Turning great ideas into healthier communities

Issue Areas


Diabetes poses a major health threat and burden to people across the world, and contributes to rising—but often preventable—health care costs. Worldwide, diabetes disproportionately affects low-income and marginalized populations. 

The Public Health Institute is committed to preventing and reducing chronic diseases like diabetes, while also increasing access to quality health care and services for those in need. We advance strategies to reduce and prevent diabetes through a broad and comprehensive approach that includes local and national policy change, clinical management, and a focus on the social determinants of health. We believe in forging multi-sectoral partnershipswith health care, business, education and governmentto broaden chronic disease prevention efforts, and in strengthening the capacity of local leaders and organizations to become effective change agents in the movement to build healthier communities. 

Our expertise includes:

  • Health education and promotion: Through sophisticated media and educational campaigns, our experts can support your efforts to promote healthy behaviors and reduce the risk of diabetes, or provide education on best practices in disease management.
  • Supporting chronic disease prevention and management: PHI can link your prevention efforts to better care and wellness through hypertension and diabetes registries, quality improvement, diabetes prevention programs, and extended team management such as community health workers.  
  • Coalition and network building: PHI staff are experts in bringing together diverse partners—such as public health and community-based organizations, schools, medical providers, and environmental health and justice groups—to join forces in reducing the burden of diabetes, with a focus on communities inequitably affected by the disease. 
  • Advocating for policies to reduce and prevent diabetes: Work with us to advance policies, at the local to international levels, to increase access to healthy foods, curb tobacco use, and/or promote physical activity. We have specific expertise in campaigns that address healthy food retail environments, soda taxes and similar measures, and school-based policies for health. 


Resources and Tools

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Lynn Silver

Lynn Silver is a senior advisor at PHI for chronic disease and obesity. She works to enhance and strengthen PHI's portfolio of programs in chro...

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Cultiva La Salud

As an initiative of the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH), Cultiva La Salud works in Fresno, Kern and Stanislaus counti...

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Here's How We're Making a Difference

Evaluating the Berkeley Soda Tax

When Berkeley, CA became the first city in the U.S. to pass a significant excise tax on sugary drinks in 2014, PHI was hired to evaluate its impact. Lynn Silver, PHI’s senior advisor on chronic disease and former assistant health commissioner in New York City, worked with PHI’s Survey Research Group and the University of North Carolina to evaluate the tax’s impact on consumption patterns and prices. Their results showed that the $0.01 per ounce soda tax is working as intended: the fee was passed on to the retail price of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) in large and small chain supermarkets and gas stations. View the preliminary findings

In 2017, PHI and the University of North Carolina completed a second evaluation of the tax. Published in PLOS Medicine, the largest-to-date evaluation looked at the first 12 months of the tax's implementation, and showed a 9.6% drop in sugar-sweetened beverage purchases. Meanwhile, the sales of untaxed healthier beverages rose significantly, by 3.5%—and sales of water rose by 15.6%. The study found no negative impact on store revenue or consumer grocery bills, and the tax helped the city raise $1,416,973 for nutrition and obesity prevention activities in schools, childcare and other community settings. Read the study

An additional PHI analysis found that a year and a half after passage of the tax, food sector sales tax revenue rose by 15% in the city, and 469 new food sector jobs were created—an increase of 7.2%. Learn more.

Increasing Access to Chronic Disease Self-Management Programs

Working in small and rural California communities, CA4Health trained lay leaders to deliver evidence-based chronic disease self-management, education and support. Over three years, CA4Health increased the number of community members with access to these services by 263,272.

CA4Health also created this video to further expand the understanding and need for community health workers.