CPEHN’s public health collaborative was formed in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, when community organizations rapidly pivoted to fill the gaps between institutional responses and on-the-ground health and social needs. The collaborative recognizes that community non-profit organizations are a critical component of California’s public health infrastructure, as evidenced in a 2021 CPEHN report. However, the role of community organizations lies beyond providing safety nets for the most underserved communities, these organizations also act as public health’s civic muscle, and many of them have been working to address systemic determinants of health including institutionalized racism. In 2022, the collaborative continues to mobilize in order to shape the future of a public health system that can serve all Californians.
The GOALS of the Public Health Collaborative
· To build an equitable and sustainable public health system for California’s communities of color, including supporting and strengthening the capacity for governmental public health sectors and community based non-profit organizations; and
· To recommit California’s public health sector, especially state and local public health departments to antiracism, including advocating for a proactive role of public health departments in protecting the health of communities of color and explicitly addressing the harmful health impacts of carceral institutions (law enforcement, criminal-legal systems, immigration enforcement, etc).
CPEHN’s public health collaborative currently meets monthly. These meetings provide space for training and capacity building, network and relationship building, strategic planning and policy advocacy activities. Collaborative partners also hope to intentionally build relationships with state and local public health governmental allies and collectively develop strategies to serve California’s communities of color.
For Questions about CPEHN’s Public Health Collaborative, reach out to Weiyu Zhang, CPEHN’s community advocacy manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.