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PHI in the News

Maternal Mortality and Me: I Beat the Odds, But Many Women Don’t

May 18, 2016 | Denise Dunning | Ms. Magazine

maternal healthDenise Dunning, director of PHI's Let Girls LeadChampions For Change, and the Youth Champions Initiative, authored this first-person account of her own experience developing a potentially life-threatening complication during pregnancy—connecting it to the reality that hundreds of thousands of women globally die during pregnancy and childbirth, and her programs' work to advance health, education and equity for girls, youth and women around the world.  more

Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED

Fresno Aims To Boost Health Through Biking, Walking

May 18, 2016 | Farida Jhabvala Romero | KQED

This California Report story highlights the work of PHI's Cultiva La Salud to promote biking and walking in Fresno, California. The program holds free bike repair and safety events, and also pushes for policy changes to develop city transportation plans with more biking and pedestrian options. Although the city has made progress in extending its bike lane network, “unfortunately, when you come south where there are census tracts of lower-income residents, that’s where you really begin to see a deficit in both bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure,” explains Cultiva La Salud Director Genoveva Islas.  more

Photo: iStockimage

Oakland City Council Puts Soda Tax on November Ballot

May 04, 2016 | Lisa Aliferis | KQED

PHI President and CEO Mary A. Pittman is quoted in this article about a sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax initiative that will be put before voters in Oakland, CA, on the November ballot. “It is time that big beverage companies dip into their millions of dollars of profits and help pay for the damage their products cause,” Pittman said.  more

Study: States make minor progress on telehealth-friendly policies

May 02, 2016 | Alex Koma | StateScoop

States have made only incremental progress in passing laws that let more physicians practice medicine using video conferencing or other digital methods, according to a new report from the Center for Connected Health Policy, a project of the Public Health Institute. The report provides an overview of telehealth-related legislation in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and found that while some states are passing laws to expand access to telehealth services, others are adding restrictions on them. 

"What we see is some states moving forward and some states moving backwards,” Mario Gutierrez, the CCHP's executive director, told StateScoop in this article.  more

Photo: Farida Jhabvala Romero/KQED

How Fresno Man Started Biking and Reversed Type 2 Diabetes

April 29, 2016 | Farida Jhabvala Romero | KQED

This California Report story features Jamie Rangel, a participant in a bicycle repair and promotion program from PHI's Cultiva La Salud in Fresno, California. Rangel had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes as a teenager, but at the advice of his doctor he began biking regularly and within a year he had reversed his diabetes. “Biking changed my life," says Rangel.  more

Irregular Periods May Raise Ovarian Cancer Risk, Study Finds

April 21, 2016 | Maggie Fox | NBC News

Image: ovarian cancer

A new study from PHI's Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS) finding that women with irregular menstrual cycles were more likely to later develop ovarian cancer is detailed in this NBC News article. Women in the study who had irregular periods at age 26 had double the risk of ovarian cancer by age 70 and triple the risk by age 77. 

"Our study finding could lead to better understanding of the 90 percent of ovarian cancers that occur in women with no family history of ovarian cancer and with no known high-risk inherited mutations," said Barbara Cohn, PhD, director of CHDS.  more

For Telemedicine Providers, the Policy Landscape Continues to Have Both Gains and Losses, Report Says

April 20, 2016 | Healthcare Informatics and various other outlets

Legislators across the country seem to be taking one step forward and then one step backward when it comes to telehealth reimbursement policies and laws, according to a new report from the Center for Connected Health Policy, a project of the Public Health Institute. This annual report is the most comprehensive one available on state telehealth laws, regulations and Medicaid policies, and contains the most current information for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report found that even as many states are beginning to expand telehealth reimbursement, others continue to restrict and place limitations on telehealth delivered services.    more

Orange Cove residents bike their way to healthy life styles

April 20, 2016 | Maria G. Ortiz-Briones | Vida en el valle

Bike Rodeo participants learn proper signaling from Cultiva la Salud’s Program Director Genoveva Islas.

Three biking events hosted by PHI's Cultiva La Salud in the Central Valley community of Orange Cove are highlighted in this Vida en el Valle article. Intended to raise awareness about the need for improved biking and walking infrastructure in the community, and to educate low-income residents on bike safety and maintenance, the events included a 30-minute "Cumbia Ride," an event to provide free bicycle repairs, and a "Bike Rodeo," where children and adults learned bike safety lessons. 

Cultiva La Salud also hosted a "Walk with the Mayor" event earlier in the month to celebrate National Walking Day.  more

The Causes of Shorter Life Expectancies in America

April 18, 2016 | Lori Dorfman | New York Times

Lori Dorfman, director of PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group, wrote this letter to the editor in response to a New York Times article on new research about shortened life expectancies for low-income Americans, particularly in some parts of the country. Dorfman points out that while it is useful for researchers to focus on a single factor among the various social determinants of health to better understand it, there is a danger in fixating on just one when developing policies to improve the health of low-income populations.  more

Climate change far more than an environmental issue

April 14, 2016 | Sammy Roth, The Desert Sun | USA Today

The Mountain Fire burns over a ridgeline behind the

Linda Rudolph, director of PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health, discusses the human health impacts of climate change in this in-depth article about climate change as more than just an environmental issue.

