Exemplary Health Equity Practice Award

2019 Awardee | Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

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. It challenges hierarchal power dynamics, views system issues and behavioral choices as interconnected, and encourages responses to problems and concerns be led with fairness and kindness. DPH also has committed to more intentional community engagement and shifted resources and priorities around environmental justice and health issues. DPH supported community actions and outreach with communities affected by the Exide battery recycling plant. Partnership efforts to address lead contamination highlighted the need for a strong regulatory and oversight response to polluters and even more stringent development and enforcement of health and safety standards when heavy industry is located near schools, residential housing, and parks.

Megan McClaire and Heather Jue Northover of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health accept the Advancing Health Equity Award at a Dec. 3 ceremony in Oakland, CA. Photo courtesy of The California Endowment.

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