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Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to reach his or her highest level of health, and no one is lacking from achieving this potential because of socially determined circumstances. 

With advancing health equity, the goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate inequalities and disparities so every person can achieve optimal health. One way to achieve health equity is to address the social determinants of health, or the characteristics of where we live, work and play that impact health. Examples of health equity focused programs include education, tutoring, job preparation, literacy, transportation, hunger/food security, criminal justice and affordable housing. Initiatives may also focus on racism and racial justice.



The Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA) Faith-Based Health Equity Awards recognize and celebrate places of worship that are promoting health equity. The Faith-Based Health Equity Awards also recognize places of worship that have successfully collaborated with external organizations to promote health equity. The award aims to assist in sustaining the role of faith-based organizations in community health.


How to apply: 

  1. Complete the Submission Form | Anyone may complete the form: congregational leaders, congregants or community members and community partners familiar with the work of the potential awardee. 
    1. Priority will be given to programs or initiatives that clearly engage youth in the nomination process. These awards are inter-denominational; therefore, all faiths are welcome to apply or nominate a place of worship for a Faith-Based Health Equity Award. 
    2. Supplemental Materials | Please upload and/or send any supplemental materials (e.g., photos, supporting documents, brief (2-minutes of less video clips, media, etc.) and other documentation of achievements and contributions relevant to the program being nominated. 
  2. Submit the Nomination | There are two ways to apply for the Faith-Based Health Equity Awards: 
    1. Online: Submit a nomination by responding to the questions in the Faith-Based Health Equity Awards Submission Form. 
    2. Print & Mail: Using a printed submission form, respond to the questions in the application. Printed nominations should be mailed to the address below or emailed to elisa.c.friedman@meharry-vanderbilt.org.

Mailed submission forms should be sent to: 

Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance 
Attn: Faith & Health Awards 
Biomedical Sciences Building 
1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr Boulevard 
Nashville, TN 37208 



Key Dates

Fri., Mar 6, 2020 | Faith-based Health Equity Awards Open 
Fri., May 15, 2020 | Awardees selected and notified.
Fri., May 22, 2020 | Awardees publicly announced Faith & Health Awards Luncheon.
Sat., Aug. 22, 2020 (tentatively)| Faith & Health Awards Luncheon (Awardees publicly celebrated and acknowledged.)



Questions about the award should be directed to Elisa Friedman via email at elisa.c.friedman@meharry-vanderbilt.org or by phone at 615-963-2825.


2020 Faith-Based Health Equity Awards Submission Form 

Applicant or Nominee Information

  • Name of Faith-Based Organization
  • Name of Program (if relevant)
  • Street Address
  • City, State
  • Zip Code
  • Phone Number
  • Name of person completing submission form (your name)
  • Organization/Affiliation of person completing submission form
  • Email of person completing submission form
  • Phone of person completing submission form
  • What is the average weekly attendance of the applicant or nominated faith-based organization? (50 or less, 51-100, 101-150, 151 - 200, 201 - 250, 251 - 300, 301 - 500, Other) 
  •  Has the applicant or nominated faith-based been awarded a Faith-Based Health Equity Award in the past? (Yes/No/Don’t know) 
  • Does the applicant or nominated faith-based organization have a health ministry? (Yes/No/Don’t know) 



  1. What community is the place of worship’s health program or initiative designed to benefit? If the program targets youth, please describe the population of youth the program reaches, including geographic area, age, gender and grade, as possible. (250 word maximum
  2. Please describe how the program or initiative of this place of worship positively influences the health and/or well-being of the community. (250 word maximum
  3. Please describe the partnership(s) the place of worship has with other health care, academic partners, community-based organizations or leaders to implement this program or initiative described above. (250 word maximum
  4. If youth were involved in the health program/initiative or the submission of this form, please describe their involvement. 
  5. Please upload any supplemental materials regarding the achievements and contributions of the congregation, related to health equity. (e.g., photos, supporting documents, video clips, etc.) *Highly suggested. 

*Please limit supplemental materials to no more than five photos, two supporting documents or a video clips totaling of (3) minutes (180 seconds) or less. Supplemental materials may also be emailed to Elisa Friedman at elisa.c.friedman@meharry-vanderbilt.org with the Subject Line “Faith & Health Awards – [Name of Applicant or Nominated Organization]. 


For Questions

Please contact Elisa Friedman at elisa.c.friedman@meharry-vanderbilt.org or call 615-963-2825.