The Public Health Alliance Regional Equity Accelerator


Mobilizing the Collective Power of Local Public Health to Advance Equity

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only brought heightened attention to our nation's local public health departments but has also magnified the immense power they possess during times of crisis.  As we transition from short-term emergency response to long-term recovery, the pandemic presents a new opportunity to shape the future of public health programs, policies, and operations. In Southern California, local health jurisdictions (LHJs) - representing nearly 60% of Californians - have committed to enhancing their internal capacity to promote health equity and racial justice. These LHJs have come together as a region to prepare for present and emerging public health challenges in the 21st century.

The Public Health Alliance's Regional Equity Accelerator is an action-oriented community of practice bringing together public health leaders to operationalize equity in Southern California. The Equity Accelerator serves as a testament to the unwavering commitment of Alliance members in fostering a regional community driven by collective action, connectivity, and accountability. Through this initiative, LHJs will proactively identify, address, and reimagine strategies to operationalize equity within their contracting and procurement practices, paving the way for transformative change.

Beginning in March 2023, health departments in the Regional Equity Accelerator established cross-departmental Equity Change Teams consisting of Executive Leadership, Health Equity Program Managers, Contracting & Procurement Officers, and others, to begin monthly meetings workshopping actions to adopt and implement structural changes to contracting and procurement procedures. These actions include changes to increase the diversity of community-based partners, reduce administrative burdens in contracting and reporting, invest in community partnership through targeted engagement strategies, and advance equity through community investment, among many others.

We Bring Together Cross-Departmental LHJ Equity Change Teams Across the Southern California Region to:

Mobilize the Power of LHJs to Advance Health Equity & Racial Justice

Local health jurisdictions from across Southern California are harnessing the power of public health to advance equitable health policies and practices in contracting & procurement as individual departments and in partnership with the communities they serve.

Drive and Strengthen Regional Collaboration and Partnerships

Public health staff across programs and disciplines, including staff from executive leadership, equity offices, contracting & procurement, finance, and others, are coming together to advance and strengthen policies and practices in contracting & procurement that promote health and racial equity across the region.

Identify Promising, Community-Informed Practices to Advance Equitable Goals & Outcomes

Accelerator Equity Change Teams will be equipped with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to authentically partner with their community to identify and address barriers to equity in contracting & procurement and become transformational equity leaders and practitioners.

Project History

In November 2021, the Public Health Alliance of Southern California launched the Public Health Alliance Regional Equity Learning Collaborative (RELC) to provide foundational learning related to addressing equity challenges and opportunities in Southern California. The RELC brought together public health departments committed to advancing equity and laid the foundation for emergent Equity Change Teams. Key content areas covered included building internal equity capacity, addressing racism as a public health crisis, authentic community engagement and co-creation, advancing equity in workforce development, and equitable data practice.  Building on this foundation, our partner LHJs were excited to move from a learning space to one of action in the ongoing Equity Accelerator.

background: Advancing equity in contracting & procurement

Transitioning from short-term crisis response to longer-term recovery provides a unique moment to catalyze transformative action to reimagine and rebuild systems, strengthen communities, and redefine social contracts with community resilience and equity at the core. During the pandemic, many local health jurisdictions elevated the need to identify and work to address barriers to their contracting and procurement processes, specifically for small community-based organizations that are essential to California’s public and community health infrastructure. The Regional Equity Accelerator uplifts strategies to advance the following: Partnering authentically with community partners to streamline critical funding needs, providing technical assistance (TA) in removing barriers to equity in contracting and procurement, and advancing health equity through local public health contracting and procurement.  
To learn more about key challenges and lessons learned around public health workforce, please read the Public Health Alliance report: Supporting Communities and Local Public Health Departments During COVID-19 and Beyond: A Roadmap for Equitable and Transformative Change

Accelerator TIMELINE & Sessions


The Alliance Equity Accelerator brings together cross-departmental LHJ leaders from across the region to participate in virtual workshops aimed at building local capacity to advance health equity and racial justice in contracting and procurement. Sessions provide hands-on skill building and technical assistance in identifying, addressing, and reimagining approaches for operationalizing equity within local health jurisdictions’ (LHJ) contracting and procurement practices. Each Accelerator session is led and facilitated by the Public Health Alliance Leads and invited technical experts and leaders. Participants will also be provided ample opportunities for shared learning, and local and regional visioning and goal setting.


