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PHI in the News

The Causes of Shorter Life Expectancies in America

April 18, 2016 | Lori Dorfman | New York Times

Lori Dorfman, director of PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group, wrote this letter to the editor in response to a New York Times article on new research about shortened life expectancies for low-income Americans, particularly in some parts of the country. Dorfman points out that while it is useful for researchers to focus on a single factor among the various social determinants of health to better understand it, there is a danger in fixating on just one when developing policies to improve the health of low-income populations.  more

Climate change far more than an environmental issue

April 14, 2016 | Sammy Roth, The Desert Sun | USA Today

The Mountain Fire burns over a ridgeline behind the

Linda Rudolph, director of PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health, discusses the human health impacts of climate change in this in-depth article about climate change as more than just an environmental issue.

Rudolph points out that climate change is especially harmful for people of color and low-income communities, as they already suffer from chronic health issues that will be exacerbated by a changing climate—but that "we can still make changes that will reduce the magnitude of the longer-term impacts on the health of our children."  more

Love pop? Might cost more if Oakland soda tax measure gains steam

April 07, 2016 | David DeBolt | San Jose Mercury News

Ashby Super Market owner Andre Hussein has a wide variety of drinks that fall under the "soda tax" in Berkeley, Calif., on Tuesday, Nov. 10,Interim results from an evaluation of Berkeley, California's 2014 sugar-sweetened beverage excise tax carried out by the Public Health Institute and University of North Carolina is highlighted in the San Jose Mercury News, in relation to a similar soda tax measure being proposed this year in Oakland. The research team concludes that the tax in Berkeley has been fully passed on to the retail pricing of sugar-sweetened beverages in large and small chain supermarkets and chain gas stations.  more

Addiction epidemic fuels runaway demand for ‘sober homes’

April 06, 2016 | Carla K. Johnson | Salon

Amy Mericle, a scientist with PHI's Alcohol Research Group, is featured in this AP article published on Salon and ABC News about 'sober homes' for people addicted to painkillers and heroin.  more

New Indiana law clears way for telemedicine efforts

March 30, 2016 | Alex Koma | StateScoop

Mario Gutierrez, director of PHI's Center for Connected Health Policy, is interviewed in this article about a new law in Indiana that gives doctors, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, optometrists and out-of-state providers serving patients in the state the ability to prescribe a variety of drugs remotely, rather than requiring them to meet with patients in person beforehand. “The uses of telehealth have real benefit for improving the quality and efficiency of care, and the fact that it passed is an important statement,” Gutierrez said.  more

Can a drink a day keep the doctor away?

March 22, 2016 | Lisa Rapaport | Reuters

Tom Greenfield, scientific director of PHI's Alcohol Research Group, is quoted in this Reuters article about a new study concluding that, contrary to prior findings, moderate drinking offers no net health benefit. Greenfield wrote a separate commentary that accompanied the study. “Never binge drinking and drinking small amounts when drinking – with meals – is a good rule of thumb,” he said.  more

Health assessment urged for new coal plants

March 22, 2016 | SciDev.net

Health assessment urged for new coal plantsLinda Rudolph, director of PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health, is quoted in this article about new coal-fired power plants in the Philippines and the absence of health impacts in assessments of environmental impacts and costs of the new plants. Rudolph recommends that a health impact assessment be undertaken and that health considerations be integrated into policymaking, project design and implementation.  more

Colusa, Glenn tumble in latest state health report

March 22, 2016 | Brian Pearson | Colusa Sun Herald

PHI President and CEO Mary A. Pittman is quoted in this article in the Colusa Sun Herald about the new 2016 County Health Rankings released last week. Colusa County in Northern California is among the unhealthiest state wide, according to the Rankings. "What is clear from the 2016 County Health Rankings is that tremendous health disparities persist across California, particularly in our rural counties," said Pittman.  more

Sugary beverage tax to combat obesity and diabetes epidemic

March 17, 2016 | Maria G. Ortiz-Briones | Vida en el valle

Assemblymember Richard Bloom, D-Santa Mónica, introduced on March 9, AB 2782, which would establish a two-cent per ounce health impact fee on sugary drinks.A newly introduced California bill co-sponsored by PHI that would establish a health impact fee on distributors of sugar-sweetened beverages is profiled in this article in Vida en el valle. Revenues would help fund nutrition education, physical activity, access to clean water, access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and support for oral health in vulnerable communities. Last week, the Coalition for a Healthy California—led by Latino Coalition for a Healthy California and backed by PHI, our program Roots of Change, and other leading ethnic and state-based organizations—announced the bill at a press event in Sacramento, along with bill author Assemblymember Richard Bloom and other state legislators.   more

Bike event aims to bring bicycle awareness to southeast Fresno

March 16, 2016 | Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado | Fresno Bee

A program from PHI's Cultiva La Salud in California's Central Valley to teach residents about bike safety and maintenance and to encourage physical activity through biking is highlighted in this Fresno Bee article.  more

