Existing law establishes an Office of Health Equity in the State Department of Public Health for purposes of aligning state resources, decisionmaking, and programs to accomplish certain goals related to health equity and protecting vulnerable communities. Existing law requires the office to develop department-wide plans to close the gaps in health status and access to care among the state's diverse racial and ethnic communities, women, persons with disabilities, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning communities, as specified. Existing law requires the office to work with the Health in All Policies Task Force to assist state agencies and departments in developing policies, systems, programs, and environmental change strategies that have population health impacts by, among other things, prioritizing building cross-sectoral partnerships within and across departments and agencies to change policies and practices to advance health equity.
This bill would state the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to require the department, in collaboration with the Health in All Policies Program, the Office of Health Equity, and other relevant departments, agencies, and stakeholders, to address racism as a public health crisis.