 1—Reinvestment Fund is pleased to announce the 10 cities selected to participate in Invest Health Field Building. The selected city teams include: Akron, OH; Grand Rapids, MI; Greensboro, NC; Hartford, CT; Lansing, MI; Missoula, MT; Napa, CA; Riverside, CA; Roseville, CA; Spokane, WA.


Invest Health Evaluation Report

Invest Health was an 18-month learning initiative that brought together leaders from mid-sized cities across the nation to create cross-sector approaches for increasing investments in neighborhoods facing the biggest barriers to better health. In December 2017, …

New Orleans Convening

In December, 2017, the 50 Invest Health cities gathered for the fourth and final national convening in New Orleans, LA. Among the highlights of the convening was a keynote by Jamie Bennett of ArtPlace America. …


To learn more about this important initiative
email us at info@investhealth.org.