Our Essential Safety Net Mission
Health equity is and has always been a primary focus for California’s public health care systems.
Since the creation of California public health care systems in the 1800s, their essential safety net mission and mandate to provide high quality care to everyone, regardless of insurance status, immigration status, ability to pay, or other circumstance, has placed equity at the center of their services. From the cholera outbreak to the HIV/AIDS crisis and now the COVID-19 pandemic, their commitment remains stronger than ever.
As the core of the state’s safety net, public health care systems have longstanding experience and expertise caring for historically marginalized communities. They primarily serve persons of color, individuals experiencing financial hardship or homelessness, and individuals with complex social and medical needs.
Leading the Way to Address Inequities
Recently, public health care systems have demonstrated leadership in addressing racial/ethnic health care disparities, expanding data collection for sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), and caring for individuals experiencing homelessness in a state-based pilot program that has become the foundation for the state’s new CalAIM initiative.
Like many organizations today, public health care systems are more deeply evaluating their own practices and cultures, exploring how to embed equity more meaningfully into system operations, workforce, and patient care. CAPH supports public health care systems’ commitment to health equity by securing funding that enables them to continue to serve their communities and designing innovative programs that advance their ability to provide high quality equitable care to millions of Californians most in need. Read more about CAPH’s commitment to advancing health equity.