Health Leads' Rebecca Onie Speaks at Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's Healthy Communities Conference

Collaboration between community development and health sectors can yield powerful benefits for low-income populations.

    • April 21, 2011

Health Leads co-founder and CEO Rebecca Onie was one of several speakers at an April 20 conference exploring how the health and community development sectors can collaborate to promote better health outcomes for low-income people and communities. The all-day conference, which brought together experts in community development finance and the social factors that shape people’s health, took place at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on April 20, 2011.

Onie, a grantee under RWJF’s Vulnerable Populations Portfolio, helped illuminate the connection between community development and health, a subject her organization knows intimately. Health Leads places trained college-student volunteers in hospitals and health clinics to work with doctors in addressing the medical and basic social support needs of low-income patients—clients receive actual prescriptions for necessities such as access to food, safe housing, transportation assistance and child care.

Onie spoke on the “Practical Applications” panel along with Joe Kriesberg president and CEO of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations; Allison Bauer, senior program officer with the Boston Foundation; and Gail Latimore, executive director of the Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation.

This meeting is one of a series of similar events to be held by regional Federal Reserve Banks throughout 2011, and builds on a broader partnership between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Federal Reserve that began in 2010. The objective is to spark discussions on how experts in community development and health can work together to transform the economic and health outlook for low-income Americans.

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