Central California Public Health Partnership (Partnership)
The Partnership was established in February 1999 to provide an informal structure that would allow public health departments and the University to collaboratively address public health issues affecting Central California residents. Members of the Partnership include the Directors of the public health departments in Fresno, Madera, Merced, Kings, Kern, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties and the Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at California State University, Fresno. The Partnership was created to improve community health and population health status by strengthening regional collaboration, planning, workforce development and training. As a regional group they offered an infrastructure to support research and data analysis, policy engagement, and outreach as well as facilitating inter- and intra-community collaborations. The mission of the Partnership was to provide a forum for collaboration among the Central San Joaquin Valley counties for regional planning and implementation of public health strategies. Special attention was given to initiatives that developed and delivered professional training to promote faculty and community capacity to support public health awareness and education.
Prior to the establishment of the Partnership, no real clearinghouse or structure existed which focused on resolving regional public health issues, dissemination of outcomes, or technical assistance to assist in program replication of services aimed at current public health issues and outbreaks.
Central California Public Health Consortium (Consortium)
In February 2011, the Partnership transformed into the Central California Public Health Consortium in order to develop and implement regional strategies to enhance local health department capacities that will ultimately lead to national accreditation by the Public Health Accreditation Board. The Partnership recognized that the future opportunities to successfully implement regional strategies to enhance local public health capacity would require a more formal collaborative structure. This transformation from an informal to formal structure has allowed the Consortium to develop the foundation necessary to further strengthen and enhance local public health capacity. The Consortium also added County Public Health Officers to the current Partnership membership in order to lend additional public health expertise to the Consortium. Consortium core infrastructure development included the dedication of research and clerical staff, creation and adoption of operating principles, development of annual plans, and the creation of a sustainability plan.
Consortium members meet monthly at various locations throughout the Central Valley and attended their first planning retreat in September 2011 in order to determine the mission, vision, and operating principles, as well as determine the leadership structure. In April 2012, the Consortium Operating Principles were approved by the general membership. The second planning retreat was in August 2012, where regional and county priorities were determined and members continued on their accreditation plans.
San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium
At the August 2012 Planning Retreat, the Consortium members decided on one regional priority-- Capacity Building to Prevent and Manage Chronic Disease. The members excitedly showed their support and are planning to continue the focus of the regional priority after the original grant period. This unity also led to a decision to change the name from Central California Public Health Consortium to the San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium in order to better define the region nationally and assist with future branding of the Consortium. This will be an ongoing process, as the framing and strategizing of the region will need to be very intricate and innovative.
Multicultural Public Health Conferences
The Central California Public Health Partnership has sponsored two highly successful conferences dealing with a myriad of public health issues affecting the central California region.
The first conference in 2002 "Embracing Cultural Competence in Community Health" had as its goal the exploration of culturally sensitive health care delivery tactics and techniques relevant to all levels of public health care.
The second conference in 2003 "Addressing Health Disparities" was an exploration of health disparities and workforce development in the Central San Joaquin Valley with an emphasis on diverse populations.
Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program
A major accomplishment of the Partnership is the develeopment of the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) in 2005. CCROPP is dedicated to creating environments that support healthy eating and active living. In many of our communities, people can't easily buy healthy food such as fresh fruits and vegetables. Likewise, many neighborhoods are designed in ways that make it difficult and unsafe to be physically active. We all need to work together to assure that everyone in the Valley has access to healthy foods and safe places to be active. Healthy environments provide healthy choices and promote healthy people.
CCROPP helps to create healthier communities in the San Joaquin Valley that support healthy eating and active living. CCROPP focuses on two major initiatives: Increasing Access to Healthy Food and Beverages and Improving Opportunities for Physical Activity. The Regional Obesity Prevention Program is being carried out by partnerships between public health departments, community-based organizations and grassroots community members in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties. The program was developed by the Central California Public Health Partnership and is housed under the Public Health Institute. Funding for this initiative was made possible by The California Endowment, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and James Irvine Foundation.
CCROPP serves as a prime example of Partnership efforts to address a public health issue shared by all Partnership counties. CCROPP has increased local health department capacity to impact obesity and chronic disease in the Central Valley primarily by developing the skills and knowledge of local health department staff to effect policy and system change in their respective counties.