Wellbeing (e.g. Youth, Community, Mental)
Sharing Session - 60 Minutes
Everyone should have the opportunity to live a healthy life. Yet our health is dramatically shaped by community characteristics - like housing, education, economic, and other social factors – which themselves are often shaped through policy. The Public Health Alliance of Southern California (Alliance), a coalition of eight local health departments representing half of the State's population, developed a tool to quantify and communicate the impact of community conditions on population health to spur policy action: The California Healthy Places Index (HPI).
The HPI is a 25-indicator index linked to life expectancy at birth and organized into eight policy action areas that correspond to the social determinants of health. It is available at multiple geographies beginning at the Census tract, and includes cities, counties, and other legislative and administrative boundaries. Designed with a positive, asset-based frame, the HPI and the accompanying online interactive mapping application were created to identify the health opportunities and present policy solutions in communities across California. To do so, each indicator is accompanied by a plain language description of its connection to health and is linked to extensive policy guides featuring actionable policy solutions. The Alliance also produced targeted communication briefs and HPI messaging toolkits designed to facilitate cross-sector advocacy work by local public health department staff.
Taken together, the HPI, online mapping application, and robust policy guides are a launchpad for multiple sectors to advocate for changes that will impact the life expectancy of neighborhoods, cities, counties, and regions across the state.