Our environment—the air we breathe, the food we consume and the climate around us—profoundly impacts our health.
Communities of color and low-income populations are disproportionately exposed to environmental hazards and the impacts of climate change.
PHI is in the vanguard of improving health and equity by addressing some of the most pressing environmental issues of our time.
We undertake groundbreaking studies. We show how the built environment can influence whether or not an individual will develop asthma, cancer and other illnesses.
We educate the public and policy makers about the impacts of climate change on public health, and more.
Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
The Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative (BARHII) is a nationally recognized leader in transforming public health practice to advance health equity to create healthier communities. It is a collaborative of public health directors, officers, senior managers and staff from the 11 San Francisco Bay Area health departments and the California Department of Public Health. In 2017, BARHII transitioned its fiscal sponsorship to the Tides Foundation.
Berkeley Media Studies Group
Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) works with community groups, journalists and public health professionals to use the power of the media to advance healthy public policy. To do this, BMSG conducts research to understand how news, entertainment and advertising portray health and social issues. Through media advocacy training and consultation, BMSG helps advocates harness lessons from that research and develop the skills they need to become stronger voices in policy debate and illuminate the need for improving the places where all people live, learn, work and play.
California Convergence Coordinating Office
The California Convergence is a regionally organized, statewide network that unites community leaders and partners to collectively build equitable, safe and healthy communities where everyone participates and prospers. Convergence is governed and guided by a statewide, community-led steering committee, with administrative, communication, policy and evaluation-related support from the California Convergence Coordinating Office and statewide partners.
California Environmental Health Tracking Program
The California Environmental Health Tracking Program emphasizes the development of spatial analysis and visualization methods that enable state-of-the-art systems for predicting geographically related exposures to environmental hazards and relating those exposures to health indicators.
California Green Chemistry Evaluation Project
California has unique laws intended to protect public health and exceed federal protections against pollution and toxic chemicals. Two laws enacted in 2008 built on a foundation of other policies related to clean air, clean water, and children’s health protection. Assembly Bill (AB) 1879 established the Safer Consumer Products Program at the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and Senate Bill (SB) 509 established the Toxics Information Clearinghouse. The new laws focused on green chemistry with the goals of providing more information about chemicals in products and encouraging substitution of toxic chemicals with less toxic or non-toxic alternatives.
Nearly a decade after the passage of these groundbreaking laws, it is time to do a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of their performance, with a special focus on whether they have been effective at protecting Californians from exposure to chemicals that may cause or contribute to breast cancer. Findings and recommendations from this project will assist policymakers in making any necessary improvements to improve the functioning of the laws. This policy research project is designed specifically to test the hypothesis that there are several politically and scientifically feasible policy enhancements that could significantly strengthen and assist in the implementation of California’s existing laws on green chemistry and toxic chemicals.
The investigators will conduct a systematic review of the literature to identify best practice policies that protect public health from toxic chemicals, including European, federal, and state models. The investigators will also conduct structured interviews with experts from government, academia, industry, and non-governmental organizations, designed to elicit recommendations on green chemistry science and policy. Within six months, the investigators will issue a report with findings and recommendations, and a spreadsheet identifying known and suspected breast carcinogens showing how they have been, or might be, addressed by policy efforts in California. An advisory group of experts in green chemistry, chemical policy, and breast cancer will oversee and advise the project. The intention is to release the report on or around the ten-year anniversary of the passage of the green chemistry legislation.
California Occupational Health Surveillance and Evaluation Program (OHSEP)
OHSEP, a program of the Occupational Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health, tracks work-related injuries and diseases, studies workplace exposures and health effects, and makes prevention recommendations to employers and employees. OHSEP information is used to improve workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Programs and help identify and treat early work-related injuries and disease. OHSEP focuses on work-related asthma, fatal occupational incidents, pesticide poisoning and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Center for Climate Change and Health
The Center for Climate Change and Health contributes to building healthy and climate-resilient communities that have the right tools to mitigate and adapt to climate change. The Center engages local leaders, community-based organizations, public health and health care workers, scientists, policymakers and civil society in mainstreaming the protection of health across a wide range of policies and sectors. It promotes strategies that effectively address the impacts of climate change on health, while at the same time generating co-benefits from adaptation and mitigation for health and across other sectors.
Child Health and Development Studies
Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS) investigates how health and disease are passed on between generations--not only genetically, but also through social, personal and environmental surroundings. Nearly 50 years ago, CHDS enrolled over 15,000 families during the mothers' early pregnancy. Families participated in comprehensive interviews about their health, lifestyle and experiences. Follow-up studies CHDS children, now adults, and on their children, enable CHDS scientists to study health across generations and seek ways to prevent disease early in life.
