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For any additional questions about republishing Direct Relief content, please email the team here.

Health Equity

Issues & Solutions

Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity was created to increase access to health care and improve health outcomes for marginalized communities.

Todderick “TK” King LVN (right) performs blood work with a patient in a temporary examination room at TAN Healthcare’s Mobile Clinic setup at Sacred Heart Church in Raywood, TX. TAN Healthcare, a Federally Qualified Health Center(FQHC) located in Beaumont and Orange, Texas, provides primary and preventive care in a consistent and affordable manner, improving the health of our communities. Their mobile clinic transport van, made possible by Direct Relief, services surrounding communities; bringing access to health services to those in rural areas.

In Brief

Through the Fund for Health Equity, Direct Relief is funding on-the-ground organizations addressing health inequities.

These groups have deep ties in the communities they serve and are working to diversify the healthcare workforce, eliminate health disparities, and employ technology to make healthcare more accessible and reliable to their patients.

Factors such as education, employment, income, family social support, community safety, air, water, housing, transit, and behaviors all contribute to poor health outcomes and will be addressed by groups receiving funding.

Addressing Inequities in Health

Marginalized communities have long experienced worse health outcomes and are less likely to receive the medical care they need. That’s true of people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, people experiencing homelessness, and others as well.

These striking injustices are one of the modern-day effects of a long history of discriminatory practices, policies, and traditions.

Access to health care is just a single aspect of a person’s health. Race and ethnicity, housing situation, employment status, living environment, and spoken language, among other interrelated factors, will all play significant roles in an individual’s health outcomes.

The Fund for Health Equity

Direct Relief’s Fund for Health Equity provides financial support to community health centers, free and charitable clinics, educational institutions and other community-based organizations fighting the inequities that further health disparities.

The Fund is steered by an Advisory Council with deep connections and experience in communities in which the effects of racism and socioeconomic disparities persist.

The members are:

  • Co-Chair Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, 18th US Surgeon General of the United States, Founder BayouClinic, Inc.
  • Co-Chair Byron Scott, MD, MBA, Board Director of Direct Relief and Chair of its Medical Advisory Council
  • Martha Dawson, DNP, MSN, RN, FACHE, President and CEO President of the National Black Nurses Association, Associate Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • Jane Delgado, Ph.D., MS, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health
  • Gail Small, JD, Head Chief Woman, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe

The Fund for Health Equity supports organizations making measurable progress in the following areas:

1. Diversifying the workforce

Direct Relief’s goal is to support people from all backgrounds as they undergo the certification and training to become nurses, community health workers, health navigators, and other essential health care workers and make these career paths more accessible to diverse groups of people.

2. Eliminating health disparities

A wide range of factors, from the living environment to financial situations, will play a role in a person’s health outcomes. Direct Relief funds organizations working to reduce these disparities while improving population health, preventing disease, and responding to behavioral health and substance abuse challenges.

3. Supporting digital health

Many organizations use new technology – including telehealth platforms, mobile medical units, and renewable energy – to expand access and deliver better patient care. Direct Relief’s aim is to support them in these innovative efforts, helping them respond to the needs of their communities.

Applications to the Fund for Health Equity are by invitation only.

Since 2021, Direct Relief, through its Fund for Equity, has granted more than $42.5 million to 145 organizations across the U.S.

