PHI in the News
April 24, 2017 | Ronnie Cohen | Reuters
A new study published in PLOS Medicine by the Public Health Institute and the University of North Carolina showed that Berkeley’s sugar sweetened beverage tax is working as intended. Sales of sugar-sweetened beverages dropped nearly 10 percent during the first year of the tax, purchaces of healthier beverages rose, and $1.4 million was raised in the first year for child nutrition and community health programs. Read an overview of the new findings in this Reuters article. more
April 03, 2017 | Kara Guzman | Santa Cruz Sentinel
Chlorpyrifos, the pesticide linked to neurological damage in children that made national news last month when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency refused to ban it, is still used in Santa Cruz County, though is restricted, declining and small compared to other counties. For comparison, Santa Cruz County's use of chlorpyrifos is somewhere in the bottom 50th percentile among other California counties—nowhere close to the amounts used in sections of the Salinas Valley and the Central Valley, which are among the top users in the state, according to a pesticide mapping tool from PHI's California Environmental Health Tracking Program.
March 29, 2017 | Jim Smith | Daily Democrat
When it come to the healthiest county in California, San Mateo is tops, but Yolo isn’t far behind. That was the conclusion of the eighth annual County Health Rankings, released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
“By surfacing issues like drug overdoses, lack of education and job opportunities for youth, and the need for integrated care, the County Health Rankings help us understand where we should be making strategic investments in health,” said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of the Public Health Institute, based in Oakland. “The 2017 Rankings point to an urgent need to make sure that clinical providers and public health practitioners are working closely together to make sure everyone can access care-and that we are working to prevent people from getting sick in the first place.” more
March 22, 2017 | M.J. Friedrich | Journal of the American Medical Association: Medical News & Perspectives
The 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change recommended that health professionals use similar strategies to combat climate-related health dangers as they did in tackling tobacco use, HIV infection, and polio. “A public health perspective has the potential to unite all actors behind a common cause—the health and wellbeing of our families, communities, and countries,” Commission members wrote.
This JAMA article highlights how leaders in the medical community are working to address the impacts of climate change and health through changing medical school curriculum, training practitioners to understand the health linkages and implications, and greening the health care sector. It features Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH, director of PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health, and the Center's work to train and identify medical practitioners to become champions on climate and health. more
March 20, 2017 | Ryan Black | Healthcare Analytics News
As the landscape of health continues to evolve, with massive advances at the technological level but widespread uncertainty in health policy, it’s difficult to determine the role that new technologies can play, or will be allowed to play, down the road.
PHI's Center for Connected Care Health Policy, or CCHP, has worked for nearly a decade now to advocate for the use of telehealth as a means to streamline care, lower costs, and put patients at the center of the healthcare system. Initially begun to advocate for legal telehealth reform in the state of California, the CCHP has since become the leading, federally-designated national body for the movement.
