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Maternal Smoking and Exposure to PCB Chemical Linked to Low Birth Weight

March 24, 2017

Women who were exposed to higher levels of a toxic byproduct of a common PCB chemical and who also smoked during pregnancy had babies with significantly lower birth weight, according to a new study from the Public Health Institute published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology. This is the first-ever human study on the impacts of exposure to PCB byproducts—known as hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls (OH-PCBs)—during pregnancy.  more

Harms to Children from Someone Else’s Drinking May Be Higher than Previously Reported

February 21, 2017

According to a new national study from the Alcohol Research Group, 7.4 percent of surveyed respondents reported that children in their care experienced harm as a result of someone else’s drinking. Studies in the U.S. have found general child maltreatment rates to be approximately 1 to 2 percent. These new caregiver responses indicate that the actual rates of harm to children could be much higher.   more

Announcing Inaugural Class of Carol Emmott Fellowship for Women Leaders in Health

December 15, 2016

Fifteen dynamic and innovative women from across the US have been selected to the inaugural class of the Carol Emmott Fellowship (CEF), a cutting-edge program based at the Public Health Institute which accelerates the leadership capacity and impact of women leaders in health. The newly launched Fellowship is one of only a few mid-career initiatives seeking to fill a critical vacuum in establishing the next generation of women leaders who will further transform health.  more

Study Finds People Drink More Alcohol after a Cancer Diagnosis than Before

December 08, 2016

Cancer survivors were more likely to report heavy drinking and more frequent heavy drinking occasions compared to others at the same ages with similar drinking histories, according to a new study in Preventive Medicine from the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute.  Heavy drinking was defined as having five or more drinks at any one time.  more

Study Finds the Longer Immigrant Women Live in the US, The More Likely Food Insecurity Affects Obesity

November 29, 2016

The longer that immigrant women reside in the United States, the greater the chances that food insecurity will be connected to obesity, finds a new study by the Public Health Institute’s Suzanne Ryan-Ibarra published today in the Public Health Nutrition journal.

According to findings based on a large representative sample of women in California, among immigrant women who lived in the US for 10 years or longer, very low food security was significantly associated with higher prevalence of overweight/obesity. Among immigrant women who had lived in the US for less than 10 years, low and very low food security were not significantly associated with obesity.   more

Leading the Charge for Gender Equity

October 07, 2016

The Carol Emmott Fellowship, a newly formed fellowship for women leaders in health aimed at addressing gender inequity in health leadership, will launch its inaugural program on November 1, 2016. In support of this ground-breaking program, which is based at the Public Health Institute, a select group of 12 esteemed organizations are committed to sponsoring this year’s first class of distinguished fellows.

 
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Imperial County Community Members Launch Air Monitoring Website

September 30, 2016

In Imperial County, where particulate pollution often exceeds state standards for more than six months at a time and children have among the highest rates of asthma-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations in the state, the availability of local air quality information can be a life or death issue.  On September 30th, community members and research partners in California’s Imperial County launched IVAN Air Monitoring, a community air monitoring website that puts real-time air quality information in residents’ hands.   more

Media Advisory: California Border Community Unveils Community Air Monitoring Website to Address Air Pollution and Asthma Crisis

September 20, 2016

On September 30, Imperial County community members, local organization Comite Civico del Valle, the California Environmental Health Tracking Program, and partners will celebrate the launch of IVAN Air Monitoring, a community air monitoring website that puts real-time air quality information in residents’ hands, during a celebratory event at Heber Elementary School, home to one of the community air monitors.

In Imperial County, the polluted air makes it risky to be a young child. Children in Imperial have an asthma ER rate that is nearly twice the state average. This project, funded by the National Institutes of Health, brings together scientists, community advocates, and local residents to develop a community air monitoring network. With the air monitoring data now available on a community-based website, parents and other residents now have air quality data that they can use to make immediate decisions to protect the health of their families.  more

Support for Marijuana Legalization Grew in Washington State Since Vote Passed

September 09, 2016

If the vote for marijuana legalization in Washington State were to be held again, Initiative 502 (I-502) would potentially have a stronger majority than it did in November 2012, according to a new study from the Alcohol Research Group, a program of the Public Health Institute, published today in Contemporary Drug Problems.

Researchers found that among people who voted against I-502, 14 percent would now vote in favor of the measure compared to 4.8 percent of yes-voters who would change their vote to no. The measure permits the production, processing, and selling of marijuana and allows limited possession for residents twenty-one years of age and older. Excise tax revenues on both wholesale and retail sales of marijuana are earmarked to support substance-abuse research, education, prevention and health care.  more

Advancing Better Women’s Health Prevention: The IMPT Receives $4.49 Million U.S. Government Award to Support MPTs

August 01, 2016

Women’s ability to protect themselves from simultaneous sexual and reproductive health (SRH) risks, including unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) received a substantial boost with a $4,499,501 award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to advance Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (MPTs). This award will support the Initiative for MPTs (IMPT) to coordinate the innovative field of prevention that enables women and adolescent girls to better protect themselves from multiple SRH risks. Some MPTs prevent infections and unintended pregnancy, while others would allow women to become pregnant while preventing HIV and other STIs.

