Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York


Oct 29, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Members of the congressional delegation representing the Bronx, Reps. Charles B. Rangel (NY-13), Joe Crowley (NY-14), Eliot Engel (NY-16), and Jose Serrano (NY-15) congratulated the Bronx for being one of the eight winners of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's 2015 RWJF Culture of Health Prize, which is awarded annually to honor outstanding community efforts and partnerships that are helping people live healthier lives. Winning communities will each receive a $25,000 cash prize and have their accomplishments celebrated and shared broadly with the goal of raising awareness and inspiring locally-driven change across the country.

"As the primary sponsor of the Affordable Care Act, I believe that access to healthcare is a fundamental right. I thank the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for recognizing the Bronx community for its dedication to equal opportunity for health and ability to create a healthier, more positive environment to live. I will continue to support its efforts and work rigorously toward this aim," said Rep. Charles B. Rangel, who represents New York's 13th Congressional District that includes Upper Manhattan and parts of the Bronx.

“For far too long, the health status of the Bronx had been in need of resuscitation and this award reflects years of hard work to make the Bronx a healthier place to live. I have seen firsthand the dedication of the community to develop new ways to improve the wellbeing of residents. A healthy community is a stronger community, and I thank the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for recognizing both the progress taking place in the Bronx, as well as the commitment to ensuring the health of all Bronxites,” said Rep. Joe Crowley, who represents New York’s 14th Congressional district that includes parts of Queens and the Bronx, including Einstein College of Medicine.

“Being born and raised and continuing to live in the Bronx, I am intimately aware of what an incredibly vibrant borough we have. The Bronx is truly a community on the rise,” said Rep. Eliot Engel, who represents New York’s 16th Congressional District that includes parts of the Bronx and Westchester Counties. “As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, I know firsthand how valuable the health of the residents is to the health of our neighborhoods. People who come together to celebrate our diversity, to celebrate our community, to celebrate each other, build a foundation that inspires us all to take charge of our health needs. Our public health challenges are solvable if we continue to fight together for the resources necessary to keep important programs available. I thank the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for recognizing the hard work of all Bronxites, and let this honor be just the start of an even healthier Bronx.”

“As the longtime champion of efforts to promote a cleaner and healthier environment and expanding access to healthcare in my district and the rest of the Bronx, I believe that there are few things as important to good quality of life than having good health. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2015 Culture of Health Prize Award is a recognition of everything we have done in the Bronx to promote healthier lives, and local community groups and individuals deserve a special acknowledgement for all their efforts. While we have much more to do to ensure the health and safety in the Bronx, this $25,000 prize will allow our community to build on everything we have already achieved,” said Congressman Jose Serrano, who represents New York’s 15th Congressional District that includes several Bronx neighborhoods.

In the Bronx, signs of renewal are around every block. New apartment complexes, community centers, and urban gardens now permeate the neighborhoods once dominated by vacant buildings and abandoned cars. Policymakers, health care professionals, nonprofits, and individuals across this borough of 1.4 million people have united to revitalize every facet of community life, from jobs and schools to housing and the environment, resulting in significant progress. The once-neglected Bronx River is now being revitalized by community groups, creating a system of parks and trails known as the Bronx River Greenway which will provide recreation and education opportunities for residents. From 1985 to 2013, life expectancy at birth increased by 9.7 and 6.5 years for Bronx men and women, respectively.

The awards were announced today at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s headquarters in Princeton, NJ.  Representatives from the Bronx were on hand to accept the award from RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey.

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

  • Defining health in the broadest possible terms.
  • Committing to sustainable systems changes and policy-oriented, long-term solutions.
  • Cultivating a shared and deeply-held belief in the importance of equal opportunity for health.
  • Harnessing the collective power of leaders, partners, and community members.
  • Securing and making the most of available resources.
  • Measuring and sharing progress and results.

The RWJF Culture of Health Prize is awarded annually.  Communities throughout New York may learn more and apply for the 2016 RWJF Culture of Health Prize at  The deadline for phase 1 applications is November 12, 2015.