Community-led plan focuses on healthy neighborhoods, access to care, mental health, and substance use

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY — The Public Health Department and community partners recently released the 2024-2029 Community Health Improvement Plan, a roadmap for how the department and community partners will work together to build and foster a healthier SLO County.

The plan addresses the needs and strengths unique to SLO County today. To do that, it focuses on three priorities to address over the next five years:

  • Healthy Neighborhoods, including objectives that focus on access to affordable housing, enhanced food access, safe community spaces such as parks, resilience to the health impacts of climate change, and investment in bike and pedestrian safety.
  • Access to Care, with a focus on recruiting and retaining health-care providers on the Central Coast as well as expanding services in remote areas and for populations who have difficulty getting care.
  • Mental Health and Substance Use, including reducing drug-related deaths and suicide deaths, and connecting more teens and parents with mental health supports.

“I’m so proud of the collaboration at the heart of this plan,” said Jim Dantona, president/CEO of the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and SLO Health Counts Leadership Council member. “It’s an ambitious plan with the strength of many individuals and organizations behind it. It focuses on the very root of many problems we face, all with the goal of building the healthiest SLO County possible.”


The plan was developed by SLO Health Counts, a collaborative of community members, nonprofits, government agencies, cities, schools, and leaders in SLO County working together toward the shared goal of a healthy, thriving community. It is based on analysis of the Community Health Assessment released in August 2023, which brings together information from primary local sources, multiple state-level data sets, and the results of a countywide survey with more than 3,790 responses from residents.

“This plan is grounded in data and input from our community,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “To everyone who told us about your health experiences, from challenges accessing healthcare to the well-being you get from your favorite hiking trail: We heard you, and this is your plan. It is within our power as a community to create environments that make it easier for all of us to live healthier lives.”

To learn more and view the full Community Health Improvement Plan, visit