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Sue Holtby, MPH


Sue Holtby, MPH, is a program director with the Public Health Institute. She has more than 25 years of experience conducting public health research and evaluation on both domestic and international projects. Holtby primarily directs projects focused on family planning, reproductive health and public health surveillance. She has expertise in project design, sampling methods, instrument development, data collection methods and data analysis.

Holtby currently directs data collection and compilation for California's Pregnancy Associated Mortality Review and has directed medical record abstraction and client exit interview evaluations of California's Family PACT program, a state program that serves over 1.5 million low-income, uninsured women and men.

She has been PHI's project director on the California Health Interview Survey for the past 14 years, and has worked on numerous survey research projects with Latino and American Indian populations in California. She recently managed a David & Lucile Packard Foundation-funded grant in Ethiopia, India, Nigeria and Pakistan, and oversees a grant to improve girls' education in Nigeria. Sue speaks Spanish, Portuguese and French.

Advanced Learning Project, Phase II

The first phase of this Advancing Learning Project focused on grantees in Ethiopia and India who were working to delay the age of marriage and first birth. The second phase will examine the most promising pathways to change and provide continued technical assistance to the participating grantees.

California Health Interview Survey - Child and Teen Questionnaires

Under a contract with UCLA, PHI is developing the teen and child California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) questionnaires, overseeing translation reviews, monitoring interviews for data quality, and conducting analysis and writing on CHIS findings.

California Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review

The California Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (CA-PAMR) identifies maternal deaths using enhanced surveillance methodology and conducts in-depth reviews of the medical records by an expert panel of maternity care providers. The major goals of the project are to identify pregnancy-related deaths, causation and associated risks, and then recommend quality improvement opportunities. CA-PAMR is a collaborative effort between PHI, the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health and the California Maternal Quality of Care Collaborative (CMQCC).  PHI manages the case selection, data collection and data analysis for this project.  

First 5 Policy Brief on Young Children's Emotional and Mental Well-Being

PHI is working with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research to produce a policy brief describing findings from California Health Interview Survey 2003, 2005 and 2007 data on measures of young children's emotional and mental well-being.

India Team Management

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation contracts with PHI to manage the foundation’s Population and Reproductive Health Program’s technical support team in India.

Planning, Implementation and Dissemination of California Health Interview Survey

This PHI subcontract of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) involves content development for the Adult, Adolescent and Child questionnaires as well as quality control monitoring and convening advisory committees for the Child and Adolescent Questionnaires.  PHI has held this subcontract since CHIS’s inception in 2001, and planning for 2013-2014 is under way.  

Public Health Professional Development Program

The Public Health Professional Development Program provides individuals with practical in-depth experience that will help them advance their careers in public health in the private, non-profit or academic sector. This program provides a mechanism for outstanding individuals to pursue project opportunities outside of academic institutions, and offers a professional learning experience within the philanthropic sector. Participants' experience and leadership are developed through interaction with PHI and The Health Trust staff, taking responsibility for planning, implementing and evaluating strategies within The Health Trust's initiatives. 

The California Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review: Report from 2002 to 2007 Maternal Death Reviews (2018)

After a steady rise in maternal mortality from 1999-2006, California has observed a sustained decline in maternal mortality, from a high of 16...

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Pregnancy-Related Mortality in California: Causes, Characteristics, and Improvement Opportunities (2015)

A study of pregnancy-related deaths in California analyzed the leading five causes of death and examined the maternal and clinical characteristics ...

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Health Needs of California Women Reporting Serious Psychological Distress and Chronic Health Conditions (2014)

The provision of mental health services has historically lagged behind the provision of physical health services. To address the gap, California pa...

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Women’s Health in California: Examining Age and Income (2014)

Using data from the 2011-2012 California Health Interview Survey, this policy brief examines health indicators across women’s lifespan, looki...

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California Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review: Mixed Methods Approach for Improved Case Identification and Cause of Death Analyses (2013)

After several decades of declining rates, maternal mortality has climbed in California. The California Department of Public Health, with help from ...

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Majority of Young Children in California Eat Fast Food Regularly but Drink Less Soda (2013)

Despite steady declines in soda consumption, 60 percent of children between two and five years of age continue to eat fast food at least ...

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The evaluation of public health programs and policies is essential to improving health outcomes. PHI offers a full suite of evaluation services&mda...

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Reproductive & Sexual Health

Giving women control over their childbearing and reproductive health gives them control over their lives. Policies and programs that support girls ...

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Research - Quantitative

To make an effective impact on community health, public health practices, programs and policies must be informed by accurate research and analysis....

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Research - Survey

The Public Health Institute believes in fostering health and well-being through rigorous quantitative and qualitative research, guided by the princ...

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