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Support in the wake of Hurricane Sandy: What you can do

October 30, 2012

Our hearts and wishes are with those on the east coast dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Here are two simple things you can do to help out.  more

Welcome to PHI's New Website

October 26, 2012

Welcome to the Public Health Institute's new website. You'll find a new look, more resources and news and events to help build healthier, more resilient communities. PHI is the proud home of more than 200 projects and over 600 employees working around the globe to make people's lives healthier. Together these programs touch virtually every aspect of health. We invite you to explore.  more

Film by PHI's AGALI program featured by UN Foundation's GirlUp campaign

October 18, 2012

Lifting our Voices: Ending Child Marriage in Malawi (15min) addresses the issue of child marriage in Malawi and the impact that it has on adolescent girls’ health and wellbeing. Watch the video here.  more

AGALI Celebrates the First Annual Day of the Girl Child

October 11, 2012 | PDF | Emily Teitsworth, program manager of PHI's Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative

Today, from Lilongwe, Malawi to Guatemala City, Guatemala, Fellows of the Adolescent Girls Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI) are celebrating the first annual Day of the Girl Child.

For the first time, the United Nations General Assembly has adopted a resolution to declare October 11th as the International Day of the Girl Child, establishing a special day to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges facing girls and young women globally. Since then, activists around the world have been advocating for government recognition of the Day of the Girl Child and planning events to commemorate this historic day.

On this first annual Day of the Girl Child, I am excited to share the inspiring work being done by some of our 89 AGALI Fellows in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa.  more

Can advocacy lead to economic security for adolescent girls?

September 12, 2012 | Emily Teitsworth, program manager of PHI's Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative

The transformative potential of advocacy resides in the strength of partnerships and in the ability of many small voices to speak together and be heard by the powerful. The Adolescent Girls’ Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI) builds the capacity of civil society leaders with the goal of helping them to speak out with one voice on the critical issues affecting adolescent girls in their countries. AGALI Fellows in Guatemala, Honduras, Liberia, Malawi, and Ethiopia collaborate to transform adolescent girls’ lives by advancing their human rights, improving their health, expanding their educational and economic opportunities, and empowering girls to advocate for their own needs.  more

Former PHI Fellow Is a "Top 99 Under 33" Foreign Policy Leader

September 12, 2012 | PDF | Carolyn Newbergh

Hina Mushtaq is a "pioneer in working at the intersection of health and technology," says David Lindeman, co-director of PHI's Center for Innovation and Technology in Public Health.  “Her distinguished work at PHI, and now back in Pakistan, is an excellent example of how to apply technology-enabled programs at the population level."  more

UN Action Plan on Non Communicable Diseases Does Little for Children and Adolescents

September 11, 2012 | PDF | Jeff Meer

In July the World Health Organization released the draft Action Plan on Non-Communicable Diseases and the accompanying draft global monitoring framework. Both documents should be improved to incorporate the needs of children and adolescents. There is a significant need to collect more data about NCDs in these populations, assess best practices, focus on prevention, and understand all of the ways that NCDs affect children and adolescents beyond health.  We must appreciate fully the social determinants of health in young people, and create multisectoral approaches that involve a whole-of-government and whole-of-United-Nations approach.  more

New infographics make the case for public health

August 31, 2012 | Ann Whidden

Did you know that the average American consumes 3 pounds of sugar a week? Or that physical activity doesn't just make kids healthier, it boosts their grades? New infographics explain.



Rupal Sanghvi book is most comprehensive look at urban agriculture in New York City

August 15, 2012 | PDF | Carolyn Newbergh

PHI's Rupal Sanghvi presents the nation's first system for quantifying the benefits of urban farms and making the case for more of them.   more

Prevention: The Cure for What Ails Us

August 06, 2012 | Mary Pittman, DrPH

We are one step closer to a healthier America — millions of Americans will be able to access affordable healthcare and coverage in the coming years. Here’s a radical suggestion: let’s make sure they don’t need to use it.

The Affordable Care Act provides new incentives to keep people healthier — with more people insured, profits won’t come from “heads on the beds” but from decreasing medical visits and building healthier communities. Now that we’re at that tipping point, we must think strategically and creatively about how we can make sure our elected officials, and our entire healthcare system, continue to prioritize prevention and support the health of every American.  more

It's Too Late To Turn Back: A Transformation to Wellcare is Underway

June 17, 2012 | Mary Pittman, DrPH

According to last week's reports, by 2021 health care spending will account for nearly one-fifth of the U.S. economy. More than 2 in 3 American adults are overweight or obese, and close to 50 percent have at least one chronic condition. Yet, for every dollar we spend on treating people who are already sick, our federal government spent just four cents on public health measures designed to keep them well.

Our country must do better.  more

PHI CEO Mary Pittman Named Expert Advisor to New Health Task Force Ordered by Governor Brown

June 07, 2012 | Anne Sunderland, MPH

Mary Pittman, DrPH, CEO of the Public Health Institute, has been named an Expert Advisor to the new Let's Get Healthy California Task Force.

