The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Awards a Prestigious Prize to the Santa Cruz County Community

Santa Cruz County is one of six counties in the United States to receive the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) award entitled “On the Road to Health.” The prize is given to communities that are working together to help residents become more healthy. Santa Cruz County was recognized for having a data source: the Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project (CAP) that helped to contribute to four major community change efforts: Healthy Kids, a universal health insurance program for low-income children; Jovenes SANOS, a youth-led anti-obesity organization that helped to pass a healthy restaurant ordinance; the Sheriff’s Custody Alternatives Program which offers community based supports to youth who are instead typically sent to juvenile detention; and Together For Youth, an organization that helped to pass a social host ordinance to limit youth binge drinking.  The award also comes with a $25,000 check.

According to Mary Lou Goeke, Executive Director of the United Way of Santa Cruz County, “The prize is really a recognition of how people in Santa Cruz County work together to improve community connections and outcomes.” The United Way submitted the application to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on behalf of Santa Cruz County. Because of the award, Mary Lou Goeke has been invited to Washington DC to participate in a roundtable by the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. The roundtable will focus on how to improve the health of the US population.

Applied Survey Research (ASR) would like to congratulate Santa Cruz County for winning this prestigious award and Mary Lou Goeke for shepherding the Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project (CAP) for the last 19 years. ASR is honored to have been the CAP’s research and data partner since its inception. 

To see a video highlighting the local Santa Cruz County efforts, please click below:

For more information about ASR’s Community Assessment reports, please contact Abbie Stevens at

Print Friendly and PDF