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The Latest News


May 19, 2023

Healthcare Equality Network

Press Release

Today, as we reflect on the celebrations held over the weekend honoring Juneteenth, the Healthcare Equality Network (HEN), and allied organizations to include former Congressman Ed Towns, Dr. Ben Chavis, Jr., Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI)...


May 17, 2023

Healthcare Equality Network

Coalition Letter

Thank you and all Members of the Congressional Black Caucus for your leadership on issues of importance to Black America, specifically regarding access to quality healthcare. Driven by our dedication to secure quality healthcare for the communities we serve, the Healthcare Equality Network (HEN) is committed to tackling health disparities head-on....


August 19, 2022

Healthcare Equality Network

Coalition Letter

We are grateful for the opportunity to share our concerns regarding the proposed Green Ridge Disposal and Recycling Facility in Cumberland, County (NAO-2018-00995). As you know, this 1,200-acre mega-landfill is proposed to operate 24 hours a day, six days a week, and add 500 daily tractor-trailers to local roads...


July 27, 2022

Healthcare Equality Network

Coalition Letter

With OEJ’s stated purpose to “undertake actions that seek to directly improve the well-being of underserved communities,” the Healthcare Equality Network is writing to bring to your attention an issue that could gravely affect residents of Cumberland County, Virginia, in hopes that you will be a champion for this underserved community....


HEN Writes Letter to Sponsors of Virginia Environmental Justice Act of 2020

June 1. 2022

We write to inform you about a proposed mega-landfill project in Cumberland County, Virginia named the Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility and how its approval would be in direct violation of the Virginia Environmental Justice Act of 2020. Members of the Health Equality Network (HEN) coalition...


OP-ED: Youngkin can deliver the promise of environmental justice for underserved communities

March 4, 2022

(Washington Post) - When Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) met with members of the Frederick Douglass Foundation to celebrate Black History Month, he told us, “Every Virginian deserves dignity and respect, the opportunity to pursue our dreams, and inclusion in the Virginia family.” Toward this end, we look forward to working with the governor to make the promises of environmental justice a reality for underserved communities in our state...


OP-ED: Will Virginia's next governor stand up to environmental racism?

October 8, 2021

(Richmond Times-Dispatch) — 

I have spent my life fighting against injustices that communities of color needlessly face in this country. We deal with drastic inequality in our education, health care, housing options, police system and so much more.

One of the greatest issues we face, and one that has been a priority for me, is environmental racism....


Insurance Giant is Forcing Black Americans to Choose Between their Health and their Means

July 7, 2021

(The Healthcare Equality Network) — On July 6, the Healthcare Equality Network (HEN), comprised of Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI), The Frederick Douglass Foundation, Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. and Dr. Julianne Malveaux sent a letter to President Biden...

Medicine Prescription

KFF Health Tracking Poll: Economic Hardship, Health Coverage, And The ACA

March 3, 2021

( — After one month in office, a majority of the public (62%) approve of the way President Biden is handling the coronavirus pandemic – including nine in ten Democrats (92%)....

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December 6th, Pine Grove School Event

December 6, 2020

(The Healthcare Equality Network, Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, AMMD Pine Grove Project and Cumberland County Landfill Alert (CCLA) — On Sunday, December 6, the Healthcare Equality Network (HEN), the Sierra Club...

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HEN Hosts Environmental Racism Townhall

October 19, 2020

(Video) — The Healthcare Equality Network (HEN), comprised of Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr., the Frederick Douglass Foundation, the Black Women’s Health Imperative, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Dr. Julianne Malveaux, hosted a virtual town hall about the impacts of....


America's vaccine sprint may be more like a relay race

July 30, 2020

(Politico) — Operation Warp Speed continues to ramp up, with military and Coast Guard personnel all over the Humphrey building and two vaccine candidates getting close to Phase III trials.

