Cal State LA Department of Public Health awarded grant for Sacramento conference

California capitol building

California Endowment Fund award will help create health education opportunities for students across the CSU

Cal State LA’s Department of Public Health has been awarded a grant that will enable students across the California State University system to participate in an annual health summit in Sacramento.

The $198,000 gift from California Endowment Fund will allow students and faculty from 15 campuses to attend the annual CSU Health Policy Conference.

The California Endowment Fund is a private health foundation that advocates for health awareness and health equity.


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The Health Policy Conference was created in 2013 by Cal State LA Professor Walter Zelman, chair of the Department of Public Health and principal investigator of the grant.

“Cal State LA created a CSU-wide health policy conference in Sacramento because we realized that many of our students are extremely motivated to pursue careers in health and possibly health policy. They want to make a difference in their communities,” Zelman said. “They are concerned about the health of their communities.”

The conference focuses on increasing student understanding of health policy challenges in California and awareness of health career options and opportunities for all CSU students. This year, 190 students and faculty members are expected to attend the conference.

Ron Vogel, dean of the College of Health and Human Services, noted that the Health Policy Conference will further Cal State LA’s mission of community service. “This program and Walter’s students are the epitome of engagement, service, and the public good,” Vogel said.

The grant will also support a new internship program open to CSU students at the California Department of Public Health in Sacramento. The program will help educate students and others about careers in health.

Cal State LA’s public health program is part of the College of Health and Human Services and has been an independent department for seven years. The program has grown from about 250 majors in 2007 to more than 1,000 today, making it one of the fastest growing majors at Cal State LA. The primary focus of the program is community health, with an emphasis on health education and promotion. The public health program has 6 full-time faculty members and 14 adjunct faculty members.

Photos: Top, the state Capitol, where students and faculty from 15 CSU campuses will attend the annual Health Policy Conference. Bottom, students and faculty on the steps of the Capitol during last year's conference. (Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons and Professor Walter Zelman.)

Sacramento health Confernece

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Cal State LA is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 27,000 students and 240,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State LA has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit