Skip to main content
Woman at a farmers market buying leafy green vegetables.
Committed to meeting the needs of the communities we serve
That means not just providing extraordinary health care, but providing community support, too. 

Before health equity comes social equity

The Office of Community Investment is responsible for fulfilling a number of regulatory requirements for Northwell Health, including striving for total health in our communities.Total health is a combination of medical and non-medical factors that impact people's health and wellness. Non-medical factors, or social determinants of health (SDH), are economic and social conditions that affect both individual and community-level health outcomes and risks. Examples of SDH include economic (such as unemployment or low income), homelessness and housing inadequacy, education and health literacy, food insecurity, lack of public transportation and access to health and social care; all influence our health and well-being. 

Health and wellness start in our homes, schools, workplaces, neighborhoods and the communities we live in. Total health can only be achieved by empowering communities to create sustainable, socioeconomic models to address their unique SDH. To achieve this purpose, we will strategically and operationally invest community benefit resources through multidisciplinary collaborations with key stakeholders at Northwell Health and in the community.

In this multi-phased approach, we will:

  • Screen, identify and address the needs and the impact of SDH on clinical outcomes
  • Work collaboratively across sectors to address the unique needs of people in our communities
  • Improve total health and well-being of individual patients in our communities
  • Invest, hire and buy locally to improve the socioeconomic status of our communities
quotation mark We have to treat the whole person and not just the disease. That is the only way to improve outcomes.
Ram Raju, MD

Leadership

Ram Raju, MD

Senior Vice President and Community Health Investment Officer
Northwell Health

Related articles
deep dive
We Run Proud. We Run Strong. We Run Brownsville

Explore our archive of healthy recipes for a delicious, nourishing step toward a healthier you. 

Community Health Officer Dr. Ram Raju assesses disparities in access to health care and how to build healthier communities.

The latest news
Newsday covers the five graduates of Northwell's "From the Community, For the Community" program.
After surviving a coma and an infected foot wound caused by diabetes, Jannell Robertson found assistance receiving healthy foods thanks to Northwell's Food as Health Program.
Read about Northwell's community health workers program in this Wall Street Journal piece.