BARHII is the coalition of the 11 public health departments in the Bay Area, founded to address the living conditions and power imbalances that have created decade-long differences in life expectancy by race, income, and neighborhood. Founded by three highly regarded social justice minded public health directors– Arnold Perkins, Art Chen, and Bob Prentice—BARHII uses an explicit racial justice lens to advance health equity. Each year, we convene several hundred Bay Area Public Health staff from large and small and rural and urban health departments. These practitioner leaders create best practice guides based on their innovations in the field. We also advance policy change to improve the living conditions that impact health.
Support for Public Health Departments: Over the last 15 years, BARHII has become a leader in developing health equity resources and trainings. The BARHII framework has been used internationally and in public health textbooks to define the importance of upstream interventions to reduce differences in life expectancy. The framework guides BARHII’s member health departments’ strategic planning processes and has been adopted by the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity as their guiding framework. The framework is supported by our implementation guide books: the BARHII Toolkit (which assesses public health department readiness for health equity) and the Social Determinants of Health Indicator Guide. Additional publications outline healthy development and land use, housing affordability and health, climate resilience and health, and community engagement and power building.
Policy Efforts: Big challenges call for big solutions, and BARHII is dedicated to improving healthy living conditions so that people live longer, healthier lives. BARHII’s health equity policy platform advances strategies for affordable housing, economic opportunity, and inclusive communities. We focus on research-based policies and innovative solutions at the state and local level that can have measurable impacts on the conditions that create health. This work is supported by fundraising and BARHII’s earned income streams.