About Us

BCHC members meeting with CDC Director in November 2022


The Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC) is a forum for the leaders of America’s largest metropolitan health departments to exchange strategies and jointly address issues to promote and protect the health and safety of the 61 million people they serve. Together, these public health officials directly affect the health and well-being of nearly one in five Americans.  

Healthy, more equitable communities through big city innovation and leadership


Advancing equity and health for present and future generations, through sharing of best practices, leadership, and advocacy


Our Coalition

  • Member Health Departments


  • Protecting

    61 Million Americans

Membership Criteria

The Coalition represents the health leaders of the largest cities in the nation’s most urban areas. Member cities must have a city population of at least 500,000 to be eligible, and must be a locally controlled health department, not a state agency.* Membership is extended to the health department that has primary jurisdiction over the city, whether it be a city or county agency.

* All members that were in good standing each time eligibility has been amended have been grandfathered in, even if they did not meet the current criteria. This currently includes Cleveland, Long Beach, Minneapolis, and Oakland.


Looking Forward: BCHC’s Urban Health Agenda

In June 2022, BCHC unveiled its Urban Health Agenda, a vision for the future of urban public health that prioritizes equity.

Looking Forward: BCHC's Urban Health Agenda Learn more about our vision
Public health workers, wearing masks, standing 6 feet apart from each other, looking confidently into the camera


Looking Back: 20 Years of BCHC

Discover why two big city health commissioners started BCHC 20 years ago and how the organization still makes a difference to big city health departments today.

Looking Back: 20 Years of BCHC Watch the video
BCHC 2002-2022 superimposed over images of city fitness class and people walking city streets in masks

Frontline Blog

Looking Back: 20 Years of Big City Public Health

As we mark our 20th anniversary in 2022, we look back on two decades of public health innovation and leadership by big cities.

Looking Back: 20 Years of Big City Public Health View the timeline