HPI in the News

Stay Up-to-Date With Exciting New Developments of the Healthy Places Index

The Healthy Places Index and Healthy Places Index: Extreme Heat Edition have been part of the many exciting new projects and policies aiming to promote racial and health equity. This page keeps users up-to-date on the latest developments through HPI in the News, Case Studies, Webinars, and Academic Literature. Check out more below!



The Healthy Places Index Aids Los Angeles County Officials in Identifying MPX Inequities

Using the Healthy Places Index, Los Angeles County officials found that neighborhoods in the two lowest HPI quartiles have accounted for 70% of the county’s total MPX cases. The disparity parallels people of color having disproportionately lower MPX vaccination rates. Identifying these place and race-based inequities have helped the county work to identify and coordinate with community-based organizations to develop messaging and outreach to promote health equity. The County's use of the HPI helps illuminate the importance of place-based data on social and economic conditions is essential for policies and strategies to promote public health.

Read the full story on Los Angeles Times

September 13, 2022

The City of San Diego Announces $4.75 Million Awarded to Administer California Creative Corps Pilot Program

The grant will help support artists and cultural projects in San Diego and Imperial Counties to increase local awareness of public health, civic engagement, climate and water conservation, and social justice. The campaign's goal is to increase public awareness related to prioritizing the health and well-being of communities within the lowest quartile of the California Healthy Places Index. The grant is part of a broader effort to improve health and well-being through supporting creative, artistic, and cultural practices.

Read the full story on the San Diego Business Journal

September 12, 2022

The Santa Barbara County Community Services Department Announces $4.75 Million Awarded to Support Community Resilience

The Santa Barbara County Community Services Department has announced that the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture has been awarded a competitive $4.75 million grant to support the health, safety, and resiliency of the Central Coast Region through the arts. The Office of Arts & Culture will use the Healthy Places Index to prioritize regrants to fund arts and social service organizations in the lowest quartile of the HPI. The grant will support public health awareness messages to stop the spread of COVID-19, promote water and energy conservation, and promote community and civic engagement.

Read the full story on the Santa Barbara Independent and Edhat

August 22, 2022

Health Affairs Highlights How the California HPI Can Be Used By Hospitals to Measure and Address Social Needs and Promote Health Equity

In a proposed rule by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), hospitals would be encouraged to promote health equity by addressing the Social Drivers of Health. Health Affairs highlights the importance of utilizing social indices, such as the Health Places Index, to assess and address the social needs of patients. By incorporating patient and geographic social health needs, hospitals can utilize multisector collaboration for focused interventions to promote equitable health outcomes by addressing the Social Drivers of Health.

Read the full story at Health Affairs

August 2, 2022

KCBS Radio Discusses How the Healthy Places Index: Extreme Heat Edition Helps Project How Hot Your Neighborhood Could Get By Mid-Century

KCBS radio highlights how the California Healthy Places Index: Extreme Heat Edition can tell how many days will reach 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit by mid-century at the community level. Additionally, the tool has additional layers that show what areas have the highest vulnerability to extreme heat, such as access to parks and shade and the age of the population. The tool can help communities understand the policies and resources to be resilient to climate change driven extreme heat.

Listen to the full story on Audacy

August 2, 2022

The Press Democrat Spotlights the Extreme Heat Edition of the HPI as a Platform for Identifying Place-Based Heat Risk and Resources

As the consequences of climate change driven extreme weather are intensifying in California, it is essential to understand what climate models project the impacts of extreme heat at the neighborhood level will be. The California Healthy Places Index allows users to see projected heat exposure and the place-based social and environmental factors influencing heat-related health outcomes at the census track level. Utilizing this information is fundamental for climate emergency and resilience plans. The tool also provides links to a variety of grant programs and resources for increasing equitable community and resident climate resilience.

