PHI in the News
August 19, 2019 | Aaron E. Carroll | The New York Times
Punitive policies—like equating drinking while pregnant as child abuse and threatening to involve child protective services—may actually dissuade women from getting prenatal care, according to a recent study from PHI's Alcohol Research Group and UCSF's Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health. The research found that policies which defined alcohol use during pregnancy as child abuse or neglect were associated with an increase of more than 12,000 preterm births, and resulted in more than $580 million in costs during the first year of life. In The New York Times, Aaron E. Carroll investigates this and other studies that show why warning pregnant women not to drink can backfire. more
All in the Family: What Multigenerational Cohorts Are Revealing about Potential Environmental Impacts on Neurodevelopment
July 18, 2019 | Lindsey Konkel | Environmental Health Perspectives
Between 1959 and 1967, more than 15,000 pregnant women in the Bay Area enrolled in PHI's Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS), a long-term cohort project designed to better understand what makes pregnancies—and children—healthy. Today, PHI researchers are using that same data to uncover how an individual’s exposures can impact the health of their descendants, like identifying links between grandparents’ exposures and behaviors—things like smoking, alcohol, and medication use—and autism diagnoses in the third generation. more
July 17, 2019 | Debra Moore | Plumas News
The rural Plumas County is being help up as a model for how other counties can fight the opioid crisis. This report highlights Plumas County public health representatives who went to Washington D.C. and to PHI's 2019 National Opioid Leadership Summit in Sacramento to share how they have found solutions that work toward curbing the opioid crisis in their area. more
July 16, 2019 | Hosted by Michael Krasny | KQED Forum
If we don't act on climate change now, in about 50 years San Francisco could see as many as 30 above-90-degree days annually, according to a new report. KQED Forum talks about the new study from the Union of Concerned Scientists, how Bay Area temperatures will likely change in coming decades and the health impacts of extreme heat. Featuring PHI's Dr. Linda Rudolph. more
July 12, 2019 | Arohi Gadagkar | The Indian Express
July 07, 2019 | Patti Neighmond | NPR
Mei Kwong, executive director of PHI's Center for Connected Health Policy discusses telehealth services with NPR reporter Patti Neighmond, and how telehealth has the potential to remove health care barriers for those who live in rural America. more
July 01, 2019 | Jacqueline Howard | CNN
About one-fifth of adults in the United States have experienced some form of harm due to someone else's behavior while drinking. That's according to a study from PHI's Alcohol Research Group, published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Their research found that in 2015, an estimated 53 million adults—or nearly 1 in 5—said they had experienced at least one harm attributable to someone else's drinking in the past year. That harm ranged from property damage to physical injury. more
June 20, 2019 | Julia Reinstein | BuzzFeed News
US suicide rates are the highest they've been since World War II, federal health officials said Thursday, with the rise particularly acute among indigenous women. William Kerr, director of the NIAAA Alcohol Research Center at the Public Health Institute's Alcohol Research Group, discusses with BuzzFeed News how the nation's opioid crisis and alcohol use among family members could be contributing factors to the rise in suicide among indigenous people. more
June 20, 2019 | San Francisco Chronicle's Editorial Board | San Francisco Chronicle
Californians who endure the hassle and expense of having their vehicles smog-checked every other year might be surprised and irritated to learn that those big-rig diesels are exempt from such thorough scrutiny. Residents near ports, rail yards, warehouse hubs or highways with heavy truck traffic who are breathing the exhaust might be even more perturbed to know about the loophole in state law. In this piece, The Chronicle’s editorial board covers Senate Bill 210, backed by Public Health Institute and our allies in the environmental and health communities, would close that gaping loophole. more
What Three Generations of California Families Can Tell Us About the Links Between Our Health and Our Environment
May 16, 2019 | Lindsey Konkel | Ensia
Now in its seventh decade, PHI's Child Health and Development Studies (CHDS) is one of the world’s longest running and likely one of the most diverse familial health studies. This Ensia piece recounts the stories for the participants of the CHDS. All volunteer participants have contributed their data to help answer some questions relating to the medical and scientific knowledge about pregnancy, childbirth, and child development, and have added to available scientific information concerning adult health and disease. more
These Policies were Supposed to Stop Pregnant Women from Drinking. New Study Says They’re Hurting Babies
May 08, 2019 | Anna North | Vox
New research from PHI's Alcohol Research Group and UCSF's Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health suggests that certain efforts intended to stop pregnant women from drinking—including some that have been in place for more than forty years—could be backfiring. Their study, published in PLOS ONE, looked at policies including posting warning signs in bars and restaurants, and policies that define drinking while pregnant as child abuse or neglect. They found these efforts are associated with worse health outcomes for babies—in part because they can actually discourage women from seeking prenatal care.