Health Spectrum Program
Using a multi-dimensional emphasis that encompasses geographical, age, gender, socio-economic status, and race and ethnicity categories, the Health Spectrum Program provides issue and policy analysis and reporting; project/program and policy evaluation; training; technical assistance for statewide disease prevention and other health initiatives; and capacity building. The Health Spectrum Program focuses on children's health; health disparities; chronic disease prevention; wellness for leaders and decision-makers; and tobacco-free hospital campuses and patient treatment policies.
India Antimicrobial Resistance Detection, Prevention and Control Program
The rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is considered a global patient safety issue and a major public health concern. Compounding the threat of AMR, hospital acquired infections further contribute to adverse patient outcomes, and in many instances are caused by highly resistant organisms.
Effective systems, policies, and procedures to accurately detect, monitor, and prevent AMR and hospital acquired infections are essential. These systems include robust laboratory-based surveillance of priority pathogens, effective infection prevention and control practices, strong antimicrobial stewardship, and facility-based surveillance of hospital acquired infections.
Building the capacity to implement and sustain these systems and practices is thus critical to effectively respond to the public health threats posed by AMR. In Tamil Nadu, PHI is working with the CDC and the Government of Tamil Nadu to implement activities in three priority areas:
- Antimicrobial Stewardship
- Infection Prevention and Control
- Laboratory based-surveillance
Public Health Alliance of Southern California
The Public Health Alliance of Southern California is a collaboration of leaders from Southern California local health departments, which are statutorily responsible for the health of over half of California’s population. The Alliance addresses regional chronic disease prevention through upstream multi-sector policy and systems and environmental change. Current priority initiatives include multidisciplinary collaborations advancing transportation; food environments; and healthy community data indicators. The regional approach provides a mobilized, collective public health voice to actively promote the health of all Southern Californian communities.
Public Health Trust
The Public Health Trust (PHT) works with private attorneys, government agencies and public health organizations interested in using litigation settlement funds to improve public health. PHT manages settlement funds with a focus on transparency and accountability. PHT grantees address a wide range of public health issues from marketing of food, tobacco products, exposure to toxic substances, medication access, and air and water quality.
Regional Asthma Management and Prevention Program
The Regional Asthma Management and Prevention (RAMP) program is a collaborative that promotes strategies for reducing asthma through a broad and comprehensive approach that includes clinical management and environmental protection. RAMP brings together diverse partners such as public health and community-based organizations, schools, medical providers, and environmental health and justice groups to join forces in reducing the burden of asthma with a focus on communities inequitably affected by the disease.
Roots of Change
Roots of Change (ROC) is a think tank-and-do tank working to ensure emergence of a sustainable food system in California. ROC provides road maps to food movement power and policy victories. ROC has a clear change strategy, an extensive statewide network of change agents and a track record of spawning and leading projects that are transformative because they unify actors to push for progress using multiple intervention points simultaneously. ROC is focused primarily on California because it is a bellwether that can positively influence the nation.
Survey Research Group
The Survey Research Group (SRG) conducts population based health-related surveys, using one of the country's most technologically advanced call centers. Since 1987, public health officials, advocates and researchers use the data for: tracking health risks, identifying emerging problems, improving treatment, and evaluating programs. SRG’s mission is to foster health, well-being, and quality of life through rigorous quantitative and qualitative research guided by the principles of equity in health, environment, education and economic context. Read more about SRG's services.
Additional PHI Projects
- Building the California Department of Public Health's Climate Change Capacity
- Burn Injury Surveillance Workshop
- Don't Play with Danger: A National Campaign to Raise Awareness About Lead in Children's Products
- Final Respiratory Protection Program Toolkit for Healthcare Workers
- Flight Attendants Study
- Health Impact Assessment of Cap and Trade Regulations
- Integrating Reproductive Health into Global Health
- Menopausal transition--a window of susceptibility for the promotion of breast cancer by environmental
- Mobilizing Care Delivery in Sacramento in the Era of Health Reform Convening
- National Campaign on the Dangers of Lead in Mexican-style Candy
- PFC Exposure Assessment Related to the former Pease Air Force Base
- Prenatal Organochlorine Metabolites, Thyroid Function and Development
- Protecting California Families from "Take-Home" Lead Exposure
- Supporting healthy and educated kids by reducing asthma inequities through policy and systems change
- Taking Back our Food System Monthly Events
- The UCSF Pregnancy Exposures to Environmental Chemicals Children’s Center
- WIN – Wellness Initiatives Now