Healthy Chicago Equity Zones


The Healthy Chicago Equity Zones (HCEZ) initiative is a network of hyper-local partnerships established to achieve the Healthy Chicago goal of closing Chicago’s racial life expectancy gap. HCEZs ensure that community members have the power and resources to identify local assets and develop solutions that meet their most pressing health needs.  

In 2021, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) allocated $9.6 million in COVID-19 relief funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to establish six HCEZ regions (geographic areas) covering the entire city, with a specific focus on vaccine equity. To date, CDPH has invested $28 million to fund the HCEZ initiative and to support the dedicated public health and healthcare heroes performing grassroots work in historically marginalized Black and Latinx communities. 

The HCEZ initiative was inspired by Rhode Island’s Health Equity Zones Initiative and builds on the successes of the City’s Racial Equity Rapid Response Teams and Protect Chicago Plus Program.

HCEZs are equity-centered and people-powered to champion resilient communities

How do HCEZs work?

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) has established six Healthy Chicago Equity Zones (geographic areas) led by regional and community lead organizations. Each zone has one Regional Lead (RL) that serves as a regional backbone providing funding, administrative, and project management support to a local network of Community Lead (CL) organizations. This multi-sector coalition includes partners from across the city, collectively representing all of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods.

Six Regions.

One Chicago.

HCEZs are critical public health infrastructure that help health equity leaders:

  • Expand and maintain neighborhood networks
  • Conduct neighborhood health assessments
  • Establish and implement health and racial equity action plans
  • Disseminate public health materials and messages, improve health literacy, and improve health care access for community members
  • Coordinate outreach, education, and engagement strategies to link people to health and social services
  • Build systems to collect and analyze community health data
  • Develop a community-based, participatory research agenda
  • Assist in building support for city-wide efforts and initiatives
  • Identify and propose policy and systems changes that address barriers to community health and well-being

HCEZ Funding

CDPH has invested $29 million to fund the Healthy Chicago Equity Zones work

To date, CDPH has invested $29 million to fund the Healthy Chicago Equity Zones work.

Each HCEZ includes:

  • One Regional Lead
  • Up to 16 Community Lead organizations, each covering one or more neighborhoods in the region
  • A hyper-local neighborhood network of partners, coordinated by CL organizations, including but not limited to other community groups, health providers, schools, faith-based organizations and businesses


Funds and supports the equity zones

Regional Lead

Funds and supports the Community Lead

Community Lead

Funding and support for community network and activations

HCEZ Regions

Each Healthy Chicago Equity Zone or “region” has one Regional Lead (RL) that serves as a regional backbone, providing funding, administrative, and project management support to a local network of up to 16 Community Lead (CL) organizations.

CDPH directly funds Regional Leads and Community Leads are indirectly funded by CDPH through RLs. Together, RLs and CLs build community-based and hyperlocal health equity strategies. Learn more about the work being done across Healthy Chicago Equity Zones below:

Six Regions. One Chicago.


Northwest Center logo

Regional Lead:
Northwest Housing Center

North Central

Swedish Covenant Hospital logo

Regional Lead:
Swedish Covenant Hospital


Sinai Chicago logo

Regional Lead:
Sinai Chicago


Southwest Organizing Project logo

Regional Lead:
Southwest Organizing Project

Far South

Phalanx Family Services logo

Regional Lead:
Phalanx Family Services

In Memory of Joyce Chapman

CDPH Intro Pic Description

"Six Regions. One Chicago." is a term coined by the late Joyce Chapman, the former Far South Regional Lead at Phalanx Family Services. The Healthy Chicago Equity Zones team wants to honor one of our main community partners and one of our most vocal advocates from Phalanx Family Services, Joyce Chapman, a true leader, a visionary, and empowered woman.

Joyce contributed her time and talent to making an impact on the entire City, especially the Far South Side, and to advancing public health. Through her unwavering commitment, tireless dedication, and infectious enthusiasm she fostered coalition building and strengthening community resources through City/Community co-governance initiatives such as Playstreets, the Community Health Response Corps, and especially the Healthy Chicago Equity Zones.

Joyce's passion and professional experience enhanced her abilities to support the underserved population in her community and around the Chicago area.

We gratefully remember Joyce Chapman and we will keep her family, including her daughters, Ashanti, Umi, and Amina, and grandchildren in our thoughts.

May all who knew her be comforted by the torch and mission Joyce carried through everything she touched.

Our Impact

HCEZs are leading the charge to address racial health inequities in Chicago. Through hyperlocal partnerships, HCEZs strengthen local capacity to:

  • Collect and analyze local data
  • Identify community health priorities
  • Build and expand a network of cross-sector partnerships
  • Implement community-led solutions
  • Generate and disseminate culturally responsive public health messages and education
  • Lead grassroots outreach and engagement
  • Conduct community-based research
  • Advance policy, system, and environmental changes to improve health and address the root causes of health inequities

community members at meeting

History of Healthy Chicago Equity Zones

icon - dial


  • Healthy Chicago 2025 published & names “community-led” as one of six guiding principles

icon - vaccine


  • HCEZ launches and is mobilized for vaccine equity efforts that built upon Protect Chicago Plus

icon - health


  • HCEZ completes Community Health Assessments & identifies priority issues for all Chicago neighborhoods

icon - fireworks


  • HCEZ spotlighted at the Healthy Chicago 2025 Symposium

icon - megaphone


  • Launch of action planning to address priority issues

Event Photos

Click on the photos below to view at full size:

Stay In Touch!

Email us at for information and updates.

HCEZ Resources

Click the images below to view at full size:


HCEZ Program Summary

HCEZ Playbook

HCEZ One-Pager