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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

PHI study links breast cancer risk today to PCB chemicals banned 40 years ago

October 01, 2012

A new Public Health Institute (PHI) study indicates for the first time that a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer as a young adult, before age 50, is three times higher if she has a high fraction of one form of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in her blood during her reproductive years. 1 of 4 women studied fell into that group.

The study, published online Sunday in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, linked breast cancer development to chemical exposures, and identified risk due to exposure during a time when the breast is particularly vulnerable to toxins--during puberty, pregnancy, and just after giving birth.  more

Center for Technology and Aging Launches Online “ADOPT Toolkit©” and Advisory Services

September 25, 2012

The Center for Technology and Aging announced today the launch of the online “ADOPT Toolkit©” and associated technical advisory and consulting services. These new initiatives build on the CTA’s experience of successfully managing technology demonstration programs and assisting health care organizations across the country adopt technologies for improving chronic disease management and reducing hospital re-admissions.  more

ARG's Lee Ann Kaskutas Receives State Award for Innovative and Effective Research Methods

August 22, 2012

The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs today awarded the 2012 Director’s Award for Innovative and Effective Approaches to Research to Lee Ann Kaskutas, senior scientist and director of training at the Alcohol Research Group at the Public Health Institute and adjunct associate professor at U.C. Berkeley's School of Public Health. The ADP Director’s Awards recognize valuable contributions by individuals and organizations to the substance abuse prevention, treatment, research and recovery fields.  more

Low-income women lost health insurance coverage in recession, would benefit from Affordable Care Act, PHI brief reveals

June 25, 2012

Low-income California women lost health insurance coverage during the 2009 recession, leaving almost half with no insurance at all, a new PHI policy brief reveals.  more

Mother's Heavy Coffee Drinking During Pregnancy Appears to Reduce Her Son's Semen Quality Years Later, Public Health Institute Finds

December 21, 2011

A son who is exposed to his mother's heavy coffee drinking - five cups or more a day - while she is pregnant with him is more likely to have poorer semen quality later in life, a new Public Health Institute study reports.

The study, which appears in the December issue of the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, found clear evidence for the first time that three key semen measures used to determine fertility declined for sons currently in their 40s whose mothers drank five or more cups of coffee daily while the sons were in utero. The measures were for semen concentration, motility (movement) and normal morphology (characteristics, such as sperm size and shape).  more

Uninsurance Rate Climbed to Nearly One in Four California Women in 2009, Public Health Institute Reports

December 19, 2011

The proportion of nonelderly adult California women with no health insurance coverage grew to nearly one in four between 2007and 2009, a period that coincided with the national economic recession, a new policy brief from the Public Health Institute (PHI) reports.The rate of women uninsured all or part of the year increased from 21 percent in 2007 to 24 percent in 2009 as women lost access to employment-based coverage, according to the authors, Roberta Wyn, PhD, and Elaine Zahnd, PhD.

Altogether, approximately 2.8 million California women between the ages of 18 and 64 had no insurance for all or part of 2009.  more

PHI's Adolescent Girls' Advocacy and Leadership Initiative Awards $50,000 to Improve the Lives of Young Girls and Women in Malawi

December 09, 2011

Supported by the United Nations Foundation and the Compton Foundation, the Adolescent Girls' Advocacy and Leadership Initiative (AGALI) of the Public Health Institute (PHI) has awarded $50,000 in funding to organizations in Malawi to implement new advocacy strategies aimed at improving adolescent girls' health, education and livelihoods.

"Adolescent girls in Malawi suffer from widespread physical, economic and social violence," said Denise Raquel Dunning, MPA, AGALI's Program Director. "Only by improving policies, programs and budgets to benefit girls will it be possible for girls to realize their full potential and contribute to Malawi's future."  more

Do Farm Subsidies Cause Obesity? New Paper Dispels Myths About Public Health and Commodity Payments

October 18, 2011

A white paper released by Food & Water Watch and the Public Health Institute challenges the common assumption that government subsidies to farmers growing corn, soybeans and other commodity crops is a primary factor in increasing rates of obesity.

Acknowledging that the current system of farm subsidies is in need of reform, the paper, Do Farm Subsidies Cause Obesity? Dispelling Common Myths About Public Health and the Farm Bill, finds that there is little to no academic research that supports he belief that crop subsidies make junk food cheaper and more plentiful, leading to higher rates of obesity.  more

Public Health Institute's Alcohol Research Group Becomes a WHO Collaborating Center

September 28, 2011

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated the Public Health Institute's Alcohol Research Group (ARG) a Collaborating Center for Alcohol Epidemiology and Injury.

The center will be headed by Cheryl J. Cherpitel, DrPH, a senior scientist and associate director of the National Alcohol Research Center at ARG who is well known for her international studies on the epidemiology of alcohol-related injury and violence. Since 1984, Cherpitel has been interviewing patients in emergency rooms around the world, compiling data on the association between drinking and a range of injuries that now includes 30 countries. Emergency rooms afford unusual access to this population which in most other circumstances can be hard to reach.  more

Public Health Institute Awarded $5.9 Million to Help Create Healthier Communities in California's Less Populous and Rural Counties

September 27, 2011

Today the Public Health Institute was awarded $5,926,365 to reduce chronic disease and address health disparities in small and rural counties throughout California, an area with a total estimated population of 5,900,000, including a rural population of over 833,000. Work will focus on expanding efforts in tobacco-free living, active living and healthy eating, quality clinical and other preventive services, and healthy and safe physical environments.

PHI and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will serve as lead partners and will work closely with local health departments and community-based organizations to implement the new program.  more

Public Health Institute Receives $209.5 million from USAID to Develop Global Health Professionals

September 22, 2011

The Public Health Institute (PHI) is pleased and honored to announce that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded it a $209.5 million "cooperative agreement" to continue to create a large, sustainable and diverse pool of talented global health professionals in the Global Health Fellows Program (GHFP).

This award, nearly twice as large as a previous USAID agreement with PHI for GHFP-I, is recognition of the excellence PHI has brought to recruitment, placement and career development of fellows and interns both in Washington, D.C., and abroad in the Agency's population, health and nutrition programs. GHFP-II, which will start up October 1, will build on the previous program's proven ability in talent acquisition and management to support USAID as new presidential initiatives and unforeseen health challenges shift human capital needs in the short and long terms.  more

Public Health Institute Calls on United Nations to Set World on Path to Prevent and Treat Non-Communicable Diseases

September 19, 2011

On the opening day of the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), the Public Health Institute (PHI) calls on the world body to adopt a visionary statement that acknowledges the growing global problem of NCDs and provides a roadmap for preventing and treating them.

PHI urges High-Level Meeting participants to consider strengthening the global response:  more

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Selects PHI's Center for Health Leadership and Practice to Lead New National Collaborative

September 08, 2011

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has selected the Center for Health Leadership and Practice (CHLP) at the Public Health Institute (PHI) to run a new national program focused on improving community health by developing collaborative, multi-sectoral leadership teams across the country.

CHLP was chosen as the sole grantee from a highly competitive group of leading public health organizations and academic institutions from around the United States. "Strong and competent leadership is absolutely critical if we are to solve the myriad public health challenges we face today," said Mary A. Pittman.  more

New Research by PHI's Elaine Zahnd Looks at Intimate Partner Violence Among California Adults

August 30, 2011

Victims who suffer violence at the hands of a spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, or other intimate partner aren't only brutalized physically; they also suffer disproportionately higher rates of mental health distress, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.  more

PHI Hails National Prevention Strategy as a 'Breakthrough Moment' for Americans' Health

June 06, 2011

The Public Health Institute (PHI) today welcomed the release of the historic National Prevention and Health Promotion Strategy. This blueprint for realigning the country's health system is recognition, at long last, of the paramount role that prevention should play in promoting health, containing medical care costs and reducing the burden of disease.

"This is a breakthrough moment for health in the United States," said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of PHI. "For the first time, we are recognizing the importance and value of prevention and putting health at the heart of government decision-making. If decisions about land use, housing, transportation, education and social services are considered through a health lens, we will go a long way toward reducing the health inequities that undermine so many of our communities."  more

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