Rudolph points out that climate change is especially harmful for people of color and low-income communities, as they already suffer from chronic health issues that will be exacerbated by a changing climate—but that "we can still make changes that will reduce the magnitude of the longer-term impacts on the health of our children."  more

Love pop? Might cost more if Oakland soda tax measure gains steam

April 07, 2016 | David DeBolt | San Jose Mercury News

Ashby Super Market owner Andre Hussein has a wide variety of drinks that fall under the "soda tax" in Berkeley, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 10,Interim results from an evaluation of Berkeley, California's 2014 sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax carried out by the Public Health Institute and University of North Carolina is highlighted in the San Jose Mercury News, in relation to a similar soda tax measure being proposed this year in Oakland. The research team concludes that the tax in Berkeley has been fully passed on to the retail pricing of sugar-sweetened beverages in large and small chain supermarkets and chain gas stations.  more

Addiction epidemic fuels runaway demand for ‘sober homes’

April 06, 2016 | Carla K. Johnson | Salon

Amy Mericle, a scientist with PHI's Alcohol Research Group, is featured in this AP article published on Salon and ABC News about 'sober homes' for people addicted to painkillers and heroin.  more

New Indiana law clears way for telemedicine efforts

March 30, 2016 | Alex Koma | StateScoop

Mario Gutierrez, director of PHI's Center for Connected Health Policy, is interviewed in this article about a new law in Indiana that gives doctors, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, optometrists and out-of-state providers serving patients in the state the ability to prescribe a variety of drugs remotely, rather than requiring them to meet with patients in person beforehand. “The uses of telehealth have real benefit for improving the quality and efficiency of care, and the fact that it passed is an important statement,” Gutierrez said.  more

Can a drink a day keep the doctor away?

March 22, 2016 | Lisa Rapaport | Reuters

Tom Greenfield, scientific director of PHI's Alcohol Research Group, is quoted in this Reuters article about a new study concluding that, contrary to prior findings, moderate drinking offers no net health benefit. Greenfield wrote a separate commentary that accompanied the study. “Never binge drinking and drinking small amounts when drinking – with meals – is a good rule of thumb,” he said.  more

Health assessment urged for new coal plants

March 22, 2016 | SciDev.net

Health assessment urged for new coal plantsLinda Rudolph, director of PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health, is quoted in this article about new coal-fired power plants in the Philippines and the absence of health impacts in assessments of environmental impacts and costs of the new plants. Rudolph recommends that a health impact assessment be undertaken and that health considerations be integrated into policymaking, project design and implementation.  more

Colusa, Glenn tumble in latest state health report

March 22, 2016 | Brian Pearson | Colusa Sun Herald

PHI President and CEO Mary A. Pittman is quoted in this article in the Colusa Sun Herald about the new 2016 County Health Rankings released last week. Colusa County in Northern California is among the unhealthiest state wide, according to the Rankings. "What is clear from the 2016 County Health Rankings is that tremendous health disparities persist across California, particularly in our rural counties," said Pittman.  more

Sugary beverage tax to combat obesity and diabetes epidemic

March 17, 2016 | Maria G. Ortiz-Briones | Vida en el valle

Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D-Santa Mónica, introduced on March 9, AB 2782, which would establish a two-cent per ounce health impact fee on sugary drinks.A newly introduced California bill co-sponsored by PHI that would establish a health impact fee on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages is profiled in this article in Vida en el valle. Revenues would help fund nutrition education, physical activity, access to clean water, access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and support for oral health in vulnerable communities. Last week, the Coalition for a Healthy California—led by Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and backed by PHI, our program Roots of Change, and other leading ethnic and state-based organizations—announced the bill at a press event in Sacramento, along with bill author Assemblymember Richard Bloom and other state legislators.   more

Bike event aims to bring bicycle awareness to southeast Fresno

March 16, 2016 | Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado | Fresno Bee

A program from PHI's Cultiva La Salud in California's Central Valley to teach residents about bike safety and maintenance and to encourage physical activity through biking is highlighted in this Fresno Bee article.  more

‘A longer leash’ on life: Digital implant monitors heart patient at home and on the go

March 07, 2016 | Heather Larson Poyner | Kenosha News

Mario Gutierrez, director of PHI's Center for Connected Health Policy, is interviewed in this article in Wisconsin's Kenosha News about remote monitoring of patients with chronic heart disease as well as other chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. “The notion of telemedicine — in fields like psychiatry and radiology — has been around for 40 to 50 years; diagnostic, treatment and monitoring applications has emerged within the last 10,” Gutierrez said.  more

H.I.V. and African Women

March 04, 2016 | Bethany Young Holt | New York Times

Bethany Young Holt, director of the Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (IMPTs) at PHI's CAMI Health, wrote this letter to the editor published by the New York Times in response to an editorial about new evidence suggesting an intravaginal ring that slowly releases an antiretroviral drug could help protect women in Africa from HIV. She states that this ring is a welcome development, and that a range of options that provide simultaneous birth control and HIV prevention is needed.  more

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