Communities of color represent 53 percent of California’s population. While this diversity brings cultural and linguistic richness to our state, it also highlights existing health care disparities between African Americans, Native Americans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, Latinos, and Caucasians. Based in Oakland, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) works with partners in the state’s diverse communities to end such health disparities and ensure that all Californians have access to quality health care and can live healthy lives. CPEHN monitors, analyzes, and informs health policies affecting the health of communities of color. Through events such as the March 13th Legislative Briefing on Achieving Health Equity, CPEHN often brings together stakeholders in community, government, academia, and the private sector to engage in dialog and develop successful health policy recommendations and strategies.
Being an action-oriented and collaborative organization, CPEHN’s website provides several opportunities for its viewers to get involved in such work as well. Some examples include:
- Links to take action and support current health legislation such as AB 1472 – the California Healthy Places Act;
- Invitations to join their “Having Our Say” coalition (this coalition is comprised of over 30 diverse community organizations);
- Links to data and resources on demographics, health conditions, health access, and studies and reports on cultural/linguistic services that highlight major findings and can be used to strengthen your own advocacy and policy efforts; and
- Information on their trainings such as their recent Feb. 27th interactive workshop “Our Issues, Our Voices: Communities of Color Advocating for Health – 2008”. This Fresno workshop focused on teaching participants how to effectively frame and communicate messages around key health issues to help them become more effective health advocates.
CPEHN also recently spoke on the importance of ensuring adequate language services for California’s non-English speaking populations at our February California Medicare Coalition meeting. This topic represents one of their four primary focuses for their work. The others include:
- Addressing the social and environmental determinants of health disparities;
- Improving health care access; and
- Promoting data and research.
For more information on CPEHN, to sign up to receive action alerts and notices of upcoming trainings, and/or to gather your own multicultural data and resources for your advocacy efforts, visit CPEHN online at cpehn.org.