Health Leads Launches New Strategy to Advance Community-Led Health Aims

Nurse visiting senior lady at home

National nonprofit deepens 22-year commitment to overcoming barriers to health with new vision, mission, strategy and resource-rich website

Boston, Mass. – Anchored by a new vision of health, well-being and dignity for every person, in every community, Health Leads today announced the next chapter in its decades-long effort to address root causes of disease. The nonprofit social health leader has launched a new strategy designed to continue its work with health systems, hospitals and clinics, but deepen its focus on the critical role communities play in shaping everyone’s health. An online, searchable library of resources will support the organization’s refined vision, mission and approach.

Over its 22-year history, Health Leads has become a respected voice on the social determinants of health, offering expertise in essential resource programming including implementation, technology and evaluation, and equipping hundreds of thousands of people with critical resources like food, heat and housing. In response to increasing awareness of the impact of social and community-centered health initiatives, Health Leads will focus its new strategy in three key areas:

  • Community-level Health Initiatives: Partner with local organizations to bring together services, treatments, technology, data and resources in new ways to achieve the health goals that matter most to that community
  • Accelerating Practice: Facilitate a growing network of healthcare and community-based innovators to share learnings about community-centered health
  • Targeted Advocacy: Work with community members on standards, regulations and policies that eliminate harmful systems of inequity that lead to poor health

    VIDEO: See an example of Health Leads’ work in action.

This new strategy is marked by a heightened commitment to supporting community-driven health aims and sharing learning by working in partnership to confront health inequities.

“Over the past 20+ years, we’ve had the opportunity to work with a vast array of people and organizations to help make addressing essential health needs no longer the exception, but the rule,” said Health Leads Chief Executive Officer Alexandra Quinn. “No one organization or entity alone can remove the complex barriers to health. Think about how much further we could go if we’re willing to work together to address systemic challenges like income inequality and racism. We’re excited to continue to partner with and learn from community organizations, public health departments and health systems that are working together in new ways and allocating resources differently — with community-defined health goals at the forefront.”

Health Leads is already harnessing its experience in data, technology, workforce and education to co-design and promote community-driven health. The organization works both in select regions across the U.S. with local expertise and staff, and also coordinates national learning initiatives with a range of organizations working to break down barriers to health in their communities.

“Seeing the full picture of someone’s health and connecting people to essential resources is so important, but we can and need to go further,” said Zakiya Alake, a member of the Health Leads Patient Advisory Council. “If we are going to overcome the deep-rooted challenges to health that exist today, we don’t need to create anything new, but put patients at the table with local organizations and health systems, where their input and contributions are heard and valued, so those groups can work together in new ways to achieve health.”

To kick-off its new strategic focus, Health Leads has launched a redesigned website featuring a range of free content to facilitate learning and collaboration, including:

  • Searchable Library of more than 60 curated resources to aid in the design of effective essential needs and community-driven health programs
  • Essential Needs Roadmap of how to navigate the key elements of social health interventions, developed in collaboration with dozens of individual leaders across 30 organizations
  • Champions of Change stories that highlight passionate innovators from across the country who are building and advocating for more effective, equitable and community-driven health

All content on the Health Leads online platform is available today to download and share. We welcome questions, comments or interest in partnering to drive community-led health initiatives!

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Health Leads is a U.S.-based non-profit organization working toward a vision of health, well-being and dignity for every person in every community. For more than 20 years, we’ve worked closely with hospitals and clinics to connect people to essentials like food, housing and transportation alongside medical care. Today, we’re partnering with communities and their local organizations to address systemic causes of inequity and disease. We do this by removing barriers that keep people from identifying, accessing and choosing the resources everyone needs to be healthy. Learn more at, and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.