The Health Equity Alliance of Long Island’s Innovation

Our Mission

The mission of the Health Equity Alliance of Long Island (HEALI) is to engage health and human service agencies, community members and other stakeholders to ensure equitable health and life outcomes for all Long Islanders through cross-sector partnerships, innovative funding strategies and improvements in the health & human service delivery system. We will use our collective power to influence public policy and investment decisions by funders.

Our Vision

HEALI’s vision is to build and provide an integrated, holistic, culturally and linguistically responsive health and human service delivery system that results in equitable health and life outcomes for all Long Islanders.

Our Goals

  • Develop an IT infrastructure that allows for multi-directional data sharing among agencies, while respecting clients’ rights and protecting their privacy.
  • Improve connectivity between agencies as they screen clients and track referrals within the sector.
  • Engage community members, being inclusive and using a culturally and linguistically competent lens.
  • Use our collective power and unified voice to advocate for services and investments needed for Long Island’s diverse communities.
  • Develop strategies that simultaneously prepare CBOs for change, convey value and highlight our leadership and expertise to collectively impact a transforming healthcare system.

1115 Concept Paper

Section 1115 of the Social Security Act permits the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to approve experimental, pilot or demonstration projects that test and evaluate state-specific policy changes in Medicaid and CHIP programs to improve care, increase efficiency and reduce costs without increasing federal Medicaid expenditures. Through the 1115 Waiver, HEALI seeks to:

  • Address health disparities and systemic health care delivery issues that have been highlighted and intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic,
    Promote community-based and non-institutional care.
  • Better integrate health care and social care,
    Leverage emerging technologies and care models.
  • Help contain costs by providing quality health care.
  • Investing in equitable and culturally appropriate health care, and ensuring everyone can get the coverage they need.

The 1115 waiver proposal aims to build upon New York State’s successes and lessons learned from the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment (DSRIP) Program to achieve sustainable system reform with a focus on reducing health disparities and promoting health equity by fully integrating social care and health care in the Medicaid program.

Upon CMS’ response to the concept paper, the State will develop a formal waiver request that will be open for public comment at both the state and federal levels.

The waiver seeks to promote health equity by addressing the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). SDOH have a major impact on people’s health, well-being, and quality of life. Examples of SDOH include:

  • Safe housing, transportation, and neighborhoods
  • Racism, discrimination, and violence
  • Education, job opportunities, and income
  • Access to nutritious foods and physical activity opportunities
  • Polluted air and water
  • Language and literacy skills

Click here to view the 1115 Medicaid Waiver.

The deadline for the public comment period was extended to May 20th. Written comments will be accepted by email at or by mail at New York State Department of Health, Office of Health Insurance Programs, Waiver Management Unit, 99 Washington Avenue , 12th floor (Suite 1208), Albany, NY 12210.

Resources, summaries and commentary on the amendment application:

  • Summary of what changed between the concept paper submitted in 2021 and the draft
    application, by Kalin Scott of Helgerson Solutions Group
  • Archived webinar and slides providing summary information by Health Management
  • Manatt Health issue brief on Medicaid 1115 waivers and how they can address health equity




Prenatal and Postpartum Health

The United States’ maternal mortality rate ranks 47th among developed nations, and it’s even worse for women of color. African-American women are three times more likely than other women to die from childbirth-related complications.

At the December 15th HEALI meeting, Shanequa Levin (Founder and CEO of the Women’s Diversity Network) and Dr. Martine Hackett (Program Director and Associate Professor of Population Health at Hofstra University) detailed just how alarming these figures are. To view their presentation, please click here.

Ms. Levin and Dr. Hackett also led a discussion among the coalition members on how to improve the social determinants of health for pregnancy and birth. To view the notes from the discussion, please click here.

Health Equity Task Force

The Women’s Diversity Network hosts a monthly health equity meeting on the first Monday of every month at 7:30pm.

You can register for their meeting here.

Additional Information and Important Articles

The Commonwealth Fund: Policies for Reducing Maternal Morbidity and Mortality and Enhancing Equity in Maternal Health

CDC: Working Together to Reduce Black Maternal Mortality

Patient Safety Network: Health Equity and Maternal Health

Community Health Workers

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are frontline public health workers who have a close understanding and passion for the community they will be serving. Community Health Workers provide health and social service support to individuals in the community and also build community capacity by increasing health knowledge and self-sufficiency through a range of activities such as community education, counseling, and advocacy.

Working with a Community Care team including Doctors, Nurses, Therapists and Social Workers, CHWs conduct home visits, facilitate transportation and patient appointments, link patients to supportive services and teach patients self-management techniques with the goal of improving health outcomes.


Whole Person Care & Community Health Worker Model: Choice for All

Choice for All, a Long Island based nonprofit that provides direct services and promotes community-led campaigns focused on education, health, and economic justice, has adopted a Community Health Worker Model to help community members by addressing the Social Determinants of Health.

