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Health Equity System Transformation (HEST) Project

Although California has a national reputation for advancing progressive health care policies, California’s communities of color, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals and persons with disabilities, continue to experience discrimination and have poorer outcomes on key health indicators including asthma, diabetes and mental health than other Californians. Despite individual actions and intentions, our health care system as designed often makes health outcomes worse, particularly for communities of color, by perpetuating the very inequities it seeks to address.

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Despite gains in the number of Californians enrolled into health care coverage, disparities in health outcomes for communities of color are persistent. Over the past year, CPEHN conducted a number of focus groups across the state with the goal to engage diverse stakeholders including communities of color, LGBTQ+, and persons with disabilities, in meaningful discussions regarding their experiences accessing health care in order to ensure more equitable health outcomes. Our focus group findings and community stories highlight stark disparities and fundamental barriers in accessing care. 

Fact Sheets:


We are pleased to share several new mini-briefs highlighting CPEHN’s recommendations for ways to advance health equity as part of California’s “Medi-Cal Healthier California for All” (MHCFA) framework These briefs are in response to several MHCFA proposals discussed as part of the Population Health, Enhanced Care Management/In Lieu of Services and Behavioral Health Integration work groups: