Northeast Health Equity Consortium Announces Community Leadership Fellows Program:


The Northeast Health Equity Consortium (NHEC) is pleased to announce the Raheem Baraka Community Leadership Fellows Program, in honor of the late Boston-based community activist and CEO of Baraka Community Wellness and past co-chair for NHEC.

A labor of love, Baraka founded Baraka Community Wellness as a testament to his fierce commitment to health justice for vulnerable communities in Boston. The cornerstone of his work was Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids, a holistic wellness program that provided fitness and nutritional food to families in the Roxbury and Dorchester neighborhoods of Boston. Sadly, Baraka passed away in September 2018 from a heart attack at the age of 46, leaving behind a wife and three children.

In this leadership role, the Raheem Baraka Community Fellow will serve as the Boston community voice to support the efforts of the region’s health strategies priorities around the social determinants. In playing this role, the Fellow will help to deepen and broaden the local-area work by providing additional perspectives and insights into developing effective strategies that lead to demonstrable impacts within the food access arena.

Founded in 2016, NHEC is a collaborative group that engages clinicians, healthcare providers, researchers, thought leaders, and community organizations. The group promotes change in policy, practices, and programs, and communicates them to improve cardiovascular and stroke-related health outcomes in communities disproportionately impacted by cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Please download the Fellows Application here for further details and instruction on applying.

NOTE: There was an error on the initial application posted.  The stipend amount should be noted as $10,000 not $10,00 and the Fellowship will begin in February 2020.


Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhuman - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March 25, 1966Welcome to the American Heart Association’s Northeast Health Equity Consortium homepage. As dedicated volunteers and staff, we want to ensure that all people receive the highest standard of care for heart disease and stroke.

The American Heart Association’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of heart diseases and stroke. By the year 2020, we hope to improve heart and brain health of all Americans by 20% while reducing deaths from heart diseases and stroke by 20%. To that end, we look at social factors that impact health, such as income, education level, neighborhood, and access to healthcare.   Did you know that where you live can greatly affect your health?  Life expectancy can differ by 20+ years for people living just five miles apart.  While we currently work within our eight-state region of Maine to New Jersey, we hope to expand our efforts across the country.

To help save and improve lives, we educate leaders, healthcare providers and the public about social and environmental factors that affect health. We advocate for underserved populations – risk factors are higher among minority populations; and, access to healthy choices are often limited in low-income neighborhoods.  We will conduct research, engage with communities, and implement two promising American Heart Association initiatives: Target BP and Get With the Guidelines.

Recognizing that blood pressure is a major health threat – one in three American adults has high blood pressure — the American Heart Association and the American Medical Association have joined forces to help doctors and patients increase their awareness, knowledge and management of high blood pressure through Target BP.

The American Heart Association believes that each person in the U.S. should receive high quality care regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or other factors. Get With The Guidelines is the Heart Association’s set of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines that will help ensure that patients receive the appropriate care. Guidelines for issues like stroke, heart failure and resuscitation are available for both hospitals and outpatient settings. Consistent use of these guidelines can help reduce clinical bias that can lead to disparities.

We want to thank all of our supporters, including the Aetna Foundation that provided us with the funding to launch. We invite the public to make use of the resources available on this site, including a dashboard which tracks health bias by race/ethnicity across the eight-state region of Maine to New Jersey. As the dashboard is fine-tuned, it may expand to include other variables such as gender and economic status; as well as, drill down to regions and cities – possibly neighborhoods – within each state. We will also post presentations and meeting minutes, progress reports, research outcomes and success stories.

For more information, contact Katherine Bolt.