Health and Wellness

Culture of Health
Culture of Health

Mayors and city leaders play a pivotal role in the overall health and well-being of the cities and towns they serve. NLC is leading an effort to educate, train and build the capacity of city leaders to address the social determinants of health and improve health outcomes where individuals live, learn, work and play. 

From seeding promising practices and innovative approaches to leading cross-sector initiatives, NLC will engage mayors and city leaders in problem-solving sessions, trainings and peer-learning networks to ensure health is a key factor in their decisions across a range of issues, including education, early childhood, housing, land use, transportation and community development.

Featured Resource: Affordable Housing and Health Backgrounder


Affordable Housing & Health: City Roles and Strategies for Progress

As the role of housing as a determinant of success in life — affecting health, access to education, and the opportunity for upward mobility — becomes better understood, cities face the daunting task of eliminating the affordable-and-healthy housing shortfall. The challenge for city leaders is to ensure that city residents can afford a safe and healthy place to live, one that enables them to work, support and protect their families, and ultimately thrive and reach their full potential.

This resource explores the factors that contribute to affordable housing and health, including examples of successful strategies used by cities to generate and preserve healthy and affordable housing.

This backgrounder will be used by participants in our April 2019 Mayors' Institute on Affordable Housing & Health as a starting point for their work.

+Affordable Housing & Health: City Roles and Strategies for Progress

New Reports

Aligning City, County and State Resources to Address the Opioid Epidemic: Lessons Learned and Future Opportunities:

As part of NLC’s multi-year initiative to engage mayors and city leaders in creating a Culture of Health, the YEF Institute led a Mayors’ Institute on Opioids on May 9-11, 2018 in Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts. This report is a summary of findings from the meeting, and  is made possible by the insights shared by participating mayors and team members, including county and state officials from six Cities across the country.

The report shares insights, strategies and best practices for addressing the opioid epidemic at the local level, with a look at how city, state and county can work together to address this public health issue that is devastating local communities.

Read the full report here:

+ Aligning City, County and State Resources to Address the Opioid Epidemic: Lessons Learned and Future Opportunities


Advancing City-Level Healthy Housing: Policies, Programs and Practices in Asthma and Lead:

Together with a team of researchers from the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health, Department of Health Policy and Management (the GWU team), NLC sought to identify evidence-based city-level policies, programs and practices that lend themselves to replication and scaling by other cities interested in promoting healthy housing in their jurisdictions. The focus of this project was on city-led efforts to decrease lead exposure and/or remediate asthma triggers in private rental properties.

The JPB Foundation provided the National League of Cities (NLC) with a one-year grant to conduct a landscape analysis of the strategies that municipal governments are utilizing to promote policies, programs and practices across the United States related to lead and asthma triggers in affordable housing.

Read the full report here:

Mayors' Institute on Opioids: Aligning Local and State Leaders to Address the Epidemic

NLC brought the mayors of Huntington, West Virginia; Knoxville, Tennessee; Madison, Wisconsin; Manchester, New Hampshire; New Bedford, Massachusetts; and Tacoma, Washington together in Boston on May 9-11, 2018 to engage in practical, solutions-oriented discussions and peer-to-peer learning opportunities to help them deal with the opioid epidemic in their communities.

Included below are the background document city officials used to prepare for the Mayors' Institute and remarks from NLC Executive Director and CEO Clarence E. Anthony:

Report: Aligning City, County and State Resources to Address the Opioid Epidemic: Lessons Learned and Future Opportunities

Report: Opioid Use Disorder: City Actions and Opportunities to Address the Epidemic

Addressing the Opioid Epidemic Together by Clarence E. Anthony



Cities Advancing a Culture of Health
Advancing Education & Health through the Community Schools Strategy

To read our Education and Health Backgrounder, click here.

To read our Mayors' Institute Executive Summary, click here

Health Disparities

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we established the Learning Collaborative on Health Disparities. The purpose of this collaborative is to develop and frame emerging local models to reduce childhood obesity-related health disparities. 

Let's Move! Cities, Towns, and Counties

Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) is a key part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let’s Move! initiative. Through LMCTC, we help local elected officials develop long-term and sustainable strategies to promote healthy eating and increased physical activity in their communities. 

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