Skip to contentSkip to navigation

Get the latest information about Fall 2021 Repopulation and COVID-19. Before coming to campus, take the COVID-19 Daily Screening.

Welcome to the Central Valley Health Policy Institute

The Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI) was established in 2002 at California State University, Fresno to facilitate regional research, leadership training and graduate education programs to address emerging health policy issues that influence the health status of people living in Central California.


We are currently working on transitioning our website to bring a user-friendly and fantastic viewing experience for all who wish to review our publications and resources. At this moment, our website will be under construction and no further updates will be posted until further notice. Anticipated website relaunch is in Aug. 2021. Thank you for your patience! 

- CVHPI Team

Posted July 1, 2021 

Our Latest Publications


Dentistry During and After the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Dental Providers’ PerspectiveDentistry During and After the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Dental Providers’ Perspective

As many dental providers and their staff prepare to re-open their practices, it is essential to understand their perspective on how the COVID-19 pandemic may have a long term impact on their practices and dentistry in general. Patients will certainly be affected by this impact. There is a need to understand the policies that dental providers would support that aim to ensure patients would be able to receive safe and affordable dental care after the COVID-19 pandemic. This report presents findings of a survey that the Central Valley Health Policy Institute sent to dental providers nationwide. As a timely response to the pandemic, this work aims to understand the dental providers’ perspective on how dentistry is and will be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to know their suggested policy recommendations to support the dental community.

Click here to read the full report

Click here to read the one-pager


Oral Health Literacy

The American Dental Association (ADA) defines oral health literacy as the degree to which individualsOral Health Training
have the capacity to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate oral health decisions. To address low oral health literacy level, CVHPI prepared an oral health training suitable for Community Health Workers (CHWs) and Promotores. The training was delivered to 50 Community Health Workers (CHWs) who work with underserved communities. The training aimed to empower the CHWs with the knowledge needed about oral health and its related connection to general health across the life span. The main goal was to improve their oral health literacy and subsequently the communities they serve. A training evaluation was concluded in a detailed report.

Click here to read the full report 

Click here to read the one-pager


Unequal Neighborhoods: Fresno

Unequal Neighborhoods Introduction ThumbnailAugust 2018 -- While Fresno is ranked among the poorest in many regards, many have perceived this be the overall plagues of the city: low air quality, little green space, poor health, low education and poverty. Decades of policies and neglect have created these conditions, but not for all. While some neighborhoods experienced neglect, other neighborhoods had opportunities created for them through forward-thinking vision and policies.

Click here to view the project

Oral Health One-Pager: Lessons Learned from Evidence-Based Research to Strategic Communication

Oral Health Barriers May 2018 -- Oral health discourse has gained strength in the media and advocacy space recently resulting in a multitude of messages. The Central Valley Health Policy Institute and the Latino Health Coalition (LCHC) partnered to analyze oral health access issues and collaboratively crafted a series of strategic messages. This one-pager “Lessons Learned from Evidence Based Research to Strategic Communication” lays out how this partnership was fostered and shares examples of communication pieces for four audiences: the public, advocates, providers and decision-makers.  


Click here to view the one-pager

Fair Housing Data Conference,Telling the Whole Fair Housing Story: Using Data to Overcome Obstacles of Opportunities

Oral Health Barriers December 2017 -- This paper highlights the issues and data discussed at the December 4th 2017 Fair Housing Conference hosted by the Central Valley Health Policy Institute.


Click here to read the full report



Oral Health Barriers for California's San Joaquin Valley Underserved and Vulnerable Populations

Oral Health Barriers October 2017 -- Oral health is recognized as an essential part of an individual’s overall health. The aim of this project is to understand how California’s San Joaquin Valley residents think about, feel about, and experience oral health services. This report presents findings from 659 surveys measuring healthy and unhealthy oral health knowledge, oral health needs and barriers.  Surveys were collected at clinic and non-clinic sites throughout the San Joaquin Valley, an area characterized by its large Latino and immigrant populations, as well as its low levels of education and high levels of poverty. The results indicate disparities by ethnicity and language, insurance coverage, and education. 

