Chronic Disease and Health Equity Unit

About the Chronic Disease and Health Equity Unit

The mission of the Chronic Disease and Health Equity (CDHE) Unit is to promote wellness and prevention of illness, disability, and premature death from chronic disease by increasing health equity.

Healthy Works

Where we live matters to our health. But not every neighborhood enjoys the advantages of healthy choices, such as access to fresh, locally grown food, safe physical activity options, or smoke-free environments.

Since 2010, CDHE has led administration of HHSA programming known as Healthy Works. Healthy Works is a cornerstone of the Building Better Health component of Live Well San Diego, the County of San Diego's vision for creating healthy, safe, and thriving communities. Healthy Works aims to reduce and prevent chronic diseases by making healthy living easier and more affordable in the places we live, work, learn, and play.

Healthy Works projects address lifestyle issues such as tobacco use, poor nutrition, and physical inactivity.  These three risk factors contribute to the four major chronic diseases—cancer, heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and lung disease—that lead to more than 50 percent of deaths in the county, a concept referred to as "3-4-50."

In addition to illness and death suffered by individuals, these diseases cause an enormous financial burden for the nation in terms of lost economic productivity and direct medical costs. In 2007, the direct cost of the seven most prevalent chronic diseases in San Diego County was $4.6 billion.*

To address 3-4-50 and its associated financial and quality of life costs, Healthy Works engages San Diego County residents, schools, businesses, and community leaders in policy, systems, and environmental approaches to better health by reducing the burden of the four major chronic diseases and promoting health equity.

Focus Areas

To fulfill the CDHE mission and overall Live Well San Diego vision for healthy, safe, and thriving communities, Healthy Works has the following four focus areas:

To learn more about current Healthy Works projects, click the links below:

To learn more about past Healthy Works projects and accomplishments, click the links below:


*County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Public Health Services, Community Health Statistics Unit. (2010). The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease in San Diego County. Retrieved 12/29/15 from

For more information on how Healthy Works is building better health in San Diego County, please visit or contact us at (619) 542-4110.


Webpage last updated 4/16/20.