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S. Kern Outcomes

In 2010, The Endowment will launch Building Healthy Communities, a 10-year strategic plan designed to improve health systems and the physical, social, economic and service structures that support healthy living and healthy behaviors in California.

Four goals will guide our work:
  • Health systems are family centered and prioritize prevention.
  • Schools anchor communities, promote healthy behaviors and are a gateway for  resources and services.
  • Human services systems are family centered, prioritize prevention and promote  opportunities for children, young adults and their families.
  • Physical, social and economic environments in local communities support health.
These goals are informed by the fact that health problems are intrinsically linked to poverty, employment, education,child development, housing, the environment and other issues.

Outcomes for BHC S. Kern

1. All children have health coverage. 1.5 million children in California are uninsured. Working toward coverage for all kids will improve health care and lower costs in the future as healthy children become healthy adults.

2. Families have improved access to a “health home” that supports healthy behaviors. A “health home” offers a home base for health care where a primary doctor provides culturally appropriate, consistent care and coordinates with other professionals to meet all of a family’s health needs.

3. Health and family-focused human services shift resources toward prevention. We’re working toward a health care system that places greater emphasis on preventing illness instead of only responding in times of medical crisis.

4. Residents live in communities with health-promoting land use, transportation and community development. Public officials and residents are collaborating to bring needed businesses, like grocery stores, to underserved neighborhoods, make sure parks are clean and welcoming for all ages, and ensure that people can safely walk, bike or take public transportation.

5. Children and families are safe from violence in their homes and neighborhoods. Violence prevention is not just the business of the police department. It’s a public health issue, and it’s preventable. Youth, parents, faith leaders, law enforcement, and local business are joining forces to create alternatives to violence along with new opportunities for kids.

6. Communities support healthy youth development. Mobilizing youth as leaders and change agents, and supporting kids to stay in school, find meaningful work, and connect with caring adults helps the next generation to thrive.

7. Neighborhood and school environments support improved health and healthy behaviors. Healthy neighborhoods happen in places that promote good indoor air quality, healthy food choices, physical activity options, and prevention-focused school health clinics.

8. Community health improvements are linked to economic development. All communities deserve their fair share of economic resources. New projects should balance economic gains with health and environmental concerns, and guarantee that local residents reap the benefits of economic development.

9. Health gaps for boys and young men of color are narrowed. Addressing the social, educational and economic disadvantages faced by boys and young men of color is essential to community health.  Success here means equity in schools, more job opportunities, more alternatives to incarceration and new youth development approaches tailored to them.

10. California has a shared vision of community health. This goal is about changing social norms. It requires a shared awareness of all the factors that contribute to health, a focus on prevention and a movement of people who advocate for health. This new awareness leads to changes in laws, policies and practices that improve not only the health of individual communities, but all Californians.

Julio Zaldivar,
Aug 6, 2012, 12:16 PM