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PHI at APHA 2022

PHI and its programs are returning to share their research, expertise, and new ideas at APHA 2022, which is being held in-person in Boston, Massachusetts from November 6th-9th. It is also the 150th anniversary celebration.

  • Follow us on Twitter at #phiAPHA for updates on sessions and live tweets of some presentations.
  • Explore more of our program work through extra resources we’ve included below that give you background information on the presenters, research and programs.

We look forward to connecting with you.

APHA PHI 2022 Daily Schedule

Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday


Sunday, November 6, 2022

Two women wearing masks

2:30 - 4:00 pm EST: Vaccine Uptake: Lessons Learned 1 (2086)

3:15 - 3:30 pm EST: Don’t call it vaccine hesitancy: Addressing historical barriers to care in Black communities (919039)

Susan Watson, MPH, Program Director - Together Toward Health and CA4Health; Esther Rivera, MPH, Deputy Director - Together Toward Health

This session will share lessons learned from PHI's Together Toward Health—exploring how community-based organizations in California are addressing historical barriers to care in Black communities during the pandemic, and how to support in laying the groundwork to center Black voices.

More information

Young adult showing a bandaid on their arm after receiving a vaccineMore from Together Toward Health: PHI’s Together Toward Health is a joint program with major California philanthropic organizations, which supports more than 500 community-based organizations statewide who serve as trusted experts for COVID-19 education, testing and vaccination access in their communities. Learn more.


Epidemiology and Data Poster Session, Maternal & Child Health (2142)

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4:00 – 5:00 pm EST Poster: “They may not be showing but they still need to be seen/heard”… a comparison of early and later-gestation pregnancy-related deaths

Christy McCain, MPH, Program Director – CA-Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review

We examined early-gestation deaths – many were due to ectopic pregnancies, and many women were unaware of the pregnancy at time of death, uninsured and women of color. Sexual/reproductive education and universal access to healthcare are crucial for prevention.


poster icon4:00 – 5:00 pm EST Poster: Less advantaged community conditions are associated with higher pregnancy-related mortality in California

Christy McCain, MPH, Program Director – CA-Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review

Utilizing data from the Healthy Places Index (created by PHI’s Public Health Alliance of Southern California), we examined relationships between community conditions and pregnancy-related mortality ratios. Residing in less advantaged communities exacerbates the risk of PRM. Disadvantages were most pronounced among women who were older, Black, US-born, higher BMI.


4:30 – 6:00 pm EST: Community Coalitions, Collaborations, and Partnerships in Action for Equity

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4:30 – 4:45 pm EST Presentation: Communities RISE (Reach, Immunizations, System Change for Equity) Together

Dr. Somava Saha, Program Director – Communities RISE Together

Communities RISE Together supports vaccination efforts in Black, Asian-American/Pacific-Islander, Latinx, Native-American, rural, immigrant/migrant and low-income older adult populations, working on the ground in more than 220 counties in 27 states with low vaccination rates, by calling on the capacity of 2,400 community-based organizations who reach over 100 million people across the nation. The initiative is a collaboration between WE in the World and their Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network and the Public Health Institute.

Dr Saha at the White House

More from Communities RISE Together: This summer, Dr. Somava Saha joined Vice President Kamala Harris and others at the White House Summit on the American Rescue Plan and the Workforce, where she spoke about the critical role of community health workers. “Those who are closest to the problems are likely to be the most resourceful in creating the solutions,” said Dr. Saha. Watch the video.


Monday, November 7, 2022

capitol building

2:30 - 4:00 pm EST: Advancing Racial Equity through State Governments (3146)

Building a national states strategy for racial equity

Moderator and panelist: Dalila Madison Almquist, MPH; States Strategy Co-Lead - State of Equity

States are fundamental in the fight for social justice. States help funds and policies flow between federal and local jurisdictions, and can play a key role in supporting equitable and healthy communities. Over the last several years, State of Equity has worked in partnership with Race Forward to build the capacity of California state government leaders to advance racial equity. In 2021, the partners expanded their focus to cultivate a national community of racial equity practitioners in state government. Join PHI's State of Equity to explore the evolution of that work and the next phase of developing a national strategy for advancing racial equity through state governments.

More Information

A woman wearing a mask, signing people up for vaccines

2:30 - 4:00 pm EST: Health Administration Section Roundtable 1: Focus on Pandemic Leadership (3175)

Tools for today’s public health environment: Why adaptive leadership skills are needed now (921771)

Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH - Director, Center for Health Leadership & Impact; Karya Lustig, MA, ISS; Lia Randazzo, MPH

Adaptive leaders have many strengths including their ability to leverage opportunities as they arise, a comfort with ambiguity, and capacity to foster innovation. The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced that public health leadership is not about knowing everything, it's about being adaptive in response to the evolving health challenges facing our communities. Join PHI's Center for Health Leadership and Impact and partners for a roundtable discussion to explore the power of adaptive leadership and how to foster the various strengths of this leadership style within your workforce.

More information

School Health – Healthy Behaviors Poster Session (3241)

poster icon3:00 – 4:00 pm EST Poster: Place matters: Barriers and facilitators for smoke-free policy adoption in rural community colleges

Ann-Marie Gomes, Research Associate IV, MPH, MSW – Alcohol Research Group 

Nina Mulia, DrPH, Senior Scientist and Center Associate Director, Camillia K. Lui, PhD, Scientist; Sang Leng Trieu, DrPH, Ohlone College

We examined smoke-free policy (SFP) adoption barriers and facilitators for rural California community colleges (CCs) with the aim of providing lessons learned to support SFP adoption by rural CCs and improve conditions for student health and well-being.

