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Healthy Communities

The Healthy Communities Program works with a variety of partners including elected officials, county staff, city staff, community organizations, schools and residents. Together, we assist cities and neighborhoods to improve health and quality of life for residents by reducing traffic injuries, community violence, and exposure to second hand smoke and lead. We also provide assistance in promoting physical activity and access to healthy food.

We accomplish this work through an array of programs that focus on:

  • Injuries:
    Auto-centric neighborhoods expose pedestrians, bicyclists and others to car crashes—the leading cause of unintentional injury death.
  • Nutrition and Food Security:
    Contra Costa County has 4.66 times as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores as grocery stores and produce vendors, making it difficult for many residents to eat a healthy diet.
  • Lead Poisoning:
    In many older neighborhoods, lead dust from older homes hurts many parts of the body—particularly the growing brains and nervous systems of young children.
  • Physical Activity:
    Many places in Contra Costa County do not have infrastructure that promotes physical activity (such as complete streets, sidewalks, bike lanes and parks), thus contributing to diabetes, chronic diseases and obesity.
  • Tobacco:
    Secondhand smoke makes many public spaces and multifamily housing units toxic, exposing even non-smokers to lung cancer and heart disease.
  • Climate Change:
    We recently identified health impacts of climate change in the county's draft Climate Action Plan. As part of that process, we also analyzed the ways in which actions taken to prevent further climate change can immediately improve people's health, a positive side-effect known as a health "co-benefit." We've also created maps showing where rising temperatures and sea levels will have the most impact in Contra Costa County.

Our work is consistent with practices approved by the Board of Supervisors and Health Services Department leadership. Examples of current and past projects include: