Many Californians face huge challenges in accessing substance use treatment services. Social and environmental factors including low socioeconomic status, low literacy, unemployment, discrimination, and other factors negatively impact our ability to lead healthy lives. Many people of color and Limited English Proficient populations additionally face a lack of culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services. Further, stigma and discrimination linked with accessing services also remain barriers to accessing treatment for many, especially those with previous criminal justice involvement.
California’s Medi-Cal 2020 1115(a) Waiver Demonstration Project provides new opportunities to expand substance use services to include a fuller continuum of care that includes withdrawal management, medication-assisted treatment, short-term residential, case management and care coordination with physical and mental health, and recovery support services. Drug Medi-Cal eligibility also expands to include single adults without children, which mean more people are able to receive substance use treatment services than ever before.
To address these barriers and disparities, communities of color – those most in need of services – need to be involved in the development and design of treatment options, and policymakers must consider the root causes of substance use disorders in vulnerable and underserved communities. That’s why CPEHN is engaging our communities to get involved so that the needs of underserved communities are included and addressed in the implementation of these new services. With stakeholder input from underserved populations, county departments of behavioral health can better meet the needs of the most vulnerable communities.
Come out and Support the Oakland Sugar Sweetened Beverage Distributors Tax at the May 3rd Oakland City Council Meeting!
On May 3rd, the Oakland City Council will vote on placing a Sugar Sweetened Beverage Distributors Tax on the November 2016 ballot. The Rules and Leg Committee voted unanimously on April 7th to bring the measure to the full council. Over 35 speakers signed up to talk and displayed an amazing show of support. In an emotional ending, Councilmember Larry Reid shared the recent loss of his young nephew to complications from undiagnosed diabetes, as well as his and his family’s history with diabetes. He shared he used to drink soda like water, before he knew the detrimental effects. This tax measure will help raise awareness, decrease consumption, and provide funding for community programs that combat the impact of sugary drinks. The City Council needs to vote YES to place it on the ballot!
The measure is supported by the Coalition for Healthy Oakland Children, a broad coalition of concerned public health professionals, elected officials, parents, faith and community leaders and concerned residents pulling together to address the diabetes crisis and other chronic diseases related to sugary beverages, and to improve health through education and the passage of health policy. While the industry is worried about their profits, coalition members are worried about the health and future of our next generation.
On March 30, community advocates and public health professionals from across the state of California will be converging on Sacramento for ENACT Day. Whether you will be attending in person or not, you can make a difference this ENACT Day.
If you care about ensuring every Californian has access to safe drinking water, connecting students to affordable public transit passes, curbing the consumption of sugary drinks, opening active transportation funding opportunities to communities of greatest need, and making sure no children go hungry during the summer months, Virtual ENACT Day is for you!
Virtual ENACT Day has all the tools you need to be an outstanding e-advocate, from factsheets to letters of support you can send directly to your legislators. Over the past two years, advocates like you have sent nearly 2,000 letters in support of California health bills.
Click on the hyperlinks below to access customizable letters of support for each of this year’s bills. Letters that illustrate why these bills matter to you and how they’ll make a difference in your community are especially impactful.
We need your support to increase access to fresh fruits, nuts, and vegetables for low-income Californians. Limited access and lack of resources to purchase healthy food can have a huge impact on health outcomes and chronic diseases, which disproportionately impact people of color.
Last year, Governor Brown signed AB 1321 (Ting), creating the Nutrition Incentive Matching Grant Program which would double the amount of nutrition benefits (e.g. CalFresh, WIC, and SSI) available to low-income Californians through grants to certified farmers’ markets. Now, a coalition of advocates are requesting a $5 million state budget proposal to fund this program, which would expand the number of participating certified farmers’ markets and small business.
Please send your letter of support today to support the Nutrition Incentive Matching Grant Program. This budget proposal will be heard next Wednesday (3/30) in the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No.3 on Resources and Transportation. Click here for a sample letter of support.
Hearing Date: Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation Wednesday, March 30 Room 447 9:00 AM
Transportation is supposed to help us get from one place to another. But for many Californians, our transportation system instead creates huge barriers – to health, safety, opportunity, and more.
Our transportation system is a barrier to health when kids get asthma from tailpipe pollution because there are too many cars on the road, and no other options. It’s a barrier to safety when a family has no sidewalks between their home and their school. And it’s a barrier to opportunity when getting to work requires you to own a car and pay for gas – or spend hours on insufficient public transportation.
These barriers are worst in low-income communities and communities of color, where transportation officials have been more likely to build highways that divide and pollute neighborhoods, and less likely to build sidewalks, bike lanes, and reliable public transportation.
