Algoma is nationally recognized with health and wellness award

ALGOMA, Wis. (WBAY) -- The City of Algoma is one of eight communities across the country to receive a national award for their efforts in health and wellness.

“Algoma was selected from over 200 applicants across the nation for this prize. So it's a real honor and achievement,” says Julie Willems Van Dijk, Director, County Health Rankings Program, University of Wisconsin Population of Health Institute.

Algoma is one of the smallest communities in the country to have won the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s “Culture of Health Prize.”

“Often times people think that to build a culture of health, to make health possible in their community, it's not easy to do, or it's not even possible,” says Matt Trujillo, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “But I think Algoma is a great example of what you can do when you really put health at the center of what you're doing.”

It’s all thanks to the “Live Algoma” program, which works to promote health and fitness to all members of the community.

“One of the biggest assets of our community is our Community Wellness Center. Our biggest drive for the Community Wellness Center is really to be a hub of our community where young and old alike can really have that cross-generation relationship,” says Teal VanLanen, Community Activator Improvement Coordinator, Algoma School District. “We really just bring people together that have different aspects of our community and perspectives, so that, you know, we can have a shared vision.”

That vision: to stay active, healthy and to dream big.

“If Algoma can achieve this audacious goal of being a Culture of Health community, I hope to inspire other rural communities that they too can achieve this goal by working together,” VanLanen says.

Along with the award, comes a $25 thousand cash prize the city can put toward reaching even bigger health and fitness goals.