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Press Releases

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

Public Health Institute Leader Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

April 20, 2009

Carol Woltring, a longtime public health leader and program director at the Public Health Institute (PHI), has been awarded the National Leadership Development Network's top honor.The Balderson Lifetime Public Health Leadership Award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the field of public health throughout a long career. Woltring is being honored for...  more

Prevention Must Be Pillar of Health Reform

April 06, 2009

"Seventy-five cents of every health care dollar is spent battling chronic disease, and the major factors causing them are smoking, poor diet and inactivity. But California's fight against tobacco demonstrated that changing the environment to emphasize well-executed prevention and wellness strategies can turn unhealthy trends around," Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, said in comments following the Western Regional White House Forum on Health Care Reform today.

"Prevention and wellness must be a pillar in any effort to reform the health system,"  more

Virus Found in Stillborn Babies May Impact Future Pregnancies, Study Finds

February 01, 2009

A virus connected to human stillborn babies may impact an affected woman's subsequent pregnancies and cause defects in the developing nervous system, according to recent studies published in the science journal Birth Defects Research.

Prepared by researchers at the California-based Public Health Institute and the Swedish research organization Apodemus, the series of three peer-reviewed journal articles sheds new light on the causes of stillbirth, which can cause tremendous sorrow and confusion among families affected. It also adds to a growing body of knowledge about the Ljungan (pronounced "yoon-gun") virus, which was first isolated in Swedish field mice following an investigation into the sudden deaths of several young Swedish athletes in the 1990s.  more

PHI Welcomes New Board Members

January 12, 2009

The Public Health Institute has elected three new members to its board of directors: Frederick A. Hessler, John G. O'Brien and Kimberlydawn Wisdom. They joined the board on January 1, 2009.

Hessler is the managing director of Citigroup's health care group; O'Brien is president and chief executive officer of UMass Memorial Health Care, Inc., central New England's largest not-for-profit health care system; Wisdom is Michigan's first surgeon general.  more

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