CAHC grew out of the initiative, commitment, and perseverance of a core group of individuals who attended a four-state conference held in 1995 to review states’ efforts to promote adolescent health. At that time, there was no existing statewide organization in California with a mission to address adolescent health and well-being from a non-categorical, multidisciplinary perspective. This core group continued to meet regularly and involve new members. By January 2001, with support from the California State Department of Health Services, Maternal and Child Health Branch, CAHC released California’s first statewide strategic plan for adolescent health, Investing in Adolescent Health: A Social Imperative for California’s Future. The plan has served as a model for adolescent health initiatives in California’s counties and in other states.
Originally, CAHC was a public-private statewide coalition of individuals and organizations. The Collaborative provided convenings, technical assistance and education, resource and data dissemination, and advocacy on policies related to adolescent health statewide. We served as the administrative body for the interdisciplinary, public-private California Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group (ASHWG).
CAHC's mission today is to aim to protect and improve the wellness of California's youth by building capacity in systems and seeding innovation through research. We strengthen the systems and organizations that support California's adolescents so that young people have the knowledge, skills, and resources to make a healthy transition to adulthood. In addition, we strive to connect the financial and human resources of the urban Bay Area with the nearby rural Central Valley.