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The California Healthy Places Index: Transforming Health Data into Policy and Practice

June 14, 2018 | Tracy Delaney, PhD

Until now, few resources have been available for health care professionals to evaluate local factors correlated to life expectancy and explore the community conditions where their patients live. On June 14, 2018, the Public Health Alliance of Southern California released its California Healthy Places Index (HPI). This powerful new resource can be used across California to explore community conditions that predict life expectancy, compare and rank scores at multiple geographies, and learn about concrete and actionable policy solutions. It was intentionally designed to inform and support prioritization of public and private investments, resource allocations, program planning and service delivery – and the Public Health Alliance purposefully structured the HPI to go beyond problem identification into solution discovery.  more

Youth Study Food Waste With PHI's Center for Wellness and Nutrition

June 05, 2018 | PHI's Center for Wellness and Nutrition

PHI's Center for Wellness and Nutrition is helping to support a Youth-Led Participatory Action Research (YPAR) project at Meadows Union K-8 School, located in Imperial County CA. The program targets middle school aged youth in the After-School setting. This year, the cohort of sixth through eighth graders who call themselves Helping Hands, Active Knights (HHAK) decided to examine how much fruits and vegetables students are throwing away from their school lunch by conducting a food waste study. Youth designed everything in the study from the flow of traffic, the roles for youth and adults, and an interview process for select students.  more

5 Ways Advocates Can Use Twitter to Elevate the Link Between Racism and Childhood Trauma

June 01, 2018 | Lauryn Claassen, Berkeley Media Studies Group

Report cover: Trauma, Resilience, and #BlackLivesMatter: How do Racism and Trauma Intersect in Social Media Conversations?

Because advocates are increasingly leveraging social channels like Twitter to influence policy decisions, researchers at PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group set out to see how the platform is being used to highlight the connection between two critical health and social justice issues: racism and trauma.

We know from research on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) that racism, childhood trauma, and toxic stress are closely linked and can have devastating implications for long-term health outcomes. But how effectively are childhood trauma advocates using social media to convey this message? Are they making the connections between trauma, toxic stress, and racism? Are they participating in the dialogue surrounding #BlackLivesMatter, which saw a meteoric rise on social media and arguably ignited the "movement moment?" And are childhood trauma and racial justice experts and thought-leaders listening to each other on Twitter to strengthen the movement and work toward solutions?  more

A Healthier California: ENACT Day 2018 and Beyond

May 25, 2018 | CA4Health

On April 18th, partners and allies from across California came together in Sacramento to network and learn about how to engage in advocacy in support of Food Equity, Criminal Justice Reform, Housing, Water and Beverage Equity and Health Equity Regardless of Immigration Status.   more

School-Based Health Centers as Leaders in the Environmental Management of Asthma

May 15, 2018 | Anne Kelsey Lamb, Regional Asthma Management & Prevention (RAMP)

School-based health care is a powerful tool for addressing asthma and reducing health disparities, and that school-based health centers (SBHCs) play a key role in this work. Throughout the country 2,315 SBHCs are serving an ethnically diverse population of more than 2 million children, primarily in low-income areas. Nearly 90 percent of these SBHCs offer chronic disease management, including asthma management, and research shows that SBHCs are already leaders in the clinical management of asthma. SBHC users are less likely to go to the emergency department (ED) or be hospitalized for asthma, have asthma-related restricted activity days, or miss school as a result of their asthma. RAMP is launching a new cohort of SBHCs in the Fall of 2018. We encourage all interested SBHCs to consider applying (Deadline: August 17, 2018).  more

What Does Culturally Sensitive Care Look Like? Ask a Teenager.

