Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network (WMHEN)

According to the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to “attain his or her full health potential” and no one is “disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.”

Social determinants of health may include poverty, unemployment, education, urban/rural geographic location, race, ethnicity, and other conditions of daily life.

The Western Massachusetts Health Equity Network (WMHEN) formed after the October 2014 Health Equity Summit to continue to find ways to advance health equity in western Massachusetts. We have chosen to concentrate in four areas, one of which is racial justice. The other three include finding ways to make community health data available, developing a cross sector collaboration to address health inequities, and identifying important new policies to support that will create more health equity in western Massachusetts. The WMHEN is coordinated out of the School of Public Health and Health Sciences at UMass Amherst.

The central mission of WMHEN is to bring together those interested in health equity in western Massachusetts and determine what steps we can take as a region to advance health equity in our over 100 cities and towns in four counties.

As part of our racial justice initiatve, WMHEN would like to offer to host a landing page for organizations workings toward racial justice in western Massachusetts. We would like to invite regional groups to share links to your own webpages with short descriptions of your work.

This landing page will help showcase organizations contributing to racial justice work in Massachusetts and provide a place for those seeking resources to find them in one place.

For more information, contact Risa Silverman at risa@schoolph.umass.edu and follow us on Facebook.