Getting Consensus on Community Health Planning Not a Simple Matter in LA

Establishment of community health councils

Community Health Councils, Inc., Los Angeles, developed community health councils in three communities in Los Angeles County.

These councils, composed of consumers, providers, and representatives from community-based organizations, were to serve as a community voice in local health care planning.

After the first year, it became apparent that councils could not be sustained in all of the planned 12 communities given the project's resources. Efforts were focused on three of the original councils.

Key Results

  • Long Beach Community Health Council. A health assessment brought together a community that would otherwise not have known how to focus its energy. The council organized two community Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid program) benefit workshops to help local residents access health plans or disenroll from problem ones.

  • South Central Watts/Willowbrook Community Health Council. In collaboration with the Southern Area Concerned Clergy and the Congress of National Black Churches, the health council disseminated information regarding the abnormally high rate of infant mortality within South Central Los Angeles.

  • East San Gabriel Valley Community Health Council. Several community-based initiatives have been established between the local school districts, community hospitals, the Los Angeles County Department of Health, and the community clinics.