About the HPI

WHO BACKS HPI?

The Healthy Places Index is a project of the Public Health Alliance of Southern California, a coalition of the executive leadership of 10 local health departments in Southern California, representing more than 60% of the state’s population

“We've used HPI extensively here at the LA Department of Public Health, but most prominently on our COVID response efforts and to use it to target where we do many of our interventions."

- Dr. Paul Simon, Chief Science Officer
Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

“This is a tour de force. I think this is just wonderful, the increased capacity and functionality [the HPI platform] is going to have. Very creative and very innovative. I don’t know how you accomplished so much in such a limited amount of time.”

- Dr. Steven Woolf, Director Emeritus, Center on Society and Health
Virginia Commonwealth University

"It's easier to say what we haven't used HPI for! A couple of unique projects we've done recently: we used HPI to see the changes in several different iterations of proposed County Board of Supervisors boundaries and saw some significant differences. Another way we've used HPI is with our probation department, creating a dashboard for their data."

- Wendy Hetherington, Public Health Program Chief
Riverside University Health System, Public Health

"For COVID, HPI and the associated VEM helped target outreach for prevention and vaccinations in Alameda County."

- Matt Beyers, Epidemiologist
Alameda County Department of Public Health

"We use HPI at least weekly as a way to characterize spatially disadvantaged communities in concert with our mapping of health outcomes and health behaviors."

- Travers Ichinose, Senior Research Analyst, Division of Health Promotion and Community Planning, Orange County Health Care Agency
Our Members
Imperial County Public Health Department
City of Long Beach Department
of Health and Human Services
Los Angeles County Department
of Public Health
Orange County Health Care Agency
City of Pasadena Public Health Department
Riverside University Health System – Public Health
Santa Barbara County Public
Health Department
County of San Bernardino Department
of Public Health
County of San Diego Health and
Human Services Agency
Ventura County Department of Public Health

The HPI is being used by local, regional, and state government agencies, as well as community groups across the state. The organizations listed below have used HPI successfully in their own work and endorse the tool for wider use.

The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Office of Health Equity has endorsed HPI as a tool to support decision-making related to grants or other programs that prioritize funding based on health outcomes and health benefits.

Local health jurisdictions around the state have used HPI to direct investments, conduct plans and assessments, develop guidance, and undertake research examining health inequities

Regional and state transportation agencies have used HPI to identify and prioritize communities for investments in walking, bicycling and other health-promoting infrastructure.

State agencies across sectors have incorporated HPI into their planning and guidance documents as a tool to advance health equity and racial justice.

Health systems have used HPI to conduct Community Health Needs Assessments, integrate social drivers of health data into their decisionmaking, and allocate resources as part of community investment strategies.

Community-based organizations are using HPI data to apply for grants, prioritize resources, and identify policies that would most improve health in their communities

Academic institutions are using HPI as part of their research projects on issues such as COVID-19, nutrition, water, air pollution, and climate change.

THANK YOU BETA TESTERS

It is true, it takes a village. From the start, the Healthy Places Index has been a collaborative project borne out of our commitment to health equity. Many hands, hearts and minds have contributed to shaping the HPI over the years, and as we celebrate the third release of the index, we are grateful to all our members who shared their ideas and questions to improve the HPI, making this update a reality. We also want to share our endless appreciation for our committed group of beta testers, without whom we couldn’t have completed this project.

HISTORY OF HPI

Originally launched in 2018 by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California (Alliance), the Healthy Places Index (HPI)  is a powerful and easy-to-use data and policy platform created to advance health equity through open and accessible data.

The main goal of the HPI is to advance health equity through open data. We provide community leaders, policymakers, academics and other stakeholders with the tools they need to identify inequity, prioritize equitable investment and strengthen community voices with sound validated data.

Now in its third release, the HPI has become a go-to data tool for hundreds of state and local government agencies, foundations, advocacy groups, hospitals and other organizations that want to apply a health equity lens to their work.

Prior to the Healthy Places Index, everyone from public health department staff to community advocates could not systematically and easily find reliable data about the conditions that most impact the health of our neighborhoods — the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age.

Where we live and our racial and ethnic backgrounds are strongly tied to measures of well-being and life expectancy — even more so than genetics. Decades of research have demonstrated how health outcomes are strongly tied to neighborhood environments and community conditions, which are, in turn, strongly linked to race. However, conditions that support health — access to education, good job opportunities, and healthy food and water — vary drastically by neighborhood.

Responding to this need, the Public Health Alliance of Southern California brought together experts from a wide variety of fields to develop an open health equity data platform that shows the link between race and place. We achieved this by analyzing 23 social indicators of health — all positively associated with life expectancy at birth — from multiple peer-reviewed sources to create an index visualized through a mapping tool.

Feedback

We want to hear from you!

Feedback from practitioners across sectors has allowed us to continue delivering high-quality data as well as more efficient features, so we can do our best work in less time. We are able to keep evolving the platform and advancing toward health equity when we hear your ideas, feedback, and questions on how we can continue improving.

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