Our Story

What is Health Equity?

Health equity ensures that all people have access to optimal health despite their race, ethnicity, culture, or socioeconomic status. Without health equity, residents don’t have the opportunities to be, and stay, healthy. This can have a profound impact. For example, without health equity, children underperform in school and thus fail to reach their potential, businesses see rising healthcare costs and reduced productivity from their employees, and communities and neighborhoods weaken. 

Connecticut is one of the wealthiest states in the United States. It has some of the best doctors and hospitals and is the health insurance capital of the world. The state is often heralded as being one of the healthiest states, yet, Connecticut also has some of the greatest health disparities in the US. 

Who are we?

HES started in 2014 after the Connecticut Health Foundation completed a commissioned landscape analysis related to health equity efforts in Connecticut. It was determined that while several organizations had advocacy and/or health equity as a component of their work, there was no single organization working on advancing health equity through policy and advocacy initiatives in the state. Thus, HES was brought to life with Connecticut Legal Services as its fiscal sponsor and was established with seven prominent leaders as members of the board.

Our Vision

For every Connecticut resident to attain optimal health regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status.

Our Mission

To advance health equity through anti-racist policies and practices.

What do we do?

HES initiates and catalyzes policy programs and practices that advance and sustain health equity in Connecticut. Our model is simple and straightforward:

  • Identify what works
    • Source the best policy and programmatic solutions within Connecticut as well as nationwide.
    • Conduct policy analyses and research to educate, as well as inform.
    • Engage diverse partners to identify solutions.
  • Shape solutions for maximum impact
    • Shape and influence policies and regulations.
    • Monitor the implementation of legislation.
    • Provide regulatory feedback.
  • Accelerate their adoption
    • Convene public forums.
    • Implement campaigns and other messaging.
    • Engage in media advocacy.
    • Actively participate on related coalitions and committees.