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. 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 4 counties.

WMHEN has chosen to concentrate in 4 areas:

  1. racial justice;
  2. making community health data more available;
  3. developing a cross sector collaboration to address health inequities; and
  4. 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. For more information contact Risa Silverman at risa@schoolph.umass.edu and follow us on Facebook.