Richmond Health Equity Partnership (RHEP)

The goal of the Richmond Health Equity Partnership (RHEP) is to advance overall health and health equity in Richmond. Health equity is achieving the highest level of health for all people. Health equity entails focused societal efforts to address avoidable inequalities by equalizing the conditions for health for all groups, especially for those who have experienced socioeconomic disadvantage or historical injustices (such as racism) [1].

Compared to the rest of Contra Costa County, Richmond has high rates of health disparities and as result residents experience drastic health inequities. While, Health disparities are differences between population groups in the presence of disease, health outcomes, or access to care [2], health inequities are health disparities that result from a variety of social factors. These social factors include income inequality, economic forces, education quality, environmental conditions, individual health behavior choice, and access to health  care [3]. It is the unequal, unjust and unnecessary health disparities that RHEP hopes to address, thereby achieving health equity in Richmond.

In March of 2012, the Richmond Health Equity Partnership (RHEP) formed as a partnership between the City of Richmond, Contra Costa Health Services, West Contra Costa Unified School District, UC Berkley Associate Professor Jason Corburnthe California Endowment, and local community based organizations. RHEP is working to implement the Community Health and Wellness Element (CHWE) which is part of the Richmond General Plan 2030 and build key institutional partnerships with the goal of cross-sector collaboration to advance equity.  The partnership will advance health equity for children and families through the development of strategies to support Health in All Policies (HiAP), Full-Service Community Schools (FSCS) and Health Equity Data, Training and Report Card.
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In addition to moving towards health equity in Richmond, we hope to create a model for possible duplication in other cities and areas of West Contra Costa County. We aim to build new working partnerships within and between local government institutions – City, County and School District – to facilitate systems change and enable these institutions to respond to and lead with community-based health equity initiatives.

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The RHEP aims to support the long-term goals of Healthy Richmond by ensuring local government partners, namely the City of Richmond, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) and West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), continue to build the necessary knowledge, capacity and institutional change that will improve health outcomes.

The RHEP is building on successful investments by The California Endowment in Richmond as one of 14 communities in California selected as part of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) program. The Building Healthy Communities program Is a 10-year, $1 billion program of The California Endowment. The 14 communities across the state are taking action to make where they live healthier.