Investing in health equity

This week, the Health Equity Fund (HEF) announced a new round of funding for “community-based projects that disrupt and challenge the historic inequities in our populations’ health outcomes.”

In 2021, the City of Richmond received $155 million in American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds from the federal government. It invested $5 million in the HEF, only the third example of a public health equity fund across the United States. The HEF is managed by the Richmond and Henrico Public Health Foundation (RHPHF) and directly supports programs and projects that address some of the largest areas of health disparity in the city: COVID-19, mental and behavioral health, food access and security, substance use and recovery, access to care and health education, maternal and infant health, and underlying health conditions.

On Monday, Jan. 22, Mayor Levar Stoney and Councilmembers Ann-Frances Lambert and Katherine Jordan announced a new round of funding for Daily Planet Health ServicesGateway Community HealthUrban Baby Beginnings, and Virginia Prison Birth Project. Renewed funding was also announced for Opportunity, Alliance, and Reentry of RichmondRichmond Behavioral Health Authority, and Waymakers Foundation (want more info on Waymakers? Check out our interview with founder Natasha Lemus from fall 2023!). These partners were identified through a community-based nomination process and through review from a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) made up of residents with lived and professional expertise in health equity work.

Interested in applying for the next round of funding? There will be a new application cycle in 2024 and we’ll share application information in this newsletter. In the meantime, congratulations to these recipients, who represent the important work happening around Richmond to make the city a healthier place for all residents to live!