HEI News


HEI Announcements

Health Equity Initiative Board Members Participate in a Panel at Medicaid Managed Care Leadership Summit 

May 5, 2017.  Health Equity Initiative (HEI) Board members Renata Schiavo, PhD, MA and Friso van Reesema, MPH alongside HEI member Adam Rattner, Esq. were invited by Healthcare Education Associates to participate in a panel at the 2nd Annual Medicaid Managed Care Leadership Summit in Chicago. Moderated by Mr. Van Reesema, the panel included a presentation by Dr. Schiavo on Why Health Equity Matters: A Look at the Value of Community Engagement and Local Partnership, which discussed the importance of health equity for healthcare organizations, provided examples of success stories for expanding services to traditionally underserved areas and communities and rubrics for organizations to assess their readiness for community driven solutions and health equity. Mr. Rattner presented on a few case relevant case studies on strategies being already used by Medicaid plans.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awards grant to support Health Equity Initiative for an innovative Webinar Series and 2018 Partnership Summit

February 17, 2017. Health Equity Initiative (HEI), a New York-based, member-driven non-profit membership organization dedicated to advancing health equity, has been awarded a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The grant will support HEI’s efforts to expand its cross-sectoral professional development and capacity building programming with a new webinar series on the role of urban design in achieving health equity. The grant will also partially support the planning, execution and evaluation of the organization’s 2018 Partnership Summit. Click here for the entire press release.

Health Equity Initiative Announces its Partnership with the Kellogg Foundation's Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation enterprise (TRHT)

August 1, 2016. Health Equity Initiative announces its partnership with the Kellogg Foundation's Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation enterprise (TRHT)—a national and community-based initiative designed to engage communities in racial healing and other efforts that address current inequities linked to the belief in a racial hierarchy. This multi-year effort is currently in the design phase, in collaboration with a broad coalition of partners. HEI recently spoke with Dr. Gail Christopher who leads the TRHT at the Kellogg Foundation. To read the interview, which was included in HEI August 2016 newsletter, click here.


Health Equity Initiative Announces its 2018 Partnership Summit. Save the Date!

June 22, 2016. As a follow-up to the organization’s highly successful 2016 Summit—which was the first of its kind within the health equity movement, Health Equity Initiative will hold a 2018 Partnership Summit.  Building on the recommendations of the nearly 115 national and international participants at the 2016 meeting, the 2018 Summit will be an enhanced forum for professional development, global networking, knowledge gathering, and consensus building to advance multisectoral solutions to reduce health disparities. The theme of the 2018 Summit, Engaging New Allies in the Health Equity Movement: A Partnership Summit, reflects the organization’s commitment to bridge silos and build ONE community for health equity across different sectors, professions, and communities. The Summit will take place on February 22-23, 2018, the second event in a bi-annual summit series. For a flyer on the 2018 summit, click here.  To download a copy of the 2016 Summit Report and Recommendations, click here.


Registration for HEI Inaugural Partnership Summit Is Now Open!

HEI summitOn February 25-26, 2016, Health Equity Initiative will be hosting its inaugural partnership summit, Implementing Systems-Level Change for Health Equity: A Partnership Summit, in New York City. The event will bring together professionals and community leaders from multiple sectors that are working towards eliminating health disparities both in the U.S. and internationally. This first of its kind event aims to offer professionals, community leaders, and students across sectors and disciplines a forum to address the systemic barriers that contribute to health inequity and to exchange ideas focused on building and sustaining a global community that works to advance health equity.  To learn more about the Summit and register, click here. To read the press release, click here.


HEI's Founding President invited by CDC to serve as a panelist at their 2015 Health Equity Capacity Institute (HECI)

CDC Presentation 2015

October 27, 2015.  HEI's Founding President, Dr. Renata Schiavo, was invited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Division of Community Health (DCH), Office of Health Equity, to serve as a panelist at their 2015 Health Equity Capacity Institute (HECI) in Atlanta, GA. HECI is designed to build and expand the health equity oriented knowledge and skills of DCH’s 60+ employees.  The theme of this year’s HECI was "Practicing Health Equity: Solutions to Barriers and Unintended Consequences." Dr. Schiavo's presentation was entitled "Addressing Child Health Disparities: We Made the Case, We Need a Movement!" and also drew upon her U.S. and global experience from her multiple projects and affiliations.


