Health Equity Zones

Health Equity Zones (HEZ) Initiative


To encourage and equip neighbors and community partners to collaborate to create healthy places for people to live, learn, work, and play.

What we do

  • Create and fund opportunities for a diverse range of community members and partners to collaborate to build healthier, more resilient communities.
  • Provide technical assistance and oversight to geographically based Health Equity Zones as they from community collaboratives, conduct community needs assessments, and develop action plans.
  • Provide technical assistance and oversight to Health Equity Zone Collaboratives throughout Rhode Island as they implement and evaluate action plans over a four-year period, and develop plans to sustain their work over the long term.
  • Provide opportunities for training and technical assistance to Health Equity Zone Collaboratives by convening regular Learning Community sessions.
  • Support and promote innovative, community-led approaches to prevent chronic diseases, improve birth outcomes, and improve the socioeconomic and environmental conditions of neighborhoods across the state.
  • Support and promote place-based strategies to promote healthy communities and eliminate health disparities.
  • Engage the community to reach the identified public health goals.


  • Through a braided funding model, directed more than $10.4 million in public health funding towards community-led Health Equity Zones, increasing the impact and efficiency of efforts to build healthier, more resilient communities, while building community power to sustain the work.
  • Supported the formation of nine Health Equity Zones Collaboratives in communities across Rhode Island.

Our Programs