Session 1: March 2023

Understanding Equity in Contracting & Procurement

Session 2: May 2023

Identifying Barriers to Equity within Contracting & Procurement

Session 3: June 2023

Community-Informed Contracting & Procurement Process Changes

Session 4: July 2023

Creating an Action Roadmap for Our Near-Term Process Change Goals

Session 5: August 2023

Examining the Impact of Chronic Community Disinvestment through Health Equity Metrics

Session 6: September 2023

Introduction to Impact Spending & Anchor Institution Framework

Session 7: October 2023

Advancing the Anchor Mission through Local Public Health

Session 8: November 2023

Defining a Regional Policy & Systems Change Recommendation

Session 9: December 2023

Review, Revise, Rejoice: Examining the Process & Celebrating Progress

In this session Equity Change Teams worked to develop a shared commitment to advancing regional health equity by participating in the new Equity Accelerator structure and process, established a shared understanding of why Contracting & Procurement is the primary focus area for Equity Accelerator, and obtained a clear understanding of and commitment to completing the Alliance Contracting & Procurement Self-Assessment.

Session 1

Understanding Equity in Contracting & Procurement

March 2023

Session Tools & Resources

In this session, Equity Change Teams reviewed the goals of the Equity Accelerator, identified existing barrier to equity in current contracting and procurement practices, examined the reasons for current infrastructure, and evaluated their impact. Additionally, teams explored the essential actions required to eliminate these barriers, which included initiating outreach efforts to gather community input.

In this session, Equity Change Teams explored contracting and procurement process changes that have the most immediate opportunity to address equity and evaluated their current and aspirational community engagement practices.

Session 3

Community-Informed Contracting & Procurement Process Changes


Regional Equity Accelerator impact report

The Public Health Alliance’s Regional Equity Accelerator (the Accelerator) is an action-oriented community of practice bringing together public health leaders to operationalize equity in Southern California. The inaugural 2023 Accelerator partnered with nine local health jurisdictions (LHJ) to identify, address, and reimagine approaches for operationalizing equity within their departments’ contracting and procurement practices.

To further explore the journey of the 2023 Health Equity Accelerator, read the full report here.


The Alliance Equity Accelerator engages cross-departmental Equity Change Teams from local health jurisdictions across Southern California committed to identifying, addressing, and reimagining approaches for operationalizing equity within public health contracting and procurement practices. Information on our inaugural participating jurisdictions can be found below.

Cross-Cutting Resources for Advancing Equity

The Public Health Alliance has compiled a growing set of critical resources to strengthen individual and collective capacity to advance equity. This includes foundational resources, framing and language support, and connections to aligned governmental, non-profit and community partners in the field.

Regional Public Health Collaboratives

California is home to three regional public health collaboratives based in Southern California, the Bay Area, and the Central Valley. Individually and collectively, these public health collaboratives demonstrate the ability to harness the power of public health at both the local and regional level to advance health and race equity.

Health Equity and Racial Justice Partners

Below is a list of aligned public health and equity partner organizations, each bringing a specific focus and lens to the work of advancing health equity and racial justice. These partners have a wide variety of additional resources to support LHJs in their work to build their internal and external capacity to advance equity.

Contact Us

The Southern California Regional Equity Learning Collaborative is led, managed and facilitated by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California. If you have questions or would like to learn more about our work, please contact the Public Health Alliance Collaborative Leads.

Tracy Delaney, PhD

Founding Executive Director