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To advance health equity for all Californians? Look to health departments - Blue Shield; 2/24/2020

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

BARHII is proud to have contributed to an article published in the February 24, 2020 edition of the Blue Shield of California Foundation Blog.

The conditions in which people live are the biggest predictor of how healthy our communities will be. These conditions are shaped by decisionmakers and the policies, systems, and structures they create. This article examines the role of health departments in improving health equity throughout the state.

Key quotes from the article include:

“More that 60 local health departments (LHDs) are already playing an important and unique role in advancing racial and health equity in California. However, scaling these efforts so that they impact health across the entire state requires all of us, including LHDs and the groups that support them, to take new approaches. That’s why investments in LHDs matter.”

“BARHII members identified housing as a critical issue affecting public health in their region, as they saw Bay Area residents struggling under the rising rents, with some paying more than 50% of their monthly income for a roof over their heads, leaving little for food, healthcare, and other vital needs. … BARHII’s members led a regional response to the housing crisis to preserve existing affordable housing, protect tenants at risk of displacement, and produce additional affordable housing. This 3Ps model has already shaped housing policy in the Bay Area and beyond.”

“Urgent public health issues like housing and climate change do not affect one community or region alone, but touch every part of the state. Connecting local strategies while build a statewide approach can bring solutions on the scale we need. Regional coalitions like the Alliance, BARHII, and SJVPHC are uniquely positioned to build capacity inside LHDs to make racial and health equity a reality.”

View the Blog Post BARHII contributed to here.


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