Healthy People in Healthy Communities
The mission of the California Conference of Local Health Officers (CCLHO) is to ensure that the expertise and leadership of California Physician health officers strengthen and shape the practice and structure of public health to protect and promote the health and well-being of people and communities.
Lead Public Health Initiatives to Improve Health and Well-Being in California's Changing Environment
Organization/Description of Activities
The membership of the Conference includes the 61 legally appointed physician Health Officers in California, one from each of the 58 counties and the three cities of Berkeley, Long Beach and Pasadena (these are the only cities that have fully-functioning health departments).
The Conference provides a state/local forum for the discussion of significant health issues in order to develop recommendations for appropriate health policy. This includes legislative and regulatory review. The Conference meets semiannually and its Board of Directors meets monthly. Its various program committees consider technical and policy issues in communicable disease control and prevention; health promotion and chronic disease prevention: environmental health: maternal, child and adolescent health; emergency preparedness and response; and health surveillance and data.
California Health and Safety Code Sections 100290, 100295, 100925 and 100950.
Priority Action Areas
CCLHO works to improve the infrastructure of public health in California at both the State and local levels. More resources are needed to guarantee that public health agencies will be able to do the following:
- Investigate and control communicable diseases, both epidemic and endemic. This includes new diseases and re-emerging diseases once thought to be under control.
- Monitor the health of the population. Surveillance of both communicable and chronic diseases are necessary to determine disease trends and define high risk populations in order to develop effective strategies for control.
- Prepare for and respond to public health emergencies and disasters. The state and local health departments must be prepared to the extent possible to deal with earthquakes, floods, fires, and potential bioterrorist activities.
- Support environmental health functions which are an integral part of public health. There is a continuing need to protect the environment, workplaces, housing, food and water.
- Promote healthful behavior including good nutrition practices and physical activity to prevent heart disease and cancer, the leading causes of death and disability in California, as well as other chronic diseases such as diabetes.