Health Equity Initiative Recognized by Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York as A Community Partner

HEI spring social 3June 1, 2015. HEI organizational member, Make-A-Wish Metro New York and Western New York, recognized Health Equity Initiative as a Community Partner. Erica Sandoval, Director of Medical Outreach, Make-A-Wish, presented HEI with a plaque to honor its efforts towards health equity.

To learn more about Make-A-Wish, click here.




HEI Founder Recognized as One of 300 Women Leaders in Global Health!

300 Women leaders in global healthMay 20, 2015. HEI's very own Dr. Renata Schiavo, the organization's Founding President, was recognized as one of 300 Women Leaders in Global Health by an initiative of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Click here to learn more.

In addition to her role at HEI, Dr. Schiavo is Senior Lecturer at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health; and Founder and Principal, Strategic Communication Resources, a global expert consultancy focusing on fostering behavioral, social, and organizational results via social innovation and system-changing strategies that she established in 2004. For Dr. Schiavo's bio, visit Health Equity Initiative's team page.

Health Equity Initiative also salutes all great women leaders who made the list, and recognizes those among them who are based in NY/NJ: Dr. Mary Bassett, Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford, Ms. Marine Boussoniere, Ms. Helen Clark, Ms. Chelsea Clinton, Ms. Sharon D'Agostino, Ms. Susannah Fox, and Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. Congratulations to all!


A New Committed Voice in Support of Health Equity at MACPAC!
Dr. Gustavo Cruz, Health Equity Initiative's Senior Advisor and Chair, Advisory Council, Named to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC)!

December 19, 2014.  Health Equity Initiative congratulates Dr. Gustavo Cruz, HEI's Senior Advisor and Chair of its Advisory Council for his appointment to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), which advises Congress, agencies, and states on issues affecting these critical benefit programs.  We celebrate Dr. Cruz's appointment and know he will be an engaged and committed voice in support of health equity. Dr. Cruz is a public health expert with significant experience on health equity, and a passion for improving health outcomes among vulnerable and underserved populations. We wish him well in this new endeavor, along with the other newly appointed MACPAC members. Read the press statement by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).  For Dr. Cruz's short bio, visit HEI's Team page!


Health Equity Initiative Launches Take Action on Health Equity: A School Poster Contest

New York, NY, October 20, 2014.Health Equity Initiative (HEI) announced the launch of Take Action on Health Equity: A School Poster Contest. The contest is designed to provide high school students with an opportunity to learn about health equity through a creative and engaging project. Participating U.S. high school students are eligible to earn community service credits for their work in support of HEI. Students from other countries are also encouraged to enter the contest. Read more here.


Health Equity Initiative (HEI) launches a multisectoral membership for global health equity.

April 30, 2014, NEW YORK- Health Equity Initiative (HEI) today launches a multisectoral membership for global health equity. In response to Health Equity Initiative leaders’ and supporters’ requests, HEI has evolved into a membership-based organization that welcomes open collaboration between professionals from different sectors on health equity. Read more here.


Health Equity Initiative Congratulates its Founding President, Dr. Renata Schiavo, on Her New Role as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media, and Engagement in Global Health.

New York, NY Oct. 9, 2013.  Health Equity Initiative congratulates its Founding President, Dr. Renata Schiavo, for being named new editor-in-chief of the Journal of Communication in Healthcare: Strategies, Media and Engagement in Global Health. Click here for a copy of the press release issued by Maney Publishing.  Earlier this year, Dr. Schiavo also joined SheSource, an online braintrust of experts designed to serve journalists, producers, and bookers who need guest experts and sources.  At HEI, we are confident that these new roles will be used strategically by Dr. Schiavo also to continuing to roll out the health equity agenda via effective communication and community engagement. Well done, Renata!


Health Equity Initiative Holds Its First Public Meeting to Discuss Its Potential Plans to Evolve into A Multisectoral Membership Association Dedicated to Health Equity/Health Disparities

New York, NY August 20, 2013.  Health Equity Initiative holds its first kick-off public meeting to discuss its potential plans to evolve into a multi-sectoral membership association solely dedicated to health equity/health disparities.  Great feedback from colleagues from different sectors on an evolving strategic plan. See our Events section for more information.


