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 its 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 U. Department of Health and Human Services Region IX.

We are currently seeking committed and dedicated individuals to serve on and actively contribute to the work of RHEC IX. In particular, we seek energetic and proactive members 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 a public health interest); 
  • Health professionals such as community health workers (CHWs), and public health and allied health professionals; 
  • Health care systems and medical associations; and 
  • Media and communications, such as radio, newspaper, television, and social media outlets. 
The Pacific and Southwest Regional Health Equity Council
PSWRHEC 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 its current work, can be found at

PSWRHEC (RHEC IX) 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, RHEC IX and the other regional councils are independent entities separate from OMH and the Federal Government.

PSWRHEC is a voluntary, not-for-profit association of 25 members, bringing together leaders from diverse backgrounds including health care providers, health care-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 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. PSWRHEC’s mission to be an effective agent 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 2016-2017 by Committee
  • Behavioral Health 
  • Community Outreach and Education 
    • Access to Care 
    • Community Health Workers 
    • Refugee Health 
  • Elderly Health Disparities 
  • Funding and Sustainability 
  • Health Information Technology 
  • Textbook on Health and Healthcare Disparities 
PSWRHEC Membership
Membership positions are individual and 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 limit, a member may reapply for membership after a one (1)- year hiatus from service. In order to accomplish the goals and objectives of the 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 OMH) and to actively participate on at least one of the council’s committees, 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, inter-sectorial leadership and partnerships; and 
  • Monitor and assess progress to assure accountability and drive sustainability of PSWRHEC efforts to achieve health equity. 
How to Apply to Be a PSWRHEC Member
PSWRHEC currently is accepting applications from qualified individuals from the four states and the Pacific territories of Region IX interested in becoming a member. Individuals may submit an application online using the following link:

In addition to providing information and answering a few questions on the online application form, applicants must upload a current curriculum vitae or résumé. Applications must be submitted by Friday, August 4, 2017.

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 18, 2017. New members will be expected to attend an online webinar orientation in September 2017 (date TBD) and to attend the annual in-person council meeting in late October-early November 2017 (dates TBD) at a location to be identified in California, which marks the beginning of their term on the Council.

Whom 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

Melva Thompson-Robinson, DrPH
Executive Director
Center for Health Disparities Research,
School of Community Health Sciences

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


Gerrie Maccannon, MPA
Technical Assistant Liaison for RHEC IX
Atlas Research