Turning great ideas into healthier communities


Public Health Alliance of Southern California

The Public Health Alliance of Southern California (Alliance) is a coalition of the executive leadership in local health departments in Southern California. Collectively our members have statutory responsibility for the health of nearly 50% of California’s population. Our vision is “All Southern California communities are healthy, vibrant and sustainable places to live, work and play.”

The Alliance builds healthy, equitable communities through upstream multi-sector policy, systems and environmental change; and mobilizes and amplifies the Southern California local health departments’ regional voice in three Priority Initiatives: Healthy Neighborhoods; Healthy Food & Water Systems; and Data in Action. The Alliance work is grounded in two overarching frameworks including: 1) Equity and Opportunities for All and 2) Healthy Planet, Healthy People. An additional focus on Public Health and Prevention Infrastructure underlies all of our work.

Program Director(s)

Tracy Delaney

Program Site



Advancing Healthy Communities and Equity Across Southern California

To mobilize and amplify the Southern California local health departments' regional voice to effectively advance upstream chronic disease prevention and to reduce health inequities with a focus on multi-sector policy, systems and environmental change.  The program’s collective vision is that "All Southern California communities are healthy, vibrant and sustainable places to live, work and play."


Advancing Upstream Policy Adoption in Southern California

This one-year project builds on two overarching longer-term strategies for the Alliance:

  1. Advancing Upstream Policy Adoption in Southern California: The Alliance will offer strategic planning support, capacity development and technical assistance for upstream policy adoption, while also shifting internal resources to facilitate rapid regional response on emerging priority policy issues with its members.
  2. Developing Innovative Financing Strategies for Healthier Communities: Community investments are standard practice for many sectors, yet strategic alignment across funding streams is not commonplace and aligning investments for prevention are even less frequent. Few proven pathways exist to guide effective collaboration that achieves goals across all sectors, including government. The Alliance will begin to address these limitations with health departments and a broader range of community investors through a learning collaborative that explores and tests financing innovations deployed elsewhere and assesses feasibility of alternative options for local consideration.

California Healthy Places Index

The California Healthy Places Index (HPI), a resource developed by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, is a powerful new tool that can be used to explore community conditions that predict life expectancy, compare and rank scores at multiple geographies, and learn about concrete and actionable policy solutions.

While it is well documented that social determinants of health have an enormous impact on overall health outcomes, few resources have been available for health care professionals to evaluate local factors correlated to life expectancy and explore the community conditions where their patients live—until now. Visit the HPI here.

The HPI map boasts robust features, allowing users to: view and compare HPI scores and community conditions across multiple geographies; prepare detailed reports with score dashboards, map snapshots, and policy actions; pool HPI data into custom geographies; and more. The tool is highly interactive and customizable, and even includes policy solutions to help turn information into action.

Promoting Food Recovery, Climate & Equity

This project works to:

  1.  Address regulatory and statutory grey areas that are barriers to AB 1219 and SB 557 implementation, signed by Governor Brown in October 2017. Areas requiring further clarification include: regulatory and/or statutory solutions addressing: direct feeding of homeless; share tables at schools; donations from salad bars and buffets; uniform definitions for charitable feeding operation/organization, re-serve, serve, and fit for human consumption.
  2. Continued education and capacity building on safe food donation practices including a) Environmental health departments (EHDS) in a sustainable manner, by developing and deploying “train the trainer” workshops and b) additional new key sectors including: hospitals, schools, grocery stores and other retail industry partners
  3. Support identification and tracking of metrics for retail food facilities and donations
  4. Develop social enterprise partnerships with LHDs to help address root causes of food insecurity. There are exciting innovative models led by community based organizations (CBO’s) across the state, providing job training opportunities for populations facing food insecurity, poverty and employment challenges, such as prior incarceration. This project will identify best practices and mobilize government resources to directly support social enterprises addressing upstream determinants of health.

Public Health Alliance of Southern California – Governing for Health Equity

Project will increase the capacity of public health departments in Southern California to learn best practices on governing for racial and health equity.

Here's How We're Making a Difference

Mapping Health Disadvantages in California

The 2016 release of the California Healthy Places Index (HPI), developed by PHI’s Public Health Alliance of Southern California and health departments across the state, provides census-tract level snapshots of the social determinants of health alongside measures to advance equity at a local level.

The index features a user-friendly interactive mapping tool with key factors to identify populations most vulnerable to poor health outcomes, along with measures to advance equity at a local level. This accessible data may lead to more targeted health interventions in underserved communities.

The HPI also ranks census tracts statewide, and is a useful tool in prioritizing areas with high levels of social disadvantage. By quickly flagging key metrics, the goal is to help communities and policy makers target limited resources and guide effective on-the-ground actions. Learn more about the tool.