Welcome to the Central Valley Health Policy Institute

The Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI) was established in 2002 at California State University, Fresno to facilitate regional research, leadership training and graduate education programs to address emerging health policy issues that influence the health status of people living in Central California.


Our Latest Publications

San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium: Report Series


African American Infant Mortality in Fresno County

African American Infant Mortality in Fresno CountyJanuary 2016 -- Much higher rates of infant mortality and other adverse birth outcomes have been noted for African Americans compared to whites nationwide and locally, even as overall rates of infant mortality have declined for many years. In response to a persistent increase in infant mortality among African Americans over the last few years, First 5 Fresno County and Fresno State’s Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI) conducted a mixed method assessment, between January 2015 and July 2015.


African American Infant Mortality in Fresno County (PDF)
African American Infant Mortality in Fresno County: Executive Summary (PDF)


A Fair and Healthy Fresno: Community Voices on the 2035 General Plan Update

Front Page Graphic

Click here to read the full report (PDF)

Valley Health Snapshot: Fresno
Race/Ethnicity, Poverty and Health in Fresno’s Neighborhoods

Data Snapshot, Fresno, Winter 2014 (PDF)Winter 2014 -- As the Central Valley’s largest city, Fresno is situated in the heart of California. Fresno is a regional hub for a thriving agricultural economy and other valuable industries. The city is powered by a diverse population, ranging from long-time residents to recent immigrants. Many waves of immigrants and refugees have settled in Fresno, bringing more than 100 spoken languages to the city.

While Fresno’s neighborhoods reflect this diversity, there are also dramatic socio-economic and health disparities across the city and surrounding communities. Depending on residential location, city residents face broad differences in living conditions and quality of life.

Valley Health Snapshot: Fresno Winter 2014 (PDF)

Operational and Statutory Capacity of Local Health Departments in the San Joaquin Valley

cover of the report Operational and Statutory Capacity of Local Health Departments in the San Joaquin Valley – Released October 28, 2013

Despite having some of the state’s highest levels of poverty and poor health outcomes, the San Joaquin Valley receives less public health funding from state and federal sources than other California counties with similar populations according to a new report from the San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium.

This report is the first to compare the operational capacity of local health departments in eight Valley counties to their peers in California.

Click here for full report

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: A 2010 Profile of Health Status in the San Joaquin Valley

Health People 2010 CoverHealthy People 2010 – A 2010 Profile of Health Status in the San Joaquin Valley culminates a decade of biannual reports which document the severity of the Valley’s health crises. Following national objectives, established in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the report tracks health indicator progress in eight valley counties. Findings show that over the last 10 years, there was little to no improvement on key indicators. The reports also demonstrate the range of successful policies and programs that have been piloted around the region during this time. For the most part, however, these initiatives have been tested on a small scale, in isolated communities, and without the broad public engagement needed for coordinated county-wide or regional impact. The report recommends that Fresno and the region adopt a new strategy focused on primary prevention and improving quality of life in under-resourced urban and rural communities.

Click here for full 2010 report

Click here for project overview

Place Matters for Health in the San Joaquin Valley: Ensuring Opportunities for Good Health for All

Place Matters CoverPlace matters for health, and it may be more important than access to health care and health-related behaviors. The Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State and Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released a report Wednesday, Feb. 29, comprehensively analyzing links between social, economic and environmental conditions and health in the region. The study examines the relationships between place, race and ethnicity, and health in the San Joaquin Valley of California and attempts to address two specific questions raised by the San Joaquin Valley Place Matters researchers:

  • What is the relationship between social factors and premature mortality?
  • What is the relationship between social factors and exposure to environmental hazards?

The report demonstrates that neighborhood conditions and the quality of public schools, housing conditions, access to medical care and healthy foods, levels of violence, availability of exercise options, exposure to environmental degradation can powerfully predict who is healthy, who is sick, and who lives longer. And because of patterns of residential segregation, these differences are the fundamental causes of health inequities among different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. This study examined the relationship between social conditions, environmental factors, and health outcomes in the context of the unique demographic characteristics of the area.

Click here to download full report

Executive Summary in English

Executive Summary in Spanish