Assembly Convenes Two Select Committee Hearings Related to Public Health
This week, the California State Assembly convened two informational hearings related to public health in locations throughout the state. We highlight these hearings below:
Hernandez Testifies at Assembly Select Committee on Social Determinants of Health
On Wednesday, the Assembly Select Committee on the Social Determinants of Health convened its inaugural hearing in La Mesa in San Diego County. The committee is chaired by Assembly Member Dr. Akilah Weber of San Diego County. The hearing provided an overview of the elements that comprise the social determinants of health (SDOH) and how the social determinants of health impact communities throughout California.
The hearing featured four public health experts to discuss types of SDOH, as well as medical and public health equity. Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna, Deputy Director of the Office of Health Equity at the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), set the context for health equity and social determinants of health. Dr. Liz Hernandez, CHEAC Executive Committee Member and Acting Director of Public Health Services in San Diego County, detailed the role of the local health department in promoting healthy communities through policy, systems, and environmental approaches. Dr. Rodney Hood, President and Chairman of the Multicultural Health Foundation, provided a compelling presentation of the history of racism in medical care and the impacts of health inequities in the U.S., and Dr. David Carlisle, President and CEO of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, additionally presented.
Assembly Select Committee on Infectious Diseases Explores Health Equity
On Tuesday, the Assembly Select Committee on Infectious Diseases, chaired by Assembly Member Mike Gipson of Los Angeles County, convened an informational hearing on health inequities in California. The hearing was held in Carson in Los Angeles County and featured an overview of inequities experienced by certain populations in the state. CDPH’s Dr. Rohan Radhakrishna, as well as two professors from Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and the University of California Irvine, provided the committee background and context on health inequities, including those that were exacerbated and exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second panel of the hearing featured a handful of community-based organizations involved in public health and health services programming. The panelists each described health equity impacts on their clients and populations and their organizations’ work in addressing health inequities.