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Health Anchor Institutions Investing in Community Land and Housing

October 15, 2018 | Bich Ha Pham and Jarrid Green

The city of Richmond, Virginia has some of the most concentrated poverty in the country. Richmond has high unemployment and poverty rates of 40 percent or above in its East End neighborhoods, which includes Church Hill North and has a majority African American racial makeup (92 percent). In the East End, life expectancy rates are lower than in the City as a whole, and in fact, in some of these neighborhoods, residents can expect to live 10 to 15 years less than people in other areas of Richmond. Additionally, the East End is said to have the largest concentration of public housing between Washington DC and Atlanta, and only a small percentage of residents are homeowners.

In this blog, originally posted by PHI's Build Healthy Places Network, guest contributors Bich Ha Pham and Jarrid Green of the Democracy Collaborative explore how anchor institutions are investing to support community control of land and housing.   more

Help Fight the Silence: Youth Mental Health First Aid

October 12, 2018 | Brooke Briggance

"It’s not something my family talked about much – at least not openly," wrote Brooke Briggance, the Deputy Director of PHI's FACES for the Future Coalition. "But there have been members of my family who have committed suicide, who struggled with addiction or who tried desperately to manage a mental illness while shrouded in silence. As time marched on and I became an adult, it began to make less and less sense to me – the silence" To help fight the silence, along with FACES Coalition Program Manager Jasmine Nakagawa-Wong, Briggance took advantage of an opportunity offered by Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services to become certified as a trainer in Youth Mental Health First Aid. "That means we can train and certify adults connected to young people who want to be armed with some tools to help them if a serious mental health situation should arise."  more

On the Road Toward Prevention: What Advocates Need to Know About How Sexual Violence is Framed

October 10, 2018 | Daphne Marvel, Berkeley Media Studies Group

Sexual assault is in the spotlight now more than ever as conversations about its pervasiveness — and what can be done to address it — unfold on a national stage. Like other widespread public health and social justice problems, sexual violence is preventable. But many people don't realize that because the messages we receive about sexual violence often leave us with the impression that the issue is too large and too complex to do anything about it.

A Berkeley Media Studies Group news analysis found that media coverage of sexual violence often focuses on details of a violent act, or what happens after the fact, but rarely addresses what can be done to prevent this violence. And journalists aren't the only ones who struggle to communicate about prevention. "Practitioners and experts tend to be really good at talking about how to respond to assaults and support survivors after the fact," said Pamela Mejia, BMSG's head of research. "But it's harder to communicate about the changes we need to make in our schools and businesses and workplaces and communities to prevent harassment, abuse, and assault from happening in the first place."  more

5 Ways that Journalists Can Tell a More Comprehensive Story About Early Childhood

October 03, 2018 | Daphne Marvel, Berkeley Media Studies Group

The foundation for who we become as adults is constructed during early childhood. Multiple bodies of science show us that what happens from pre-conception into early childhood has a profound impact on health outcomes later in life. This holds true whether researchers examine the lifelong impacts of childhood trauma, the multigenerational effects of neighborhood conditions, or the societal benefits of early education.

Robust, well-reported news coverage can inform and improve the decisions we make together, as a society, about early childhood. So what would it take to tell a more comprehensive story about this complex but critical period? And how can journalists incorporate scientific findings into everyday news stories about children?  more

Kenyan Girl Leaders Fight For Their Rights

October 01, 2018 | Chantal Hildebrand

Kenyan girl leaders have achieved an important milestone in their fight for girls’ rights. Through Rise Up’s partnership with the Center for the Study of Adolescence (CSA), our Girls’ Voices Initiative enables Kenyan girls to learn about girl-centered advocacy, leadership, and decision-maker education, and develop their own strategies to improve girls’ lives. Following a five-day intensive workshop, the 24 girl leaders developed a strategy to bring an end to female genital mutilation (FGM). With the support of their teachers and chaperones, the girls created action plans to advocate with key decision-makers in Kajiado West County, Kenya to fully implement the Female Genital Mutilation Act (2011).


Let’s Get Real About Obesity: Rates on the Rise

September 28, 2018 | Amy DeLisio, Center for Wellness and Nutrition

Why is America so obese? We need to look at how the existing environment and food systems influence community and make healthy options more (or less) available and affordable. Multibillion-dollar marketing efforts by the food industry constantly push high-calorie, low-nutrient foods, whole communities lack access to fresh produce, and the expense of high-quality foods leave low-income consumers locked out. Schools have cut back on physical education, more adults sit at desks all day, and playgrounds and parks in many communities aren’t safe enough for people to play and exercise. Obesity is a social justice issue. Studies have shown that companies disproportionately target unhealthy food marketing to Black and Latino teens. Low-income communities and rural communities often have limited access to healthy options and full-service grocery stores.  more

PHI at the 2018 Global Climate and Health Forum

September 14, 2018 | Lauryn Claassen, Public Health Institute

On Wednesday, September 12, health leaders from around the world gathered at the first-ever Global Climate and Health Forum in San Francisco to discuss the impact of climate change on health and their responsibility to act. PHI participated as a host organization, as the event represented our commitment to research, leadership, and partnerships that work to build healthy communities where individuals can reach their full potential. PHI also serves as the secretariat and convener for the U.S. Climate and Health Alliance, which was one of the main event organizers. The forum kicked off the 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, a historic event that brought major world leaders together to showcase their climate action and inspire deeper commitments from multiple sectors in support of the Paris Agreement.  more

Building People Power to Advance Health Equity: 3 Lessons from Community-Driven Initiatives

September 11, 2018 | Heather Gehlert and Lauryn Claassen, Berkeley Media Studies Group

What do early literacy in Del Norte County and Tribal Lands, urban agriculture in Sacramento, reentry efforts in Richmond, and restorative justice in Kern County all have in common? They're each part of a 10-year, $1 billion initiative to advance health equity throughout California. They're also evidence that real change happens when residents have a voice in identifying the top issues facing their communities and are involved in crafting solutions.

To better understand the work happening in these locations so that the efforts can be replicated in other places, PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group conducted case studies of four communities that received funding through the grant. During their background research and interviews, BMSG identified several key strategies that helped advocates in each location overcome obstacles and lay the foundation for health. 

Can Federal Housing Policy Influence Healthy Behaviors?

September 04, 2018 | Michelle Wong, Craig Pollack

Neighborhood characteristics such as a lack of safe spaces for physical activity, low income, and high unemployment can deter physical activity, while safe, aesthetically appealing, and socially cohesive neighborhoods may encourage residents to be more physically active. Affordable housing is also important for health. Unfortunately, lack of affordable housing is a problem facing our society. In the United States, over 38% of “rental households” pay more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. Recent research investigated whether low-income adults who received federal housing assistance were more likely to be physically active compared to those who did not receive assistance.  more

MPT Field Investments and Collaborations are Assets for Global Sexual Health

September 04, 2018 | Fatima Riaz and Kathryn Stewart

On World Sexual Health Day, CAMI Health's IMPT reflected on how to work with partners to improve sexual health across the globe. "There are many things that could be done, many different approaches, and many people we can work with towards this goal. Here, at the IMPT, we see multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs) to be one such promising strategy with the potential to improve the sexual health – and lives – of women and their families around the world.

Sexual and reproductive health risks, such as unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, are intrinsically interlinked. Yet, the current mix of prevention options has fallen short in protecting the sexual health of millions of women. The innovative work being done to advance prevention science, including the development of MPTs, is essential to better meet sexual health needs and improve countless lives. The price of innovation is steep and the time horizon is long, but the end result has the potential to be game-changing.


