Meet our head of health equity and social impact

A Q&A with Faye McCray, plus other insights on health inclusivity.
Wellness Wire
IN a nutshell
Happy Friday, Wellness Wire fam. You've already met Healthline's senior nutrition editor and head of Medical Affairs. Today, we're introducing you to our vice president and head of health equity and social impact, Faye McCray!
Faye fearlessly advocates for human rights and equality within and outside of our organization. What does she do, and how can you help, too? Find out below.
After our Q&A, you can expect to read about:
A book about race for people of all ages
How to build a culture of inclusivity
A beginner's guide to working out
Is it safe to crack your neck?
Be well,
Morgan Mandriota
Newsletter Editor, Healthline
  Written by Morgan Mandriota
May 19, 2023 • 5 min read
Lawyer, writer, editor in chief, DEI advocate, public speaker, head of health equity and social impact at Healthline (aka the world's largest health information site) –– Faye McCray has a host of notable achievements under her belt. Through it all, she's been dedicated to improving lives and well-being. Below, she chats about her role and how you can pick up helpful inclusivity practices.
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Q: What does your role entail as the head of health equity and social impact at Healthline?
A: I lead health equity and social impact [HESI] initiatives for Healthline. That means I help our teams make sure our content reflects the diversity of our audience –– and for us, diversity includes age, income, race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual identity, and even environment.
There are so many unique factors that influence how and why we make certain health decisions. We want to be a partner for everyone who chooses us for their health information.
Q: What's your favorite part about working on the HESI team?
A: I learn something new every day! Part of my work includes partnering with organizations who are doing fantastic work in our communities.
This year, Healthline made an ongoing commitment to advancing maternal health equity. The maternal death rate has continued to climb over the past 3 years and the rates of death and complications are worse for Black and Indigenous women. We were a champion sponsor of Black Maternal Health Week in April. We recently made an even bigger commitment to funding organizations working in maternal health deserts. Maternal health deserts are defined as areas with little to no access to quality maternal care. We've learned so much about the state of maternal health and how we can all play a role in supporting healthier outcomes for pregnant people.
Q: Can you briefly explain the difference between DEI, health equity, and inclusion?
A: DEI stands for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Simply put, diversity is making sure everyone is represented. Equity is leveling the playing field so everyone has the ability to reach for the same opportunities. Inclusion is making sure everyone feels safe, seen, heard, and valued.
Q: What's the importance of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in the health space?
A: Everyone wants to feel seen, and no one should feel shamed or stigmatized when seeking care. It is important to us at Healthline to do our part to make sure everyone has access to inclusive, safe, and trustworthy health information.
Q: What do you wish more people knew about how to promote a sense of inclusion and equality?
A: That it's OK to make mistakes. It's OK to say the wrong thing. Owning those mistakes is key. The journey to becoming better champions and allies is about growth, not perfection.
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great finds
Editor faves with health perks
This No. 1 New York Times bestselling book by Ijeoma Oluo offers an expansive overview of race in America. From racial injustices to white supremacy and the Black Lives Matter movement, Oluo explores various topics and issues facing Americans of all races. She also shares tips for navigating hard, honest conversations with loved ones who may have opposing views.
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What is inclusivity? And how can we build it?
Wednesday Kick Start
What is inclusivity? And how can we build it?
What does inclusivity even mean? Inclusivity is first and foremost about emotional safety, which is different from equity (that's more about equal opportunity). An example of inclusivity in the workplace would be a boss asking their team to state their pronouns when introducing themselves in meetings to help gender nonconforming folks feel more welcomed.

Why is inclusivity so important? So many reasons! The core of inclusivity is about bringing people together and fostering a sense of belonging and community, which can create a ripple effect of emotional and social benefits. For example, research suggests that participation in the Special Olympics reduces stress and improves well-being among the athletes who compete.

Want to help bridge the gap within your community? Here are some ways to start building a culture of inclusivity:
Get curious about other people.
Expose yourself and your kids to different people, places, and cultures.
Challenge stereotypes and implicit biases (aka automatic, unintentional bias).
Encourage reflection on larger topics or challenges in a safe space with loved ones.
Lead all interactions and experiences with an open heart and mind.
Perhaps the simplest tip of all? Listen to one another, says McCray. "Something shifts in you when you hear another person's story –– and we all have stories! When we're open to understanding each other, we are forced to examine ourselves and the world around us," she explains. "Understanding breeds empathy. Empathy is a crucial first step toward recognizing the importance of advocating for inclusivity."

Learn more:
How to build a culture of inclusivity, starting with kids
Anti-racism resources for parents and children
health stories you need
What we're reading next
📗 A beginner's guide to working out. Want to start exercising but don't know where to begin? Here's everything you need to know about how to exercise and stick to a routine.
💥 Is it safe to crack your neck? Calling all neck crackers! Read the potential risks of this behavior, what happens when you do it, and when to seek help.
🫁 Nose breathing vs. mouth breathing. Learn the difference between nose and mouth breathing, plus which method is better for certain areas of your health.
🧍 What to do if you feel disconnected from family. These techniques can help you overcome emotional detachment or unhealthy behaviors standing in the way of connection.
Thanks for reading! Is there a type of health expert you'd like us to interview soon? Let us know at Have a great weekend, everyone.
Did you enjoy this interview?
Until next time,
Take care of yourself, and we'll see
you again soon!
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