Southern California experiences stark health inequities; these inequities are especially stark by race and place. Life expectancy fluctuates dramatically in our region. Even neighboring communities can have more than a 10-year difference in life expectancy. Here in Southern California:
  • Over 50% of the population lives in a place without convenient, reliable public transit
  • Nearly 35% of the population lives in communities with significant pollution burdens
  • More than 25% of the population lives in neighborhoods designated as food deserts
  • About 40% of the population lives in or near poverty-with nearly 50% of children living in or near poverty
Racism -individual, institutional and structural- continues to be the root cause driver behind inequities in nearly every major measure of health status that we have

Our Approach

We center health equity and racial justice across our work. Our local health jurisdictions are at the center of addressing many critical equity issues, from responding to climate emergencies, to partnering with community-based organizations to prevent housing displacement. We convene a health equity working group with representatives from across our Southern California health departments in order to implement local and regional strategies for advancing health equity and racial justice. As a coalition, we are working across sectors to develop policies and programs that improve health outcomes for individuals and communities most impacted by health inequities. We also produce research, data, rapid response resources and trainings. We’ve developed comprehensive COVID-19 equity response resources from mapping tools to equity snapshots. Through our Cherished Futures for Black Moms and Babies program, we are closing the birth equity gap and providing training support to our hospital and health system leaders. With our Healthy Places Index® Tool, we map unjust differences across neighborhoods and strive to present the root cause factors behind health inequities, including policy, system, and environmental factors.