Join the Pacific and Southwest Regional Health Equity Council
This year’s application period has closed – please check back 

The Pacific and Southwest Regional Health Equity Council (PSWRHEC, also known as RHEC IX) is seeking new members to fill one or more vacancies in each of the four states and Pacific territories in our region: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam, Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. These states and territories encompass the US Department of Health and Human Services Region IX.

We currently are seeking committed and dedicated individuals to serve on PSWRHEC. In particular, we seek energetic and proactive members to actively contribute to our working council whose work and expertise fall under specific sectors such as:
  • Nonprofit fundraising and sponsored programs
  • Private/for-profit organizations such as labor unions, businesses, and chambers of commerce 
  • Community-based and faith-based organizations, and nonprofit agencies 
  • Educational institutions such as colleges and universities 
  • Local government and civic organizations 
  • Students/young Professionals (graduates and undergraduates with public health interest) 
  • Health professions such as community health workers (CHWs), public health, and allied health professionals 
  • Healthcare systems and medical associations 
  • Media and communications such as radio, newspaper, television, and social media outlets

Description of the Pacific and Southwest Regional Health Equity Council

The Pacific and Southwest Regional Health Equity Council plays a critical role in coordinating and enhancing state and local efforts to address health disparities and the social determinants of health at the regional level. More information about the council, including the current work undertaken, can be found at:

PSWRHEC is one of 10 regional councils formed in 2011 as a part of the National Partnership for Action to End Health Disparities (NPA), which is the first national, multi-sector community- and partnership-driven effort on behalf of health equity, and which was spearheaded by the federal Office of Minority Health (OMH). While affiliated with OMH in terms of aligning strategies and receiving technical assistance, PSWRHEC and the other RHECs are independent entities separate from OMH and the Federal Government.

PSWRHEC is a voluntary, not-for-profit association of 25 members which brings together leaders from diverse backgrounds, including healthcare providers, health-focused organizations, academia, public health agencies, economic development, faith-based organizations, grassroots organizations, other non-profit organizations and the business sector to reinforce the need for leveraging multi-sector linkages as a key strategy for ending health disparities in America.

The vision of PSWRHEC is a nation free of disparities in health and health care. The mission of PSWRCHEC to be effective agents of change to eliminate health disparities and achieve the highest possible level of health for all communities through the education and mobilization of leaders, partners, policy makers and community stakeholders in Region IX.

PSWRHEC Priority Areas for 2017-2018 by Committee 
  • Behavioral Health
  • Funding and Sustainability
  • Health and Healthcare Disparities Textbook
  • Influencing Health Policies
  • Partnerships and Collaborations
  • Pathways to Healthcare Careers

PSWRHEC Membership

Membership positions are individual and are not linked to specific organizations. Each individual volunteer member serves for a term of two (2) years and for no more than two (2) consecutive terms. After reaching the term limits, a member may reapply for membership after a one- (1-) year hiatus from service. In order to accomplish the goals and objectives of PSWRHEC, each member is expected to attend at least 3 out of 4 council meetings each year (three via conference call and one in person; currently, travel expenses are provided by OMc) and to actively participate on at least one of the Council’s committees, which are listed above and described at

The responsibilities of the council members, collectively, are to: 
  • Provide leadership and expertise to drive a collaborative health equity agenda;
  • Use inclusive stakeholder input to refine priority strategies;
  • Support and collaborate on projects of mutual benefit;
  • Provide regional, intersectorial leadership and partnerships; and
  • Monitor and assess progress to assure accountability and drive sustainability of PSWRHEC efforts to eliminate health disparities.

How to Apply to Be a PSWRHEC Member

PSWRHEC currently is accepting applications from qualified individuals interested in becoming members of PSWRHEC from the four states and the Pacific territories of Region IX. Individuals may submit the application form at the bottom of this page.

In addition to providing information and answering a few questions on the online application form, each applicant must upload a current curriculum vitae or resume. Applications must be submitted by Friday, July 27, 2018.

Selection of New Members

Applications will be reviewed and considered based on the council’s needs for filling member positions in the specific states, stakeholder groups, and areas of expertise listed above. We anticipate receiving more applications than the number of open positions. Therefore, if you are not selected for membership this year, we encourage you to reapply next year or in subsequent years as additional positions become open.

Selected applicants will be notified by Friday, August 17, 2018. New members will be expected to attend an online webinar orientation in September 2018 (date TBD) and to attend the annual in-person council meeting in late October-early November 2018 (dates TBD) at a location to be identified in Arizona; this meeting will mark the beginning of each new member’s terms on the council.

Who to Contact for Questions or Further Information

Pacific and Southwest Health Equity Council Co-chairs
Connie Chan Robison
Executive Director, Center for Collaborative Planning
Sacramento, CA 95811

April A. Fernandez
Chief, Office of Binational Border Health
California Department of Public Health

Darlene Yee-Melichar, EdD, FGSA, FAGHE
Professor and Coordinator, Gerontology Program
San Francisco State University


Cindy Lopez
Technical Assistant Liaison for PSWRHEC
Atlas Research

Pacific & Southwest RHEC: Call for Membership Applications