PolicyLink Selects ECC CEO as ‘Ambassador for Health Equity’


ECC is proud to announce that our President and CEO Denise Fairchild has been selected to participate in the Ambassadors for Health Equity fellowship, a joint venture led by PolicyLink and FSG with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to collaboratively engage innovative leaders in advancing health equity.

Fairchild will join 15 other leaders from the public, private and social sectors in the year-long program dedicated to advancing large-scale health equity strategies that produce lasting social change.

In announcing the program, PolicyLink stated: “For too long, our nation has attempted to improve health by focusing primarily on the health care system. To truly achieve health equity, where everyone – regardless of race, neighborhood or financial status – has the opportunity for health, we must also consider the broader determinants of health, including community environment, education, employment, housing, income and public safety.”

“The purpose of Ambassadors for Health Equity very much supports ECC’s overarching goal of creating high-road – just, sustainable and inclusive – regional economies and closely aligns with ECC’s Anchors for Resilient Communities initiative, or ARC,” Fairchild commented.

She continued, “ARC, now ongoing in northern California’s East Bay, aims to harness the purchasing power of place-based anchors such as universities and hospitals to improve the health, wealth and climate resilience – the threat multiplier – in disadvantaged neighborhoods, for example with local enterprises that supply fresh, healthful food to our anchor partners and other local institutions.” 

Over the course of a year, ambassadors will participate in five in-person meetings, a series of webinars and ongoing online engagement that will empower them to share ideas and experiences, forge new alliances, generate new solutions and promote health equity within their own work and across networks. Ambassadors will also apply the skills and connections gained through the fellowship to a specific project tied to their work, as part of an ongoing commitment to foster practices in their own organizations that advance health equity.

This fellowship is funded by the RWJF as part of the foundation’s ongoing Open Box initiative, which seeks to advance health equity by convening leaders from a variety of sectors to promote policies, practices and systems that foster a “Culture of Health.” RWJF says this means “focusing on the grander whole of what being healthy and staying healthy means,” such as by ensuring that students are ready to learn, workers are able to be productive and families can thrive across every community.


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