Health Equity Fund

The Richmond Health Equity Fund invests in community-led programs, initiatives, and leaders to improve health and quality of life in communities experiencing deep health disparities and the longstanding impacts of racism.

In October 2021, the City of Richmond established the Health Equity Fund through an initial investment of $5 million from federal American Rescue Plan Act funds. Mayor Levar Stoney proposed and Richmond City Council established the HEF to focus on seven key areas of health disparity. Within these areas, Richmond and Henrico Health Districts and a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) with lived and professional expertise in health disparities will determine investments by reviewing a wide range of recent data. Awards will vary in amount and duration to accommodate both small but powerful community projects and more complex work that may take longer to implement.   

Partnering with communities to move toward health equity and racial justice.

Partners funded to date

  • Daily Planet Health Services
  • Nolef Turns & OAR of Richmond
  • Waymakers Foundation
  • Birth In Color
  • Healthy Hearts Plus
  • Urban Baby Beginnings
  • RBHA
  • Crossover Ministries


How the Health Equity Fund Works

The Richmond Health Equity Fund is managed by Richmond and Henrico Health Districts, a local arm of the Virginia Department of Health and the public health department for the City of Richmond and Henrico County. RHHD serves as the Chief Health Strategist for the Health Equity Fund, providing administrative oversight for all aspects of fund stewardship, award allocation, and grant management oversight. While RHHD serves all of Richmond and Henrico, the HEF will only consider and fund projects taking place within the City of Richmond: we understand deeply that residents in Richmond and Henrico and the broader region face many of the same health challenges and systemic injustices, but the federal funding that makes the HEF possible has been specifically allocated to Richmond and cannot fund projects in Henrico at this time.

Funding Process


Initial Investments —  2022

Health disparities in communities across Richmond are longstanding but many deepened during the pandemic. After establishing the HEF, the City of Richmond and the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts have provided immediate funding to several projects that will have a direct, near-term impact on community health.

Organization Health Disparities focus area Program description
Daily Planet Health Services Covid 19 Personal follow up and support for unstably housed patients to ensure access to up to date vaccination and connections to primary care.
Nolef Turns & OAR of Richmond Substance Use & Recovery Transitional housing support and case management for residents returning from incarceration settings with a history of substance use.
Waymakers Foundation Food Access Culturally relevant emergency nutrition services.
Birth In Color

Healthy Hearts Plus

Urban Baby Beginnings

Maternal and Infant Health Access to community doulas for Richmond families and training and certification support for doulas.
RBHA Mental and Behavioral Health Expanding community and individual mental health services in three RRHA community resource centers.
Crossover Ministries Covid 19 Cultural and language supportive services to ensure access to testing and treatment and connections  for broader follow up care.

The Health Equity Fund Community Advisory Committee

Just as the HEF will prioritize projects that are community-led, community members will help identify funding priorities, select partner organizations to receive funding, and shape how we measure success in our health equity work. The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) serves key leadership roles in the HEF, including: 

  • Reviewing partner nominations and recommending projects for funding
  • Informing how we measure success for individual projects and for the HEF as a whole
  • Helping to revise the process for future funding decisions 
  • Identifying ways the HEF can better connect to diverse organizations working to promote health equity and racial justice in our communities. 

The members of the CAC have relevant personal and professional experience with health disparities and will prioritize what projects the HEF will invest in in 2023 and beyond. 

  • Camille Burnett
  • Cheyenne Nicholas
  • Edward Richards
  • Heather Dail
  • Jacqueline McDonnough
  • Jaivion Thomas
  • Jerry Romero Jr. 
  • Jodi Tharan
  • Kenya Wheeler
  • Rosalind Hall
  • Sara Cariano


Funding Priorities

Consistent with the Mayor’s Equity Agenda, the HEF invests in new work — or supports expansions or enhancements to existing work — led by nonprofit and community organizations that directly addresses a range of health disparities, including:

  • COVID-19 disparities to increase full vaccination and decrease spread, illness, hospitalizations, and deaths
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Food access and security
  • Substance use disorder
  • Access to care and health education
  • Maternal and infant health
  • Underlying health conditions
  • Other emergent health outcomes where Richmond’s populations have disparate burdens, as indicated by trends in data and community engagement processes.

The HEF welcomes solutions that provide direct programming to address immediate health outcomes and broader strategies that address the social determinants of health that are the root causes of poor health in communities across Richmond (housing, transportation, economic stability, community support, etc.). 

Funding priorities have been established by layering ongoing, comprehensive data surveillance about all aspects of public health with the many community engagement processes that have taken place over the past few years. Data and feedback sources include: 

Richmond and Henrico Public Health Foundation


Founded in 2021, the Richmond and Henrico Public Health Foundation is a nonprofit organization that seeks to develop and mobilize resources in support of the goals of the Richmond and Henrico Health Districts in order to promote health and health equity.

Board of Directors

Dr. Danny Avula
Board President
Commissioner of the Department of Social Services
Commonwealth of Virginia

Carolyn Champion
Philanthropy Consultant
Dominion Energy

Rudene Mercer Haynes
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Stephanie Toney, RN
Community Health Worker Consultant
CHW Strength

Dr. Elaine Perry
Richmond and Henrico Health Districts

Dr. Thad Williamson
Associate Professor of Leadership Studies and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law
University of Richmond

Tara Wiley
Health Access Program Officer
Virginia Healthcare Foundation

Lawanda Dunn, RN
Population Health Nurse Supervisor


Ruth Morrison
Policy Director
Richmond and Henrico Health Districts 

Need help finding resources?
Call (804) 205-3500 or 211

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