A Movement to Modernize Our Health System is Spreading Across California

Peter Long, Ph.D.

Recent proposals by Congress have raised legitimate concerns and questions about the future availability of health coverage for millions of Americans. There is no question that access to timely and affordable medical care is critically important. We also know that many other factors beyond medical care contribute to health. Here in California, our most vulnerable neighbors experience unmet healthcare needs at the same time they face social and economic challenges ranging from violence and unemployment to unstable housing that further impact their well-being.

Responding to these challenges requires us to redefine how our health system operates. While doctors and hospitals can do little to directly make our communities safer or improve education, we place nearly all of the responsibility on these providers to keep us healthy. We must recognize that building healthy communities requires a partnership between multiple organizations — health providers along with school districts, nonprofits, and businesses.

Building a healthy community is possible when everyone works together for a common goal. The good news is that leaders across California are working in their local communities on a new comprehensive approach that brings a variety of local players together to improve the health and well-being of their neighbors.

Blue Shield of California Foundation partnered with the State of California along with several other prominent leaders and health funders in 2016 to launch an ambitious effort to modernize our health system, The California Accountable Communities for Health Initiative (CACHI). CACHI provides the infrastructure and resources that communities need to effectively work together and break the silos that limit the impact of individual organizations.

We’re pleased to announce that CACHI has expanded to 15 communities throughout California, including cities, rural areas, and suburbs. CACHI communities are working to address the biggest health challenges in their regions, such as heart disease, diabetes, asthma, community violence, and trauma. Only through partnership will we solve these complex problems.

At Blue Shield of California Foundation, we’re excited that an initiative like CACHI is modernizing the way we think about what a health system is and does. We believe cross-field collaboration brings better results that will move all Californians forward to better health.


Learn more about these communities and their efforts on the new CACHI website: www.cachi.org.

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