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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


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

PHI/The Governance Institute Program Brings Pop Health to Healthcare Leaders

November 04, 2015

The Governance Institute, in partnership with Stakeholder Health, and the Public Health Institute (PHI), and with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is offering the first in a series of intensive training retreats for senior leaders and board members of hospitals and health systems. The Alignment of Governance and Leadership in Healthcare: Building Momentum for Transformation program will focus on building knowledge and understanding of population health concepts and strategies for alignment with a broad spectrum of stakeholders. This program is being offered at no cost to participants and is open to any healthcare delivery organization wishing to participate.  more

Pregnancy Events Reveal Cardiovascular Risk

September 21, 2015

Women who experience complications during pregnancy may be at greater risk of dying from heart disease later in life than women with uncomplicated pregnancies, according to new research from the Public Health Institute published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.  more

PHI, LiveStories Win HHS U.S. Obesity Data Challenge

September 02, 2015

HealthData+, a partnership between the Public Health Institute and LiveStories, with support from the California HealthCare Foundation, created the winning entry in a national competition designed to address obesity in communities across the country. HealthData+Obesity was created to help health officers tell a powerful story about the root causes of obesity—and what communities can do to address it.  more

85% of Hospitals Committed to Population Health, says AHA/PHI National Survey

August 24, 2015

As the healthcare sector continues to go through tremendous transformation, an overwhelming majority of hospitals now voice a strong commitment to population health, according to a new national survey of hospitals conducted by the American Hospital Association’s (AHA) Association for Community Health Improvement (ACHI) and the Public Health Institute (PHI). 

Eighty five percent of responding hospitals reported “strong” or “total” commitment to population health, or have population health in their vision statement.


Liquor privatization in Washington State results in higher prices and availability for consumers

June 24, 2015

Results of a recent Alcohol Research Group study that looked at the effects of privatization of the sale and distribution of liquor in Washington State found spirit prices increased significantly, while prices in the bordering states of Idaho and Oregon only showed small increases. “Our results confirm that replacing a government controlled system with a private system and taxes designed to achieve the same revenues to the state at a given sales level will result in substantially higher prices to consumers on average,” says senior scientist and lead author William C. Kerr of PHI's Alcohol Research Group.  more

PHI joins Global Call for Action on Climate Change and Health

June 23, 2015

The Public Health Institute joined the Lancet and the White House in today’s call for action, participating in the global release of the Lancet’s new report by moderating a panel of climate change experts in New York, co-sponsoring a west coast press conference in Los Angeles and releasing “Act on Climate: California Communities Addressing Climate Change and Health.”  more

Prenatal DDT Exposure Tied to Nearly Four-fold Increase in Breast Cancer Risk

June 16, 2015

Women who were exposed to higher levels of the pesticide DDT in utero—particularly a more estrogenic form, o,p’-DDT, found in commercial DDT—were nearly four times more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer as adults than women who were exposed to lower levels before birth, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).   more

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