CENTER FOR HEALTH EQUITY
Who we are:
The New York Theological Seminary Center for Health Equity provides an ethical response to the disparities and
financial risks in the American healthcare system. The Center works through education, advocacy, and outreach
by training faith and community leaders in healthcare knowledge and policy. We are seeking $1million in funding
to finance staffing, student scholarships, and advocacy work.
The primary goal of the Center is to help faith and community leaders mount a moral strategy addressing the
inherent inequities in US healthcare. The Center seeks to create a community of leaders who are knowledgeable
in the financial, technological, social, and clinical strategies available to reduce disparities in healthcare. The
Center will house a team of medical doctors, theologians, social scientists, legal experts, political scientists, and
faith leaders working collaboratively to bring about equity and justice for all.
What we do:
Certificate in Health Equity – This certificate program will teach participants the big picture and the local
specifics of healthcare in America. This goal of this program is to raise generations of civically savvy and active
leaders who can lead their constituencies to bring about positive change for their communities.
Research and Outreach – The center will host scholars and practitioners who will gather the latest and most
relevant information as well as conduct original research on health equity. The Center will disseminate the
information to religious leaders through social media, conferences, and publications. This work will equip the
general public with the information they need to effectively advocate for the common good and raise the standard
level of health in America.
Wellness Programing – The Center’s team of scholars and practitioners will create programs throughout the
neighborhoods that addresses the ailments that most affect people of color and the poor. Diseases such as obesity,
substance abuse, diabetes, and mental illnesses are widespread in these communities. These programs will
provide direct wholistic care that incorporates
the mental, the spiritual and the physical throughout local schools, religious institutions, and non-profits. These
programs will be culturally relevant and scientifically informed.
Rev. Lydell C. Lettsome, MD, FACS, MDiv will serve as the inaugural director of the Center. Dr. Lettsome is a
published author who has served on several public and private health disparity task forces.
For more information please visit: www.nyts.edu/CHE
CERTIFICATE IN HEALTH EQUITY
The Certificate will serve as the core program of the Center. Its goals can be highlighted in three questions:
1. What is actually going on?
2. Who are the right people to talk to?
3. What is the best vision?
We believe the key to improve the American health care system and increase its availability and affordability
for all begins with asking the right questions. Many ineffective and mistaken answers place the blame on the
most vulnerable. Moreover, those with innovative, effective and well-informed solutions are rarely given
proper exposure. Hence a key part of this program will be taking participants to
Washington DC as part of a “lobbying summit”. Students will meet with lobbyists, policy makers, media and
political leaders. At the summit participants will learn first-hand how policies are shaped and how it affects
In addition, to the Certificate program the center will offer several focus initiatives in health care equity such
· Obesity Initiative
· Diabetes Initiative
· Physical Salvation Initiative
· Genetics Initiative
· Universal Access Initiative
The United States spends more money on healthcare than any other country in the world. However, not all
Americans benefit equally from that investment. We must make our healthcare system more affordable,
accessible, and equitable without compromising quality. Moreover, the public discourse is dominated by
issues of costs at the expense of morality and compassion. This has led to unnecessary American deaths,
untreated diseases, and personal bankruptcies. The NYTS Center for Health Equity exists to equip people with
the necessary knowledge in policy, epidemiology, technology, culture, and theology to move the needle of
American healthcare towards
universal access and coverage. Universal healthcare is the economic and clinical thing to do. The Bible is clear
that universal healthcare is a moral imperative. The Center for Health Equity will save lives and tax dollars.