Click here to read the full report

Community Benefits Needs Assessment in South Fresno

African American Infant Mortality in Fresno CountyAugust 2017 -- In this report, the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State share the findings of focused group interviews with residents of south Fresno neighborhoods. Based on these data, the report describes a number of potentially cost-effective, patient-centered and culturally responsive community benefit investments to further the health of Fresno residents.   
Community Benefits Needs Assessment in South Fresno Report (PDF)

Executive Summary in English (PDF)

Executive Summary in Spanish (PDF)


San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium: Report Series



African American Infant Mortality in Fresno County

African American Infant Mortality in Fresno CountyJanuary 2016 -- Much higher rates of infant mortality and other adverse birth outcomes have been noted for African Americans compared to whites nationwide and locally, even as overall rates of infant mortality have declined for many years. In response to a persistent increase in infant mortality among African Americans over the last few years, First 5 Fresno County and Fresno State’s Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI) conducted a mixed method assessment, between January 2015 and July 2015.


African American Infant Mortality in Fresno County (PDF)
African American Infant Mortality in Fresno County: Executive Summary (PDF)


A Fair and Healthy Fresno: Community Voices on the 2035 General Plan Update

Front Page Graphic

Click here to read the full report (PDF)

Valley Health Snapshot: Fresno
Race/Ethnicity, Poverty and Health in Fresno’s Neighborhoods

Data Snapshot, Fresno, Winter 2014 (PDF)Winter 2014 -- As the Central Valley’s largest city, Fresno is situated in the heart of California. Fresno is a regional hub for a thriving agricultural economy and other valuable industries. The city is powered by a diverse population, ranging from long-time residents to recent immigrants. Many waves of immigrants and refugees have settled in Fresno, bringing more than 100 spoken languages to the city.

While Fresno’s neighborhoods reflect this diversity, there are also dramatic socio-economic and health disparities across the city and surrounding communities. Depending on residential location, city residents face broad differences in living conditions and quality of life.

Valley Health Snapshot: Fresno Winter 2014 (PDF)

Operational and Statutory Capacity of Local Health Departments in the San Joaquin Valley

cover of the report Operational and Statutory Capacity of Local Health Departments in the San Joaquin Valley – Released October 28, 2013

Despite having some of the state’s highest levels of poverty and poor health outcomes, the San Joaquin Valley receives less public health funding from state and federal sources than other California counties with similar populations according to a new report from the San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium.

This report is the first to compare the operational capacity of local health departments in eight Valley counties to their peers in California.

Click here for full report

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: A 2010 Profile of Health Status in the San Joaquin Valley

Health People 2010 CoverHealthy People 2010 – A 2010 Profile of Health Status in the San Joaquin Valley culminates a decade of biannual reports which document the severity of the Valley’s health crises. Following national objectives, established in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the report tracks health indicator progress in eight valley counties. Findings show that over the last 10 years, there was little to no improvement on key indicators. The reports also demonstrate the range of successful policies and programs that have been piloted around the region during this time. For the most part, however, these initiatives have been tested on a small scale, in isolated communities, and without the broad public engagement needed for coordinated county-wide or regional impact. The report recommends that Fresno and the region adopt a new strategy focused on primary prevention and improving quality of life in under-resourced urban and rural communities.

Click here for full 2010 report

Click here for project overview

Place Matters for Health in the San Joaquin Valley: Ensuring Opportunities for Good Health for All

Place Matters CoverPlace matters for health, and it may be more important than access to health care and health-related behaviors. The Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State and Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released a report Wednesday, Feb. 29, comprehensively analyzing links between social, economic and environmental conditions and health in the region. The study examines the relationships between place, race and ethnicity, and health in the San Joaquin Valley of California and attempts to address two specific questions raised by the San Joaquin Valley Place Matters researchers:

  • What is the relationship between social factors and premature mortality?
  • What is the relationship between social factors and exposure to environmental hazards?

The report demonstrates that neighborhood conditions and the quality of public schools, housing conditions, access to medical care and healthy foods, levels of violence, availability of exercise options, exposure to environmental degradation can powerfully predict who is healthy, who is sick, and who lives longer. And because of patterns of residential segregation, these differences are the fundamental causes of health inequities among different racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups. This study examined the relationship between social conditions, environmental factors, and health outcomes in the context of the unique demographic characteristics of the area.

Click here to download full report

Executive Summary in English

Executive Summary in Spanish