The primary geographic focus of the Institute is the Central San Joaquin Valley, including the counties of Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare. With 3.3 million people in this predominately agricultural region, the Central Valley experiences some of the highest disparities in health status within California and in the nation.
The Central Valley Health Policy Institute is a university-wide ancillary unit, with interdisciplinary collaboration supported through Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The Institute operates within the Central California Center for Health and Human Services at California State University, Fresno under the College of Health and Human Services and under the direction of Dr. Jody Hironaka-Juteau, Ph.D. Fiscal services are provided by the nonprofit California State University, Fresno Foundation, which manages external funding for the Institute.
Community involvement is vital to the work of the Institute. Educational forums are planned to keep the community informed on emerging and persistent health issues affecting the region. Other opportunities are provided for community members and consumers to provide input and feedback on the planning process through such vehicles as community dialogues or forums, focus groups, questionnaires and surveys to identify issues for study, satisfaction with services, and potential avenues for advocacy and education.
A Regional Advisory Council comprised of leaders of representative organizations provides input and feedback on issues, studies, strategies and community involvement.