Call For Membership Applications for the Great Lakes Regional Health Equity Council

Application Deadline: December 27, 2016

The Great Lakes Regional Health Equity Council (RHEC V) is seeking new members to fill one or more vacancies in each of the six states in our region - Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. These states encompass the US Department of Health and Human Services Region V.

We are currently seeking committed and dedicated individuals to serve on the RHEC V. We are seeking energetic and proactive members whose work and expertise fall under specific sectors, including:
  • Private/for-profit organizations such as labor unions, businesses and chambers of commerce 
  • Community-based and faith-based organizations, and nonprofit agencies 
  • Educational institutions, such as colleges and universities 
  • Local government and civic organizations 
  • Students/young professionals (graduates and undergraduates with public health interest) 
  • Health professionals, such as community health workers, and public health and allied health professionals 
  • Health care systems and medical associations 
  • Media and communications such as radio, newspaper, television and social media outlets 
  • Nonprofit fundraising and organizational development 

Description of RHEC V

RHEC V plays a critical role in coordinating and enhancing state and local efforts to address health disparities and the social determinants of health (SDOH) at the regional level. More information about the council, including the current work being undertaken, can be found at: http://region5.npa-rhec.org.

RHEC V is one of 10 regional councils formed in 2011 as a 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 which was spearheaded by the federal Office of Minority Health (OMH). While affiliated with OMH in terms of aligning strategies and receiving technical assistance, RHEC V and the other regional councils are independent entities separate from OMH and the Federal Government.

RHEC V is a voluntary, not-for-profit association of 36 members ideally with equal representation from each state, 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. Members work or reside within the geographic area or community they represent and have engaged in relevant work on policies or programs that seek to eliminate health disparities and/or promote healthy living standards.


RHEC V Vision
A nation achieving the highest level of health for everyone by eliminating health disparities and working towards health equity.


RHEC V Mission
To increase health equity through the elimination of health disparities and address the social determinants of health by influencing partners, leaders, and stakeholders committed to sustaining action for systems and policy changes within Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.


RHEC V Committees
The Council committees are organized to support the advancement of the mission and align to the NPA goals. They are each charged with prioritizing the goal area strategies most relevant to the stakeholder communities represented by the members, ensuring that a focus on one or more SDOH is included in each committee’s work, and developing an annual action plan. Based on emerging needs, the RHEC may establish new committees. The initial committees of the Council, and their respective responsibilities, are listed below:


Information and Communications Committee
Responsibilities include but are not limited to: 
  1. Develops and implements a communications plan and health equity messaging relevant to RHEC V, with assistance from experts as appropriate; 
  2. Drafts press releases, circulates them to the Executive Committee for revisions and approval, and disseminates them; 
  3. Maintains updated information on the Council’s website(s) and social media outlets; 
  4. Maintains a calendar for the Council’s scheduled events and meetings and for promoting support of relevant activities in the region; and 
  5. Develops and leads Council awareness campaigns related to health equity. 

Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Committee
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  1. Periodically conducts a needs assessment based on compiled SDOH and health disparity data at the regional level; 
  2. Identifies gaps in current data systems and makes recommendations to improve them; and 
  3. Leads and/or collaborates on regional initiatives to improve SDOHs with the goal of reducing health disparities. 

Recruitment and Retention Committee
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  1. Manages the nomination and election process for Council officers and for new Council members; 
  2. Assesses the composition of the Council membership and identifies gaps in representation of stakeholder communities; 
  3. Develops recruitment strategies to obtain a pool of potential members to achieve appropriate representation of states and stakeholder groups; 
  4. Provides new member orientation to ensure they are equipped with the tools necessary to perform responsibilities of the Council; and 
  5. Annually assesses membership for satisfaction, deals with conflicts between members and addresses member concerns. 

RHEC V Membership
Membership positions are individual and are not linked to specific organizations. Each individual volunteer member serves for a term of three (3) years beginning January 1 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 RHEC V, each member is expected to actively participate by regularly attending meetings, serve on at least one and no more than two committees during their terms, participate in the development and implementation of action plans, and attend special events and other related activities.

The responsibilities of the RHEC members, collectively, are to:
  • Provide leadership and expertise to drive a collaborative health equity agenda; 
  • Use inclusive stakeholder input to refine priority strategies; 
  • Support and collaborate on projects of mutual benefit; 
  • Provide regional, intersectorial leadership and partnerships; and 
  • Monitor and assess progress to assure accountability and drive sustainability of RHEC V’s efforts to eliminate health disparities. 

How to Apply to Become an RHEC V Member
We are currently accepting applications from qualified individuals interested in becoming members of RHEC V from the six states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Individuals may submit an application online using the following link: http://region5.npa-rhec.org/application

In addition to providing information and answering a few questions on the online application form, applicants must upload a current curriculum vitae (CV) or résumé. Applications must be submitted by December 27, 2016.


Selection of New Members
Applications will be reviewed and considered based on the RHEC’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.

Selected applicants will be notified by January 13, 2017. New members will be expected to attend an online webinar orientation to be conducted in late January 2017, the start of their membership term, and to attend the annual in-person meeting in April 2017.


Whom to Contact for Questions or Further Information: 

Great Lakes Regional Health Equity Council Recruitment and Retention Co-Chairs

Veronica Halloway, MA
Chief, Center for Minority Health Services
Illinois Department of Public Health
Springfield, IL 62761
Email: veronica.halloway@illinois.gov

NaKaisha Tolbert-Banks, LCSW, LCAC
Chief Executive Officer
D.U.O EmpowerMEnt Services
Indianapolis, IN 64214
Email: ntblaughter@gmail.com

Or

Gerrie Maccannon, MPA
Technical Assistant Liaison for RHEC V
Atlas Research
Email: gerrie2.maccannon@gmail.com or gmaccannon@npa.rhec.org