At a recent HEALI meeting, Choice for All explained how this approach helps to insure children grow up in a healthy environment. You can view their presentation by clicking here.

Coalition Meetings

April 2023

Dr. Sarah Redding, Co-Founder of the Pathways Community Hub Model discussed The Pathways Community HUB Institute Model and how it is helping communities by supporting care coordination with a focus on the whole person and working in partnership with multiple community stakeholders.

Meeting Recording



March 2023

Dorella Walters, Sr. Director of Business Development & Community Partnerships at God’s Love We Deliver discussed their medically tailored meals program and policies supporting this work.

Meeting Recording



February 2023

Serena Liguori, Executive Director of New Hour for Women and Children, Samuel Taylor, Senior Consultant from Intrepid Ascent, and Julie White, Principal Consultant from Health Management Associates discussed the justice-involved work on Long Island and re-entry initiatives from California and other states.

Meeting recording


January 2023: Elisabeth Benjamin, Community Service Society of NY

Elisabeth Benjamin, Vice President of Health Initiatives at Community Service Society of NY (CSSNY), discussed the End Medical Debt work and the end of the public health emergency.


December 2022: Greta Guarton, Long Island Coalition for the Homeless

Greta Guarton from Long Island Coalition for the Homeless discussed the work of Continuum of Care (COC) and opportunities to partner to address housing insecurity on Long Island through the 1115 Waiver.

Meeting recording

November 2022: Michele Horan, Healthy Alliance

Meeting recording

October 2022: Community Health Worker Overview


Meeting recording

September 2022: Unite Us Pilot Program Panel & Emily Engel, Director for the Bureau of Social Care and Community Supports at the NYS Department of Health

Unite Us Panel Transcript

  • Tommi-Grace Melito, HWCLI
  • John Diaz, United Way of Long Island
  • Daniella Menjivar, CAST


Meeting recording

July 2022: Assemblywoman Michaelle C. Solages

Meeting recording


June 2022: Danika Mills, North Carolina State Network Director for Unite Us

Meeting recording


NCCARE360 Case Study

  • NCCARE360 is a state-wide coordinated care network utilizing Unite Us for tracked referrals.

May 2022: Emily Engel, New York State Department of Health

Meeting recording

PowerPoint Presentation


April 2022: Sergio Matos on Community Health Workers & Bob Detor on the 1115 Waiver


Meeting recording

March 2022: Hands Across Long Island Peer Support Specialist

Melissa Wettengel, Aviva Cohen, Kris Bly, and James Ford


Meeting recording

February 2022: Community Health Advocates Panel:

  • Arielle Burlett, Director, Healthcare-Community Partnerships at Public Health Solutions
  • Stanley Smith, Community Health Advocates Supervisor at LIFQHC
  • Carmen Garcia, Community Health Worker Supervisor, Make the Road


Meeting recording (Passcode: wb81f88)

January 2022: UniteUs/NowPow Software



Meeting recording

December 2021: Maternal Morbidity and Mortality Prevention


Presentation: Shanequa Levin (Founder and CEO of the Women’s Diversity Network) and Dr. Martine Hackett (Program Director and Associate Professor of Population Health at Hofstra University)

November 2021: Community Health Worker

Presentation: Jacob Dixon (CEO of Choice for All)

Presentation: Naheed Khan (Community Health Worker Program Grant Director at Nassau Community College)

October 2021: New York Medicaid 1115 Waiver


Presentation: Emily Engel (New York State Office of Health Insurance Programs)

September 2021: Success and Next Steps




Examples of the 1115 Waiver in Other States


  • The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has developed a set of policy concepts which outline changes OHA proposes to make to the Oregon Health Plan as part of our effort to advance health equity. These concepts are the basis of OHA’s upcoming application to CMS, whose approval is needed to implement policies reflected in these concept papers.

How To Join

To work with HEALI to build a future for Long Island in which zip code no longer determines health outcomes, please fill out this form to participate in the next HEALI meeting, which occurs the third Wednesday of every month at 10:00am.

If you have any questions, please email Jake Ryan at or call (516)-904-4454.

Recent News

Check back for News


Check back for Events

HEALI Steering Committee

  • Lori Andrade

    Health and Welfare Council of Long Island

  • Greta Guarton

    Long Island Coalition for the Homeless

  • Jacob Dixon

    Choice for All

  • Colleen Merlo

    Association for Mental Health and Wellness

  • Joy Connolly

    Child Care Council of Nassau County

  • Kathy Rosenthal

    Family Service League

  • Jeffrey McQueen

    Mental Health Association of Nassau County

  • Martine Hackett

    Hofstra University

contact us

Join us in creating a future for Long Island in which everyone has an equal opportunity to prosper and thrive.

Join Our Network

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Copyright ©2022 HWCLI. All Rights Reserved. Designed by FBC