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Reproductive and Sexual Health Advocates Applaud Microbicide Gel's Dual Success in Simultaneously Reducing Risk of HIV Infection and Genital Herpes

July 20, 2010

A potential breakthrough in HIV prevention has stirred excitement and optimism among researchers and advocates for sexual and reproductive health because it is an important example of a product that may protect women against both HIV and an additional sexually transmitted infection (STI).

"We have long recognized the need for prevention methods that could address more than just one disease or reproductive health need," says Bethany Young Holt, director of the Public Health Institute's Coalition Advancing Multipurpose Initiative (CAMI), a Bay Area-based international consortium of advocates and researchers that promotes the use of multipurpose contraceptives to prevent HIV, STIs and unintended pregnancy. "The South Africa study results give us hope that prevention tools will be available that will empower women and couples to protect themselves against HIV and address other sexual and reproductive health needs."  more

Center for Technology and Aging Expert Panel Identifies How Older Americans Can Use Technology to Enhance Social Action

June 30, 2010

As Americans face continuing economic, social and health-related challenges, some observers believe the voices of older Americans may be drowned out unless they strengthen their organizing efforts through adoption of social networking and communication technologies.

The relationship between social action, technology and older Americans was the subject of a recent expert panel convened by the Center for Technology and Aging on behalf of The SCAN Foundation. The panel's insights have been published in a new report, ""Enhancing Social Action for Older Adults Through Technology,"" available on The Scan Foundation web site.  more

Public Health Institute President Heralds 'New Day' for Tobacco Control as FDA Starts Regulating the Industry

June 21, 2010

New U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tobacco regulations that go into effect today are a major step toward ensuring that the tobacco industry does not continue to lure generations of children and youth into a lifetime of smoking, the Public Health Institute (PHI) said today.

"This action has the power to stop Big Tobacco from pushing addictive and ultimately lethal products on innocent children," said John R. Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and a PHI board member. "It is time to end Big Tobacco's unfettered access to our nation's youth, 3,500 of whom will pick up their first cigarette today."  more

Digital and Social Media Marketing Promotion of Beer and Liquor Threatens Youth, new report warns

May 18, 2010

Alcohol companies are using the latest new media technologies to promote their products using methods that appeal to youth, explains a new report released today from the Center for Digital Democracy and Berkeley Media Studies Group of the Public Health Institute.

"Alcohol Marketing in the Digital Age" details how beer and alcohol companies are targeting consumers through social media, online video, mobile phone applications, and virtual online communities.  more

Physician Screening of Patients for Partner Violence and Substance Use Should Become Standard Practice, PHI Urges

April 28, 2010

The Public Health Institute (PHI) endorses new recommendations for doctors to routinely screen adult patients for indications of intimate partner violence (IPV) and substance abuse given that nearly 4 million Californians are victims of sexual or physical intimate violence during adulthood.

The recommendations are part of a new policy brief, published today by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. "This study reveals just how widespread this serious public health issue is in California and can help steer us in the right direction by encouraging improved physician screening," said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of the Public Health Institute.  more

Leading Health Organization Applauds Passage of Nation's First Ordinance Addressing Restaurant Toy Giveaways

April 27, 2010

Santa Clara County's new model ordinance sets healthy nutritional standards for restaurant food that comes with toys or other incentive items, according to a public health expert from the Public Health Institute (PHI), a California nonprofit.

"Santa Clara County has taken a critical step in addressing the unethical marketing that promotes a 24/7 diet of calories, fat, sugar and salt to our kids,"" said PHI's Carmen Nevarez, MD, MPH, vice president for external relations and preventive medicine advisor at PHI and president of the American Public Health Association.  more

Public Health Institute Honored as One of 50 Best Nonprofit Workplaces in Nation

April 01, 2010

The Public Health Institute was named one of the top "50 Best NonProfits To Work For In 2010" today by The NonProfit Times, a nonprofit business management publication.

