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Health Policy Resources

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The following list of online health policy resources is organized by the Foundation’s current grantmaking health areas.

Advancing Wellness Grants Program

Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health

Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care

Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods

Expanding Education and Employment Pathways

Opportunity Fund

Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health

Bridging the Gaps in Access and Quality Care

Advancing Health Care Reform and the Affordable Care Act

  • 2015 Cal Wellness-Field Health Policy Survey, Part 1 — results from a 2015 survey of California voters that show, among other findings, that a majority of Californians embrace the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medi-Cal.
  • 2015 Cal Wellness-Field Health Policy Survey, Part 2 — results from a 2015 survey of California voters that show, among other findings, increased satisfaction with the health care system overall even though many still struggle with health care costs.
  • The Affordable Care Act and the LGBT Community — an audio recording of a panel of experts convened by The Commonwealth Club of California on July 22, 2014, to discuss the changes the ACA will bring to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.
  • Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum: The Affordable Care Act Resource Center —   comment letters, positions statements, testimonies and other resources to ensure that the Affordable Care Act benefits Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders.
  • California Budget & Policy Center: Health and Human Resources — fact sheets and analyses that highlight where greater public investment is needed to boost access to health care and other supports critical to health and wellness.
  • California Health Benefit Exchange — information and resources related to the operation of Covered California, California’s health benefit exchange, including enrollment assistance, outreach and education programs, health coverage options for small businesses, and information on governance.
  • Center for American Progress: Health Care — articles, issue briefs and reports about health care, including health care reform and the Affordable Care Act.
  • The Commonwealth Fund: Affordable Care Act Reforms — up-to-date reports, issue briefs, videos and blog posts about current issues related to the Affordable Care Act.
  • Covered California — California’s online health insurance exchange.
  • Enroll America — information and tools related to effective enrollment and engagement policies and outreach practices.
  • Families USA — reports, analysis, raw data, toolkits and blog posts dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care for all.
  • Health Affairs Blog: Following the ACA — blog posts written by noted health policy experts and commentators about the Affordable Care Act.
  • Health Care for California’s Jail Population — a report published by the Public Policy Institute of California that explains how corrections’ facilities can reduce health care costs, reduce recidivism and improve public health through provisions in the Affordable Care Act and through AB 720, which designates jails as health care coverage enrollment sites.
  • — the national online health insurance exchange.
  • The Impact of the Affordable Care Act On Women — an audio recording of a panel of health experts convened by The Commonwealth Club of California on March 16, 2015, to discuss the impact of the Affordable Care Act on Women.
  • Kaiser Family Foundation: Health Reform — information and analysis related to health care reform.
  • Out2Enroll — reports, fact sheets and outreach material to help lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender communities obtain access to high-quality, affordable health coverage.
  • UCLA Center for Health Policy Research — a health policy research center that engages in policy analysis, research, community partnerships, media relations and education, and maintains a searchable database on local health data titled AskCHIS.

Strengthening Community Clinics and Safety-Net Partners

Improving Oral Health Care for Low-Income Adults and Seniors

Increasing Diversity in the Health Professions

Promoting Healthy and Safe Neighborhoods

Fostering Healthy Environments

  • Active Living Research — a research, consulting and grantmaking organization that specializes in creating communities that encourage physical activity and that offers a number of tools and resources targeted toward practitioners, advocates, policymakers, educators and the news media.
  • CalFresh Program — information about this governmental program that provides low-income individuals and families with the means to meet their nutritional needs.
  • California Center for Public Health Advocacy — policy briefs related to healthy eating and physical activity, state and local data to help policymakers and advocates understand how health issues affect California’s communities, and community mobilization campaigns to change the health of Californians one neighborhood at a time.
  • California Food Policy Advocates — an organization exclusively dedicated to improving food policies in California. The website offers a legislative agenda, administrative agendas, public education campaigns, research, data, publications and ways to get involved.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: A Systematic Review of Food Deserts, 1966-2007 — a literature review and analysis that found clear evidence for disparities in food access in the U.S. by income and race. The report contains sections on implications for policy and research.
  • ChangeLab Solutions — model policies, how-to guides, fact sheets and other policy tools related to healthy land use, transportation planning, food systems, school environments and more.  
  • The City Project — a Los Angeles-based organization dedicated to promoting green land use, climate justice, physical education, health equity and economic vitality. Maps, videos, publications and other tools are available.
  • The City Project: Healthy Parks, Schools and Communities — a report that maps and analyzes park access and equity in nine Southern California counties.
  • Environmental Health News — a news organization that reports, publishes and contextualizes news stories on environmental topics.
  • Healthy Food Access Portal: Policy Efforts and Impact — data and information on policies and legislation and their impacts on access to healthy foods in low-income communities and communities of color.
  • Office of Environmental Health Hazard: California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool, Version 2.0 — a report, including interactive maps and a summary, that identifies California communities that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution based on the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool, 2.0.
  • Parks and Recreation in Underserved Areas: A Public Health Perspective — a paper published by the National Recreation and Park Association that examines park access, distribution, facilities and conditions, and their relation public health.
  • PolicyLink: Access to Healthy Food and Why it Matters — a literature review and analysis of access to healthy food that produced three findings:  1) accessing healthy food is a challenge for underserved communities, 2) living closer to retail stores providing healthy food is associated with better eating habits, and 3) retail stores that sell healthy food stimulate economic activity.
  • PolicyLink: Healthy Food, Healthy Communities — a report that examines successful strategies and models for ensuring that all communities have access to healthy food, including 1) developing new grocery stores, 2) improving small stores, 3) starting and sustaining farmers’ markets, and 4) connecting local farmers to low-income consumers.
  • Reconnecting America: Creating Complete Communities for 21st Century America — a report that analyzes data on a variety of metrics — such as education, civic engagement, and access to good jobs, healthy food and parks — in 366 metro areas in the U.S. and describes real-life examples of leadership, innovation and collaboration in those areas.
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Built Environment and Health — research, analysis, news and blog posts related to built environments, which include access to housing, healthy food and safe places to exercise and play.

