SACRAMENTO – On the evening of December 4, The California Endowment hosted public health department leadership from across the state to honor unique efforts and innovations initiated by departments to combat health inequities. The Advancing Health Equity Awards: Highlighting Health Equity Practice in California Public Health Departments showcased the work of 13 health departments across the state that goes beyond the traditional scope of public health.
The California Endowment created this event to feature and reward public health department practices that can inform and inspire the future work of others committed to improving health equity.
Anthony Iton, M.D., J.D., MPH , senior vice president for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment notes that “California has always been a leader in innovation, and the same holds true for our local public health departments working to achieve health equity. By facing some of California’s most difficult challenges head on, they are working to make communities around the state safer, healthier, and stronger for everyone.”
Four public health departments stood out in particular, due to their exceptional work reducing health inequities in 2014. These departments include Alameda County Public Health Department, Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency - Public Health Branch, Sonoma County Department of Health Services and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Alameda County Public Health Department’s award came with a grant of $100,000, while the latter three counties’ grants were awarded $25,000 each, all for efforts to further progress toward health equity.
Each of these departments are initiating unique and innovative programs within their communities to improve the health and well-being of all their neighborhoods.
A final award was distributed as a one-time honor this evening, The Health Equity Founders Award was given to Arnold X. Perkins for a lifetime of inspired vision, passion and commitment to social justice and health equity in California.
Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities Anthony Iton, M.D., J.D., MPH, states “With the commitment of leaders in these public health departments throughout the state, as well as the vision of passionate leaders like Arnold X. Perkins, California has experienced many successes toward achieving greater health equity across its communities. There is much work still to be done, but the achievements serve to inspire future work on improving health equity.”
About The California Endowment
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people's health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention and is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to radically improve the health in 14 California communities – through its Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative. BHC focuses on building a stronger and healthier community where children and youth are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. For more information, visit The California Endowment’s homepage at www.calendow.org.
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