Frequently Asked Questions

Health Equity exists when all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socio-economic status, geographic location, or other societal constructs have fair and just access, opportunity, and resources to achieve their highest potential for health.

HELEN impacts health equity in a number of ways:

  • Provides up to date, in-depth analysis and information on current health policies and laws and their impact on health equity.
  • Provides a forum that engages health equity champions from around the country in a national dialog that leverages their strengths and expertise to develop, implement, and sustain evidence based strategies that reduce health disparities.
  • Disseminates culturally-tailored information on health policy to engage, educate and build capacity at the community level to increase understanding and active participation in local, regional and national health equity efforts
  • Creates a peer-learning/sharing environment where champions from different regions, states and experiential levels work together to develop, enact, and sustain, laws and policies that impact health equity. 

HELEN membership is free and open to anyone interested in health equity and health policy work. To become a member, visit the HELEN Membership page and click on the link to the member application, complete the application and submit. 

HELEN members include diverse individuals from across the United States who are committed to elevating health equity. They are community residents, educators, policy makers, health care providers, social service providers, health policy professionals officials, college and graduate school students, members of faith communities, administrators, commuity health workers, and the business community. Through their collective effort, health equity will be prioritized in urban, rural, and frontier communities across the country.  

The logo encapsulates the priorities and objectives of the Health Equity Leadership and Exchange Network. The flame represents our commitment to bolstering health equity leadership and the scales of justice intertwined with the caduceus represent our focus on and commitment to laws, policies, and programs that will advance health equity. The faces represent our commitment to diversity and inclusion of all communities as well as our commitment to providing a forum that is forward-thinking. The heartbeat represents our hope that HELEN will be a lifeline and resource to many health equity champions. The color teal represents our commitment to being a trusted and reliable source of information.   

HELEN will actively follow the ACA’s implementation to promote awareness of the law’s full potential to advance health equity, and to ensure accountability from a health equity perspective.  HELEN will issue periodic updates and briefs on major ACA developments, such as appropriations, court challenges, and Congressional action. HELEN will also provide a venue for members to share concerns, ideas, and strategies as we work to build upon the law’s successes.

Yes, in addition to state level laws and policies, the HELEN library will include the latest  state health equity plans. 

Yes, annually HELEN will provide opportunities for members to convene either at a national conference or through regional meetings. Information on the first national HELEN convening will be forthcoming in 2015.