The “What” of BHC
Health Happens when all of us matter. Building Healthy Communities partners are making sure that every Californian gets a chance at a long, healthy life by addressing the causes of poor health.
Every Californian deserves to live, work, and play in places abundant with opportunities for health. But the cards are stacked against some of our communities. Many places, including the 14 Building Healthy Communities sites, are burdened by too many obstacles and not enough support.
Our goal is healthy, fair, and just communities for all people who call California home. At the outset, The California Endowment identified 10 broadly defined outcomes for getting there. More than 25,000 individuals were involved across the 14 communities, prioritizing outcomes they wanted to work on and deciding strategies for success. As a result, the number and range of ideas currently pursued in each site is vast—from salad bars to skate parks. The statewide Health Happens Here initiatives—in Schools, in Neighborhoods, and with Prevention—emerged from the priorities identified in each site. The work underway in each site and statewide across each of these issue areas is organized into Twelve Transformative Policy and Systems Change Priorities (detailed on the next card). Taken together, we believe the Transformative Twelve comprise the activities necessary to move the needle toward health equity. Our 2020 Goals show the impact we are striving for by 2020. Visit the “Who” of BHC page to find out more about each community and their current priorities.
Priority Policy Changes
Twelve Transformative Policy and Systems Change Priorities
Using site and statewide partner priorities as our guide, The Endowment identified twelve broad categories of efforts that are underway to transform local systems and policies to promote community health—The Transformative Twelve. The following provides a brief overview of the campaigns and twelve subcategories that are being funded within the Health Happens in Neighborhoods, In Schools, and With Prevention campaigns throughout California.
Food Environments and Food Systems
Land Use and Anti-Displacement Efforts
Community and Economic Development
Environmental Health and Justice
Systems that Restore and Heal
Healthy Youth Opportunities
Health Happens in Neighborhoods
The California Endowment seeks to foster the development of healthy neighborhoods in all 14 Building Healthy Communities sites. The Endowment envisions healthy neighborhoods as places where children, youth, and their families can walk, ride bikes, play together, and enjoy safe outdoor spaces that are pollution-free. In these neighborhoods, healthy foods are affordable and easily accessible. Young people are able to get to school, recreation centers, and job opportunities using safe and reliable public transportation. A range of good housing options are available and affordable, and residents are connected to vibrant local and regional economies. Vulnerable populations, including women and children, will live free of violence and abuse. Boys and men of color will be viewed as important assets to California families and neighborhoods.
The following are brief descriptions of each of the areas or domains that The California Endowment seeks to support through its grantmaking. The first six areas of focus aim to stimulate healthy neighborhood transformation.
- Food Environments and Food Systems: Urban agriculture, the FreshWorks loan fund, corner store conversions, and other policies that ensure fresh, nutritious foods, including fruits and vegetables, are within easy reach of every child and family.
- Land Use and Anti-Displacement Efforts: Health in All policies, shared-use facilities, Safe Routes to Schools, community-led planning, and other strategies that put residents at the center of land use decision making and promote physical activity, sustainability and access to services.
- Community and Economic Development: Community benefits agreements, workforce development, tenant protections, and other policies and strategies that support good health careers, stable housing, and access to affordable transportation.
- Environmental Health and Justice: Access to clean air and drinking water, reducing the impact of ports, industrial facilities, and the movement of goods, climate change prevention and mitigation strategies that put communities most impacted by environmental injustice first.
- Systems that Restore and Heal: Improved policy-community relationships, violence prevention, restorative justice, and other methods that promote a vision of a healthy neighborhoods in which young people and their families are safe from violence.
- Healthy Youth Opportunities: Increasing funding for positive youth development, youth centers and summer camps, health career pathways, mentorship, and other programs that honor and support the potential in all our youth.
Health Happens in Schools
Improving the health of our students leads to better school performance and higher academic achievement. In healthy schools, children receive healthy meals. They engage in regular exercise. They are surrounded by positive social and learning environments where children feel safe, welcomed and supported. And they have easy access to supportive health and social services. The California Endowment’s goal is to achieve this vision of healthy schools in all BHC sites.
The following are brief descriptions of each of the areas or domains that the Endowment seeks to support through its grantmaking, with in order to support healthy schools. (See the first six areas in the previous card.)
- School Climate: Fair discipline, a trauma-informed community school model, anti-bullying programs, and other policies and strategies that ensure a positive climate is one that feels friendly, inviting, and supportive in every school, rather than exclusionary, unwelcoming, and unsafe.
- School Wellness: School wellness committees, access to clean drinking water and healthy food, enforcement of state mandated physical activity requirements, and other plans that promote healthy food and drink options and daily physical activity in all schools.
- Comprehensive Supports: School-based health centers, integration of physical and behavioral support with academic programs, and other plans that promote access to preventive care, improve student success and create welcoming environments that encourage families to consider schools as community assets.
Health Happens with Prevention
A cornerstone of The California Endowment’s mission is to expand access to quality and affordable health care for all, including the nearly five million uninsured individuals that reside in our state today. However, good health goes beyond merely having health coverage. In our vision of a healthy community, bearers of health insurance are able to easily and regularly access high quality, culturally and linguistically competent health care services that are focused not only on treating their illnesses, but on preventing disease and promoting wellness. In The California Endowment’s vision, providers offer integrated and prevention-oriented health and mental health services through a single point of access.
The following are brief descriptions of each of the areas or domains that The California Endowment seeks to support through its grantmaking in order to support prevention.
- Public Health: Wellness trusts, community-based chronic disease prevention, and other projects that foster cross-sector leadership to improve the health of community residents and the environments in which they live, work, play and go to school.
- Coverage, Care, and Community Prevention: Affordable Care Act implementation, health coverage for undocumented immigrants, healthy homes, healing and wellness centers, medical-legal partnerships, and other policies and strategies that ensure all Californians have access to affordable and culturally responsive prevention and treatment services.
- Health Care Services: Career ladders for frontline health professionals from underserved communities, cultural competency and language access programs, incentives to increase the supply of primary care practitioners in underserved areas, health literacy, consumer empowerment, and other policies and strategies that ensure all children and their families have access to culturally competent, comprehensive, prevention oriented and integrated health care services.