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RI Health Equity Summit Focuses on Building Healthy & Resilient Communities

More than 700 community members, legislators, municipal leaders, members of the business community, and representatives from fields including public health, healthcare, law enforcement, and education gathered at the Rhode Island Department of Health's third annual Health Equity Summit on September 20th to discuss how to build healthier, more resilient communities, and a healthier, more resilient Rhode Island.

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American Heart Association staff were exited to be part of the conversation.

In more than 60 different workshops, attendees examined how certain health issues affect specific communities differently, and how to partner with communities to address those health issues in ways that improve health and economic opportunities for all Rhode Islanders. The workshops at the Summit included sessions on improving neighborhood health through the built environment, health in all policies/health equity policy tools for lawmakers, eliminating exposure to second-hand smoke in multi-unit housing, and parent and community engagement with schools.

"No matter what you look like, what you sound like, where you live, or who you love, everyone deserves the chance to be as healthy as possible and to live in as healthy a community as possible," said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. "To make this a reality, we need to work together to build healthy and resilient communities that bounce forward after adverse events, such as those related to climate change, and that support healthy living for everyone. Today's Health Equity Summit was a critical step in this process, and in coming together to put action to our talk about building a healthier, more resilient Rhode Island."

To learn more about the Health Equity Summit and Rhode Island's nine community-led Health Equity Zones, visit www.health.ri.gov/equity.

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