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Voices for Health Equity

Voices for Health Equity

Adverse Community Experiences and Resilience Report Cover

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

Click here to register and for more information. 

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!

Registration for ENACT Day closes March 16th so register today!

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.

Families USA

It was really exciting to see California front and center this year at Families USA’s 2016 Health Action Conference. Sometimes when we are entrenched in the work, we often forget to reflect on our successes and the tremendous grit, collaboration, and leadership that go into it all. We were humbled as Dr. Bob Ross, President and CEO of The California Endowment, and Marielena Hicapie, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center, reminded us just how far California has come but also how much more work there still is to do. Later, we were absolutely thrilled to see our colleague and friend, Reshma Shamasunder, former Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, honored as the Health Equity Advocate of the Year.

Ensuring Healthy Development Without Displacement Cover

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.

To effectively identify racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care, it is essential that key elements such as patient race, ethnicity, and language proficiency be collected routinely and then utilized to measure performance. There is now also great attention being given to the impact of social determinants on health disparities--including environmental factors, food insecurity, transportation, and safe housing--among others. Hospitals in Pursuit of Excellence of the American Hospital Association and the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital are hosting a webinar, “Going Beyond REaL Data Collection: Collecting Social Determinants of Health” on Tuesday, February 23rd, from 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM PT.

This webinar will discuss strategies and approaches implemented by hospitals and health care systems to collect the social determinants of health, with the understanding that this information will be critical for population health efforts of health plans, hospitals and health centers nationwide. Speakers include:

  • Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, PhD, MD, MAS, Director, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations at San Francisco General Hospital
  • Lenny López, MD, MDiv, MPH, Chief of Hospital Medicine, University of California San Francisco - SFVA and Senior Faculty, the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Aswita Tan-McGrory, MBA, MSPH, Deputy Director, Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital

If interested in attending, please register online

For more information contact Andrea Madu at amadu@partners.org.

 

Focus Group

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: 

Taking a Bite out of Oral Health Inequities Cover

Oral health is about more than just toothaches and cavities -- it can have a huge impact in your overall health. This is why CPEHN, with the support of the DentaQuest Foundation, has engaged more deeply over the past nine months to advance oral health equity for California’s communities of color. Just this month, we published a new policy brief, Taking a Bite out of Oral Health Inequities: Promoting Equitable Oral Health Policies for Communities of Color, to highlight oral health disparities within communities of color, identify some of the causes of these inequities, and share policy recommendations to advance equity for our communities.

Some of the key takeaways from the report include:

The Governor’s budget includes a $16.2 billion plan for the state’s transportation needs, with $3.2 billion in proposed new revenue. Unfortunately, the Governor’s transportation plan is business as usual, at the expense of public health and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The $3.2 billion in proposed new funding replicates the Governor’s plan introduced in August last year during the transportation special session. The majority of those funds will go towards repaving roads and expanding trade corridors, doing little to expand active transportation and advance transportation mode shift. Details of the proposal include:

CPEHN applauds the Governor’s renewed commitment to expand health care to California’s undocumented children but urges greater investment in the health of communities of color broadly given the projected $3.6 billion surplus.

On Thursday, January 7th, Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed FY 2016-17 state budget, which includes modest increases in Medi-Cal and other safety-net programs. We are elated to see that the Governor’s proposal maintains the state’s prior commitment to expand full-scope Medi-Cal to undocumented children starting on May 1, 2016. Additionally, we applaud the Governor’s tax revenue proposal to extend the Managed Care Tax (MCO), which is set to expire in 2016. The tax proposal, pending negotiations between the Governor and health plans, will provide $1.1 billion in state funding to help defray the cost of the In-Home Supportive Services program (IHSS) and other health care services. The 2016-17 budget also includes a small increase in SSI/SSP grants for seniors and persons with disabilities, the first increase since 2006.

With a large projected revenue surplus, however, the budget proposal misses important opportunities to invest in the health of California’s new majority, communities of color. The budget, for example, does not seek to restore dental benefits or concretely address the lack of comprehensive health care coverage for undocumented adults. Further, the $3.2 billion in additional revenues for transportation will primarily fund repaving roads and expanding trade corridors rather than expanding funding for active transportation to positively impact climate change and public health. We also urge the elimination of the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) in the CalWORKs program, which unfairly denies financial support to babies born while their families are receiving grants.

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