Promoting Violence Prevention

  • Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence — reports, statistics, blog posts, campaign information, action steps and legal advocacy related to dramatically reducing gun deaths in the U.S. The website also provides links to local chapters in California.
  • Californians for Safety and Justice — an organization working to replace prison and justice system waste with common-sense solutions that promote safer communities. The website features legislative updates, resources, local safety solutions and videos featuring diverse advocates,
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Division of Violence Prevention — research, articles, fact sheets and other publications related to preventing different types of violence in the U.S.
  • Center for Youth Wellness — information on the Adverse Childhood Experiences study, as well as research and policy advocacy resources, to help encourage the inclusion of ACE screening in primary care settings.
  • Fight Crime: Invest in Kids — a national organization with offices throughout the country, including California, that researches crime prevention programs and encourages public investments in programs that work.
  • Harvard Injury Control Research Center — research, journal articles, news items, survey findings and information on trainings and seminars related to injuries and violence. 
  • UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program — research and policy development focused on the causes, consequences and prevention of violence from a public health perspective.
  • Urban Institute: Justice Policy Center — research briefs and reports summarizing research conducted by the Urban Institute on justice policies and practices at the national, state and local levels.
  • Violence Policy Center — reports, videos and fact sheets on the impact of gun violence, regulations of the gun industry and investigations of the gun lobby.
  • Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles — statistics, tools, resources and publications to help unify and strengthen organizations and individuals committed to ending the violence epidemic.
  • Women Against Gun Violence — up-to-date information on California legislation related to gun violence, as well as public awareness activities, blog posts and a speakers’ bureau.

Expanding Education and Employment Pathways

Increasing Educational Opportunities for Resilient Youth

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation, KIDS COUNT Data Center — a searchable database with hundreds of indicators related to demographics, economic well-being, health, behaviors, and families and communities.
  • The California Child Welfare Indicators Project — data on child welfare in California that can be searched and customized to examine performance measures over time, across counties, and by demographic groups and other subcategories.
  • California College Pathways — resources related to advocating for transition-age foster youth, including information on existing laws and policies, policy resources, government resources, data on foster youth, and reports on policies and programs.
  • California Community Colleges: Key Facts — easy-to-read facts about California’s current budget for California Community Colleges.
  • California Foster Youth Education Task Force — a task force that brings together subject-matter experts and foster youth agencies and organizations to improve educational outcomes for foster youth. Resources include fact sheets on California education law, sample Local Control and Accountability Plans and policy briefs on various assembly bills.
  • California State University: Analytic Studies — statistical reports about students connected with the California State University system, including data on applications, enrollment and graduation broken down by different demographic characteristics.
  • Career Ladders Project: Underserved Populations — publications and resources to help community colleges support the educational and career goals of underserved populations, including foster youth, English-language learners, low-income youth and young adults, and underrepresented minorities.
  • Children’s Defense Fund—California — data, publications and a resource library related to advocating for California’s children and youth, including resources on educational equity and on helping justice-involved youth.
  • The Children’s Initiative — an organization in San Diego that advocates for policies that will improve the lives of children and families, including advising the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on all juvenile justice issues through its Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council. 
  • Forum on Child and Family Statistics — a collection of 22 federal agencies charged with collecting and disseminating data about children and families, which are summarized each year in an annual report that uses charts and graphs to summarize data about demographics, family and social environments, economic circumstances, health and health care, safety, behaviors and education.
  • Funding Youth Permanency: A County Guide to Funding Child-Centered Specialized Permanency Services for Youth in Foster Care — a guide prepared by Families Now to assist counties with implementing permanency plans for older foster youth, which was funded by the Sierra Health Foundation and published in 2012.
  • The James Irvine Foundation: Preparing Youth for Success — evaluations and policy recommendations about Linked Learning, an educational model that connects students’ interests and career aspirations to education.
  • Jobs for the Future — policy recommendations, alerts, updates and publications related to increasing college readiness and career success for low-income and minority youth.
  • John Burton Foundation for Children Without Homes: Resources for Youth and Partner Organizations — fact sheets, support letters and budget memos related to California state laws affecting youth in foster care.
  • Legal Center for Foster Care and Education — fact sheets, research and publications related to improving educational outcomes for foster youth.
  • Lucile Packard Foundation for Children’s Health: — data and contextual information about issues related to California’s children — such as safety, special needs, education, child care, economics, and emotional, behavioral, physical and environmental health — presented in easy-to-read charts and graphs.
  • Public Counsel: Education Rights — a list of focus areas related to promoting education rights, including guiding foster youth to success, eliminating the “school-to-prison pipeline” and educating youth who are incarcerated.
  • Sierra Health Foundation: Youth Program Resources — publications related to the health of California’s youth, including youth involved with the justice system.
  • Transitional Age Youth San Francisco — an initiative that relies on young adults to advise city departments and community agencies about policies and decisions that affect transition-age youth.
  • Youth Law Center: Resource Library — advocacy materials, articles, fact sheets, legal analyses, research, legislative materials and training materials related to several areas of concern for youth, including foster youth’s transitions to independent living, rights of undocumented youth, juvenile justice and education for foster youth.