The Task Force was established pursuant to an Executive Order issued by Governor Brown and is charged with developing a 10-year plan to make Californians healthier. The Task Force will be co-chaired by California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Diana Dooley and Don Berwick, who served as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services until December 2011. Members of the Task Force include leaders from multiple sectors, including healthcare, public health, government, education and labor.  more

The False Choice of Student Loans and Prevention

April 27, 2012 | Mary Pittman, DrPH

The House proposal to subsidize student loans by eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund, scheduled for a vote Friday, is just a continuation of political maneuvers designed to prioritize politics at the cost of health. America cannot afford to sacrifice the Prevention and Public Health Fund.

Affordable Care Act opponents have tried to pit much-needed infrastructure fixes and popular programs against the Prevention Fund as a means of undermining the ACA more broadly, from Medicare payments for doctors to tax relief for small businesses. Now they're using student loan subsidies to attack the Fund.  more

Kim's Nomination to Lead World Bank Brings Connections Between Global Health and Economic Development to Forefront

March 31, 2012 | Mary Pittman, DrPH

I am encouraged by President Obama's nomination of Dartmouth College president Jim Yong Kim, MD, PhD, to head the World Bank.

A physician and anthropologist, Dr. Kim's experience in global health would bring critically important insights to an institution that focuses on alleviating poverty. We can't achieve the Millennium Development goals or reduce poverty without addressing the fundamental importance of health. Dr. Kim would be the first World Bank president with a significant background in global health.  more

Lifting Our Voices to End Child Marriage in Malawi

March 08, 2012 | Emily Teitsworth

On International Women's Day, the majority of the more than 60 million child brides around the world will spend their time as they spend every other day of the year: out-of-school, at-risk, marginalized, and poor. The theme chosen by the United Nations for International Women's Day 2012 is "Empower Rural Women--End Hunger and Poverty."

At first glance, this has little to do with child marriage. But rural poverty is at the root of the high prevalence of early marriage (UNICEF, 2006). Within the context of traditions that devalue women, families often see girls as an economic burden or as a tool for relieving their debts. Over the last six months, staff of The Public Health Institute's (PHI) Adolescent Girls' Advocacy & Leadership Initiative (AGALI) have created a short film that explores the relationship between poverty, tradition, and child marriage in Malawi.  more

Cooking with Clean Energy--A Challenge of Global Proportions and a Tremendous Opportunity to Improve the Health of Women around the World

March 08, 2012 | Michelle Bashin

Each day, half of the world's families eat meals cooked on an open fire or a three-rock traditional stove. Women feed the fire with wood, dung, coal or crop waste, solid fuels that they've scavenged or purchased for a fraction of the cost of cooking gas or electricity. Flames convert these fuels into noxious smoke, gases, and particulates. Women and young children breathe high concentrations of these pollutants and often experience serious respiratory illnesses as a result. Clean energy for cooking and heating still lies well beyond their reach.

The World Health Organization (WHO) attributes nearly two million premature deaths worldwide each year to household air pollution from burning wood, charcoal, and other bio-fuel.  more

Depression Paradox for Immigrant Women in California

March 08, 2012 | Suzanne Ryan-Ibarra

One in eight California women experience current depression according to recently published research using data from the California Women's Health Survey (CWHS).

The study examined prevalence of depression according to immigrant status, and found that recent immigrants were half as likely to report current depression as compared to their counterparts born in the United States. As immigrant women stayed longer in the US, the odds of reporting current depression increased and the prevalence rate approached that of US-born women.  more

Gathering the Evidence for What Works for Women & Girls in HIV Interventions

March 08, 2012 | Melanie Croce-Galis

As the HIV pandemic rattles into its third decade, the impact on women and girls has not gone unnoticed. Numerous international political declarations including ICPD and the UNGASS Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS have recognized women's and girls' specific risks and needs and have committed to act to address them. Multilateral and bilateral donors have established strategies to better address women, girls, gender equality and HIV/AIDS including the PEPFAR Gender Strategy, the Global Fund's Gender Equality Strategy and USAID's recently launched gender policy and a number of countries have developed national action plans.

However, the funding and implementation of evidence-based programs for women and girls around the world continue to lag. There remains an urgent need to develop and scale up strategies to address the needs of women and girls in the global AIDS response and to support women as agents of change. To do this effectively, we need evidence.  more

Wise Farm-Bill Investments Could Help to Boost Economy and Health

March 07, 2012 | Matthew Marsom

Once again America is leading the world, but this time it's no cause for celebration. New obesity data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reveal that the United States has the highest obesity rate of all developed nations. What's more, the new data show that overall obesity rates in the United States climbed 4 percent to 5 percent over the last 10 years, with more Americans now overweight or obese than ever before.

Fortunately, a key fix to the obesity epidemic lies with the federal legislation that shapes and influences America's food supply: the U.S. farm bill.  more

PHI Urges Action to Protect Prevention and Public Health Fund

February 15, 2012 | Mary Pittman, DrPH

Unfortunately, Congressional proposals to gut the Prevention and Public Health Fund reemerged this morning.

Congress is considering cutting the Prevention Fund by up to $5 billion over ten years to avoid massive cuts to Medicare physicians. As I said in my blog last December, when a similar proposal was on the table, this tactic is not only bad for the nation's health, it's fiscally irresponsible. The Prevention Fund supports evidence- and community-based interventions across the U.S. to prevent chronic disease, which currently accounts for 75% of all Medicare spending.  more

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