The Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability is an inter-disciplinary team at the San Francisco Department of Public Health that works in partnership with residents, public agencies and private organizations to advance healthy environments and social justice. We accomplish this by:


  • Initiating and facilitating dialogue and collaboration among public agencies and community organizations
  • Expanding public understanding of the relationships between the natural, built, and social environments and human health
  • Support local participation in public policy-making
  • Conducting and supporting local and regional research
  • Developing and evaluating new methods for interdisciplinary and inclusive involvement in public-policy
  • Documenting and communicating our strategies

In our vision of San Francisco, communities are engaged in democracy and committed to equality and diversity. We believe this will create and maintain sustainable and healthy places for all San Franciscans to live, work, learn, and play.


Guiding Principles and Core Values

Healthful Environments

Healthy people reflect healthful environments. Following the 1986 WHO Charter on Health Promotion, we define the basic conditions and resources needed for health to be peace, shelter, education, food, income, stable ecosystems, sustainable resources, social justice, and equity



A fair distribution of economic, political, social and natural resources and opportunities improves individual livelihood and the overall health of society



Conserving and improving economic, social and environmental systems so that present and future community members can lead healthy, productive and enjoyable lives



The natural and built environments, human activities, and human relationships are connected


Public Access and Accountability

The process for making public choices must be open and involve the people most affected. Good public policy decisions ensures that all participants have access to relevant information, including an understanding of underlying conflicts and competing interests


Meaningful Participation

Ensuring meaningful public participation in policy-making requires sincere actions to support people’s involvement, the valuing of local knowledge and experiences, and incorporating the perspectives and needs of communities into decision-making.