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Study: Tobacco industry influenced public debate to block a ban on menthol

June 11, 2014

Stoking fears of job loss and strategically positioning itself on the side of civil rights groups, the tobacco industry influenced news coverage of mentholated cigarettes — which disproportionately impact the health of African Americans — to prevent a ban on them, found a study published today in the American Journal of Public Health. 

The study, conducted by researchers at the Public Health Institute's Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG) and the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, analyzed public debate on menthol policy between 2008 and 2011, including news coverage, government documents and meeting transcripts of a key advisory committee to the FDA, which was charged with evaluating the public health effects of menthol.   more

Irregular Menstruation May Predict Increased Risk of Death From Ovarian Cancer, PHI Study Finds

April 09, 2014

Women with irregular menstrual cycles had a twofold increased risk of death from ovarian cancer, according to a large, prospective PHI study presented here today at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2014.   more

Oakland Has Much to Be Proud of – Including Being Home to One of 50 'Best Nonprofits To Work For' in US

April 01, 2014

In the last year alone, Oakland has been proclaimed the “Most Exciting City in America,” the fifth “Hippest City in the U.S.,” the “Greenest City in America,” the second “Best California City for Singles” and one of the “Top 10 Cities to Walk a Dog.” 

And now, this other city by the Bay has one more feather in its cap: the Oakland-based Public Health Institute was named today as one of the 50 "Best Nonprofits To Work For by The NonProfit Times.   more

2014 County Health Rankings Highlight Health Differences Across California

March 26, 2014

Marin is the healthiest county in California and Lake is the least healthy, according to the fifth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.  more

Soda Industry Played Behind-the-Scenes Role in Influencing News Coverage of Richmond and El Monte, Calif., Soda Tax Proposals

February 26, 2014

The soda industry influenced news coverage of two soda tax ballot measures in the working-class cities of Richmond and El Monte, Calif., found research released today by the Public Health Institute's Berkeley Media Studies Group.  more

Community Health Workers: An Answer to Growing US Health Care Needs, New Public Health Institute Report Finds

January 16, 2014

The time has come to bring community health workers (CHWs) and promotores “into the mainstream of the US health care system,” states a new PHI report,  "Taking Innovation to Scale: Community Health Workers, Promotores and the Triple Aim." 

CHWs and promotores can reduce avoidable emergency department visits by 42%, deliver an impressive 4:1 return on investment, ensure that more patients keep their medical appointments, and improve health outcomes, the new report from PHI's California Heatlh Workforce Alliance finds.   more

First-Ever Report on California Food and Farming Legislation is Released

January 08, 2014

A report released today by Roots of Change, a project of PHI, and the California Food Policy Council for the first time tracks food and farm policy voting records by the California Legislature. The 2013 CA Legislative Report Related to Food and Farming brings to light how the Golden State’s Legislature is missing a golden opportunity: that fixing California’s food and farming challenges will dramatically improve our state’s most serious health, environmental and economic problems.  more

Journey Forward and C/NET Solutions Leverage Electronic Health Data to Create Survivorship Care Plans for Cancer Patients

December 12, 2013

Journey Forward, a leader in electronic survivorship care plans, and PHI's C/NET Solutions, a leading provider of cancer registry software, today confirmed the successful export of patient data from C/NExT CNExT Registry software into the Journey Forward Survivorship Care Plan Builder software. This milestone gives oncology professionals the ability to efficiently and accurately import most of the diagnosis and treatment summary information into survivorship care plans. These plans aim to improve coordination of care for cancer survivors throughout their lives while helping survivors and their care teams understand their cancer treatments and follow-up needs.   more

Unhappy meals? Majority of very young children in California eat fast food at least once a week

November 26, 2013

A surprisingly large percentage of very young children in California, including 70 percent of Latino children, eat fast food regularly, according to a new policy brief by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.  more

How Much Alcohol Is in Your Drink? Stronger Beers and Wines Make It Harder to Tell

October 15, 2013

Consumers often don’t know how much alcohol they are actually drinking, according to “The Blurring of Alcohol Categories,” a new report from the Public Health Institute’s Alcohol Research Group (ARG) published by the National Alcoholic Beverage Control Association. Many new beer and wine products have increased alcohol content—blurring what were once clear lines between the alcohol content of beer, wine and spirits.

