Our Approach

The California Endowment (TCE) is committed to promoting shared learning among our grantees, partners, board, and staff to create healthier communities. We do so through supporting evaluation and research and through sharing what we learn with our partners and the field. We work to apply data and research in real time to inform strategy and to create greater impact. In addition, we seek feedback on our role as a funder and change-maker in order to become a more effective leader.

Measuring Progress

We measure progress by assessing efforts in Building Healthy Communities (BHC) to create policy and systems changes that lead to improved health outcomes and by evaluating our contribution to building the strength of communities to create change. We are guided by a high-level set of priorities we refer to as the 2020 Goals:  A Message from President Robert K. Ross.

Lessons Learned

The California Endowment launched Building Healthy Communities (BHC) in 2009. Starting in 2012, the foundation began working with evaluators to create cross-cutting evaluations of the initiative. These evaluations provide insight into the progress and challenges experienced in BHC and lift up lessons for the field.


In addition to these big-picture evaluations, TCE is tracking progress in the 14 BHC sites through the following research:

Case Studies and Learning Briefs

.Through periodic case studies, we hope to spur learning and dialogue by lifting up examples of leaders building healthy communities. Please feel free to contact the case study author for more information.

Our Center for Healthy Communities runs a series of wide-ranging public programs. These panel discussions, speaker series, film screenings, and related programs take place at the Los Angeles headquarters and allow participants to better understand the crucial health issues facing California communities and to meet and network with others interested in building the dialogue and action around better health.

Sign up here to receive invites to future public programs in Los Angeles

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Health ExChange Academy

The Health ExChange Academy is the Center for Healthy Communities’ signature capacity-building program aimed at providing grantees and nonprofit staff the tools to create social change and make our communities safer, healthier, and better places to live.

We believe that our health happens where we live, learn, work, and play—in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. Because of this, we know the best way to make our state a healthier place is to strengthen the voices of those that live in our communities. One of the ways TCE tries to empower these voices is to offer trainings to our grantees and/or other grassroots organizations on how to sharpen their messages and actions on health-related community issues. These in-person trainings are run through our Health ExChange Academy and are offered across the state. They are designed to increase knowledge and build skills in primary prevention, communications, and advocacy.

Trainings are reserved for grantees of TCE and nonprofit staff. Click here for more information about registration.


How do you create social change? In order for organizations to make social change happen, they first need know how to clearly articulate what their goals and strategies are. Once an organization can clearly explain its core values, then it can start connecting with others – other organizations, other policy makers, and other power brokers. How does an organization make those connections? How does it change laws and affect policy?

Media and Communications

This curriculum covers a variety of topics including answers to the following questions: What is a media strategy and how can it help your organization? How can you harness the power of news media and social networking tools to get your message out and amplify your voice? How do you frame a topic to help draw attention on a broad public level and bring in more supporters to your issue?


Through this course you’ll learn that health care isn’t something that just takes place in your doctor’s office. Instead, your zip code tells you more about your health than many of your individual choices. Knowing that, how do we create livable and workable environments that reduce inequities in health and safety? How do we frame and talk about “prevention” as something that affects our schools, neighborhoods, and homes?

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Want to research a particular health topic relevant to you or your neighborhood?

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