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Central Valley Health Policy Institute

San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium Report Series


Social and Environmental Determinants of Population Health in the San Joaquin Valley

The Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI) and the San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium (SJVPHC), with the support of The California Endowment, have been conducting data analyses and policy reviews regarding key indicators of population health across the life span. The analyses have focused on childhood morbidity, reproductive health, and longevity for elders.



Key Findings:

  • San Joaquin Valley (SJV) counties have some of the highest rates of teen birth in California, but they have seen dramatic reductions in teen birthing in recent years.
  • The SJV faces higher levels of adverse birth outcomes than other parts of California.  During the study period, the proportion of preterm births was greater within the SJV region, 9.4%, than the state, 8.8%.
  • Rates of both teen birthing and adverse birth outcomes were higher for low income women of color living in neighborhoods with fewer economic opportunities and higher pollution. 
  • Children in the SJV have higher rates of preventable hospitalizations than other California children do, and there are broad disparities in these events by individual- and neighborhood-level factors.
  • If children of color in the SJV had similar preventable hospitalization rates as their white peers in affluent neighborhoods, there would be a 62% reduction in these events, a possible costs savings of $19,113,621.
  • SJV residents are more likely to die before age 65 and lose more years of life after age 65 than other Californians.
  • Elders in the SJV have higher use of avoidable hospitalizations and lower use of planned elective surgeries than do their peers in the rest of California.
  • SJV elders who lived in more walkable neighborhoods lost fewer years after age 65 compared to others.
  • SJV county Public Health Departments continue individual-oriented health promotion/disease prevention initiatives. Increasingly, SJV county Public Health Departments serve as catalysts, organizers and thought leaders in multi-sectoral initiatives to eliminate inequalities in the social determinants of health.

Read the full project introduction