Health Systems

An equitable health system encompasses much more than traditional health care—it is designed to accomplish the following goals:
  • Offer affordable, high-quality, place-based health services;
  • Prioritize people, actively engage neighborhood voices, and reflect community values and cultural/racial composition;
  • Provide accessible, responsive, community-centered prevention and social services;
  • Advance health-sector jobs that benefit residents and members; 
  • Collect robust data and analysis components; 
  • Support any community improvement that would lead to better health outcomes; and
  • Reduce health inequities through a broad range of innovative strategies, policies, and programs.
The Center for Healthy Equity and Place aims to create healthy, equitable communities by working to implement equitable health systems through the strategies described below:

Policy Advocacy

Affordable Care Act
PolicyLink partnered with the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color in 2013 to successfully increase health care access under the ACA through Medi-Cal expansion for low-income Californians, and to create bridge coverage for individuals and families transitioning between Covered California care and Medi-Cal. In 2014, PolicyLink and the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color are working to provide health care access to undocumented Californians.

Technical Assistance

Affordable Care Act Outreach

The Center for Health Equity and Place conducts outreach to Promise Neighborhoods communities in California to promote active engagement in and increase awareness about the Affordable Care Act (ACA), working to:

  • establish the first Promise Neighborhoods affinity group devoted to health equity;
  • ensure that implementation grantees have the knowledge, tools, and resources needed improve health indicators; and
  • leverage ACA resources to improve the health, well-being, and education of low-income children and their families living in California's Promise Neighborhoods.

Getting Equity Advocacy Results (GEAR) Training

The Center conducts GEAR trainings to enable advocates, organizers, and their allies across the country to track the results of their campaigns to assess whether health equity is improving. Below are examples of trainings that have promoted GEAR:

Research and Reports

Health Equity Scan

PolicyLink staff conducted a scan of more than 100 health equity initiatives, institutes (HEIs), or centers across the nation, including public health departments, county and state governments, nonprofits focusing on local, regional and national activities advancing health equity, and academic institutions, to understand the scope of this work across the country. This scan constituted systematic formative research about an important emerging form of health equity activity.