Read news coverage from Vox. more
April 24, 2019 | Eduardo Cuevas | The Californian
A 2014 study by the California Environmental Health Tracking Program—a collaboration with PHI and the state Department of Public Health—found Monterey County had some of the state's highest percentages of schools nearby where pesticides are applied. Seven North Monterey County schools will now receive advanced notice when pesticides are going to be sprayed on crops near schools. more
April 12, 2019 | The Chronicle of Social Change
The overlap between domestic violence and child maltreatment is profound. Research suggests that crossover may include between 30 and 60 percent of families involved with the child welfare system.
However, when the media writes about child welfare—the system that is charged with taking care of abused and neglected children—that connection is seldom featured in stories, according to a new study from PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group. more
April 01, 2019 | Mark Hrywna | Nonprofit Times
The Public Health Institute has been named one of the Best Nonprofits to Work For by The Nonprofit Times, in their 2019 report released today, which includes factors such as benefits for physical health as well as financial wellbeing. “Employees are our number one asset, we wouldn’t able to do the work we do without incredible staff. We want to make sure we’re taking care of them as best we can,” said PHI President and CEO Mary Pittman. more
March 19, 2019 | Lake County News
The least healthy county in California is Lake County, according to the newly-released annual County Health Rankings, which PHI helps disseminate throughout the state. The report used data from the years 2015 to 2017, which saw Lake County hit repeatedly not just by wildland fires but by a flood.
This year’s analyses also show that a lack of opportunity for a safe, secure, and affordable home is tied to poor health. “The housing affordability crisis in California is a public health crisis," said PHI President & CEO Mary Pittman. "Moving forward, we must invest in healthy and affordable housing, protect the residents who are most at risk, and ensure that these residents and communities can fully participate in the shaping of housing policy.” more
March 13, 2019 | Leilani Clark | Made Local Magazine
Hosted by PHI's Michael Dimock, Flipping the Table: Honest Conversations About Food, Farming and the Future is a new podcast featuring dynamic and enlightening conversations with the people who are flipping the table to create new ways to feed the world. In this interview with Sonoma County's Made Local Magazine, Michael Dimock explains the new show and why he decided to host a podcast. more
February 21, 2019 | Erin Allday | San Francisco Chronicle
Berkeley residents cut their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages by half in the three years after passing a soda tax in 2014, according to a new UC Berkeley study.
“The (UC Berkeley) findings suggest not only that sugar taxes work, but that they keep working over time,” said Dr. Lynn Silver, a senior adviser with PHI who carried out an earlier study of the Berkeley soda tax in 2017 that found that in the year after the tax was enforced soda sales fell nearly 10 percent and bottled water sales increased by 16 percent. more
February 15, 2019 | Sammy Caiola | Capital Public Radio
More than 31 health facilities across California, many in rural areas, will soon be able to treat patients for opioid withdrawal on the spot. PHI's Bridge program has selected the facilities to participate in the California Bridge Program, providing funds, training and technical assistance for these facilities to increase or improve access to medication-assisted treatment for patients with substance use disorder throughout the hospital. more
February 14, 2019 | Robert Preidt | US News and World Report
Exposure to high levels of the pesticide DDT increases breast cancer risk — but when the cancer surfaces depends on when women first came in contact with the chemical, according to a new study published by PHI's Child Health and Development Studies in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
"What we have learned is that timing really matters," said lead author Barbara Cohn. ""The research suggests that DDT affects breast cancer as an endocrine disruptor, that the period of time between first exposure and cancer risk seems to be around 40 years — and that other endocrine-disrupting chemicals could potentially simulate this kind of risk pattern."
February 14, 2019 | Matt Smith | WebMD
Americans may not be drinking much more than they used to -- but they’re drinking more potent stuff. And that trend toward higher-alcohol drinks may be part of what’s driving an increase in alcohol-related deaths and illnesses, according to new research from PHI's Alcohol Research Group.
“There’s been this observation recently of increases in alcohol-related problems like increases in alcoholic liver disease and mortality and emergency room visits related to alcohol, but we haven’t seen a similar increase in alcohol consumption,” says Priscilla Martinez, PhD, a public health and epidemiology researcher at ARG. more