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Blog Posts from September 2016

Blog Posts from September 2016

Today, Governor Brown signed into law SB 1139 (Lara), which will prevent medical degree and healing arts training program programs from discriminating against students on the basis of immigration status and will open up state loan repayment and scholarships to undocumented individuals. 

CPEHN is proud to have co-sponsored the bill with Pre-Health Dreamers and to have Senator Ricardo Lara champion this measure.

Right now, bright, qualified Californians are ready and willing to care for our most medically-underserved populations. Today’s signature clears a path for our communities’ aspiring health professionals to pursue their dreams and help meet the cultural and linguistic needs of our state.

We can’t thank enough Pre-Health Dreamers and MedDreamers for their incredible leadership and enthusiasm. Together, we were able to highlight the passionate young Californians willing to pursue a healthcare career to meet our state’s provider shortages and show the incredible support our aspiring undocumented students have from those practicing in the medical field.

Thank you to everyone who supported the bill!

On Sunday, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 1726, the AHEAD Act, into law. This new policy will provide California's Department of Public Health with more granular data on the diverse Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) populations it serves. Better data on the different needs of our communities translates to more effective public health strategies that save lives.

We applaud the Governor for furthering California's leadership in AANHPI data disaggregation. In 2011, Assemblymember Mike Eng's legislation, AB 1088, was signed into law, requiring the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and Department of Industrial Relations to collect data on additional AANHPI sub­groups. AB 1726 expands this by including the Department of Public Health, and empowering previously invisible communities, like Hmong and Tongan, with the tools  they need to advocate for their own good health. We look forward to working together with the Department of Public Health to implement the law. We also extend our deep appreciation to Assemblymember Rob Bonta for championing this issue as the author of this bill.

We also commend the University of California and the California State University systems, which have agreed to voluntarily implement expanded data disaggregation and reporting that were previously included under AB 1726. We are committed to working with the California Community Colleges and Department of Health Care Services to collect and report disaggregated data for those entities. We also maintain our dedication to comprehensive data disaggregation at all public institutions and agencies. We look forward to working with policymakers to ensure visibility, equity, and justice for our communities.

Our biennial conference Voices for Change: Seizing the Momentum for Health Equity is a month away! The speakers and workshops are set, and CPEHN is busy preparing for a fantastic day of dynamic discussions with our friends, colleagues and allies.  We see our statewide conference as the time for us to step back and reflect on our unified goals for the health of our communities across California. As a conference attendee, you will be the first to receive a copy of our report called, The Landscape of Opportunity - Cultivating Health Equity in California. This labor of love is published every three years and we are excited to share our third edition of the report with you!

The Landscape of Opportunity uses current data and research to examine health across a broad spectrum of factors and social conditions. Inequities in socioeconomic status, education, the physical environment and access to resources can limit our ability to achieve optimal health. Throughout the report, we describe the complex relationship between structural factors and health outcomes. Building on CPEHN’s 25 years of advocacy, the Landscape of Opportunity proposes a policy framework for health equity focused on creating just systems and structures for better health.

Today is a special day for me. It marks my 2-year anniversary as CPEHN’s Executive Director. And even more, it marks an important turning point in my leadership journey. When colleagues and friends ask me, “How does it feel?” or “How is it going?” I can’t help but compare my leadership trajectory to Max’s development, my three-year-old son. When I was hired as a brand new ED, Max was 10 months old. He wasn’t talking or walking. He would point and grunt when we saw something he liked or wanted. He was standing up but couldn’t take steps on his own. I often felt like that in my early days. I didn’t know exactly what to say and at times stood a little sheepishly, and even needed the company of others in important meetings. Over the course of two years, he and I have learned how to talk and walk together. For Max, he has literally learned to talk, my husband and I often stare at each other in amazement at some of the things he says. And he is now walking, mostly running around, like a whirling dervish, especially on Friday nights after a long week.

The latest issue of our Health Equity Forum newsletter came out today and it includes several great articles and dozens of resources.

CPEHN’s Executive Director, Sarah de Guia, opens the newsletter reflecting on her two years as CPEHN's Executive Director! 

Our Ethnic Partner Spotlight features an article from the The California Rural Indian Health Board (CRIHB) on an upcoming child passenger safety course designed to reduce injuries. This programis a part of CRIHB's dedication to provide safety and injury prevention services to California’s rural Indians.