Senior Vice President of Healthy Communities


How revitalizing democracy will improve health outcomes for low-income communities of color; the relationship between racial justice, economic opportunity and educational achievement to public health; how his work takes health out of the doctor’s office and into communities.


Dr. Anthony Iton believes that reinvigorating democracy in California’s underserved communities is the first step in improving residents’ health.


As Senior Vice President of the Building Healthy Communities program, Iton is leading an effort to empower residents in 14 cities across California with the worst health outcomes to fight for changes in their communities that will help them lead healthier lives. When residents are engaged in holding elected officials accountable for fair educational opportunities, good jobs and more green space, Dr. Iton believes that good health can thrive.


This place-based approach is founded on the idea that residents can’t be asked to eat healthier food, exercise more, regularly visit the doctor or get a better job if those opportunities aren’t available in the communities where they live. The BHC model attacks the root causes of health inequities by convening and supporting community partners on the ground. By building resiliency and advocacy among residents, his work has made significant and sustainable advances in public health for thousands of Californians.


Prior to his appointment at The Endowment, Iton served as the director and County Health Officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department. Under his leadership, Alameda County launched an innovative plan to improve the health and lifespan of low-income communities by focusing on the poverty, racism and discrimination that prevented residents from getting good housing, better jobs and quality healthcare and educational opportunities. By inserting a public health perspective into conversations about community and economic development, he led the department’s efforts to improve community engagement and galvanize equity-driven policy solutions aimed at improving residents’ health.


Iton’s dedication to improving the quality of people’s lives was founded during his contrasted experiences growing up in Montreal, Canada and attending medical school in East Baltimore, Maryland. The health inequities that he witnessed in Baltimore were almost unimaginable in Montreal, inspiring Iton to pursue a career at the intersection of public health and social justice.


Published in numerous public health and medical publications, Iton is a regular public health lecturer and keynote speaker at conferences across the nation. He earned his B.S. in Neurophysiology, with honors, from McGill University, in Montreal, Quebec, his J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, and his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.