Faith-Based Health Equity Awards

Image used with permission from the Faith and Health Connection.



Health equity is achieved when every person has the opportunity to attain his or her full potential and no one is disadvantaged from achieving this potential because of socially determined circumstances[1].  With advancing health equity, the goal is to reduce and eventually eliminate inequalities and disparities so all can achieve optimal health.

The Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance (MVA) and Nashville Health Disparities Coalition “Faith-Based Health Equity Awards” recognize and celebrate congregations that have successfully implemented systems change, advocacy efforts or interventions that promote health equity.

Examples of programs, advocacy or systems/policy change efforts focused on social determinants include: education, tutoring, job preparation, literacy, transportation, hunger/food security, criminal justice and affordable housing. Initiatives may also focus on racism and racial justice. 

Examples of programs focused on achieving optimal health and well-being may include initiatives focused on mental health/substance abuse, health care access or health promotion/disease prevention.

The awards also recognize partnerships between health care systems, academic institutions, community organizations and faith based organizations to improve health outcomes for congregants or community members.

Finally, successful awardees will demonstrate how their work has been institutionalized or sustained over time.

Awardees will receive a $1,000 prize and will be recognized at the Faith and Health Summit. Up to five awards may be made. The MVA Communications team will create a press release for local media and profile awardees in the MVA communications outlets and on social media.


How to Apply

  1. Anyone can make a nomination: congregational leaders, congregants or community members and community partners familiar with the work of the congregation.   These awards are inter-denominational. Congregations representing any denomination are welcome and encouraged to apply.
  2. To submit an online nomination or download the nomination form to submit via U.S. mail, please see links below. Please Note: Nominations may be submitted via email to or mailed to the address below.

    ​Meharry-Vanderbilt Alliance
    Attn: Faith and Health Awards
    Biomedical Sciences Building
    1005 Dr. D.B. Todd Jr Boulevard
    Nashville, TN  37208

  3. Share any supplemental material and other documentation of achievements and contributions.
  4. The Faith and Health Planning Committee will review nominations.  Awards will be announced at the Faith and Health Summit on April 8, 2017.
  5. Questions may be emailed to: or call 615-963-2825.


Key Dates

February 14, 2017: Award criteria posted

March 10, 2017: Applications due by 12:00 pm CST

April 8, 2017: Announcement of awardees at Faith and Health Summit


Eligibility and Selection Criteria

  • Applicants must be non-profit, faith-based organizations.  Community-based organizations who partner with faith-based organizations may apply but the award will be made to the congregation.   Awards will not be made to individuals.
  • Applicants must be based in Davidson County.   
  • Applicant organizations must send a representative to the Faith and Health Summit being convened in Nashville, TN on April 8, 2017 to receive their awards.
  • Applicants must have successful efforts focused on improving outcomes for groups most affected by health disparities or focused on impacting social determinants of health. 
  • Applicant efforts must have been implemented within the last two years from the deadline for receipt of award applications.
  • Applicants must have partnerships in place with community organizations, health care systems, community leaders or academic institutions.
  • Applicants must describe how their work has been sustained over time.





The Faith and Health Planning Committee will review all nominations. Awardees will be notified prior to the April 8th summit.


For more information about the April 8, 2017, Faith and Health Summit, please contact Jacquelyn Favours at 615-963-2817.