News Release

Health Equity Advocacy Startup Awarded Grant

Foundation Awards over $1.2 million to Nonprofits to Improve Health in Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (January 29, 2016) – Health Equity Solutions (HES), a startup health equity policy advocacy organization recently received a one year $300,000 grant from the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) under the auspices of fiscal sponsor Connecticut Legal Services. The grant will enable Health Equity Solutions to build organizational infrastructure while developing and implementing its first policy agenda.

“It is the belief of HES that policy change is a powerful tool for ensuring all Connecticut residents have the opportunity to be their healthiest self, free from barriers in the health care system and in their communities.” said Tekisha Dawn Everette, PhD, who came to Connecticut in 2015 to become HES’s executive director after holding various policy and advocacy positions in Washington, D.C.

Health Equity Solutions will hold a launch event from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on February 10, 2016 in the atrium of the Legislative Office Building at 300 Capitol Avenue in Hartford to formally introduce its vision to policy leaders and the broader community. All are welcome.

“CT Health recognized that while many stakeholders touch aspects of policy and advocacy related to health equity at points in time, there was a need for a lead organization dedicated to this purpose,” said Elizabeth Krause, vice president of policy and communications with the foundation. “Health Equity Solutions will be a game changer under the leadership of the organization’s outstanding board and Dr. Everette,” added Krause.



  • Community Health Center, Inc. (Middletown, statewide reach) was awarded a one-year $50,000 grant for a new model of care designed to better integrate medical and behavioral health services for patients with diabetes and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers (North Haven, statewide reach) was awarded a one year $75,000 grant to implement the second year of its patient-centered school based health center pilot program, including the participation of two new school based health centers.
  • Connecticut Children’s Medical Center (Hartford) was awarded an 18-month $120,000 grant to study and promote culturally effective autism screening, referral and service provision in pediatric practices and birth-to-three programs.
  • Connecticut Legal Services (Middletown, statewide reach) was awarded a nine month $75,000 grant on behalf of the Connecticut Legal Services Collaborative, which also includes Greater Hartford Legal Aid and the New Haven Legal Assistance Association, to transition the education and advocacy functions previously carried out by the recently closed Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut to the remaining three legal service organizations.
  • Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) (North Haven, statewide reach) was awarded a one year $105,000 grant to add chronic disease quality measures to the health information technology of three practices participating in CSMS’s Medicare shared savings accountable care organization. The practices will stratify their patient data by race and ethnicity in order to identify and reduce health disparities.
  • Cornell Scott Hill Health Center (New Haven) was awarded a two-year $125,000 grant to maximize the capabilities of its electronic health record and train staff to integrate medical and dental care for patients.
  • Eastern Area Health Education Center (New London, eastern Connecticut reach) was awarded a one-year $25,000 grant to train partner organizations that work with Latino communities in the Coverage to Care roadmap and curriculum, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to help newly insured consumers obtain the right care at the right time and place.
  • Health Disparities Institute, University of Connecticut Health Center (Farmington, statewide reach) was awarded a one-year $155,244 grant to conduct a health insurance literacy and wellbeing survey of Access Health CT plan holders.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness – Connecticut (Hartford, statewide reach) was awarded a one-year $25,000 grant to advocate for the integration of medical and behavioral health care in the design of the Connecticut State Innovation Model and in the implementation of the state Department of Children and Families’ comprehensive behavioral health plan.
  • Partnership for Strong Communities (Hartford) was awarded a one-year $75,000 grant to support evaluation for Opening-Doors-Connecticut’s Health and Housing Initiative.
  • Office of the Health Care Advocate, State of Connecticut (Hartford, statewide reach) was awarded a one-year $125,000 public-private partnership grant (state funding with contributions from four Connecticut health foundations) to conduct a study of health care cost containment practices in other states as required of the Governor’s Health Care Cabinet by Public Act 15-146.


  •  Center for Medicare Advocacy (Willimantic, national reach) was awarded a two-month $5,000 grant to support a planning session and media training for staff.
  • Connecticut Health Quarterly, Inc. (West Hartford, statewide reach) was awarded a one-year $25,000 startup grant for a new publication that will translate research and analysis into accessible articles that illuminate health issues in Connecticut, while serving as a publication vehicle for young scholars.
  • Generations Family Health Center (Willimantic, eastern Connecticut reach) was awarded a one-year $25,000 grant to establish an outreach program for ex-offenders, including those recently released from incarceration.
  • Hartford Communities that Care (Hartford) was awarded a one-year $5,000 grant for the Hartford Crisis Response Team, which seeks to address the mental health needs of victims – and/or their families – assaulted or killed by guns, knives or blunt trauma.
  • The National Alliance for Mental Health – Connecticut (Hartford, statewide reach) was awarded a $5,000 grant for facilitation and strategic planning to create an independent children’s mental health advocacy entity.

About the Connecticut Health Foundation

The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) is the state’s largest independent health philanthropy dedicated to improving lives by changing health systems. Since it was established in 1999, the foundation has supported innovative grantmaking, public policy research, technical assistance and convening to achieve its mission – to improve the health of the people of Connecticut. Over the past 16 years, CT Health has awarded grants totaling over $58 million in 45 cities and towns throughout the state.

In 2013, CT Health announced a five-year strategic plan that made expanding health equity the foundation’s central focus. For CT Health, health equity means helping more people gain access to better care, especially people of color and underserved populations. Better care includes physical, mental, and oral health.

For more information about the foundation, please visit or contact vice president of policy and communications, Elizabeth Krause, at or 860.724.1580, ext. 14.