Skip to main content

HEART Framework

Disparities in health outcomes largely stem from structural racism that reinforces the inequitable distribution of economic, social, and health care resources.

Rhia Ventures’ Health Equity Assessment and Rating Tool (HEART Framework), adapted from the Racial Equity Assessment Lab (REAL) Framework, was developed as a standardized approach to identifying where organizations (e.g., investors, nonprofits, startup companies, etc.) are positioned on their journey towards advancing health equity.

HEART supports organizations with the ‘how’ and ‘how well’ of health equity work: What are we doing to advance health equity? What additional strategies should we consider? Who are we centering in our work?

Overall, the HEART Framework is a tool that can support organizations with:

  • Operationalizing their journey to advance health equity
  • Incorporating of an intersectional approach (e.g., health, race, gender, and socioeconomics) into their organizational policies
  • Understanding how health equity can guide decision making
  • Incorporating impact measurement and management into their health equity work

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under

HEART – Investor Framework

To ensure the principles of health equity are embedded into the fabric of new healthcare technologies and services, health equity impact must be considered during the investment decision-making process and beyond. This framework is best suited for investors who are interested in evaluating how they are advancing health equity through investments, engagements with the broader health ecosystem, and within organizational practices and policies.

HEART – Diligence Tool

The HEART: Diligence Tool supports investors with assessing company capability for health equity impact during the diligence process. This tool is best suited to evaluate early- to growth-stage health companies that have at least some pilot data.

HEART – Investor Rating Tools

Download all HEART related frameworks and tools here for easy scoring/rating to use among your organization and to assist your diligence and investment process.

Health Equity

Every person has the opportunity to attain their full health potential, and no one is disadvantaged from achieving that potential because of race, gender, or other social determinants of health. We can advance and achieve reproductive and maternal health equity by:

  • Actively seeking out and removing the underlying drivers of social advantage and disadvantage that contribute to disparate outcomes between groups.
  • Ensuring equitable access to and receipt of high-quality care, resources, and decision opportunities regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, ability, immigration, location, income, education, occupation, or other socially determined factors.
Historically Marginalized

We define historically marginalized people as individuals who experience inequitable health outcomes due to social determinants of health that are largely outside of their control. This group may include:

  • women and other birthing people
  • people who identify as Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC)
  • people who identify as lesbian, gay, trans, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQ+)
  • people with disabilities
  • people who live in rural communities or health care deserts
  • people who are uninsured and underinsured
  • individuals experiencing income inequalities
  • formerly and currently incarcerated people
  • immigrant and undocumented people
  • adolescents and young adults, and
  • victims of sexual violence