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March 2018 

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A Louisville where every person and every community can enjoy hope, happiness, and wellness.

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400 E Gray Street

Louisville, KY 40202


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Applications for Health Equity Fund are open!

The Center for Health Equity, in partnership with The Community Foundation of Louisville, The Humana Foundation, Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence and Metro United Way, recently announced they would be accepting applications for the first ever Health Equity Fund. In its first round, two $20,000 awards will be granted to local nonprofits within Louisville Metro who are dedicated to fostering equitable health outcomes through collaborative and community-based work.

Specifically, this first round of awardees will focus on the issue of education as it relates to equitable health outcomes. Education is just one of the 11 root causes highlighted in the Center for Health Equity’s recently released 2017 Health Equity Report. Education was chosen based on the overwhelming response from community engagement with over 200 residents regarding which root cause they would like to see prioritized.

Because of the many intersections between education and the other root causes addressed in the Health Equity Report, organizations which address education in tandem with other root causes are strongly encouraged to apply. This could mean working towards addressing student hunger, providing access to classroom technology or focusing on early childhood development. Other issues brought up during community engagement were equitable student agency within curriculum and administrative decision-making, as well as an emphasis on the need to strengthen informal education opportunities outside of the classroom.

Applications will be judged on how effectively a program proposes to address barriers to education. The assessment process will also take into account how an organization approaches community engagement and whether their program is addressing a stated community need. Overall, an organization will need to show how they will sustainably use the funds to better the lives of Jefferson County residents, while being intentional about how their work will contribute to equity.

The Health Equity Fund began as the $25,000 Culture of Health award given to Louisville Metro in 2016 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Foundation stated that it was particularly impressed with how well group’s in Louisville “work to put good health within one’s reach”. The Louisville Culture of Health team, including Center for Health Equity, came to the conclusion that the best way to spend the award money would be to invest in the community health efforts for which the city was praised. The initial award money was soon joined by additional contributions by the local funders, growing to a current total of $150,000.

Applications can be found on the Center for Health Equity’s web page. All applications will be due by March 5th, with recipients of the funds to be notified by the end of that month. 

Aja Barber at Health Equity Breakfast

Health Equity Breakfast

On February 9th, the Center for Health Equity joined Metro United Way at The Olmstead for breakfast to discuss our newly released Health Equity Report.

Panelists gathered to discuss how the report's evidence-based recommendations could be used to form strategic partnerships to combat those inequities across Louisville.

Among many findings, the report shows that there is a 12.6 year difference in life expectancy for residents in parts of east and west Louisville. 

The report documents the root causes of why such vast differences exist for 21 health outcomes across our community. These reasons include differences in access to food systems, health and human services, employment and income, education, transportation, early childhood development, environmental quality, and the built environment.

Speakers included:

  • Theresa Reno-Weber, Metro United Way
  • Dr. Sarah Moyer, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health & Wellness
  • Trisha Finnegan, Community Foundation of Louisville
  • Jeff Polson, Jewish Heritage Fund for Excellence
  • Mark Carter, Passport Health Plan
  • Nikki Jackson, Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis
  • Walter D. Woods, The Humana Foundation

Aja Barber also spoke on behalf of Dr. Brandy Kelly-Pryor (who has just welcomed a brand new baby) at the Center for Health Equity to explain the layout, features, and changes made to the report. She also invited attendees and any organizations across Jefferson County who might be interested to reach out if they were interested in scheduling a presentation to learn more about the report.

Interested parties can also download the full report at www.HealthEquityReport.com.

If you are interested in having CHE come to your organization, please feel free to contact us at healthequity@louisvilleky.gov

What We're Reading 

89.3 WFPL: The Next Louisville Series

The Next Louisville project is a collaboration between WFPL News and the Community Foundation of Louisville, exploring issues of consequence to our city and its future. In 2018, we are examining concentrated poverty -- what it is, the factors contributing to it, and how people and institutions are trying to change it. Learn more about The Next Louisville Series here.

The foster care system was unprepared for the last drug epidemic—let’s not repeat history

Read the full article here

‘Automating Inequality’: Algorithms in Public Services Often Fail the Most Vulnerable

Read the full article here

Stress: The Privilege of health

Read the full article here

Center for Health Equity Spring New Hires

The Center for Health Equity welcomes three new employees 


Mahogany Mayfield – Youth Council Program Coordinator

Mahogany returns to the CHE family after working with the Racial Equity Youth Council during the summer of 2017. She brings fresh ideas and is particularly excited to continue the innovative and transformative work of the youth that she's had an opportunity to work with.

Mahogany hopes to shift the culture around youth and the ways we empower them to create change. She is committed to providing support for youth who wish to spark authentic, meaningful change. She also strives to create trainings and research that not only inspire youth, but will equip them with the resources they need -and deserve - to lead and live healthy and fulfilling lives. 

Mahogany believes that we all have a responsibility to help youth build a sense of agency. She believes that when we encourage youth and provide them with opportunities to use their brilliance, we better equip them to influence policies and advocate for their own physical and mental health. -- which will make them much more informed and empowered to build safer communities when they become adults..


Clayton Oeth – Policy Analyst

Clayton Oeth (pronounced oath) moved to Louisville from Evansville, Indiana.  He holds a Master of Science Public Policy and Management from Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon.

Clayton would like to use his role to shape substantive policy around public health in an equitable way.

He believes that policy is the most effective approach toward creating solutions that measurably reduce poor health outcomes among vulnerable populations. Oeth also believes that one of the best ways to prevent much of the systemic and inter-generational inequity we see today is by making sure that we create better access to policy education, address structural power dynamics, and provide equitable representation in the decision-making process before adopting or putting new policies into practice.


Monica Leslie – Community Engagement Coordinator

Monica Leslie comes to the Center for Health Equity from the innovation sector. In addition to her previous worked as a user experience researcher and online course designer, she has a background in economic development, urban planning, and community organizing.

She hopes to use her role to give the residents who have experienced Louisville’s worst health outcomes more of voice throughout the decision-making and implementation of community initiatives.

Monica believes that we can learn a lot from listening to our neighbors about the kinds of barriers they face. She believes that working with good information produces better outcomes – and that when we make an intentional effort to include those who are most impacted, it makes it easier to accurately identify where our most vulnerable populations slip through the cracks. 

She believes that a better Louisville is possible, but that creating a culture of accountability, accessibility, and equitable inclusion requires us to measure whether our efforts align with residents' feedback.