Mapping the Road Forward: 6 Steps for Building Effective Messages About Sexual Violence Prevention

August 29, 2018 | Daphne Marvel, Berkeley Media Studies Group

In 2017, the #MeToo movement took the internet by storm. More than just a hashtag, the campaign, which was created in 2006 by activist Tarana Burke, became a global movement and shifted the public conversation about sexual violence. #MeToo opened the door to discussions about the pervasiveness of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault – and created space for many voices that had previously been denied a platform. As we consider how best to support and empower survivors, we also need to consider what it will take to prevent sexual violence from happening in the first place – and raise a generation for whom #MeToo stories are the exception, not the norm.

In this article, BMSG's Daphne Marvel outlines six steps for building effective messages about sexual violence prevention.  more

The Economics of Gender Equity in India

August 29, 2018 | Denise Raquel Dunning, Rise Up

India was recently named the world’s fastest-growing large economy and is projected to become the fifth largest economy overall by 2020. Yet India’s economic growth is limited by widespread gender inequality, violence, and cultural norms that devalue women’s roles in society and in the workforce. India was recently named the most dangerous country in the world for women, and one Indian woman is raped every 13 minutes. Gender inequality in India bars many women from entering the formal workforce, and fears of sexual violence are even driving women out of the workforce.

In the face of these challenges, Indian women and girls are creating their own solutions to drive change. On a trip to India last month, Rise Up's Founder and executive director Denise Raquel Dunning saw the powerful ways in which Indian leaders are mobilizing their communities to advocate for economic justice and gender equity.

Powerful New Leaders in India

August 29, 2018 | Nikita Wadhwa, Rise Up

When Rise Up opened applications for the Collective Impact Partnership (CIP) Advocacy and Leadership Accelerator in Maharashtra, India, more than 75 incredible women applied. After a rigorous selection process, they selected 22 powerful women with a strong drive and vision to advance economic justice.

With diverse backgrounds, these women represent a variety of regions in Maharashtra—from remote, rural regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada, to the well-connected cities of Mumbai and Pune. Coming from various levels of education, ages, castes, and classes, the dynamic group converged for the first time in July to participate in their first CIP Leadership and Advocacy Training. This important gathering of leaders comes at a time and place where women’s rights in India are continually challenged.  more

Pan-African Women in Health (PAWH): Helping Women to Grow and Thrive

August 27, 2018 | Katherine Sham and Belinda Ngongo, Global Health Leaders

As a major effort to support African women working in the health sector, the Pan-African Women in Health (PAWH) working group convened for its first in-person dialogue meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa on March 2, 2018. PAWH is led by the Public Health Institute’s Global Health Leaders (GHL) Fellow, Belinda Ngongo, as part of her Public-Private Competency Building Initiative in South Africa. Women and men from the private, public, and NGO sectors, representing nine African countries were in attendance, and the meeting was centered around identifying challenges faced by African women in health, exploring opportunities for future engagement to advance women’s agenda in this sector, and supporting the next generation of African female health leaders.  more

It’s Time for Local Health Departments to Act on Climate Change

August 20, 2018 | Dr. Linda Rudolph, Center for Climate Change and Health

"Climate change is happening now, is largely due to human activities, and is amenable to action to slow its pace and reduce its effects," writes  Dr. Linda Rudolph, director of the Center for Climate Change and Health at the Public Health Institute. "Our actions now will affect the magnitude of climate impacts and the extent to which communities thrive in the face of climate change and recover in the aftermath of climate-related disasters." 

PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health and the American Public Health Association (APHA), with support from the California Department of Public Health, have come together to create a 400-page guide that helps local health departments prepare for and mitigate climate change effects—from drought and heat to flooding and food security—with concrete, implementable suggestions.  more

FACES 2018 Summer Medical Academy

August 15, 2018 | FACES for the Future Coalition

FACES Summer Medical Academy

Founded in 2005, the FACES Summer Medical Academy (FSMA) is a tuition-based, intensive summer camp designed to expose high school students to the fields of medicine, nursing, and allied health professions. In partnership with Samuel Merritt University, the goal of the program is to offer youth a glimpse into the array of advanced educational strategies and tools that comprise current medical training. Furthermore, young people are introduced to critical concepts that promote an understanding of culturally responsive and compassionate health care practice.