‘A longer leash’ on life: Digital implant monitors heart patient at home and on the go

March 07, 2016 | Heather Larson Poyner | Kenosha News

Mario Gutierrez, director of PHI's Center for Connected Health Policy, is interviewed in this article in Wisconsin's Kenosha News about remote monitoring of patients with chronic heart disease as well as other chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. “The notion of telemedicine — in fields like psychiatry and radiology — has been around for 40 to 50 years; diagnostic, treatment and monitoring applications has emerged within the last 10,” Gutierrez said.  more

H.I.V. and African Women

March 04, 2016 | Bethany Young Holt | New York Times

Bethany Young Holt, director of the Initiative for Multipurpose Prevention Technologies (IMPTs) at PHI's CAMI Health, wrote this letter to the editor published by the New York Times in response to an editorial about new evidence suggesting an intravaginal ring that slowly releases an antiretroviral drug could help protect women in Africa from HIV. She states that this ring is a welcome development, and that a range of options that provide simultaneous birth control and HIV prevention is needed.  more

Better research required for effective use of teleheath

March 03, 2016 | Susan D. Hall | FierceHealthIT

The Center for Connected Health Policy at the Public Health Institute is highlighted in this article in FierceHealthIT on how research on telehealth legislation and cost/benefit analyses of it are often based on the short term and some of the changes needed to demonstrate and realize the added value of telehealth to health outcomes.  more

Orange Cove residents to dance their way to healthy lifestyle

March 02, 2016 | Maria G. Ortiz-Briones | Vida en el valle

Muevelo! Zumba kick-Off took place on Feb. 18 at Citrus Middle School in Orange Cove where more than 50 residents danced their way to a healthier lifestyle thanks to a new partnership with the City of Orange Cove and Kings Canyon Unified School District.

A new zumba initiative from PHI's Cultiva La Salud aimed at engaging Latino residents in Orange Cove, CA, is profiled in this article in Vida en el valle. Zumba classes will be offered to the community for free twice a week. The classes are part of a regional initiative to help open school grounds to local residents so they can be more physically active.  more

California has its own lead crisis in poor communities

February 26, 2016 | Mary A. Pittman | The Sacramento Bee

PHI President and CEO Mary A. Pittman authored this op-ed published in The Sacramento Bee on how Flint is not the only community in the U.S. with high lead exposures. Lead and other environmental hazards are present in many California communities, which tend to be low-income and predominantly brown and black.  more

Photo: Vanessa Rancaño

Diabetes, Dialysis and Dirty Water in Central Valley

February 26, 2016 | Vanessa Rancaño | Latino USA

Genoveva Islas, director of PHI's Cultiva La Salud, is interviewed in this radio story by NPR's Latino USA on obesity and diabetes among Latinos in California's Central Valley, where these challenges are made more difficult because residents also lack access to clean water. "In the Central Valley we have agriculture, the prison system, and the next growing business area is dialysis centers. What does that say about us?" says Islas.  more

Photo: Brian Meyers

California Law Gives Tenants New Recourse For Moldy Apartments

February 24, 2016 | Megan Burks | KPBS

PHI's Regional Asthma Management & Prevention (RAMP) program is highlighted in this news article on KPBS about new regulations in California that added the presence of mold as a condition of substandard housing. The bill amendeding the Health and Human Safety Code that regulates housing conditions across the state was co-sponsored by RAMP.  more

Nigeria: Declare Maternal, Newborn and Under-Five Deaths National Emergencies, Govt Told

February 23, 2016 | Sola Ogundipe | AllAfrica

PHI's Champions for Change is highlighted in this AllAfrica article on the inaugural Summit on Accountability for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH) co-sponsored by Champions for Change and held in Nigeria last week. Participants in the summit called on the federal government in Nigeria to declare maternal, neonatal and under-5 deaths a national emergency.  more

Vaginal Ring Protects Women From HIV — When They Use It

February 22, 2016 | Maggie Fox | NBC News

Bethany Young Holt, director of PHI's CAMI Health, is featured in this NBC News article about a new, insertable vaginal ring that has proven to be safe and effective at reducing HIV risks in women, according to newly published clinical trial results. The author points out that young women in the study appear to have removed the rings, however, and Bethany Young Holt commented on potential explanations for that, while pointing out that adding a birth control element might also make a woman more likely to use a product consistently.  more

Photo: Doctor on Demand

Virtual reality: More insurers are embracing telehealth

February 20, 2016 | Bob Herman | Modern Healthcare

PHI's Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP) is referenced in this article in ModernHealthcare on the trend of more insurers covering telehealth services. More than half of states now have laws with rules addressing telehealth coverage, and while some state Medicaid programs have restrictions on the circumstances for reimbursement of telehealth services, CCHP has found that a majority of programs do not have geographical restrictions.  more

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