The Best Companies Group in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, conducted the search for the outstanding nonprofit workplaces, ranking the Public Health Institute (PHI) sixth among large nonprofit employers with 250 or more employees and 27th out of 50 organizations.  more

California to Examine Health Impacts of Landmark Cap-and-Trade Program

March 01, 2010

The Health Impact Project today announced the award of a $150,000 grant to the Oakland-based Public Health Institute to collaborate with the California Department of Public Health on a health impact assessment (HIA) of a proposed "cap-and-trade" regulation under California's 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act.

The study will analyze the health impacts of this landmark proposal and provide a health-based analysis to inform the California rulemaking process.Health impact assessment is a flexible, data-driven tool that identifies the health benefits and consequences of new policies and develops practical strategies to minimize any adverse effects, ensuring the best possible health outcomes. The findings of this HIA will support health-based recommendations to protect and promote health, and also could inform leaders in other states looking to California's regulations as a model for future efforts.  more

Public Health Institute Welcomes New Board Member

February 17, 2010

John Seffrin, PhD, has been chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society since 1992, but his first encounter with the disease dates to his childhood. His grandmother, who was living with his family at the time, died of cancer when he was only 10 years old. He has since lost his mother to cancer, and his wife of 43 years is a breast cancer survivor.  more

White House Launches First Free Mobile Health Service for Pregnant Women, New Mothers

February 04, 2010


Technology Companies, Health Professionals, and Federal, State, and Local Agencies Combine Forces to Provide Free Health Information Via Text Messages

Pregnant women and new mothers will be able to get health information delivered regularly to their mobile phones by text message at no charge under an innovative public service program being launched today by a coalition of mobile phone service providers, health professionals, and Federal, State, and Local agencies.The new program, called text4baby, is a free mobile information service that provides timely health information to women from early pregnancy through their babies' first year. The service sends important health tips that are timed to the mother's stage of pregnancy or the baby's age.  more

Center for Technology and Aging's First Ever Technology Diffusion Grants will Help Older Adults Better Use Their Medications

January 05, 2010

The Center for Technology and Aging today announced grants to five organizations for projects that promise to help improve medication use in older adults with chronic health conditions. Each project involves the use of one or more technologies in a coordinated effort with patients, families and caregivers - such as pharmacists, home health agency staff, and physicians - to help improve the independence of older adults as well as to avoid medication-related issues that potentially result in harm, hospitalization or higher health care costs.

"These projects will help broaden the adoption of important technologies that make a huge difference in the quality of life for older adults who rely on medications to manage chronic conditions," said David Lindeman, PhD, director of the Center for Technology and Aging.  more

Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Ends Tobacco Sponsorship

November 30, 2009

As thousands gather in Las Vegas this week for the largest U.S. rodeo event of the year, activists are praising the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) for ending its national sponsorship contract with the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company (USSTC) after 2009.

"We applaud the PRCA for ending tobacco sponsorship of its rodeos," said Andrea Craig Dodge, director of the Buck Tobacco Sponsorship Project. "Tobacco marketing including sampling booths, scoreboards, banners, and ads gives young rodeo audience members the message that using tobacco is part of being an adult cowboy or rodeo fan."  more

Berkeley Media Studies Group, Prevention Institute Honored for Creating Web Site to Promote Shared Use of Gyms, Playgrounds

November 22, 2009

Berkeley Media Studies Group and Prevention Institute have won a prestigious award for together creating an interactive Web site, www.jointuse.org, that promotes the shared use of play facilities by schools and communities to increase opportunities for children and adults to be active.

The Society for New Communications Research in San Jose recently presented its 2009 Excellence in New Communications Awards, which honor pioneers in the use of social media, mobile media, online communities and collaborative technologies. "Jointuse.org is an impressive example of the successful and innovative use of new tools, technologies, solutions and practices to enhance communications and relationships," commented Jen McClure, founder and president of the society.  more

Public Health Institute Vice President Heads Up Nation's Largest Public Health Organization

November 04, 2009

Carmen Nevarez, MD, a longtime champion for the public's health and a vice president of the Public Health Institute, will become the 138th president of the American Public Health Association (APHA) on November 11 at the organization's annual meeting in Philadelphia.

