Office of Health Equity

Leveraging diversity, equity and inclusion to drive the AHA's mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.

Young child and father

About the Office of Health Equity

The American Heart Association created the Office of Health Equity in 2018 following an 18-month in depth review by a volunteer-driven task force.

The Office of Health Equity houses the following:

We also support our Empowered to Serve™ initiatives which include Empowered Scholars, local and national EmPOWERED to Serve™ Business Accelerator, and Interactive Health Lessons.

Government Housing

Science meets self-care on the Live Fierce / Atrévete a Vivir podcasts

We are women. Strong. Determined. Fierce. These two podcasts bring us together to take a stand for our health. This fun and dynamic series features podcasts in English and Spanish. They're hosted by American Heart Association Executive VP of Marketing and Communications Katrina McGhee – who is also a longtime professional coach -- and Lili Gil Valletta, co-founder and CEO of the cultural intelligence firms CIEN + and Culturintel.

Katrina McGhee and Lili Gil Valletta
Katrina McGhee and Lili Gil Valletta © American Heart Association

Scholarship and Mentoring Opportunities

EmPOWERED Scholars

EmPOWERED to Serve™ offers college scholarships to students who are passionate about public health, health equity and community engagement, especially those in communities with fewer resources to help students manage financial aid and debt. Currently enrolled freshmen, sophomores and juniors in a U.S. college or university who are working to improve community well-being and have a 2.0 GPA or higher are eligible to apply.

HBCU Scholars Program

The AHA partners with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to help students working toward professional degrees in the biomedical and health sciences. HBCU Scholars learn about the health of their communities, participate in research projects and explore varied career paths. Currently enrolled Black or African sophomores, juniors and seniors at select HBCUs who are highly motivated to seek careers in biomedical or health sciences and have a 3.2 GPA in the sciences are eligible to apply.

HSI Scholars Program

The AHA partners with Hispanic Serving Institutions of Higher Education and their students to create a pipeline for diverse researchers and health care professionals. Scholars are provided academic and career-enriching resources, including scholarships and mentoring. Currently enrolled sophomores, juniors and seniors at select HSIs who are highly motivated to seek careers in biomedical or health sciences and have a 3.0 GPA in the sciences are eligible to apply.

Health Equity in the Workplace

The American Heart Association’s CEO Roundtable is working to eliminate workplace inequities that harm the health and well-being of employees, businesses and communities. The Roundtable’s new report, developed by business leaders and health experts, provides actionable strategies and principles employers can use to build toward health equity.

group of diverse people in a work environment posing for photo while smiling

Committing to equity and a full, healthy life for everyone

Through research, community solutions and other substantial work, the AHA is addressing barriers to health equity including structural racism, social factors that hurt people’s health and threats to rural health.

Health Equity Education for Professionals

Explore the Portfolio of Health Equity on the Professional Education Hub.
  • Online, self-paced learning environment
  • Training for healthcare professionals to identify health disparities and remove bias
  • Improve patient outcomes by integrating equitable solutions into hospital/clinical practice

Select science statements and conference presentations

The American Heart Association is a science-based organization whose core research programs have launched or furthered the work of many of this country’s brightest researchers. We have scientific statements and conference proceedings that address health equity-related issues. Find highlights here.

Young man at a meeting

Policy Positions

The AHA has published policy positions on many issues related to health equity, including affordable, accessible healthcare, social determinants of health, access to healthy affordable foods, children’s health and others. A full set of our policy positions is here.


The American Heart Association is working with researchers, medical experts, community leaders, businesses, families and more to reduce the impact of the coronavirus. The following are some ways we’re dedicating our resources to make a difference.

Image of COVID Viruse

Diversity Leadership Committee

The Diversity Leadership Committee comprises of volunteer leaders who advise the AHA and our Board of Directors on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Take Action

Help us fight health disparities. Become involved in one of our initiatives today.

You're the Cure

Research Goes Red

Learn Hands-Only CPR

Be an advocate for your own heart health

Health Ecosystems: Housing Security and Heart Health

The American Heart Association is a national leader in addressing health equity and social determinants of health. Housing security is an essential element of community health and well-being. Studies show that living in lower socio-economic areas is associated with a 30% to 90% higher risk of coronary heart disease, independent of individual characteristics including age  and economic status.

Urban housing in New York City