The IMPT is a project of CAMI Health, an organization dedicated to women’s reproductive health and empowerment, housed at the Public Health Institute (PHI).  more

Years after Liquor Privatization, Washington State Residents Regret Vote to End State Monopoly

June 28, 2016

Washington State residents who voted in favor of privatizing liquor sales were eight times more likely to express a desire to change their original vote than residents who voted against the measure, according to a study from PHI's Alcohol Research Group published today in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs“Our study not only shows that many people changed their minds about privatization, but more importantly, those who now say they wish they had voted no might have been a large enough group to defeat the measure in 2011, had they known its real impact at the time,” said lead author Meenakshi Sabina Subbaraman, Ph.D., a biostatistician with ARG.  more

State Nutrition Incentives Investment will Create Jobs, Improve Health

June 27, 2016

More California grown fruits and vegetables will be found on plates across the state, as Governor Brown today included funding for healthy food incentives in the 2016-2017 state budget. In a farm economy still hurting from drought, this modest $5 million investment is expected to boost farmers’ sales ten times and create nearly 2,000 jobs in rural communities—all while improving the health of local families.  more

Cross-Border Shopping Increased After Washington State Privatized Liquor Sales

June 09, 2016

cocktail

An increase in cross-border traffic by Washington State residents to Idaho and Oregon following Washington’s privatization of liquor stores resulted in significant revenue for the two bordering states, according to a new study from PHI's Alcohol Research Group published online this week in the journal Addiction  more

Women with Irregular Menstrual Cycles at Increased Risk of Ovarian Cancer Death

April 20, 2016

Women with irregular menstrual cycles had up to a threefold increased risk of developing ovarian cancer and dying from it, according to a large, prospective study from the Public Health Institute published online this week by the International Journal of Cancer“Our study finding is significant because ovarian cancer is usually not diagnosed until after it has spread. There are no reliable early diagnosis or screening methods, and symptoms often go unnoticed until it’s too late,” said Barbara A. Cohn, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the Public Health Institute’s Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS). “Discovering high-risk traits like irregular menstruation gives clinicians the opportunity to potentially save lives by identifying them as early warning signs and developing strategies to reduce these women’s risk of death.”  more

New Rankings Map Inequality and Health Status among California Counties

March 16, 2016

The Bay Area counties of San Francisco and San Mateo have the highest rates of residential segregation in California, according to the seventh annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The five healthiest counties in California are Marin County, followed by San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Orange County, and Placer County. 

Read more about this year's Rankings and explore interactive charts showing data on overall health outcomes, income inequality and more.   more

PHI’s California Adolescent Health Collaborative Awarded Multi-Million Dollar Grant to Build Healthy Relationships in California’s Central Valley

March 01, 2016

The California Adolescent Health Collaborative (CAHC), a program of the Public Health Institute, today announced the receipt of a five-year, $7 million grant from the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The implementation of the grant will focus primarily on equipping rural youth ages 16-24 in California’s Central Valley with tools and education to pursue healthy relationships and to open economic pathways for their future.  more

National Study Finds that Where You Live Affects Why and How Much You Drink

February 25, 2016

While men in high-income communities and non-White men in poorer neighborhoods tend to think positively about drinking—and to drink heavily and experience negative consequences related to drinking—when neighborhoods have a high concentration of immigrants non-White men are less likely to think of drinking as a good thing, reveals a paper by researchers from PHI's Alcohol Research Group published yesterday in Prevention Science.  more

New Vaginal Ring can Reduce Women's HIV Rates, Will Next Combine with Contraception as MPT

February 22, 2016

Sacramento, CA: The dapivirine ring, a new option for women to prevent HIV, has proven to be safe and effective at reducing HIV risks in women according to clinical trial results (ASPIRE and The Ring Study) released today at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston. The strong findings are welcome news...  more

The National Alcohol Research Center at PHI's Alcohol Research Group Receives Another Five Years of Funding

February 21, 2016 | Alcohol Research Group

PHI's Alcohol Research Group (ARG) is pleased to announce it has received a $7.3M grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to support the continuation of its National Alcohol Research Center. The funds will be dispersed over a five year period beginning this year through to 2020.  more

Annual Report Again Gives CA Elected Officials a ‘Needs Improvement’ Grade on Food and Farm Policy

November 19, 2015

A report released this week by the California Food Policy Council (CAFPC) and Roots of Change reveals the 2015 food and farm policy votes of California’s 120 elected state legislators. The 2015 CAFPC Report on Legislation Related to Food and Farming illustrates how despite some progress on food and agriculture issues, the California Legislature continues to miss most opportunities to pass bills that will actually have the greatest impact on the people most harmed by the challenges connected to California’s food and farming system.  more

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