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Our Approach

 

The County of Santa Clara protects and improves the health of our community so that all people thrive in healthy and safe communities. The County aims to:

  • Ensure residents have accessible health care and affordable housing, a social safety net, and opportunities for lifelong learning and employment;

  • Nurture a health system that is resilient in the face of a changing climate and emerging global health threats;

  • Educate all County health care professionals to recognize and manage emerging health risks associated with climate change; and

  • Engage historically marginalized communities in decision-making and in addressing/adapting to climate change.

 

The County is committed to enhancing the health and well-being of the community through existing programs that promote and contribute to healthy lifestyles, including:

  • Public Health programs focused on reducing health disparities, such as the Black Infant Health Program and the Park Prescription Program;

  • Healthy Cities Program Toolkit and technical assistance provided by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department to cities and towns;

  • The passage of Measure A Housing Bond to help construct 4,800 units of affordable housing and assisting about 235 families to secure loans to finance their first homes; and

  • The development of partnerships between the Santa Clara County Library District and school districts to get children a library card when they enroll in school (impacts 90,000 students).

Current Efforts

 

While Santa Clara County residents are healthier than residents of other counties in California, wide health disparities persist among different socioeconomic groups and across geographies in the County. For example, the average Asian resident can expect to live 8.6 years longer than the average African American resident. Likewise, residents of Los Altos can expect to live nearly 12 years longer than residents of Morgan Hill (bit.ly/healthburden).

The County of Santa Clara plays a pivotal role in the health and well-being of the community and strives to create better places to live, work, and play.  Challenges to a sustainable community often disproportionately affect the most vulnerable and contribute to the wide health disparities in the County. These challenges include: barriers to preventive health services, housing insecurity, lack of resources to provide a robust social safety net, ineffective civic engagement, and unequal opportunities for education and self-improvement. The health and well-being of Santa Clara County residents and workers will also be shaped by climate change. The impacts of more frequent heat waves, rising sea levels, intensifying coastal flooding, increased vector-borne diseases, and increasing wildfire risk will pose threats to communities across the county. Historically marginalized communities, including older adults, people with disabilities, minorities, outdoor workers, linguistically isolated households, people without healthcare and people with chronic medical conditions will face increased stresses from climate change.

The Issue

Protects and improves the health of the community

and the conditions in places where people live, learn, work, and play.

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Community Health and Well-Being

Goal #5. Healthy Communities

Improve the overall health and well-being of all County  employees, residents,

and visitors and eliminate health inequities to minimize the potential

impacts of disasters and climate change on the most vulnerable residents.

Goal #6. Equitable and Inclusive County

Encourage the civic participation, leadership, and engagement of all

County residents and ensure all are supported in getting their

basic needs met and reaching their full potential.

A preview of the current numbers...