May 08, 2018 | Brooke Briggance, FACES for the Future Coalition

"Underrepresentation in medicine has consequences for our workforce and for our communities," writes Brooke Briggance, Deputy Director for PHI's FACES for the Future Coalition (FACES). FACES is working to address that challenge by exposing diverse high school students to healthcare role models who look like them, and partners with PHI's Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II on internship placement and career exploration in various healthcare settings, individualized tutoring, college preparation and psychosocial services.  more

Principles for Building Healthy and Prosperous Communities

May 01, 2018 | Colby Dailey and Douglas Jutte, Build Healthy Places Network

Partnership is hard. With different cultures, unique jargon, and varied priorities and objectives, forming working relationships across sectors to advance common goals takes time and commitment. PHI's Build Healthy Places Network started asking: Where is the starting point for collaboration? What is the pathway? Are there foundational values that help pave the way for effective solutions for building healthy and prosperous communities?  more

Better Together: Population, Family Planning and the Environment

April 26, 2018

USAID’s country strategies increasingly call for integrated, cross-sectoral approaches, but it's more than a buzz term. For communities, these approaches are long overdue, and they make sense. Single-sector projects and interventions have been the norm in many development programs. However, they don’t always reflect the holistic way in which people lead their lives.  more

Supporting Healthy Stores & Shoppers with PHI's Center for Wellness and Nutrition

April 24, 2018

On April 11th, Amy DeLisio, Acting Director of Public Health Institute's Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN), testified in support of Assembly Bill 2335. The bill would create the Small Business Nutrition Incentive Program within the Nutrition Incentive Matching Grant Program for select pilot counties in California. In her testimony, Amy explains why increasing healthy food purchasing for low-income families and encouraging the participation of more local corner stores is a win-win.  more

75 for 75

April 24, 2018

This year, the UC Berkeley School of Public Health celebrates its 75th anniversary. As part of its celebration of this milestone anniversary, Berkeley is honoring 75 of its most influential public health alumni over its history, all of whom have made enormous contributions to public health. Seven of PHI’s current and former staff and board members were also among this group, including PHI’s CEO and President, Mary A. Pittman. We'd like to share some of their contributions with you, and thank UC Berkeley SPH for shepherding them through their doors and launching them on their path to making the world a better, healthier and more equitable place for all of us.  more

How Has News Coverage of Gun Violence Changed Since Columbine?

April 19, 2018 | Lauryn Claassen, Berkeley Media Studies Group

Headlines from Columbine to ParklandAs we near the 19th anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine High School, and as PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) prepares to publish new research on news coverage of gun violence, BMSG's Lauryn Claassen sat down with BMSG head of research, Pamela Mejia, to talk about her memories of Columbine, how media coverage of gun violence has changed over the past two decades, what details are often missing from coverage, and how both journalists and advocates can help the public better understand the root causes of and solutions to gun violence.   more

Healthiest Nation 2030: This is What it Looks Like

April 05, 2018

Public health’s future depends on diversity. In honor of National Public Health Week 2018, PHI's Global Health Fellows Program II highlights stories from five students working in the field.  more

Investing in Community through Rhode Island’s Health Equity Zones

March 28, 2018 | Build Healthy Places Network

Data show that adjacent neighborhoods in the same cities often have striking differences in health outcomes. We spend an enormous amount on health care as a society, yet 80 percent of our health is determined outside the doctor’s office and inside our homes, schools, jobs, and neighborhoods. But we know that strong communities create health, and we all have a role to play in building them.

That's why the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is investing in community through its Health Equity Zone (HEZ) initiative, an innovative, place-based approach that brings people in a defined geographic area together and invests in helping them strengthen the infrastructure their community needs to transform systems for healthier living. Each HEZ establishes or expands a collaborative infrastructure of diverse community partners, who conduct a needs assessment and collectively implement a data-driven plan of action.  more

Showcasing Student Voices: FACES for the Future Launches the 2018 #IAmTheFuture Campaign

March 28, 2018

Established in 2000, FACES for the Future has served over 1,800 students all over California and has recently expanded nationally, to Albuquerque, New Mexico and Denver, Colorado. We have some of the most diverse group of students, coming from different backgrounds and challenges. They are also some of the most resilient and passionate.

The “I Am the Future” Campaign was started in 2017 to showcase the many faces and voices of the FACES for the Future students. We want to give them a chance to show the world their stories, their motivations and why they are the future faces in health care. We spent several months traveling to all of our programs to capture the students, prompting them with basic questions about their career aspirations in health. The rest is all them!  more

The Forgotten Victims of Officer-Involved Shootings

March 26, 2018 | Pamela Mejia, Berkeley Media Studies Group

Nearly 250 people have been killed by police in 2018, but many people probably would not know how high the numbers are because—although other forms of gun violence dominate the news—when a police officer shoots someone, news outlets sometimes don't report the story.