We didn’t arrive at this transportation system by mistake. Instead, there’s a long history of making choices to prioritize car travel and wealthier communities over the needs of California’s most vulnerable.
We’ve seen our leaders begin to shift their thinking in the realm of sustainability, and make sure our climate investments benefit all Californians. But they have not done the same with the much larger pots of money used to maintain and expand our roads and highways.
Prevention Institute’s (PI) new report about community trauma provides insight into timely issues like high rates of gun violence in inner cities; protests in Ferguson, Baltimore, and elsewhere; and systemic poverty, unemployment and poor health in communities of color. It also offers solutions.
There is a growing need for treating trauma as a public health epidemic, and exploring population-level strategies and prevention. Until now, there has been no framework for understanding and preventing the systematic effects of community trauma — or how community trauma undermines both individual and collective resilience, especially in communities with high rates of violence.
The report, featured last week in USA Today, is based on interviews with practitioners in communities with high rates of violence. Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience, describes symptoms of trauma at the community level, as well as strategies to build resilience, heal community trauma, and prevent future trauma.
Healing strategies include: restorative justice programs that shift the norms around conflict resolution; safer public spaces via creation of parks; social relationship building, particularly across generations; improving housing quality and transportation; and healing circles that provide space for expression.
CPEHN and our partners would like to invite you to join us in Sacramento on March 30 for the annual ENACT Day! ENACT Nutrition and Physical Activity Day brings community members and advocates from all over California together in Sacramento to learn about and support state policies promoting nutrition and physical activity.
March 30, 2016 9:00 am to 3:00 pm St John's Lutheran Church 1701 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
ENACT Day is a great opportunity to learn about advocacy and make your voice heard in the capitol. The event is free, and breakfast and lunch will be provided. All you need is your passion, and an optional donation. Space is limited! If you are unable to attend the event in person but would still like to participate, you can register for Virtual ENACT Day, during which you can use your email, telephone, and social media to tell your story. No matter where you are, you are welcome to join us!
Also, please note: a limited number of travel scholarships are available. Please apply early to help us fulfil as many requests as possible. If you would like to apply for a travel scholarship, please complete the online application survey HERE by February 29th.
A new Prevention Institute (PI) brief shares key learnings from a recent summit in Los Angeles (LA) to discuss tools and strategies for supporting healthy community development without displacing current residents. The October meeting of policymakers, funders, academics, practitioners, and resident activists added a strong health frame to the ongoing conversation in LA on gentrification and displacement.
Since 1992, CPEHN has been working to improve the health of communities of color in California, and in 2015 we embarked on an exciting new project around oral health equity. Since last year, we have been preparing to conduct a multicultural community needs assessment throughout the state.
We partnered with nine community organizations representing diverse constituencies and health needs. These core partners are Asian Health Services and Roots Community Clinic in Oakland, Sacramento Native American Health Center, Centro Binacional para el Dessarrollo Indigena Oaxaqueno in Fresno, Korean Resource Center and Black Women for Wellness in Los Angeles, Latino Health Access in Orange County, Nile Sisters in San Diego, and the Inland Empire Immigrant Youth Coalition.
Our core partners have started hosting community discussions to identify oral health needs, barriers, possible solutions, and perspectives. In the past couple weeks, I had the opportunity to attend community discussion sessions in Los Angeles coordinated by Black Women for Wellness and in San Diego coordinated by Nile Sisters.
Public health agencies, community partners, and activists at the local and state level play a critical role in advancing public health. Cities and states are testing grounds for innovative and progressive policies that protect health and safety —like New York City’s law on smoke-free spaces, Berkeley’s soda tax, and Seattle’s paid sick days ordinance. When these policies work, they reshape our shared understanding of how to address problems like economic injustice, chronic disease, and environmental hazards, and generate momentum for broader changes.
While preemption is appropriate under some circumstances—for example, federal laws that set a floor for clean air standards ‘preempt’ less protective state and local laws—it’s often a tool used to stop progress in its tracks. Preemption refers to legislation typically introduced by industry groups to shield profits and practices from regulation—and strip law-making authority from local (or state) governments. In recent years, industry groups have successfully lobbied for laws to limit communities’ ability to designate smoke-free spaces, regulate fracking, require paid sick days, and protect kids from junk food marketing.
Prevention Institute and Grassroots Change will equip you with tools to push back against preemption, via our January 28, 2016 webinar “Preemption in 2016 and Beyond: Emerging Issues and Best Practices.” We will provide practical case studies illustrating the evolving threat and best practices to stop preemption, as well as the role of health and safety practitioners in protecting local control. Register today and join us on Twitter at #Preemption2016: