258440 Transforming public health in California: Engaging communities for health and equity

Monday, October 29, 2012

Julie Williamson, MPH , 4618 Belfast Ave., Innovations in Public Health, Oakland, CA
George R. Flores, MD, MPH , Healthy California -- Prevention Program, The California Endowment, Oakland, CA
For over 20 years California has benefited from a series of public and private initiatives that have begun to transform traditional public health practice toward a system that will be effective in promoting health equity. This presentation will lift up some of the underlying strategies that have most influenced changes in public health practice in California, and will define the core challenges, as well as opportunities, that local public health leaders can anticipate as they engage in the difficult work ahead. Central to the success of this transformation are the abilities of both local public health departments (PHDs) and local community groups to work in partnership to impact the social determinants of health. Other benchmarks of success include PHDs ability to work across multiple sectors and influence community and organizational leaders outside of their direct sphere of control; integrate personal care with place-based health promotion; collect, analyze and communicate data, including health impact assessments; and shift the internal culture and structure of their own departments to be effective in this new environment. This presentation will highlight some of the key lessons learned from the evolution of several landmark single-issue programs including tobacco control and obesity prevention to more comprehensive programs such as the Community Transformation Grants and Building Healthy Communities. The potential to sustain these changes is supported by the creation of peer networks that link strategies that address social determinants of health, with a comprehensive goal of achieving health equity.

Learning Areas:
Administration, management, leadership
Public health administration or related administration
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe at least three indicators of public health department capacity to promote health equity. 2. Describe at least three indicators of community capacity to collaborate for improved health and equity. 3. Describe at least two policies that will sustain these transformations in public health practice.

Keywords: Public Health Infrastructure, Health Departments

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have over 20 years of experience as a director or co-director of multiple public and privately funded, statewide initiatives that have supported the transformation of public health practice to address the social determinants of health. Among my scientific interests has been the development and evaluation of strategies to build capacity among local health departments to achieve health equity.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.