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