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Press Releases

Majority of Californians Have Experienced Early Childhood Adversity, Trauma, New Report Reveals

November 05, 2014

A first-of-its-kind report released today by the Center for Youth Wellness details the long-term and far-reaching consequences of childhood exposure to trauma and chronic adversity. The report, released in partnership with the Public Health Institute, highlights serious implications for the state’s public health and healthcare systems, and calls for solutions.  more

Study Shows Women Have Higher Risk of Injury Than Men After More Than 3 Drinks

October 30, 2014

A new study of emergency department patients in 18 countries, made available online today by the scientific journal Addiction, shows that the risk of injury caused by acute alcohol consumption is higher for women compared with men.   more

BJOG Releases MPT Special Supplement

October 21, 2014

Broad-spectrum prevention that can simultaneously prevent unintended pregnancy along with STIs, including HIV, is on the horizon say experts in a special supplement of the BJOG: The International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The issue features an international assemblage of researchers, funders, developers and advocates who identify the pressing global health rationale for MPTs and present new research and strategies for making the go/no-go funding and research decisions that shape the field. PHI's Bethany Young Holt, Executive Director of CAMI, served as co-editor on the issue.  more

The Public Health Institute Receives Three Million Dollar REACH Grant

September 25, 2014

Today the Public Health Institute was awarded $2,938,025 over three years to launch Cultiva LaSalud, as part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) initiative.  more

EPA’s Gina McCarthy heads “Action in Climate Change and Health” Event Held on the Eve of UN Climate Summit

September 19, 2014

The EPA’s Gina McCarthy, Acting U.S. Surgeon; General Boris Lushniak; Dr. Maria Neira, Director of Public Health and the Environment Department at the World Health Organization; and Dr. Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet will speak at the “Action in Climate Change and Health” event held the day before the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York.


Public Health Institute Symposium Explores Intersection of Data, Health and Technology September 17 event in San Francisco

September 17, 2014

On September 17, from 12-4 p.m., at the Delancey Street Foundation in San Francisco, a panel of experts will discuss how technology, innovation and new public/private partnerships are changing how we prevent and treat disease. 

“PHI’s 50th anniversary is a time to celebrate the tremendous gains in public health over the last five decades, while also looking to the challenges of the next 50 years,” said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of PHI. “Harnessing the power of data and technology, and forging alliances with non-traditional partners—a focus of this symposium and our entire 50th anniversary celebration—will enable us to continue to build a healthier world.”   more

Local, National and International Luminaries Receive Awards as PHI’s Champions of Health

September 17, 2014

A local civic leader committed to climate change and social justice. A filmmaker and philanthropist who gives voice to women peacemakers around the world. A pioneer in preventing and ending cancer. Two physician-advocates: for progressive policies at the U.S.–Mexico border; and for young people whose health can be permanently altered by childhood trauma. A woman who just retired, at 91, from leading a nation’s health system.

These varied individuals are all modern-day public health champions, who were honored together as part of Oakland-based Public Health Institute’s (PHI) 50th anniversary celebration, on September 17 at San Francisco’s Exploratorium museum.  more

New Study Identifies Best Ways to Reduce HIV in Adolescent Girls Worldwide

July 16, 2014

The best way to reduce HIV among adolescent girls worldwide? Help girls stay in school. This is just one of a set of strategies that a new study has proven to be effective in reducing the risk of HIV among teenage girls.

The study is published in an article, “What HIV Programs Work for Adolescent Girls?" as part of special issue of JAIDS, the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. The special issue, entitled “Ending HIV and AIDS in Adolescents," was developed by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the U.S National Institutes of Health (NIH). The findings will also be released at the 20th International AIDS conference, held in Melbourne, Australia, July 20-25.  more

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.


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

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