Promoting Employment and Asset-Building Opportunities

  • Corporation for Enterprise Opportunity — policy resources related to helping low- and middle-income people build wealth, including policy briefs, policy reports, fact sheets on promising programs, data and analysis, and contact information for policy experts.
  • Confronting Suburban Poverty in America — policy and advocacy resources related to suburban poverty, including briefs, case studies, policy recommendations and data charts and tables.
  • Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: Community Development — publications, data, initiatives, blog posts and event details related to community development topics in San Francisco, such as affordable housing, small businesses, household financial stability, foreclosure resources and economic issues within Native communities.
  • Talk Poverty — articles written by policy experts and podcasts that cover a number of issues related to poverty — such as labor, safety-net programs, the justice system, news media and politics — as well data maps that can be sorted by year and by poverty indicator.
  • Insight Center — a national research, consulting and legal organization that makes available 40 years of its research through publications and toolkits on topics such as asset building, economic security, workforce development, and early care and education. 
  • Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy — an advocacy organization that combines research, innovative public policy and strategic organizing of broad alliances to promote good jobs, thriving communities and a healthy environment in Los Angeles.
  • PolicyLink: Access to Financial Security for All — a virtual place for advocates to share information about asset building and financial equity, learn about promising asset-building policies, connect with cross-sector allies and advance inclusive and progressive policies to close the racial wealth gap and promote financial security for all.
  • Small Business Majority — a national organization that advocates for small businesses by conducting research and economic analysis, advocating for smart public policies, communicating the needs of entrepreneurs through the news media and other channels, and educating and providing resources to small businesses, with a special emphasis on communities of color and women.

Opportunity Fund

Strengthening the Nonprofit and Philanthropic Sector

  • California Association of Nonprofits — information about policies that affect nonprofits in California, including a policy advocacy framework, a legislation tracker, and advocacy tools and guidelines.
  • National Council of Nonprofits: Trends and Policy Issues — information on national, state and local trends and policies that affect nonprofit organizations, including a public policy agenda to help guide nonprofit boards and staffs in advocating on behalf of their organizations.

Advancing Public Policy

  • Equality 4 All — a collaborative of LGBT organizations across California that helps LGBT and non-LGBT undocumented individuals come out of the shadows and become fully integrated into the economic, civic and social life of the state.
  • Field Research Corporation — a research firm that specializes in the design, implementation and analysis of qualitative and quantitative research, with particular expertise in public opinion and social policy research.
  • National Council of Nonprofits: Everyday Advocacy — resources and tools to help organizations engage in advocating for policies to advance their missions.
  • National Immigration Law Center — reports, briefs, tools, maps and FAQs related to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants.
  • Public Policy Institute of California — research that focuses on systemic and sustainable responses to a range of policy challenges in California, such as income inequality, college graduation rates, health coverage in county jails and California’s water needs.

Promoting Innovation

  • Center for Care Innovations — an organization that brings people and resources together to accelerate innovations for healthy people and healthy communities, and serves as a source of ideas, best practices and funding for California’s health care safety net.
  • Stanford Social Innovation Review — webinars, articles and podcasts that bridge research, theory and practice to inspire the field of social innovation.
  • Zócalo Public Square — an “ideas exchange” that produces daily original journalism syndicated to news media outlets worldwide and presents free live events in cities across the U.S. on topics such as economics, education, health, politics and technology.


Our Work

  • We use our resources to advance our mission through grantmaking, investments, sharing our learning and lifting our voice.
  • We fund direct services that address the urgent needs people are facing in their communities, particularly the needs of low-income individuals, people of color, youth and residents of rural areas.
  • We recognize, encourage and strengthen leaders to be powerful agents of change.
  • We support advocacy and civic engagement so that communities can build power and create public policies that reflect their vision, will and needs.
  • We trust and invest in nonprofit organizations so that they can operate at full capacity.
  • We partner with community-led organizations, philanthropic organizations, businesses, government and individuals who want to improve health and wellness for Californians.

Our Mission

To protect and improve the health and wellness of the people of California by increasing access to health care, quality education, good jobs, healthy environments and safe neighborhoods.

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