Woman getting ultrasound

OP-ED: Past Due Time for American Healthcare System to Protect Black Americans

June 29, 2020

(Black Press USA) — Because of the systematic racism that is rooted in our nation, racial disparities in American healthcare have caused illness, injury, and death in minority communities across the country. Black Americans suffer the most at the hands of the American healthcare system. Now, we are seeing COVID-19 shine a much-needed light on the harsh reality that has been plaguing an entire race for centuries.

Medical form with stethoscope

May 06, 2020

( — During his April 7 press briefing, President Trump spoke on the drastic difference in COVID-19 cases for minorities in this country.

Neck Brace

April 01, 2020

(The Hill) — Just a few months ago, the pundit class declared Joe Biden’s presidential candidacy dead after the early nominating contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. Then, they saw what can happen in South Carolina, a state that is truly representative of the Democratic base: rocket fuel

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Code Red: The Grim State of Urban Hospitals

July 10, 2019

(US News) — Closures of inner-city hospitals disproportionately hurt the poor and minority patients.


OP-ED: Virginia’s Cumberland County shouldn’t be the next Flint, Michigan

May 27. 2022

(Washington Post) - Cumberland County, just an hour’s drive west of Richmond, is in a crisis that risks it becoming the next Flint, Mich. State regulators at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are in the initial stages of reviewing a proposal for the construction of an unnecessary mega-landfill, the Green Ridge Landfill. This project presents a very real danger to local residents. If approved, the mega-landfill would pollute...


HEN Writes Letter to FDA on Necessary Improvements to Proposed Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Rule

February 8, 2022

Thank you for your hard work and leadership on issues related to healthcare equality and access to care for Americans during today’s turbulent times. The Healthcare Equality Network is comprised of leading civil rights organizations and individuals who are devoted to raising awareness about the disparities in healthcare within our country. We are passionate about working alongside lawmakers and regulators to close these gaps...


HEN writes letter to HHS, CMS and CBC about Unintended Consequences of Price Disclosure Fine Increase

October 4, 2021

(The Healthcare Equality Network) — Thank you and all Members of the Congressional Black Caucus for your leadership on issues of importance to Black Americans, namely your work regarding equal access to quality healthcare. The Healthcare Equality Network, comprised of leading civil rights organizations and individuals, is dedicated....


HEN Urges President Biden and CBC to Take Action Against Big Insurance

July 6, 2021

(The Healthcare Equality Network) — Thank you, Mr. President, Congresswoman Beatty, the Biden administration and all Members of the Congressional Black Caucus for your leadership on issues of importance to Black Americans, specifically regarding access to quality health care...


A historic school, a mega-landfill and a battle for 'justice' in Cumberland County

December 27, 2020

(Richmond Times-Dispatch) — The old schoolhouse doesn’t look like much now — weather-beaten and worn, it stood neglected for decades before an effort to save it kicked into gear two years ago, and now there also is the worrying possibility of having a landfill nearby....

Town Hall Planned at Pine Grove School

December 2, 2020

(The Farmville Herald) — The Southern Leadership Conference, the AMMD Pine Grove Project, the Sierra Club and the Cumberland County Landfill Alert (CCLA) are joining forces to host a Town Hall at the historic Pine Grove Elementary School....


I helped start the fight for environmental justice nearly four decades ago. We’re still fighting.

October 16, 2020

(Washington Post) — I am so tired of the persistent manifestations of systemic racism in America. All Black people, as well as other people of color, are tired. Time and time again, we are treated as collateral damage in a nation to which we continuously devote our hearts, labor and souls.


June 30, 2020

(YouTube) — On June 30, Rev. Al Sharpton hosted a virtual leadership town hall alongside CBC Health Braintrust Chair Rep. Robin Kelly and leaders in the Black community to discuss the pressing issues perpetuating racial disparities in healthcare.


Why Racism, Not Race, Is a Risk Factor for Dying of COVID-19

June 12, 2020

(Scientific American) — Public health specialist and physician Camara Phyllis Jones talks about ways that jobs, communities and health care leave Black Americans more exposed and less protected


May 03, 2020

(Black Press USA) — Collectively, they argue that too often, insurance companies refuse to cover emergency services, and either patients are forced to pay bills they cannot afford, or hospitals are shuttering.


