Advancing community prevention and health equity in LA, the nation's largest county
I’m proud to announce that this spring, Prevention Institute celebrated its one-year anniversary of the opening of our Los Angeles office. The hub for our CA Strategic Approach, our LA office is also an extension of our culture, projects, and initiatives focused on health equity and community resilience. We deliver health equity trainings; build our prevention network; consult on local, national, and state initiatives; and fully represent PI.
As the most populous county in the US and one of the most diverse cities in the nation, with strong community-based organizations and progressive elected representation, Los Angeles is inherently important, as well as being a laboratory for learning and innovation across the state and nation. Our new space has provided a launch pad for our work in Southern California to flourish, and our presence here has strengthened PI’s internal work, allowing us to explore new strategies and further ground innovative practices.
For example, our CA-based health equity work has expanded steadily over the past decade, leading most recently to the formation of the Healthy Equitable Active Land Use Network, a group of partners that address structural barriers and promote systems change in Los Angeles’ land use arena. Together, we are building capacity for a healthier, more equitable Los Angeles.
Other Southern California-based work includes:
• A Health in All Policies Learning Community in the Inland Empire with Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
• A quality improvement process for LA County Department of Public Health to support local agencies advancing strategies to improve community food and activity environments for low-income families.
• Technical assistance to LA's Making Connections site, one of 16 working nationally to improve mental health and well-being for boys and men and veterans.
As director of PI's California Approach and someone who has lived and worked in Los Angeles since 1999, I am gratified by PI’s recent move to set down roots in South LA. Our office is housed in a set of bungalows just two blocks from Crenshaw Blvd. in historic Leimert Park —a dynamic cultural hub for Los Angeles’ African-American community, and an epicenter for community activism, artistic expression and social exchange. From here, we support community leaders taking action to strengthen our neighborhoods through improved policies, systems change, and strategic investments.
We are proud of the bonds we have formed with hundreds of local organizations and agencies serving the region, and we look forward to many more opportunities in the coming years to advance synergies across California and the nation as we push ever harder to prevent illness and injury, foster health and equity, and build momentum for community prevention as an integral component of a quality health system.
If you happen to be in the neighborhood, please stop by and say hello!
From left to right: Veonna Washington (Executive Assistant), Vanessa Shih (Program Assistant), Manal Aboelata (Managing Director), Elva Yañez (Director), Jamecca Marshall (Program Manager), Ana Bonilla (Research Assistant) and Julie Leung (Program Coordinator).
Photo collage from the April 21st celebration of our one-year anniversary in our Los Angeles office. Purchashing healthy, local food is a fundamental tenet of PI's operations.