Accurate and complete news coverage is important because we can't mourn victims unless we know about their deaths, and we can't fix a problem we aren't told about. To support communities as they grapple with the death of yet another young man of color shot by the police, PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) set out to understand more about how the news commemorates or ignores those who have been killed. See their findings.  more

After #MeToo, What’s Next?

February 27, 2018 | Denise Dunning, Rise Up

The #MeToo movement has unleashed the concentrated power of millions of girls and women to speak out against sexual harassment and gender-based violence. Yet, when we consider a tech-enabled movement like #MeToo, we must also acknowledge the stark, persisting disparities that girls and women face in accessing these tools. Race, nationality, class, sexuality, age, economic position, caste, physical ability, and privilege all shape girls’ and women’s diverse experiences of gender-based violence—influencing both the power we have to speak out and the resulting consequences for our lives, psyches, families, jobs, and opportunities.

Despite the intention to create an inclusive movement, #MeToo’s inherent limitation is that it remains a space for literate girls and women who have both access to the internet and enough technical know-how to share their stories virtually. Overcoming these obstacles will require a multi-pronged and integrated approach. True transformation will only happen by integrating the power of online and offline strategies to enable girls and women to advocate for their own priorities.  more

5 Steps Public Health Can Take to Tell the Health Equity Story of Opioid Use

February 20, 2018 | Katherine Schaff, Berkeley Media Studies Group

Current media coverage has effectively raised the visibility of opioid use, and some news stories are shifting from covering it as a criminal justice issue to treating it as a public health issue. That's important, but it won't address underlying equity issues—or solutions. If we want to see news about equity issues related to opioid use, we must explicitly raise them.

At a time when we have never had more information and clarity about the root causes of health inequities, public health's role in elevating this information is vital. Public health advocates can leverage the current media spotlight to communicate about opioid use—and, ultimately, make change—using a racial and health equity lens.

But if more public health professionals were talking about this issue in the news, what would we want them to say? And what are some of the steps that public health professionals can take to get there? A new blog from PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) provides five steps for getting started.  more

Tools of the Trade: Measuring the Health-Related Returns of Community Development

February 13, 2018 | Renee Roy Elias, Build Healthy Places Network

Partnerships are becoming more the norm and less the exception, but how do we know that they are actually having a good effect on health, well-being, and economic opportunity? What indicators are most powerful for showing the health-related returns of community development? Where does a community developer even begin in thinking about measurement?

Field leaders agree that in order to sustain and target investments in holistic community development efforts and support the partnerships that make them happen, it's critical to find answers to these questions. Thankfully, there are numerous resources designed for this purpose. This includes mapping tools, indices, data sources, systems for pooling health and socioeconomic data, and technical assistance networks to support outcome evaluations. A new blog from PHI's Build Healthy Places Network provides a snapshot of the kinds of resources that can help you meet your measurement needs.  more

Big Data and the Transformation of Food and Beverage Marketing: What Can Public Health Advocates Do About It?

January 31, 2018 | Daphne Marvel, Berkeley Media Studies Group

A recent commentary co-authored by PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) and published in Critical Public Health explores how six cutting-edge digital marketing techniques may be undermining public health efforts to improve nutrition and reduce obesity. In a new blog post, BMSG interviews Jeffrey Chester, director of the Center for Digital Democracy and a co-author of the Critical Public Health commentary, to learn more about the implications of Big Data marketing strategies.  more

Why "At-Promise" Youth are Good for Global Health

January 26, 2018

Pictured: FACES for the Future Founding Director Tomás Magaña works with students at Global Health Youth Summit.Over the past three years, PHI's FACES for the Future Coalition has proudly partnered with the Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to prepare at-promise youth for careers in global health. Our work is based on the premise that these young people are ideally suited for global health careers because they have developed the necessary competencies for effective global health practice through their lived experiences.

Learn more about this partnership in a new blog post from Tomás A. Magaña, MD, MA, Founder & Director of PHI's FACES for the Future Coalition.  more

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