Read the full story at The Press Democrat

July 29, 2022

Planetizen Highlights the Extreme Heat Edition of the Healthy Places Index as a Resource for Understanding Heat Vulnerability and Resilience

To help California prepare for increasingly common extreme heat, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and Public Health Alliance of Southern California co-develop the Extreme Heat Edition of the Healthy Places Index. Low-income residents and communities of color are disproportionately impacted by extreme heat due to community conditions influenced by historic and ongoing racism and discrimination. The new tool will help government officials, Community Based Organizations, and local health departments prepare for the impacts of extreme heat to promote climate health equity and resilience.

Read the full story at Planetizen

June 27, 2022

StreetsBlog Cites California Healthy Places Index as Measurement Tool for Developing Freeways

A.B. 1778, introduced by Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, seeks to help reverse the historic inequities created by the freeway building machine. Climate, environmental justice, and health organization strongly support the bill’s proposal to prevent state resources on any project that does meet certain criteria measured by the Healthy Places Index. The bill would be an essential step toward shifting to investing in better, cleaner, and healthier forms of transportation to help make communities healthier.

Read the full story at StreetsBlog Cal

May 20, 2022


City of Oxnard Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

Across the State of California, communities are facing the severe impacts of climate change. The City of Oxnard is no exception – dealing with climate-related effects of extreme heat, rising sea levels, flooding, drought, and worsening air quality. In recent years, heat waves and wildfire smoke have already impacted the health of residents. Farmworkers and other historically impacted groups have carried an inequitable amount of the climate-driven health burden. Recognizing the need for action, Oxnard utilized HPI data to develop its Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP). Read the full story here.

Directing Scarce COVID Resources to Neighborhoods with Most Need

COVID-19 illuminated the existing inequities in the health and economic outcomes of low-income Californians and communities of color across the state. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Healthy Places Index (HPI) played a key role in helping California’s state and local governments and healthcare organizations distribute limited resources as equitably as possible across the state. Read the full story here.

Riverside’s HPI Adoption: A County-wide Data & Policy Solution for Equitable Investments

On August 4, 2020, Riverside County supervisors declared racism a public health crisis, linking racial discrimination to higher rates of health problems for people of color. This declaration further underscores Riverside’s need for access to data on social conditions linked to health, calculated at the neighborhood level, to understand the impact that race and place have on life expectancy at birth and overall community health outcomes. The county embraced the Healthy Places Index (HPI) to elevate its programs and services to advance health equity and racial justice. Read the full story here.


California Healthy Places Index: Extreme Heat Edition - Demo Webinar

The HPI: Heat Edition helps the state ramp up its efforts to prepare for rising temperatures — visualizing where and who will be most affected in the coming decades. It was developed through a joint partnership between the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation and Public Health Alliance of Southern California.

During our demo event, we walk through the unique capabilities of the California Healthy Places Index (HPI): Extreme Heat Edition and showcased how it can provide practical information for a variety of users, like state agencies, nonprofit organizations and households. Watch the full demo here.

California Healthy Places Index: Extreme Heat Edition - Demo Webinar

The California Health Places Index (HPI 3.0) summarizes the healthiness of community conditions of California census tracts based on the distribution of 23indicators of social determinants of health. Through a mapping application, the HPI links to policies that contribute to improving community conditions and health equity

During our demo event, we walk through the unique capabilities of the HPI 3.0 and showcased how it can provide practical information for a variety of users, like state agencies, nonprofit organizations and households. Watch the full demo here.


This section of the HPI in the News page contains a curated list of academic research and literature that has utilized the Healthy Places Index

California Healthy Places Index: Frames Matter

Authors: Maizlish N, Delaney T, Dowling H, Chapman DA, Sabo R, Woolf S, Orndahl C, Hill L, Snellings L.

Introduction: We describe the California Healthy Places Index (HPI) and its performance relative to other indexes for measuring community well-being at the census-tract level. The HPI arose from a need identified by health departments and community organizations for an index rooted in the social determinants of health for place-based policy making and program targeting. The index was geographically granular, validated against life expectancy at birth, and linked to policy actions.

Results: The HPI's domains were aligned with the social determinants of health and policy action areas of economic resources, education, housing, transportation, clean environment, neighborhood conditions, social resources, and health care access. The overall HPI score was the sum of weighted domain scores, of which economy and education were highly influential (50% of total weights). The HPI was strongly associated with life expectancy at birth (r = 0.58).

