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
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Los Angeles County Council and Urban Los Angeles Affiliate, are coordinating their second annual diversity conference on Saturday, April 9, 2016. Cultural anthropologist and sought after professor of African Studies and Human Development, Dr. Erylene Piper-Mandy will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Piper-Mandy will address the paradigm shifts necessary to move toward institutionalizing culturally‐relevant practice. Other presenters include renowned experts like internationally recognized psychologist Dr. Steven Lopez of USC, whose cultural competency model is currently being funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH); Dr. Cheryl Tawede Grills, clinical psychologist who has studied internationally to identify African‐centered models for treatment engagement for African Americans; Dr. Terry Gock, expert in Asian and Pacific Islander mental health, who has championed recognition of community defined practice as evidence based practice, nationally among organizations like SAMHSA and the American Psychological Association; and addiction psychiatrist, Dr. Dan Dickerson of UCLA, principal investigator of an NIH funded research grant for Drum-Assisted Recovery Therapy for Native Americans (DARTNA).
The Community Health Advocate School at Augustus F. Hawkins High School in Los Angeles is hosting this year’s conference, entitled Bridging the Cultural Divide - Beyond Evidence-Based Practice in Diverse Communities. The 2016 NAMI Diversity Conference is made possible by contributions from transformative sponsors, the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health and LA Care Health Plan, and through the generous support of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
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.
By aligning strategies across the portfolio, the interventions achieve a synergistic effect and compound into true population health improvement for communities. The success of this type of approach has been demonstrated repeatedly over the last 50 years through health improvement efforts that have incorporated both individual intervention and community-based prevention to take on issues as diverse as tobacco, driving under the influence, lead exposure, and violence, leading to public health victories that would never have been possible through individual sectors’ separate efforts.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and we have a reason for you to smile. More kids than ever before have dental coverage in California. Pediatric dental coverage is included in all Covered California health plans thanks to policy changes implemented last year, and all children enrolled in Medi-Cal also have dental coverage. This coverage opens the door to preventive dental services, such as exams, fluoride treatments, and more. There is also coverage for treatment of problems, such as fillings and other needed care.
Expanded coverage is especially significant for low-income children and communities of color facing stark inequities in oral health. According to a report by the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, the disparity in oral health between poor and affluent children in California is the worst in the nation. African American and Latino children are less likely to have seen a dental provider and often wait longer between visits. When children don’t have good oral health and get the care they deserve, they are at risk for missing school and performing poorly in class, and they often end up in the emergency room for preventable dental problems that become costly when left untreated.
Dental coverage and learning how to use that coverage to get preventive services is the foundation for kids to have healthy teeth. Many families, however, may not know their kids have coverage or how to get dental care. That’s why The Children’s Partnership developed brand new flyers to help families learn how to navigate their children’s dental coverage.
CPEHN’s Executive Director, Sarah de Guia, opens the newsletter by discussing Covered California’s disparities reduction and quality improvement strategies, which show promise in reducing disparities for California’s communities of color.
Our Ethnic Partner Spotlight features an article from the California Black Health Network (CBHN) and their advocacy efforts to improve the health of people with Sickle Cell Disease.
Covered California Sees Strong Enrollment Numbers in 2016: Covered California released a detailed breakout of its 2016 enrollees at its Board meeting on February 18. Nearly 440,000 new enrollees had selected a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) as of February 6, 2016. Low-income (88%) and communities of color (66%) continue to represent the majority of Exchange enrollees with Asians at 20%, Pacific Islanders at >1%, Black or African-American at 4%, Latino at 36%, American Indian or Alaskan Native at > 1%, and multiple races/other at 7%.
While Covered California’s preliminary enrollment numbers are strong, they provide an incomplete picture of the enrollee population as close to one-third of enrollees (119,510) did not respond to demographic questions. Covered California plans to provide additional data on its 2016 enrollee population including information on the written and spoken languages of its enrollees at a later point this year.
“The Community-Centered Health Homes model has spurred a phenomenal transformation in our community and our clinic. CCHH is a way to make the connection to what we’re doing in the community to the services & treatment that we provide in the exam room.”
A new Prevention Institute (PI) brief outlines what we’ve learned in advancing the Community-Centered Health Homes (CCHH) model across the country since it was first released five years ago. PI originally developed the CCHH model to provide a framework for healthcare organizations to systematically address the community conditions that impact their patients. By implementing activities based on community needs rather than medical treatment needs alone, we can improve health, safety, and equity outcomes.
In the five years since the first report release, the CCHH model has catalyzed action and activity in communities across the country - including California, the Gulf Coast Region, North Carolina, and Texas. The brief reviews and analyzes what we’ve heard from healthcare organizations actively involved in community change – particularly clinics doing early testing of the CCHH model – and summarizes lessons learned, recommendations for success, and common themes that have emerged for healthcare organizations and funders looking to implement the model. The brief was funded by The Kresge Foundation.
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.