Essence Carson and Health Equity Initiative Launch Sports for Health Equity

Sports for Health Equity Logo


WNBA All-Star Calls for Community Action and Individual Pledges to Address
Health Disparities

New York, N.Y., August 30, 2012. Today the non-profit organization Health Equity Initiative (HEI) launched an educational campaign with the goal of raising awareness of health disparities in the U.S. Essence Carson ­ WNBA All-Star, New York Liberty player, recording artist, writer, and producer joins HEI to promote Sports for Health Equity, a national program designed to raise awareness of health disparities, and encourage community action and partnerships for health equity.

The centerpiece of Sports for Health Equity is a video featuring Essence Carson telling her personal story of how she became interested in health equity, and some of her priority action areas. The video is intended to raise awareness of health disparities and to encourage community participation. Other program elements include a basketball shoot-a-thon program for schools across the U.S., a curriculum on health equity, and virtual or community-based town halls and forums. Students, families, teachers, local community members and businesses, and the public at large can view the video and learn how they can help make progress towards health equity by visiting the Sports for Health Equity Page . For a copy of the press release, please see the HEI press release section within this page.


Health Equity Initiative Congratulates Advisory Council Member, Dr. Ken Olden, on His Appointment at NIHES.

July 26, 2012. Health Equity Initiative (HEI) congratulates its advisory council member Dr. Ken Olden on his recent appointment as Director, National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) and the Human Health Risk Assessment Program (HHRA) of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIHES). Dr. Olden is well-known as an outstanding leader in promoting scientific excellence in environmental health as well as advancing health equity among vulnerable and underserved populations. Dr. Olden's main concern is always with making a difference in people's health and lives. Those who have the privilege of knowing him also know that he works tirelessly towards this aim. Congratulations, Ken! Click here to read more!


Long Island University holds HEI's first Campus-Community Health Equity Exchange Outreach Event!

April 17, 2012. Thank you Brandy Watts and Vinnette Heholt from the Long Island University MPH Program  for holding the  "Sit Down to Stand Up for Health Equity" community outreach program from the Health Equity Campus Kit at Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus!

To learn more about our Campus-Community Outreach activities for the Health Equity Exchange download the Health Equity Exchange Campus Kit!


Health Equity Initiative Welcomes Essence Carson as Its Celebrity Charity Ambassador

March 22, 2012.  Described by Euroleague Women as “an explosive scorer” and “one of the most musically gifted basketball players in the world”, Essence Carson, WNBA All Star, NY Liberty player, recording artist, writer and producer, joins Health Equity Initiative as a celebrity ambassador to encourage community action and partnerships for health equity.  A native of Paterson, New Jersey, Essence currently plays with the NY Liberty as their guard-forward, and during the 2012 off-season, for Spain’s Rivas Ecopolis, which is the number 3 team in that country.  A graduate of Rosa Parks School for Fine and Performing Arts in New Jersey, Carson is a talented musician and music producer who plays the piano, drums, and bass.   She recently debuted as a hip-hop artist under the name Pr3pe (pronounced “Preppy”).  Past accomplishments include the 2004 U.S. Women’s Junior World Championship, gold medalist at the 2005 FIBA Under-19 World Championship, gold medalist at the 2006 USA FIBA America’s Under-20 Championship, Defensive Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons in the Big East Conference (only the second female player in history receiving this honor).

Commenting on her new role, Essence said, “I am absolutely delighted to have been asked to become an ambassador for Health Equity Initiative.  Health Equity Initiative is a unique nonprofit organization that works on encouraging the development of a social movement in support of health equity while also building capacity of other organizations and helping establish a road map toward progress.  They are deeply passionate about helping create better chances for better health among vulnerable and underserved populations. ”

“It’s an honor to become part of HEI and I am looking forward to working with them to encourage community action and partnerships for health equity.  I grew up in an environment where there was a fair amount of struggle, and yet I was fortunate to be surrounded by people who made me believe I could do anything.  I know we can advance health equity in our communities!”   Carson added.

 Visit Health Equity Initiative’s website at www.healthequityinitiative.org. Follow HEI at @HlthEquityInit. Join HEI on LinkedIn. Like us on Facebook . Visit HEI’s Health Equity Exchange to see what others have to say and share your ideas!



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