Implementation Resources for Health Equity Programs and Initiatives
Rural communities may need specific resources — including legal assistance, meeting support, and funding
— when implementing programs that advance health equity.
Legal Assistance for Formalizing Partnerships and Coalitions
Advancing health equity often requires creating cross-sector collaborations and working with community partners.
At times, rural communities may need legal assistance to advance or formalize these collaborations. For example,
several rural coalitions have incorporated as nonprofits, which allows them to receive and manage their own
funding. Rural communities seeking 501(c)(3) status for their coalitions or collaborations may need legal
assistance to review applications for tax exemption.
Resources and Space to Support Meetings
Health equity often involves bringing together members of the community and representatives from multiple
sectors and organizations. This may require meeting space to allow for regular opportunities for engagement.
Considerations for meeting spaces include cost, location, and accessibility. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated
the use of virtual meeting platforms like Zoom to facilitate collaboration. However, virtual meetings may be
difficult to access for some community members due to lack of broadband access or challenges with navigating
Funding for Engaging Community Members
Communities that experience inequities may face challenges in engaging in health equity initiatives, such as
lack of transportation to meetings, lack of childcare, and inability to miss work due to financial or other
constraints. Rural communities should consider opportunities to support community members to engage in health
equity work, such as by offering stipends or other reimbursements for their time. West Marion Inc. offers stipends for
community members to engage in this work, share their lived experiences, and bring their ideas and wisdom to the
The Social Determinants of Health Toolkit provides
additional resource considerations when implementing rural programs, including funding, transportation, and