Health Equity and Anti-Racism Statement

Statement from the Heluna Health Board of Directors
Our Commitment to Health Equity and Anti-Racism

The Board of Directors of Heluna Health strongly believe in health equity for all regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status. We condemn systemic racism and all forms of social injustice and stand together with other public health leaders across the country in declaring racism as a current public health crisis.

Heluna Health’s mission is to enhance the health, wellness, and resilience of every community we serve.  For more than 50 years, Heluna Health and the hundreds of partner initiatives we support each year have identified racism, poverty, and other social injustices as key drivers of health disparities. As such, Heluna Health has worked tirelessly to develop and implement programs to combat their effects.

The disproportionate burden of COVID-19 on economically disadvantaged, Black, Latina/o, Indigenous, Asian American, other ethnic and immigrant communities is the latest example of how systemic racism leads to devastating health outcomes. Heluna Health has been deeply involved in pandemic relief efforts, including through vaccine distribution, contact tracing, support for laboratory testing and clinical trials, and community outreach. These efforts remind us, however, that the results of population health interventions are only as effective as the lens through which governments, philanthropic funders, and key stakeholders view and prioritize them.

Heluna Health has adopted an ambitious strategic plan that measures the impact of our important work to improve population health across the nation. Through this plan, the Board of Directors is committed to ensuring that Heluna Health continues to employ rigorous action and evidence-based solutions to removing obstacles to health equity for all in several ways:

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    Ensuring Heluna Health is a diverse and inclusive workplace reflecting and giving voice to the communities in which we serve; increasing awareness of the social determinants of health and the barriers they create to health equity through advocacy, education and training, locally and on a national level

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    Developing, expanding and supporting programs aimed at combatting obstacles to health equity, such as programs that increase access to housing, nutrition, food security, maternal health and early childhood education

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    Educating policy and other decision-makers of the causes of poor health and the need for funding of evidence-based programs that can improve health, enhance economic stability and address the impacts of social determinants

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    Seeking philanthropic and other funding support for new and innovative initiatives addressing gaps and refocusing the population health lens beyond what currently exists

By taking the above actions, the Board of Heluna Health reaffirms our commitment to health equity and anti-racism in the actions we take to accomplish our shared vision to achieve healthy, strong communities for all.

Heluna Health Board of Directors

Tamara Joseph, JD

Tamara Joseph is a health care executive with diverse, global experience with publicly-traded and privately-held companies and public health non-profits. She is the Chief Legal Officer at Spero Therapeutics and has served as the general counsel at biotech companies Cubist Pharmaceuticals and Transkaryotic Therapies in Boston and Mayne Pharma in London. She previously served as a director of LTK Pharma, a French cell therapy biotech, and spent more than six years at Biogen Idec’s international headquarters in Paris, establishing legal, compliance, government affairs, and public affairs departments. Before entering the healthcare sector, Tamara served as a litigator and then an international corporate lawyer with Morrison & Foerster and as a litigator with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver, and Jacobson. She devoted significant time to advising non-profit organizations and indigent individuals while at those firms. She authored a submission in 1989 that successfully persuaded the U.S. Department of Justice to liberalize admissions for Jewish refugees from the USSR seeking political asylum. In 1991 she argued a case before the California Court of Appeals that established the right of indigent plaintiffs to have their cases heard in civil courts rather than by paid arbitrators, thereby protecting their access to justice. Tamara serves as a member of the audit committee of Crittenton Women’s Union, a non-profit dedicated to helping low-income women attain economic independence. She received a BA in economics from Duke University and law degrees from the University of Michigan, the College of Europe (Belgium), and the University of Paris.