The HEALTH Program
All too often, the U.S. develops health policies without consulting community leaders and advocates who work directly with affected populations. Without fail, this lack of inclusion leads to insufficient policy that fails to improve health outcomes and results in people falling through the cracks.
Here at the Network, we know that building a more equitable, higher-quality health care system means getting community providers seats at the table. That’s why we started the HEALTH program.
The National Women’s Health Network (NWHN), based in Washington, D.C., launched the Health Equity & Access Leadership Training Hub (The HEALTH Program) in January of 2023. The HEALTH Program is a six-month curriculum designed to empower community reproductive justice organizations so that these groups can better:
- Address health inequities that disproportionately impact marginalized communities
- Expand reproductive health care access through policy and advocacy
- Improve health outcomes for women across the life continuum
The HEALTH Program’s cohort organizations participate in a learning community where they receive professional development, mentorship and funding from the NWHN, including:
- $15,000 in unrestricted grant monies for their participation in the program
- Professional development from preeminent reproductive justice experts in congruent fields
- Bi-weekly trainings on topics like translating practice to policy, federal advocacy, strategic planning, marketing/communications, and sustainable development
- Exclusive participation in an NWHN-organized and led Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill
Impact to Date
By the Numbers
people across the nation have been better served by HEALTH program alumni to date.
of 2023 HEALTH program alumni reported that the advocacy day facilitated by the NWHN was the first time they had an opportunity to speak to federal representatives directly.
in grant monies has been distributed to HEALTH program organizations to date.
Here’s what some HEALTH program alumni had to say after completing the curriculum in 2023:
“The HEALTH program was super helpful and informative. It helped me understand more of what my role is in health policy and provided clear skills I can use in my work. I came away feeling supported and with new information I did not have access to before. I will be hosting a Native American & Maternal Health Policy Summit in the fall after getting support from participants of this program.”
“Our work focuses primarily on advocacy and outreach at the local/state level. Based on our work with the NWHN, we are now considering what it would look like to lobby federal lawmakers.”
“There were so many resources that were given during our time together. I really appreciated learning how to engage with legislators. This has been salient for us as we slowly venture into policy and advocacy work.”
“I appreciated being able to learn in fellowship with other Black Reproductive Justice leaders in a skills-building space. Our facilitator was a calming and intentional force.”
“For me, the biggest benefit was learning how to engage elected officials. It was something I had avoided for too long because I didn’t feel competent in that area. The skills I have learned are going to be invaluable moving forward.”
Learn More About HEALTH Program Organizations
When selecting organizations for each cohort, the NWHN looks for health care organizations that:
- Serve an underserved population or community
- Align with the Network’s mission, vision, and values
- Have been in operation for at least two years
- Have an annual operating budget of at least >$50K