What is a HEZ?

A Health Equity Zone (HEZ) is an innovative, place-based approach that brings people together to build healthy, resilient communities across Rhode Island. The initiative is grounded in research that shows up to 80% of health outcomes are determined by factors outside clinical settings, such as access to affordable, healthy foods; high-quality education; employment opportunities; and safe neighborhoods.

The 02907 HEZ Mission

We create and invest in equitable and innovative solutions to help families in the 02907 thrive.

The 02907 HEZ Vision

We are a mobilized community creating vibrant and resilient neighborhoods where families have the opportunities and resources needed to live healthy, prosperous, and fulfilling lives.

The 02907 HEZ Values:

Equity: We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to be healthier. We are committed to removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness, and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education, stable housing, safe environments, and healthcare.

Antiracism: We are antiracist and work to become actively conscious about race and racism, and take actions to end racial inequities in our lives and the community.

Whole Family: We understand that the well-being of parents and their children are closely related. We work to simultaneously address the needs of parents and their children to improve outcomes for the whole family.

Humility: We value and strive to learn about diverse perspectives and cultures, knowing that we cannot fully understand people’s unique experiences.

Community Leadership: We engage and support community leadership to make durable, lasting, and positive change.

Collaboration: We seek to create synergy and alignment among and between community members and partner organizations to leverage resources and maximize impact.

Transparency: We seek to achieve consensus in decision-making to ensure all perspectives are heard and considered.

Where is the HEZ?

The 02907 HEZ is one of three new Health Equity Zones statewide and encompasses Providence’s West End, Elmwood, South Elmwood, and Reservoir neighborhoods. The zone also includes the western portion of the Upper South Providence neighborhood.

Our 02907 HEZ Assessment

From January to June, the 02907 conducted a comprehensive community needs assessment. This included:

  1. A secondary data review of 25 studies and previous assessments and a careful review of US Census Data.
  2. Three interactive community SpeakOuts conducted in close partnership with the Genesis Center, Groundwork Rhode Island, HousingWorks RI, Johnson and Wales University, the Southside Community Land Trust, and Young Voices. 
  3. Two online surveys conducted in May during COVID-19 related social distancing that collected input from 102 HEZ residents and 40 young parents involved with the Dunamis Synergy initiative at WEHDC, many of whom live in the HEZ.
  4. Four virtual focus groups that collected information from a representative group of HEZ residents. Conversations were hosted with adults involved with WEHDC’s Sankofa initiative, the Refugee Dream Center, and Amos House, while Young Voices and WEHDC collaborated to conduct a focus group with youth and young parents.

Our 02907 HEZ Findings

Our HEZ Community Action Team Partners

How can I be involved?

If you’re interested in being a part of the HEZ, please contact us using the form below.