Read the Healthcare Analytics News interview with CCHP Executive Director Mario Gutierrez. more
March 06, 2017 | Megan Molteni | Wired
Dialing a doctor has never been easier, but that doesn't mean telemedicine is working out the way policymakers hoped. “Telehealth has to be integrated fully into a total care system,” says Mario Gutierrez, executive director of the Center for Connected Health Policy at the Public Health Institute. “It can’t just be a one-off. That’s not health care.” more
March 03, 2017 | Ashley Hopkinson | EdSource
According to a PHI survey, 46.7 percent of California’s parents and caregivers experienced trauma as a child, which can have lasting effects on a caregiver’s health, behavior and well-being. This finding was cited in a new report highlighted in this EdSource article outlining policy goals and guidelines to better serve California’s infants and toddlers. more
February 21, 2017 | Alec Rosenberg | Medical Xpress
An innovative new study undertaken by Alison Chopel at PHI's California Adolescent Health Collaborative and Brighter Beginnings aiming to boost breastfeeding rates among young mothers is featured in this article in Medical Xpress. Breastfeeding helps moms bond with their newborns, recover from childbirth and can reduce their risks of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and breast cancer—yet rates are low for young moms, particularly low-income women of color. more
February 16, 2017 | Paulina Phelps | BillMoyers.com
In California's Imperial County, where the rate of school-aged children visiting the ER is twice the state average, PHI’s California Environmental Health Tracking Program has partnered with the local community and others to identify air pollution "hot spots" at the local level. This article highlights the project, which installed 40 air quality monitors throughout the valley and set up a website to gather pollution information and community-generated reports, putting scientific data in the hands of community members so they know about the presence of possible health risks and can advocate for policy change. more
February 12, 2017 | Kathy Stephenson | The Salt Lake Tribune
The markup in price that Utah consumers pay on a single bottle of wine is the highest among all liquor-control jurisdictions in the country, according to numbers from PHI's Alcohol Research Group. This article in the Salt Lake Tribune details ARG data on price markups in 16 states and one county across the country that control the distribution of alcohol. more
January 23, 2017 | Thomas Beaton | mHealthIntelligence
Healthcare consumers are increasingly willing to switch clinicians if another provider offers telehealth services, according to a new survey featured in this mHealthIntelligence article, which cites PHI's Center for Connected Health Policy's finding that significant differences in state policies and attitudes toward telehealth are a major obstacle to implementation. more
January 18, 2017 | Alex Orlov | Mic
Food and beverage marketers aggressively target low-income communities in marketing unhealthy foods, says Pamela Mejia from PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group in this Mic article responding to a recent report that showed American households benefitting from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) spent more SNAP money on soda than any other item. more
'No One Should Go Hungry': How the Root Cause Coalition is Working to Change Healthcare's Priorities
December 19, 2016 | Becker's Hospital Review
The Root Cause Coalition is a member-driven, nonprofit organization created to take on issues pertaining to social determinants of health like poverty, housing instability and hunger to improve the health of America's disenfranchised communities. One of the Root Cause Coalition's research initiatives, Tackling Hunger to Improve Health in Older Americans, is focused on adults over 50 years of age who experience food insecurity and are afflicted with chronic illness. The study is the result of a partnership with the CDC and is being conducted by the Public Health Institute. more
November 30, 2016 | Sacramento Bee
The Sacramento Bee discusses a new pesticide application proposal, spurred by a CDPH/Public Health Institute report from the California Environmental Health Tracking Program. more
November 17, 2016 | The Nation's Health
One of the ways to protect vulnerable populations from climate change is to create plans that consider their health and well-being — not only in emergencies, but also when considering future infrastructure. PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health is helping health departments around the country create constituency plans and expand their approaches to tackling climate change and health equity in their communities. more
November 16, 2016 | MedicalXpress.com
County-level suicide rates in the United States had a strong positive relationship with county poverty rates, while no relationships were found between county measures of unemployment or foreclosures when poverty rates were controlled, according to a new study from the Alcohol Research Group (ARG), a program of the Public Health Institute, in collaboration with the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Oregon Health and Science University, Prevention Research Center and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. more
November 14, 2016 | California Health Report
For people suffering from advanced illnesses like cancer, navigating the complex worlds of palliative care and hospice can be a daunting task. Although programs to help patients exist, African American communities experience consistent disparities including a disproportionate burden of advanced illness.
Five African-American churches have partnered with PHI's Center for Technology and Aging and the Alameda County Care Alliance to place "care navigators" directly into their congregations. These care navigators offer advice on advanced directives and offer guidance on housing, transportation, and respite care for caregivers. more
November 09, 2016 | Next City
Next City and The Mercury Times talked to PHI's Lynn Silver following the landmark passage of a tax on sugary beverages in San Francisco, Oakland, and Albany about the movement going forward and public health outcomes. more
November 03, 2016 | California Healthline
California Healthline and Slate Magazine cover newly released data from PHI that captures high abuse rates amongst Californian adults. more
November 03, 2016 | The Huffington Post
The Huffington Post and LiveScience.com look at a new PHI study finding that people who combine alcohol and marijuana may be at greater risk for alcohol-related problems, such as drunken driving and poorer health. more