"We welcome Dr. Nevarez as she begins her term as president of the American Public Health Association," said Georges C. Benjamin, MD, FACP, FACEP(E), executive director of APHA. "She brings to this post decades of remarkable experience both as a public health leader and practitioner. Dr. Nevarez is immensely capable and is a terrific choice to help guide the association, expand its reach and bolster its work to improve and protect the public's health."  more

New Study Suggests Multivitamin Supplements May Play Role in Preventing Miscarriages Associated with Drinking

November 01, 2009

Results of a new study may be good news for millions of women who drink moderately during early pregnancy and their risk of miscarriage. Researchers associated with the Alcohol Research Group (ARG), a program of the Public Health Institute (PHI) and at School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), have found that multivitamin supplements may play a protective role against miscarriages attributed to early pregnancy alcohol consumption.

The study, published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, finds that women of childbearing years might reduce their risk of miscarriage associated with alcohol consumption by taking multivitamin supplements.  more

Public Health Institute Supports Call for Addressing Health Impact of Climate Change

October 27, 2009

The Public Health Institute strongly supports Trust for America's Health's urgent call for states to address public health impacts as they craft and promulgate their plans for managing impacts related to climate change.

Trust for America's Health (TFAH) has released a new report that finds only five states have published a strategic climate change plan that includes a public health response. This includes planning for health challenges and emergencies expected to develop from natural disasters, pollution, and infectious diseases as temperatures and sea levels rise.  more

Fun Gets Spooned Out with the Ads on Breakfast Cereal Web Sites Aimed at Kids

October 26, 2009

One way cereal companies market their most sugary, high-salt and low-fiber fare to children is by putting fun "advergames" on their Web sites, luring legions of unsuspecting children in to sway their tastes, according to findings of the Berkeley Media Studies Group that are included in a cereal marketing study by the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

The study, "Evaluating Nutrition Quality and Marketing of Children's Cereals," finds that cereal companies most aggressively market the least healthy cereals to children as young as two years old.  more

Public Health Institute Urges the President to Support a National Prevention and Wellness Strategy

October 14, 2009

Dear President Obama,

As health reform legislation moves forward in both the House and the Senate, the Public Health Institute expresses strong support for the public health and prevention provisions included in the Senate HELP Committee's Affordable Health Choices Act and the House Tri-Committee's America's Affordable Health Choices Act. Sustained investment in community prevention, wellness, and public health programs is essential if we are to have comprehensive health reform that will help in the fight against chronic disease, enhance quality of life, and reduce health care costs for millions of Americans.  more

In Honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, PHI Encourages Women to Take Control of Their Breast Health

September 30, 2009

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in California and the number two cancer-related killer of women, behind lung cancer. In observance of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Public Health Institute (PHI) encourages women to take control of their breast health by having regular doctor screening exams and annual mammograms if they are over age 40 and by routinely examining their breasts for any changes.

"More than 22,000 California women will be newly diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010, and more than 4,100 California women will die from the disease, according to California Cancer Registry estimates,"  more

Experts Urge More Caution in the Continued Use of DDT

May 04, 2009

A panel of international scientists is calling for stronger efforts to reduce exposure to DDT in areas where it is still used and in areas where significant contamination remains.

Based on recent studies that show a link between DDT and human health, the panel urges more understanding of the health effects of exposure to the pesticide as well as development of alternatives to using it to control malaria. Scientists from the Oakland-based Public Health Institute (PHI) and University of California at Berkeley (UCB) along with several researchers from African nations expressed their concerns about DDT, following a review of nearly 500 epidemiological studies published online today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.  more

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