Fund for Health Equity Grantees

  • Alabama 
    • Alabama Statewide Area Health Education Center
    • A Promise to HELP
    • Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice
    • Children’s Village, Inc
    • Grace House Ministries
    • Ozanam Charitable Pharmacy, Inc.
    • Medical Society of Mobile County
  • Alaska 
    • Alaska Native Heritage Center 
    • Alaska Native Birthworkers Community 
    • Alaska Pacific University
    • Data for Indigenous Justice
    • First Alaskans Institute
    • Iḷisaġvik College
    • Yakutat Tlingit Tribe
  • Arizona
    • Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health
    • North Country Healthcare
  • Arkansas 
    • El Centro Hispano 
  • California 
    • Asian Health Services
    • Cultiva la Salud 
    • Family Health Centers of San Diego
    • Mexican American Opportunity Foundation
    • San Ysidro Health
    • Self-Help for the Elderly
    • Wildflowers Institute
    • To Help Everyone Health and Wellness Centers
    • Salud Para La Gente
    • Kee Char E Nar
    • La Familia Counseling Center, Inc
    • Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance, Inc
    • Santa Cruz Barrios Unidos
    • Shared Harvest Foundation
    • TrueCare
    • Universal Community Health Center
    • University Muslim Medical Association, Inc.
    • Vision y Compromiso
  • Colorado
    • Tepeyac Community Health Center
  • Florida 
    • Borinquen Health Care Center, Inc.
    • Commonsense Childbirth 
    • First Coast Black Nurses Association
    • Miami Rescue Mission Clinic   
    • Shepherd’s Hope
    • The Glades Initiative, Inc.
    • Little Havana Activities and Nutrition Centers of Dade County, Inc
    • University of Florida Foundation
  • Georgia 
    • Good Samaritan Health Center
    • Hispanic Health Coalition of Georgia, Inc
    • Tree of Life Healthcare
    • Center for Black Women’s Wellness
    • Food Well Alliance
    • Friends of Refugees
    • SisterLove, Inc
    • Whitefoord Inc.
  • Hawai‘i
    • Consuelo Foundation
    • Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Hawaii
    • Kokua Kalihi Comprehensive Family Services
  • Illinois 
    • Chicago Hispanic Health Coalition
    • DuPage Health Coalition
    • Esperanza Health Centers
    • Family Christian Health Center
    • Haskell Indian Nations University
    • Latino Policy Forum/Illinois Unidos
    • The Night Ministry
    • Trident Ministries International
  • Indiana
    • Eskenazi Health
    • Purdue University Center for Health Equity and Innovation
  • Kansas
    • Haskell Indian Nations University
    • Genesis Family Health
  • Kentucky 
    • West Louisville Performing Arts Academy
  • Louisiana
    • MLK Health Center & Pharmacy
    • New Orleans Women's Wellness
    • NOELA Community Health Center
    • St. Gabriel Health Clinic and Gardere Center for Primary Care Services
  • Maine 
    • Wabanaki Public Health and Wellness
    • Mano en Mano
  • Maryland 
    • CASA, Inc.
    • National Black Nurses Association
    • The 21 Collective
  • Michigan 
    • Community Health and Social Service Center
    • Detroit Central City Community Mental Health, Inc., also known as Central City Integrated Health
  • Minnesota 
    • Minnesota Community Care
    • Indigenous Peoples Task Force
  • Mississippi 
    • Aaron E. Henry Community Health Services
    • Alcorn State University Foundation
  • Montana 
    • Boys and Girls Club Northern Cheyenne Nation
    • Native Action
    • Native American Development Corporation
  • Nebraska
    • OneWorld Community Health Centers, Inc.
  • New Jersey
    • Bergen Volunteer Medical Initiative
  • New Mexico 
    • Changing Woman Initiative
    • La Plazita Institute
    • Tewa Women United
    • YES Housing, Inc.
    • Youth Development, Inc.
  • New York 
    • Charles B. Wang Community Health Center
    • Comunilife
    • Institute for Family Health
    • Urban Health Plan
  • North Carolina 
    • El Centro Hispano, Inc.
    • Goshen Medical Center, Inc.
    • Roanoke Chowan Community Health Center
    • Winston-Salem State University 
    • Vecinos, Inc.
  • North Dakota
    • Family HealthCare
  • Ohio
    • Asian Services in Action
  • Oklahoma
    • Good Samaritan Health Services
    • Health Outreach Prevention Education, Inc.
  • Oregon
    • Growing Gardens
    • La Clinica
    • North by Northeast Community Health Center
    • One Community Health
    • Unidos Bridging Community
  • Pennsylvania 
    • Congreso de Latinos Unido
    • Delaware Valley Community Health
    • Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia Collaborative for Health Equity)
    • Puentes de Salud
  • Rhode Island
    • Rhode Island Free Clinic
  • South Carolina
    • Darkness to Light
  • Tennessee
    • Centro Hispano de East Tennessee
    • Meharry Medical College
  • Texas 
    • Acacia Medical Mission
    • Centro San Vicente
    • LBU Community Center
    • Opportunity Center for the Homeless
    • Project Vida Health Center
    • San José Clinic
    • Triangle Area Network, Inc.
    • The Beacon of Downtown Houston
    • The Concilio
    • Ubi Caritas Health Ministries
    • University of Texas at El Paso
    • Young Women’s Christian Association San Antonio
  • Virginia
    • CrossOver Healthcare Ministry
    • Health Brigade
    • NOVA ScriptsCentral
  • Vermont
    • Good Neighbor Health Clinics, Inc.
  • Washington, DC
    • Community of Hope
  • Washington
    • Downtown Clinic
    • El Centro de la Raza
    • GirlTrek, Inc
    • Heritage University
    • Sea Mar Community Health Centers
    • Seattle Indian Health Board
    • Vida Senior Centers
  • Wyoming
    • University of Wyoming

Health Equity Fund

Donations to the Health Equity Fund will support meaningful change to increase access to healthcare for people throughout the US, regardless of race, ethnicity, location, or income.