Health Equity

About Health Equity

Disparate health outcomes for minorities, individuals experiencing homelessness, and other subsets of California’s population are the result of historic and systemic inequalities that persist today, and it has risen to the level of a public health crisis in California. Unequal access to health care and health resources, as well as unequal and damaging environmental conditions due to race, socioeconomic status, and other factors is untenable in a just and healthy society. Ensuring every Californian receives equitable, high-quality care requires long-term, systemic solutions. Some facts*:

  • Black Californians have the highest rates of new prostate, colorectal, and lung cancer cases, and the highest death rates for breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer.
  • About one in five Latinx Californians report not having a usual source of care and difficulty finding a specialist.
  • Californians who are Native American and Alaska Native, as well as Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, are less likely to report having a checkup within the past year than other racial/ethnic groups.

*Source: California Health Care Foundation

California’s hospitals are on the front lines of mitigating health inequities. Within their communities, hospitals examine and address the social determinants of health — things like housing instability, access to healthy foods, and community violence — that significantly affect health risks and outcomes. And they continually work to improve the experience and outcomes for everyone in their care through a variety of initiatives, including a statewide maternal health quality collaborative; data collection and analysis on race, ethnicity, language preference, and other sociodemographic data; cultural competency training; increasing diversity in leadership and governance; and improving and strengthening community partnerships. But hospitals alone cannot eliminate health disparities. It will take systemic reform, paired with broad partnerships across all segments of California’s communities, to break from the status quo.

Same State, Different Worlds

There are two Californias when it comes to health care.  In one, patients and communities are well-served by their health care system. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other providers are easily accessible, offer a wide variety of services at multiple locations, and deliver care using the latest technology.  In the other, care sites are harder to […]

Setting the table for hungry Californians

Over the course of a year, nearly 8 million Californians don’t have enough to eat. Food insecurity is now a major concern throughout the state. But in several cities, hospitals are stepping up, taking a stand against hunger, and helping to feed their communities.

CHA Submits Comments to Inform Future Public Charge Policies

CHA has submitted a comment letter to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on its advanced notice of proposed rulemaking to inform a future regulatory proposal on the public charge ground of inadmissibility.   In the letter, CHA urges DHS to ensure future policies are clear, consistent, and do not cause undue fear among immigrant families accessing the public services available to them. […]

CMS Innovation Center Outlines Strategy for Next 10 Years

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation issued a white paper outlining its strategic direction for the next 10 years.   According to the Center, the goal of the new strategy is to achieve equitable outcomes through high-quality, affordable, person-centered care, carried out through five strategic objectives:  Drive accountable care  Advance health equity  Support innovation  Address affordability  Partner to achieve system transformation   Additional information is available in an FAQ document and on the Innovation Center […]

Q&A with Dr. Carrie Byington of UC Health

OHC sat down with Dr. Carrie L. Byington, executive vice president of University of California Health (UCH), to find out what drew her to California, how preventable differences affect health outcomes, and what the university’s data, expertise, and innovations mean for the Golden State.

Cherished Futures: what lies ahead, part 3

Since 2019, Cherished Futures for Black Moms and Babies has focused on the audacious goal of eliminating maternal and infant health inequities in Los Angeles County. Now these bold plans are gaining momentum.