Read the full text on the National Library of Medicine

May 16, 2019

Geospatial Social Determinants of Health Correlate with Disparities in Syphilis and Congenital Syphilis Cases in California

Johnson KA, Snyder RE, Tang EC, de Guzman NS, Plotzker RE, Murphy R, Jacobson K.

Abstract: Syphilis and congenital syphilis (CS) are increasing in California (CA). From 2015 through 2019, for example, CA cases of early syphilis among reproductive-age females (15-44) and CS each increased by >200%. Certain populations-including people experiencing homelessness, using drugs, and/or belonging to certain racial/ethnic groups-have been disproportionately impacted. We hypothesized that geospatial social determinants of health (SDH) contribute to such health inequities. To demonstrate this, we geospatially described syphilis in CA using the Healthy Places Index (HPI). The HPI is a composite index that assigns a score to each CA census tract based on eight socioeconomic characteristics associated with health (education, housing, transportation, neighborhood conditions, clean environment, and healthcare access as well as economic and social resources).

We divided CA census tracts into four quartiles based on HPI scores (with the lowest quartile having the least healthy socioeconomic and environmental conditions), then used 2013-2020 CA sexually transmitted diseases surveillance data to compare overall syphilis (among adults and adolescents) and CS case counts, incidence rates (per 100,000 population or live births), and incidence rate ratios (IRRs) among these quartiles. From 2013 to 2020, across all stages of syphilis and CS, disease burden was greatest in the lowest HPI quartile and smallest in the highest quartile (8308 cases (representing 33.2% of all incidents) versus 3768 (15.1%) for primary and secondary (P&S) syphilis; 5724 (31.6%) versus 2936 (16.2%) for early non-primary non-secondary (NPNS) syphilis; 11,736 (41.9%) versus 3026 (10.8%) for late/unknown duration syphilis; and 849 (61.9%) versus 57 (4.2%) for CS; all with p < 0.001). Using the highest HPI quartile as a reference, the IRRs in the lowest quartile were 17 for CS, 4.5 for late/unknown duration syphilis, 2.6 for P&S syphilis, and 2.3 for early NPNS syphilis. We thus observed a direct relationship between less healthy conditions (per HPI) and syphilis/CS in California, supporting our hypothesis that SDH correlate with disparities in syphilis, especially CS. HPI could inform allocation of resources to: (1) support communities most in need of assistance in preventing syphilis/CS cases and (2) reduce health disparities.

Read the full text at the National Library of Medicine

May 6, 2022

Protective Places: the Relationship between Neighborhood Quality and Preterm Births to Black Women in Oakland, California (2007-2011)

Berkowitz RL, Mujahid M, Pearl M, Poon V, Reid CK, Allen AM.

Abstract: Black women have the highest incidence of preterm birth (PTB). Upstream factors, including neighborhood context, may be key drivers of this increased risk. This study assessed the relationship between neighborhood quality, defined by the Healthy Places Index, and PTB among Black women who lived in Oakland, California, and gave birth between 2007 and 2011 (N = 5418 women, N = 107 census tracts). We found that, compared with those living in lower quality neighborhoods, women living in higher quality neighborhoods had 20-38% lower risk of PTB, independent of confounders. Findings have implications for place-based research and interventions to address racial inequities in PTB.

Read the full text at the National Library of Medicine

April 6, 2022


There’s a lot you can do with the Healthy Places Index for free on the website, but if you want to go more in-depth, or just want to learn more about how to use the HPI in your work, we’re here to help! The Public Health Alliance of Southern California is happy to share our expertise through customized trainings, tailored reports, capacity building and other types of assistance you might need.

We offer assistance in the form of webinars, phone consultations, trainings, plans and assessments, data reports, and other formats that can help you meet your project goals and integrate public health and equity into your work. We can also partner with you as a subcontractor on a Request for Proposals or similar opportunity.

For More Information, Please Fill Out Our Inquiry ForM


Coming soon!


Coming soon!