Call for Membership Applications for Southeastern Health Equity Council

Due Date: October 20, 2017 

The Southeastern Health Equity Council (SHEC) is seeking new members to fill one or more vacancies for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. (There currently are no vacancies for Kentucky.)

We are seeking qualified persons from these states, in particular persons who represent the following specific stakeholder groups/sectors and areas of expertise:
  • Food policy
  • Mass incarceration/criminal justice policy
  • Cultural competency
  • Oral health
  • Mental health
  • Alcohol and drug abuse
  • Media/communications
  • Governmental relations and advocacy
  • Health economics
  • Medicaid
  • Health professional associations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Private business
  • Non-health sectors related to social determinants of health (e.g., fair housing, education, transportation, economic development, workforce development) 

Who We Are
SHEC's priority areas are:
  • Access to healthy food
  • Cultural competency
  • Violence as a public health issue
  • Access to health care (including oral health and mental health)
SHEC is a voluntary, not-for-profit association of 40 members bringing together leaders from diverse backgrounds including health care providers, health care-focused organizations, academia, public health agencies, economic development, faith-based organizations, grassroots organizations, other non-profit organizations, and the business sector to reinforce the need for multi-sector linkages as a key strategy for ending health disparities in America.

SHEC is one of 10 regional health equity councils in the US formed in 2011 as part of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA), which is the first national multi-sector community and partnership-driven effort on behalf of health equity and was spearheaded by the federal Office of Minority Health (OMH). While affiliated with OMH in terms of aligning strategies and receiving technical assistance, SHEC and the other regional councils are independent entities separate from OMH and the federal government.

Our purpose is to build collaboration and partnerships to achieve health equity in the Southeast region of the US. The vision of SHEC is a region free of disparities in health and healthcare, where all people attain the highest level of health. The mission of SHEC is to inform policy, change systems, and increase awareness for health equity.


SHEC Goals for 2017-2020 by Committee:

Cultural Competency Committee
Goal #1: Disseminate a common language and understanding of cultural competency for the SHEC
Goal #2: Increase cultural competency requirement for health professionals
Goal #3: Inform policy regarding cultural competency training among providers serving vulnerable populations.

Social Determinants of Health Committee (Priority Area: Access to Healthy Food)
Goal #1: Increase funding for food financing initiatives to eliminate food deserts and improves access to healthy food
Goal #2: Finalize the Regional Food Resource Directory
Goal #3: Update the Southeastern Health Equity Report Card

Violence as a Public Health Issue Committee
Goal #1 Raise awareness about violence as a public health issue through a series of listening sessions and webinars
Goal#2: Inform policy regarding violence as a public health issue

Health Care Access Committee
Goal #1: Promote awareness of the impact of health disparities in Region IV, related to access to health care
Goal#2: Inform policy regarding access to health care, in particular access to care for oral health care and mental health/substance abuse

Cross-RHEC Oral Health Equity Workgroup (Subcommittee under Health Care Access Committee)
Goal #1: Promote optimal oral health, access to care, and oral health equity among minorities in the US
Goal #2: Enhance diversity of the dental workforce by generating interest among underrepresented youth in the dental profession
Goal 3: Raise awareness by disseminating oral health information

Governance Committee
Goal #1: Promote internal communication and collaboration within SHEC
Goal #2: Conduct annual review of SHEC charter and standard operating procedures (SOP) to recommend needed revisions
Goal #3: Manage the selection process for SHEC members and officers
Goal #4: Engage Expert Stakeholders, including State Offices of Minority Health (SOMHs), in SHEC activities
Goal #5: Implement a formal process for internships


SHEC Membership:
Membership positions are individual and are not linked to specific organizations. Each individual, volunteer member serves for a term of three (3) years and for no more than two (2) consecutive terms. After reaching the term limit, a member may reapply for membership after a one (1)-year hiatus from service. Toward accomplishing the goals and objectives of the SHEC, each member is expected to attend at least 3 out of 4 council meetings each year (three via conference call and one in-person; currently, travel expenses are provided) and to actively participate on at least one of the council’s committees.

SHEC Member Responsibilities:
The collective responsibilities of the council members include:
  • Providing leadership and expertise to drive a collaborative health equity agenda; 
  • Ensuring continuous engagement of all stakeholders to inform the activities and work of the council; 
  • Collaborating on projects of mutual benefit; 
  • Documenting, monitoring, and assessing progress to ensure accountability of the council’s work; and 
  • Foster sustainability of the SHEC and efforts to eliminate health disparities. 

Time Commitment: 
  • Attend four quarterly Council meetings per year: three via web/teleconference (2 hours) and one annual in-person meeting in December (two days). Currently OMH covers travel expenses to the annual meeting. 
  • Participate in committee teleconference meeting and activities, approximately 3 hours per month 
  • Promote awareness of SHEC and health equity issues in your professional and community activities whenever possible 
  • Support other Council members’ activities when possible 

How to Apply to Be a SHEC Member:
We are currently accepting applications from qualified individuals interested in becoming a member of SHEC from the states with vacant positions listed above. Individuals may submit an application online using the following link: http://region4.npa-rhec.org/get-involved/membership.

In addition to providing information about yourself and answering a few questions on the online application form, applicants must upload a current curriculum vita or resume. Applications must be submitted by midnight CT on October 20, 2017.

Selection of New Members:
Applications will be reviewed and considered based on the council’s needs for filling member positions in the specific states, stakeholder groups, and areas of expertise listed above. We anticipate receiving more applications than the number of open positions. Therefore, if you are not selected for membership this year, we encourage you to reapply next year or in subsequent years as additional positions become open, and to become a SHEC expert stakeholder: http://region4.npa-rhec.org/stakeholder-form

Selected applicants will be notified by November 3, 2017. New members will be expected to attend an online webinar orientation in November (date TBA) and to attend the annual in-person council meeting November 30-December 1, 2017 in Tampa, FL, when their membership terms will begin. Travel expenses will be reimbursed.


Have questions or need further information? Contact:

Marino Bruce, PhD
SHEC Governance Committee Co-Chair
marino.bruce@vanderbilt.edu 

Delmonte Jefferson
SHEC Governance Committee Co-Chair
djefferson@naatpn.org