2019 Health Equity Awardees


The 2019 Awards were designed to showcase and reward local California public health departments that are advancing new and innovative standards of health equity practice and in doing so, transforming public health throughout California, and beyond.

Arnold X. Perkins Award for Outstanding Health Equity Practice

In honor of a man with inspired vision, passion and commitment to social justice and health equity in California, the Arnold X. Perkins Award is awarded to a county health department that demonstrates exceptional health equity practices.

2019 Awardee | Riverside County Department of Public Health

Affordable housing barriers are one of many discriminatory policies and systems that prevent formerly incarcerated individuals from re-entering society and thriving. The Riverside County Department of Public Health partnered with the community-based organization Starting Over Inc. through the Power-Building Partnerships for Health pilot project to advance health equity by reducing housing discrimination for formerly incarcerated populations and changing dominant narratives about the justice system.

Exemplary Health Equity Practice Award

To honor local health departments in California that have demonstrated work that goes beyond the traditional scope of public health programs by building power for health equity through: strengthened internal infrastructure, work across government, community partnerships and/or championing transformative change.

2019 Awardees:

San Francisco DPH

Since 2014, the San Francisco Department of Public Health has been running the Black/African American Health Initiative (BAAHI) to address selected health disparities in the local Black/African American community. The initiative has been innovative in two distinct ways: (1) The focus on inter-divisional coordination as a strategy, which has led to inclusion of a substantial community focus and patient involvement in clinical quality improvement; and (2) The explicit anti-racist and institutional focus of the initiative, which has necessitated the development of a broad racial equity infrastructure.

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Los Angeles County DPH

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has embarked on a transformational journey to build health equity and racial justice within the department. In collaboration with other county departments, labor partners and community-based organizations, the Center for Health Equity follows an equity framework. DPH is collaborating with labor partners to create a “Just Culture” work environment that calls for shared accountability, recognizing both organizational and individual responsibilities.

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City of Long Beach DHHS

Since 2017, the City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services has been working closely with immigrant rights advocates to build community power and foster healthier and safer communities. The City is home to immigrants from Mexico, the Philippines, Cambodia, El Salvador, and many other countries, making up 26% of the its total population. With reports of immigration enforcement raids and deportation threats, it is no surprise that communities are experiencing increasing levels of toxic stress and trauma.

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Catalyst Health Equity Practice Award

To honor and accelerate work a local health department in California has initiated to build power to advance health equity.

Calaveras County HSA

Calaveras has deepened its understanding of a silent “rural morbidity penalty”, defined as the true morbidity in a rural population with more health disparities than their urban counterpart, even when controlling for education, income, poverty and race. While limited resources, higher margins of error, and limited access to skilled health professionals to analyze the data present challenges, Calaveras utilized an Oral Health Needs Assessment focused on high poverty, rural areas in creative ways.

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Emergent Health Equity Practice Award

To honor and support a local health department in California that is starting work to build power to advance health equity.

Stanislaus County HSA

The involvement of Stanislaus County Health Services Agency Public Health leadership and staff, including the Public Health Director, in the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) learning cohort was key to the advancement of building an equity practice.

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Honorary Exemplary Health Equity Practice Award

To recognize innovative local public health department work that goes beyond the traditional scope of public health department programs, shows promise of making significant progress in reducing health inequities and building community power.

County of Santa Clara PHD

The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department’s Racial and Health Equity team has facilitated the transformation of policies, practices and procedures across the department. They intentionally moved beyond the data to action, authentic community partnerships, and talking explicitly about race.

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Santa Barbara County PHD

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is working in close partnership with community organizing group Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) to address the need for a regulatory inspection program to ensure a healthy work environment for farmworkers, specifically accessible, safe, and clean toilets.

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