February 25, 2020

(The Charleston Chronicle) — It is a serious financial problem that far too many African Americans – from impoverished individuals to working-class families — face these days in the bewilderingly complicated health-care market: Getting hit with an unexpected bill after a hospital stay or visit to the emergency room.


HEN Writes Letter Urging Investigation of Insurers

April 22. 2022

Driven by our dedication to securing quality health care for Black Americans, the Healthcare Equality Network (HEN) is committed to tackling health disparities head-on. That is why we write to you out of deep concern that patients are not being put first by their own insurance companies. It is not news that insurance companies too often put profit over people....


Community Leaders in Virginia Urging Gubernatorial Candidates Youngkin and McAuliffe to Stop Mega-Landfill

October 28, 2022

As the high-stakes gubernatorial election comes to a close in the next week, the Healthcare Equality Network (HEN) and
other community leaders have briefed both gubernatorial candidates on a pressing issue affecting the state – the
potential approval of the Green Ridge Recycling and Disposal Facility, a 1,200-acre mega-landfill....

Illustration on United Health Care’s new Emergency room policy by Alexander Hunter_The Was

UnitedHealthcare aims to scare Black women from seeking emergency care

August 2, 2021

(Washington Times) — American patients are sick and tired of insurance companies not covering essential care and services. Recently, America’s biggest insurance company, UnitedHealthcare, proposed the most egregious and unjustified policy to scare patients from seeking care altogether....


OP-ED: Insurance Giant Prioritizing Profits Over Patients

July 2, 2021

(NNPA NEWSWIRE) — One of the most recent acts of insurance company greed happened with UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest insurance provider. Just recently, the insurance giant announced it would no longer cover patients’ nonurgent visits to the emergency room retroactively. Yes, you read that correctly....

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HEN Cohosts Pine Grove School Townhall

December 10, 2020

(Video) — On Sunday, December 6, HEN, Sierra Club, AMMD Pine Grove Project, and Cumberland County Landfill Alert (CCLA), hosted a community event at the Pine Grove School to speak out against the pending approval of the Green Ridge Mega-Landfill. Speakers included Dr. Benjamin Chavis....

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Letter to Stop the Green Ridge Landfill

October 20, 2020

(Coalition Letter) — The Healthcare Equality Network, along with the Sierra Club Virginia Chapter, AMMD Pine Grove Project, and Cumberland County Landfill Alert (CCLA), sent a coalition letter to Virginia DEQ Director David Paylor urging him to reject approval of new Green Ridge Mega-Landfill


Proposed Cumberland County landfill perpetuates environmental racism

September 13, 2020

(Richmond Times-Dispatch) — It is no secret that Black Americans have gotten the short end of the stick in this country for centuries. Our communities have long dealt with lower access to health care, higher rates of police brutality and lower-than-average incomes.

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Black Americans Deserve Affordable, Accessible Health Care

June 28, 2020

(Morning Consult) — COVID-19 took our country and the world by surprise. Unsurprisingly to many of us, the virus has affected the minority community, especially the Black community, at a detrimental level compared to the white community. Though this pandemic is a tragedy, we must take advantage of the new light being shone on the health care disparities facing the Black community in America. 


When rural hospitals close, minorities pay the biggest price

June 10, 2020

(Quartz) — Rural hospitals in the US have been struggling for years, and coronavirus has accelerated their demise.


April 13, 2020

(National Action Network) — In the wake of a global pandemic, healthcare access for African Americans and other racial minorities is more threatened than ever before. The harsh impact of the coronavirus on these communities is two-fold: They are hit the hardest due to the likelihood that an underserved individual has a pre-existing condition, and because the underserved are less likely to have access to quality healthcare.

Documents and Blurred Business Men

February 20, 2020

(Morning Consult) — It is no secret that the No. 1 priority for meeting the needs of America’s minority communities is voting Donald Trump out of the White House in November. Less clear, however, is what the candidates running to replace him will do to right the wrongs of this administration.

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