During the two-week academy, FSMA students are exposed to clinical skills training, gross anatomy and pathology workshops, clinical simulation scenarios, problem-based learning, and workshops in patient-centered care models. FSMA students are taught by physicians, nurses, and other health professionals. They also experience mentoring in small groups led by college and graduate students focused on careers in medicine and the health professions. The FSMA is open to any student regardless of background, geographic location or school.

In partnership with Samuel Merritt University, FACES for the Future Coalition hosted 45 scholars from July 16 - 27, 2018 to provide a unique lens for high students to explore the health care field. Find out more about what the students were able to learn this summer.  more

Rise Up Announces Grantees and Advocacy Projects in Mexico

August 14, 2018 | Lauryn Claassen, Public Health Institute

PHI’s Rise Up is committed to activating women, girls, and their allies to drive exponential change by strengthening leadership, investing in local solutions, and building movements – one community at a time, one country at a time. In March, with the support of Cummins Powers Women, Rise Up led a Leadership Accelerator Program in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, where 18 social entrepreneurs from across the state participated in a week long workshop built around Rise Up’s award-winning curriculum.

“All of the attendees are already interested in the education, health, and rights of women and girls – but often their work is so siloed that they were getting to know each other for the first time in the workshop,” said Josie Ramos, the Director of Programs for Rise Up. “It was an opportunity for them to build new alliances and begin to collaborate.” Over the course of the week, the fellows learned to use advanced advocacy strategies to create large-scale social change. Public policy has the power to either perpetuate or eliminate inequities faced by women and girls – and so finding the right policy to support, challenge, or strengthen at the right time, in the right place, can have an enormous impact.  more

Facebook's other problem: How the company blocks the spread of legitimate stories

July 30, 2018 | Daphne Marvel, Berkeley Media Studies Group

After being widely criticized for becoming an amplifier of fake news and being required by the European Union to tighten its data and privacy rules, Facebook has made sweeping changes to its policies and practices. But in its effort to keep false content from getting through, does the social media giant, at times, swing too far in the other direction? PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group writes about Facebook recently rejecting its paid promotion of a new report on gun violence in the news, categorizing it as "political content."  more

Q&A: Why the Global HIV Response Must Emphasize Key Populations and Human Rights

July 30, 2018 | Brian Kanyemba

PHI's Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP) II is the USAID Global Health (GH) bureau’s premier fellowship program that identifies and supports diverse, technically excellent professionals at all levels to achieve the Agency’s health priorities. In this interview, intern Brian Kanyemba discusses what drew him to the USAID fellowship, what inspires his work, and his advice for the next generation of global health professionals.

"My dream as a mid-career health professional has been to better understand the sources of funding and programs for key populations, and to work with developmental partners. I came to GHFP-II with years of experience in HIV programs. This internship was an opportunity to advance my professional development, and contribute my skills to USAID to ensure the HIV response addresses the health, social and human rights challenges key populations face."  more

GHYS 2018 Gives Students a 'Future' Glimpse into Global Health

July 12, 2018 | Stephanie Miceli, Global Health Fellows Program II

FACES students Lauren and Halimo (left) ask GHFP-II interns Jepkoech "JJ" Kotutt and Emma Artley about their day-to-day work.A Parliamentarian turned nonprofit executive. A pediatrician and youth advocate. A professor who’s on the ballot in November. These individuals might otherwise have little in common, but as a group of high school students learned this summer, they all found a path to working in global health.

For the third year in a row, PHI's Global Health Fellows Program II and FACES for the Future Coalition held their Global Health Youth Summit in Washington, DC, for high school students from underrepresented backgrounds to network with global health professionals, expand their knowledge of the field, and learn how their personal assets make them ideal for careers in global health.  more

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