Date

12-2019

Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)

Department

Health and Human Services

Abstract

The Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Unit is an administrative branch of the Monterey County Health Department (MCHD). The strategic goals of the MCHD are to empower the community to improve health, enhance public health through prevention, ensure equitable and culturally competent access to services and engage employees to meet the county’s health needs. One way in which the MCHD is able to achieve its goals is by being a collaborative partner of Impact Monterey County (IMC). IMC is a collaborative network of nonprofits, businesses, public agencies and the community working together to create a healthy, safe, thriving Monterey County by identifying the needs as aspirations of the community and working collectively to address them.

With support from the MCHD and the IMC Network, health and social disparities in the county, as well as the community's needs and aspirations, were taken into consideration when creating a Policy Platform that will invoke systems change through collective impact. Through a community needs and aspirations assessment conducted by IMC, it was evident that residents of Monterey County face inequities in the areas of health, economic self-sufficiency, education, and safety, with the Hispanic/Latinx and Black communities facing greater inequities when compared to the White and Asian communities. Contributing factors for health and social disparities in the county include little to no education, a high percentage of individuals living below the poverty line, and unequal access to healthcare resources. These social determinants of health lead to consequences such as high rates of chronic and communicable diseases, shorter lifespan and higher mortality rates, and a cycle of generational poverty. The Policy Platform used collective impact efforts to address these social determinants of health and created guidelines that will be used by Monterey County organizations to improve community health outcomes.

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