Structure of the Southeastern Health Equity Council

The Southeastern Health Equity Council (SHEC) is one of ten regional health equity councils in the U.S. 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, spearheaded by the federal Office of Minority Health (OMH).

SHEC corresponds to Region IV, which is comprised of eight states in the Southeast of the U.S.: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. This voluntary association of 40 voting members (5 per state) brings together leaders from diverse backgrounds including healthcare providers, healthcare-focused organizations, academia, public health agencies, economic development, faith-based organizations, grassroots organizations, and other non-profit organizations and businesses to reinforce the need for multi-sector linkages as a key strategy for ending health disparities in America. The diversity on the SHEC ensures adequate input from diverse sectors in the council’s efforts to understand and address health disparities in the region.

The council’s activities are coordinated by two Co-Chairs and three other officers and directed by 4 committees: Governance, Social Determinants of Health, Awareness, and Cultural Competency. SHEC operates as a program under its fiscal sponsor, the Mississippi Rural Health Association, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Ongoing Activities and Accomplishments:
  • Produced a Southeastern Health Equity Report Card that includes data related to health care access, food access and cultural competency
  • Participating in the yNPA by hosting an intern
  • Seeking funding to produce a food desert/food financing need assessment report for the southeastern region
  • Preparing to assess the existing cultural competency standards for healthcare professional certification/licensing requirements in each state and identifying opportunities for incorporation of enhanced CLAS Standards 
Materials and media releases: ACA Resources 2016