CA4Health is an inclusive statewide community of practice comprised of diverse and committed stakeholders advancing chronic disease prevention and equity across CA. We believe that increased collaboration, fostering non-traditional partnerships, and tackling tough challenges together will create impactful, lasting change in California.
Community Transformation Grant
In 2011, PHI was awarded a $5.9 million per year Community Transformation Grant from CDC to represent the 42 California counties with populations of less than 500,000. As the program office, PHI managed a set of topical experts, technical assistance providers, and evaluators to provide guidance, training, and resources to the local health departments to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes in their communities through this initiative, known as CA4Health.
Here's How We're Making a Difference
CA4Health as a Community Transformation Grant: From Grant Award to Implementation
In 2011, PHI was awarded a $5.9 million per year Community Transformation Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to represent the 42 California counties with populations of less than 500,000. As the program office, PHI was able to quickly hire leadership and staff, convene partners, execute contracts and MOUs, and get funds flowing so that work on the ground could begin. Over 3 years, PHI managed a set of topical experts, technical assistance providers, and evaluators to provide guidance, training, and resources to the local health departments to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes in their communities through this initiative, known as CA4Health.
Despite the Community Transformation Grant awards coming to an end two years earlier than expected, CA4Health counties made significant strides toward achieving the goals in each area of work. As a result of the local efforts, the total number of CA4Health-participating county residents with increased access to healthier beverage environments was 577,017; walkable and bikeable communities was 256,743; smoke-free multi-unit housing was 17,566; and chronic disease self-management programs was 263,272. The activities and efforts of CA4Health counties had an incredible impact on local communities throughout the state, but the story of CA4Health is more than just numbers. These communities were successful because they leveraged pre-existing resources, created non-traditional partnerships, strengthened new and old relationships, and facilitate the involvement of local youth to build healthier communities.
Developing Shared Guiding Principles for Equity and Justice
PHI's CA4Health is a community of practice made up of people and organizations working to advance chronic disease prevention and health equity in California. Building off of previous networking and movement building initiatives (i.e., Community Transformation Grant, CA Convergence, and Partnership for a Healthy California), CA4Health provides backbone support for stakeholders to connect, leverage, advocate and learn together—with a focus on increasing collaboration, fostering non-traditional partnerships, and tackling tough challenges to create impactful, lasting change.
As part of their approach, CA4Health explores how their program office and members can collectively embody our commitment to health equity. Following the PolicyLink Equity Summit in April 2018, members of the CA4Health delegation collaborated to craft a set of intentions related to equity that will keep the energy and lessons alive for our network. The first outcome from these discussions is CA4Health's "Guiding Principles for Health Equity and Justice." The Principles include: People power; A right to health for all; Acknowledging systems and history of inequity; Leveraging privilege for impact; Centering community voices and community narratives; Intersectional movement building; Moving to action; and, Inclusion and accessibility. See the Principles.
Facilitating Collaboration and Supporting Local Learning in California Communities
When the federal Community Transformation Grants program ended, the CA4Health brand was relaunched to build a statewide community of practice. CA4Health became an open, diversified, and inclusive statewide network that helps to leverage the significant investments in California for systemic changes towards achieving health and equity. CA4Health provided the infrastructure to bring together diverse stakeholders in California to share lessons learned, best practices, build relationships, and take collective action.
Since the summer of 2015, CA4Health has been providing opportunities to convene, build capacity, and advocate, successfully hosted/co-hosted 28 virtual events and 20 opportunities for in-person engagement that has resulted in sharing of tools, resources, identifying areas of collaborative impact on statewide policy, and advocating.
In 2017, CA4Health launched People.Power.Change!, a series of connected sessions to provide a platform for participants to build leadership, increase capacity, and provide opportunities to stand together and speak out on issues related to food justice and poverty reduction.
Increasing Access to Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs
CA4Health also created this video to further expand the understanding and need for community health workers.
PHI's CA4Health Changes Beverage Policies at Central Valley Head Start Centers
CA4Health, PHI’s statewide Community Transformation Grant covering rural and small California counties, worked with Head Start Centers across four Central Valley counties to adopt strong new healthy beverage standards to help give these children a head start to a healthier life.
As a result, 1,500 children through age five now drink water and unflavored milk (and breast milk for those up to 12 months) instead of soda, sports drinks, juice and juice drinks, and flavored milk.
PHI's CA4Health Spreads Safe Routes to School
CA4Health, PHI’s statewide Community Transformation Grant covering rural and small California counties, worked with 100 schools to implement Safe Routes to School (SRTS). The program is locally driven and built around activities such as critical infrastructure repairs, parent-organized “walking school buses,” regular “walk to school” days and events, safety education, school zone traffic enforcement, and more. As a result, nearly 5,000 more California kids were able to walk and bike to school safely.
Sparking Public Health Conversations with the "Understanding Marijuana" Web Forum Series
As California and other states consider and prepare for recreational marijuana legalization, communities and local governments are seeking science-based information on marijuana’s effects on health and populations.
In 2017, PHI's CA4Health and Dialogue4Health co-hosted a 3-part Understanding Marijuana web forum series focused on understanding the effects of marijuana on our health and how to address the long-term residual consequences of its criminalization in our communities. Over 3,000 attendees tuned in to hear attorneys, law enforcement, racial justice organizations, researchers and city officials from across the country discuss what legalization means for health and public health, and how cannabis legalization will impact and present opportunities in poor, previously incarcerated, and people of color communities.