Our Projects

The right to have health care is perhaps the most fundamental right of all people. Health care should not only be equitable in its delivery, but also be a tool for ameliorating broader societal inequities and injustices.

We believe that we can achieve health equity through the radical reimagining of our health care system and an explicit pursuit of anti-racist policy and systems changes. Our projects bring together and mobilize our diverse community partners and communities of color to advocate for a health care system that treats everyone with respect and dignity. Together, we work to identify and challenge health inequities and propose policy solutions that encourage optimal health and well-being in all communities, regardless of their income, sex, race, ethnicity, primary language, LGBTQ+ status, disability or immigration status. We think of our projects as courageous activist spaces where our diverse community members are fully seen and their voices fully heard. On our own, our voices might not be strong enough to break through the noise. But together, we are raising our collective voices and flexing our community power to ensure that our state and local decision-makers create and implement policies and budgets that see us and serve us.

California Reducing Disparities Project (CRDP)

California Reducing Disparities Project’s mission is to advocate for mental health equity for five priority populations in California: African American, Latinx, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander, and LGBTQ+. As a multiethnic large-scale demonstration project, the CRDP champions community-driven solutions to reducing mental health disparities and it does it through advocacy, policy change and program development.

CPEHN supports the project in partnership with the Office of Health Equity and dozens of key stakeholders. We conduct research and publish reports, develop policy recommendations, conduct community advocacy, and coordinate capacity-building efforts in BIPOC communities. CRDP is funded by the 2004 Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63).

Learn more here!

Community Health Workers/Promotores

The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) plans to add a new Community Health  

Worker/Promotores (CHW/P) benefit in Medi-Cal starting July 2022. The budget includes costs of $16.3 million total funds ($6.2 million General Fund) in FY 2021-22 for CHWs growing to $201 million by 2026.  

This is an important extension as CHW/Ps will be an effective short-term solution to the growing health disparities for the state’s communities of color who are often marginalized and for whom healthcare systems may be challenging to access due to socio-economic, cultural, or linguistic barriers and the current shortage of healthcare workers. CHW/Ps unique connection to the community have made them effective in supporting the COVID-19 response, improving chronic disease and mental health outcomes, and increasing access to health care services. 

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Health Equity Systems Transformation Project (HEST)

Funded by the California Health Care Foundation, the Health Equity System Transformation Project aims to radically reimagine and transform our health care system to achieve health equity. This research project’s goal is to closely collaborate with and learn from California’s diverse communities in order to develop a set of community-informed policy recommendations that will deliver more equitable health outcomes in underserved and diverse communities. CPEHN is the project lead, convener, researcher and writer on this project.

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People Power for Public Health

People Power for Public Health is a community-based research initiative that seeks to transform local budgets towards community power and public health, including emergency response, health care, mental health, oral health, and social services. Through advocacy and organizing, we aim to divest funding away from systems that harm Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and invest in community-based, public health solutions that ensure our communities thrive.

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Stakeholder Education, Advocacy and Outreach for Diverse Racial and Ethnic Communities

CPEHN’s Stakeholder Education, Advocacy, and Outreach for Diverse Racial and Ethnic Communities project champions mental health equity in California. The goal of this project is to ensure that diverse racial and ethnic communities have a major role in the development and implementation of local- and state-level mental health policies and programs, as well as access to quality services and supports. It engages California’s diverse communities in local and state advocacy efforts. In addition to advocating for policies that benefit BIPOC communities, the project inspires and develops local coalitions so that they may continue mental health organizing and advocacy work in their specific communities.

CPEHN’s role in this project is to execute the statewide advocacy efforts and facilitate local advocacy activities. We lead advocacy, awareness, communication and capacity building efforts. Our statewide partners are: Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, California Black Health Network, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, and California Consortium for Urban Indian Health.

Learn more here!

Building Towards Anti-Racist Governments

A growing list of cities and counties have been making declarations on racism as a public health emergency or crisis. Under the “Building Towards Antiracist Governments” project, funded by Blue Shield Foundation, CPEHN will convene a community collaborative to research and develop: 

  • A roadmap for local governments to address racism as a public health crisis by putting the community at the center of policy and decision-making processes, and  
  • A state policy agenda to enhance the ability of state and local public health leaders – both government and nongovernmental – to meaningfully share power with local communities to implement antiracist systems change.  

Together, the roadmap and policy agenda will lay out concrete, actionable steps that state and local governments can take to address racism as a public health crisis and ensure that public systems are responsive to the needs of BIPOC communities. 

Learn more here!