Adding to the confusion, beer and wine brands aren’t required to list alcohol content – some do so voluntarily while others do not. As a result, many drink more alcohol than they realize and may unwittingly exceed the legal blood alcohol level for driving - increasing their potential danger of car crashes and harm to their safety and health, the report explains. Those who wish only to drink alcohol moderately might overdrink without knowing it.  more

Contraception & HIV Prevention in a Single Product: CAMI receives $1M Gates Foundation Grant

August 29, 2013

Breakthrough technologies that will enable women to better control fertility and simultaneously protect themselves and their families from HIV and other STIs are finally on the horizon. CAMI, (Coalition Advancing Multipurpose Innovations), has received a one million dollar grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their international work coordinating the development and availability of products that provide contraception while preventing HIV and other STIs.

   more

California Environmental Health Tracking Program Slated for Massive Cuts

July 15, 2013

California’s main statewide health tracking system for environmental hazards and non-infectious disease, the California Environmental Health Tracking Program (CEHTP), received notice this week from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that it will be cut by 35 percent effective August 1, undermining California’s capacity to analyze and respond to looming public health threats.

“This short-sighted cut to CEHTP is symptomatic of a broader dismantling of critical public health services and infrastructure that puts the health of Californians at risk,” said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of the Public Health Institute (PHI), which is funded by the CDC to administer CEHTP on behalf of the California Department of Public Health. “Cutting funding for CEHTP will leave public health programs and agencies without a critical early warning system that allows us to respond to hazards in time to actually protect people.”  more

White House Recognizes PHI’s Linda Rudolph as Public Health and Climate ‘Champion of Change’

July 09, 2013

The White House honored Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH, today as one of 11 “Champions of Change” working on the front lines to protect public health in a changing climate. A nationally recognized public health physician and expert on climate change and public health, Rudolph leads the Public Health Institute’s Center for Public Health and Climate Change.  more

Media Advisory: Exploring the Link Between Guns and Violence

July 09, 2013

The stunning defeat of gun control legislation in Congress – even after the public outcry for better gun control when schoolchildren were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School last December – doesn’t mean there isn’t more we can do.  As a distinguished panel of national experts on gun violence will explain in a July 10 Dialogue4Health Web Forum, it is now time to recognize that the nation’s gun violence epidemic is a public health problem.  more

PHI Joins Global Women’s Leadership Network to Launch Brainstorm Challenge to Advance Equity for Women and Girls

May 01, 2013

Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN), the Public Health Institute and other partners are launching a Brainstorm Challenge to crowdsource new ideas on how to radically accelerate the development of leadership capacity in women and girls around the globe. The Brainstorm Challenge will run from May 1-31 and $500 prizes will be awarded to the top two solvers who offer the best ideas to address the Challenge questions.  more

National Web Forum Aims to Mobilize Latino Community to Address High Obesity Rates

April 10, 2013

The Public Health Institute will host a national web forum on April 16 on obesity prevention that will shine an urgently needed spotlight solely on why this is an important issue for the Latino community. The programming will air in both Spanish and English.  more

2013 County Health Rankings Highlight Health Differences Across California

March 20, 2013

Marin is the healthiest county in California and Lake is the least healthy, according to the fourth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The project assigns each California county a ranking based on health outcomes data and the various economic, social, behavioral and environmental factors that influence health. Similar to last year, several (although not all) counties in the Bay Area ranked high, while many rural counties remained low.  more

Cereal Companies Leverage Online Marketing to Target Children, BMSG/Yale Study Reports

February 20, 2013

Cereal companies, the third largest food marketer to children, are using sophisticated online marketing techniques to target kids with unhealthy products and get them to engage with brands in ways not possible through television advertising, a study by PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group and the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity found. The techniques include tracking children's online behavior and creating interactive ads disguised as entertainment.  more

Research by the Public Health Institute Identifies New Communities Within California with Elevated Breast Cancer Rates

November 27, 2012

New research by the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) California Breast Cancer Mapping Project (CBCMP) has pinpointed four previously unidentified areas of California that have invasive breast cancer rates substantially higher than the state average. The four “areas of concern” encompass sections of Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties, as well as parts of the north and south Bay Area.  more

First Time Data Analysis Reveals 1.1 Million Californians Have Been Diagnosed With Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

November 01, 2012

An estimated 1.1 million Californians, with nearly 200,000 in Los Angeles County, have been diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, according to the first research of its kind by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research along with Survey Research Group, a project of the Public Health Institute.  more

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