FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Health & Welfare Council of Long Island Launches Health Equity Summit

Rebecca Sanin, President/CEO
 (o) 516-505-4423; (c) 516-382-1658
Health & Welfare Council of Long Island Launches Health Equity Summit
(Bethpage, NY) -On Tuesday, March 27th, the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island hosted the first-of-its-kind Health Equity Summit, inviting non-profit executive directors, government leaders and healthcare professionals to hear national, state and local experts define and discuss health equity and why it matters to Long Island communities.

“I thought the summit was amazing,” says Stacy Villagran, Senior Director of health Insurance Programs for Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council. “I loved the energy and enthusiasm of the HWCLI staff and the information presented by the speakers, who were all very knowledgeable and impressive; it was refreshing to attend a meeting like this with people who actually understand, appreciate, and live on Long Island.”
The panelists included Sinsi Hernandez-Cancio, Director of Health Equity for Families USA, Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President of Health Initiatives for the Community Service Society and Jacob Dixon, Founder and CEO for Choice For All, a Roosevelt-based community organization. Collectively and individually, these speakers shared data and models that make the case for creating systems and pipelines to services that are equitable and sustainable, ultimately improving people’s lives in all communities on Long Island.
“The startling but sad reality is that your zip code on Long Island can tell more about your life outcomes than your genetic code,” says Rebecca Sanin, CEO of HWCLI. “But through the lens of healthcare reform, we have a momentous opportunity to reimagine our human infrastructure as a region.” 
In fact, numerous studies support the fact that 40% of what affects a person’s health outcomes has to do with whether their basic needs are being met-and not with traditional medical care.
“The non-profit sector does an exceptional job of addressing symptoms, yet we agree that systemic change comes from self-reflection and a willingness to re-examine processes that inhibit positive outcomes,” adds Sanin.
The Health & Welfare Council is the lead agency for a New York State Department of Health planning grant, working with other community-based organizations to strategically plan and develop the infrastructure to collectively engage with a transformed health care system through Value-Based Payment (VBP). This is a unique opportunity to break down silos, develop a collaborative voice and create a strong system in which services that address communities’ needs are valued and compensated.
The Health and Welfare Council of Long Island is a not for profit, health and human services planning, education, and advocacy organization that serves Long Island’s at-risk and vulnerable individuals and families. As Long Island’s premiere convening non-profit with over 200 member organizations, the Health & Welfare Council has been providing direct services and executing policy and advocacy work that improves lives-for over 70 years.