Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Focus Area

Services & Systems Research

Today’s public health systems are challenged to do more with fewer resources. Strengthening public health systems, services and research is fundamental to the Public Health Institute’s mission. PHI promotes best practices for local public health capacity and speeds the transmission of knowledge to practice. It also fosters the appropriate use of evidence- and population-based health approaches and cross-sector readiness to utilize emerging data.

PHI advocates a “health in all policies” approach in all areas of government while helping to build state and local public health departments capable of addressing myriad and complex challenges.

Supported by a diverse group of funders, PHI offers technical expertise on a broad range of public health systems issues.



Advancing the State of the Art in Community Benefit

Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
(PHI program 2002-2017)

The Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) is a nationally recognized leader in transforming public health practice to advance health equity to create healthier communities. It is a collaborative of public health directors, officers, senior managers and staff from the 11 San Francisco Bay Area health departments and the California Department of Public Health. In 2017, BARHII transitioned its fiscal sponsorship to the Tides Foundation.

Learn about Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
(PHI program 2002-2017) projects

C/Net Solutions

Founded in 1982, C/NET Solutions develops cancer registry software that provides quality data collection, and powerful, reliable, user-friendly abstracting and reporting. C/NET Solutions first distributed its cancer registry software to hospitals in California, then to over 800 facilities across the country through the American College of Surgeons. In 1992 C/NET Solutions launched C/NEXT, a network-ready software, and began selling it to hospitals and other facilities outside California. CNExT for Windows now serves over 350 cancer registries in over 25 states and provinces across North America.

Learn about C/Net Solutions projects

California Health Interview Survey

The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the nation's largest state health survey, is a collaboration of PHI, the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Health Care Services and the University of California at Los Angeles Center for Health Policy Research. CHIS data are a critical tool in developing programs and policies to fight health threats such as obesity.

Learn about California Health Interview Survey projects

California Health Workforce Alliance

California's current health workforce is composed of more than one million individuals. In order to supplement and replace the retiring professionals with California residents over the next 30 years, CHWA works to educate and develop more than one million new and upcoming healthcare professionals.

Learn about California Health Workforce Alliance projects

Cancer Registry of Greater California

Through a contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), PHI manages the Cancer Registry of Greater California (CRGC), one of several population based registries that make up NCI‘s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. CRGC collects data on cancers diagnosed among residents of 48 of 58 California counties. CRGC identifies and collects information about 57% of the approximately 160,000 cancer cases diagnosed annually in California following SEER‘s reporting requirements. CRGC is one of three SEER registries in California collecting cancer data under State law through the Chronic Disease Surveillance and Research Branch (CDSRB) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).The CDPH and the regional registries make up the California Cancer Registry (CCR). Data are used for cancer surveillance, research and program evaluation.

Learn about Cancer Registry of Greater California projects

Center for Health Leadership and Practice

Today’s public health challenges are complex and rapidly evolving, and call for an innovative approach to leadership development. The mission of the Center for Health Leadership and Practice (CHLP) is to advance health by increasing leaders' capacity to transcend boundaries, work collaboratively and transform their communities. Through the use of blended learning modalities, CHLP leads programs for teams, coalitions, initiatives and professional networks to advance leadership skills and reduce health inequities.


Learn about Center for Health Leadership and Practice projects

Health in All Policies

The Health in All Policies Task Force is a collaborative project between the Public Health Institute, the California Department of Public Health, and the California Strategic Growth Council. Health in All Policies is a collaborative approach to improving population health by incorporating health considerations into decision-making across sectors and policy areas. HiAP is an innovative response to increasingly siloed government structures, rising healthcare costs, growing inequities, and growing awareness of the impact of the social determinants of health.

Learn about Health in All Policies projects

Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL)

PHI’s Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL) brings new options for innovation to public health. In the same way that Silicon Valley creates lasting change through new perspectives on old challenges, at PHIL we use new approaches, new technologies, and new partnerships to develop solutions for our communities’ most complex problems—and then share and spread what works.

Working directly with communities in need, PHIL moves beyond the symptoms to address the root issues and the systems at the heart of the challenge. We bring together a wide range of communities, innovators, funders, and public health professionals to use new tools and methodologies in new ways.

At the same time, we also harness the assets PHI has amassed over its 50 years at the forefront of public health: nationally ranked researchers, diverse and proven programs, strong infrastructure, and a wide network of partners.

Learn about Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL) projects

Public Health Alliance of Southern California

The Public Health Alliance of Southern California (Alliance) is a coalition of the executive leadership in local health departments in Southern California. Collectively our members have statutory responsibility for the health of nearly 50% of California’s population. Our vision is “All Southern California communities are healthy, vibrant and sustainable places to live, work and play.”

The Alliance builds healthy, equitable communities through upstream multi-sector policy, systems and environmental change; and mobilizes and amplifies the Southern California local health departments’ regional voice in three Priority Initiatives: Healthy Neighborhoods; Healthy Food & Water Systems; and Data in Action. The Alliance work is grounded in two overarching frameworks including: 1) Equity and Opportunities for All and 2) Healthy Planet, Healthy People. An additional focus on Public Health and Prevention Infrastructure underlies all of our work.

Learn about Public Health Alliance of Southern California projects

QI On Tap: Quality Improvement Onsite Technical Assistance Program

QI On-TAP is a program that was created to provide technical assistance in the area public health accreditation readiness including performance management, quality improvement, strategic planning, community health improvement planning, and workforce development. 


Learn about QI On Tap: Quality Improvement Onsite Technical Assistance Program projects

Survey Research Group

The Survey Research Group (SRG) conducts population based health-related surveys, using one of the country's most technologically advanced call centers. Since 1987, public health officials, advocates and researchers use the data for: tracking health risks, identifying emerging problems, improving treatment, and evaluating programs. SRG’s mission is to foster health, well-being, and quality of life through rigorous quantitative and qualitative research guided by the principles of equity in health, environment, education and economic context. Read more about SRG's services.

Learn about Survey Research Group projects

Tracking California

Tracking California (formerly the California Environmental Health Tracking Program) compiles, analyzes, and shares data to identify and understand pollution and disease. Tracking California helps communities, government agencies, researchers, and health advocates use data to take action in order to reduce pollution and improve health.

Learn about Tracking California projects

Additional PHI Projects