Alcohol bottles at a barMore from Alcohol Research Group: Some racial and ethnic groups are not receiving adequate screening for alcohol use in clinical settings—resulting in missed opportunities for treatment, according to research from PHI’s Alcohol Research Group. The study looked at predictors such as gender, age, race and ethnicity, education, and insurance status, and their interaction of alcohol screening quality.

Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Hands together

10:30 am - 12:00 pm EST: Accountable Communities of/for Health: Growing evidence for multi-sector collaboratives as vehicles for advancing equity and improving community health (4157)

Peter Forberg, Research Associate, MA - Population Health Innovation Lab; Stephanie Bultema, MAAL, PhD(c); PHIL Director of Research and Network Science

Nearly a decade ago, the first Accountable Communities of/for Health (ACHs) were designed to help communities implement population health strategies; they are neutral conveners connecting the health care delivery system and local communities. This panel, co-moderated in part by PHI's Population Health Innovation Lab, will explore these issues through the experiences of ACHs in Washington and California; learnings from a systems change evaluation of California ACHs and a cross-state research project that explores what makes for a successful ACH; and the perspective of a national funder of systems change and multi-sector partnerships. The session is part of the Public Health Funders Network.

Learn more

Other Drugs Poster #6 – Treatment and Recovery: Novel approaches, promising outcomes (909638)

poster icon1:00 – 2:00 pm EST Poster: Giving and receiving help at one-month follow-up among sober living house residents

Elizabeth Mahoney, Senior Research Associate, MA – Behavioral Health and Recovery Studies

Meena Subbaraman, PhD; Jane Witbrodt, PhD; Amy Mericle, PhD; Doug Polcin, EDD

GEE models examine the associations between helping behaviors on the dimensions of giving and receiving help in three social contexts for new residents in sober living houses (SLHs) (general, SLH, and AA); AA involvement; leaving the SLH; and substance severity.


Other Drugs Poster #6 – Treatment and Recovery: Novel approaches, promising outcomes (912276)

poster icon1:00 – 2:00 pm EST Poster: How do sober living house factors and their neighborhoods predict 12-month recovery outcomes?

Meenakshi Subbaraman, Biostatistician, PhD – Behavioral Health and Recovery Studies

Elizabeth Mahoney, MA; Jane Witbrodt, PhD; Amy Mericle, PhD; Doug Polcin, EDD; Katherine Karriker-Jaffe, PhD, RTI International

This poster presentation shares sober living house (SLH) characteristics and their neighborhoods impact abstinence and mental health among SLH residents.

People in discussion at at table

2:30 – 4:00 pm EST: Roundtable: Health Equity and Anti-Oppressive Public Health Social Work Practice (4258)

Table 4 – Health equity: Tools to build skills in the public health workforce (921794)

Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH – Director, Center for Health Leadership & Impact; Karya Lustig, MA, ISS; Amy Max, MPH

Explore the core features of a successful model for building health equity skills in the public health workforce that can be adapted for individuals, teams, and organizations across the country.

More information

2:30 – 4:00 pm EST: Advancing equity and addressing social determinants of health through community engagement (4209)

presentation icon2:30 – 2:45 pm EST Presentation: Strengthening community engagement strategies to address social determinants of health (922281)

Emilie McClintic, Research Associate, MPH – Center for Wellness and Nutrition

Jamie Frederick, MSW, MPH, Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation ; Amy DeLisio, MPH, RDN, Director

Community engagement efforts are known to lead to sustainable and equitable programming, therefore offering a model of collaborative training and technical assistance to organizations should be replicated and scaled within the public health community for greater impact.

Cover report: We’re All in This Together: Strengthening Community Engagement Strategies Through a Collaborative Technical Assistance ModelMore from the Center for Wellness and Nutrition: Find strategies to strengthen your community engagement efforts, in this report and toolkit from PHI’s Center for Wellness and Nutrition. The resources include insights, tools, guidance, local examples and more—helping to build trust and sustainable change, and leading to greater impact and advancement of equity goals.



2:30 – 4:00 pm EST: Organizational efforts to advance health equity (4211)

presentation icon3:00 – 3:15 pm EST Presentation: Advancing equity in communities through multi-sector collaboratives: The role of local context and power dynamics (926636)

Peter Forberg, Research Associate, MA – Population Health Innovation Lab,

Stephanie Bultema, MAAL, PhD Candidate, Director of Research and Network Science; Emily Christopher, MPH, (Former) Research Scientist; Christina Olson, MPH, Program Manager; Sue Grinnell, MPH, Director; Esmeralda Salas, BS, Research Associate

This presentation focuses on how multi-sector health collaboratives are shaped by local contexts and power dynamics, understanding how these two forces shape their mission towards improving health equity.

People standing in front of a glass wall with sticky notesMore from Population Health Innovation Lab: In this report, PHI’s Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL) explores how six Accountable Communities for  Health (ACHs) across California and Washington are levelling differences in power dynamics and improving equity, with resources for how communities can tackle challenges head-on to collectively build health, equity and community power.



2:30 – 4:00 pm EST: Insights on availability: Quantitative and qualitative polices limiting drinking locations and considerations for implementation (4195)

presentation icon3:30 – 3:45 pm Presentation: Identifying policy levers with potential to reduce alcohol-related consequences closely following bouts of heavy episodic drinking (HED) and high intensity drinking (HID) (923305)

Tom K. Greenfield, PhD, Scientific Director  – Alcohol Research Group

Camillia Lui, PhD, Scientist, HID Project Co-Director; Edwina Williams, MPH, Senior Research Assistant; Libo Li, PhD, Senior Biostatistician; William C. Kerr, PhD, Center Director & Senior Scientist; Yachen Zhu, PhD, Biostatistician

Using a web survey of Heavy and High Intensity Drinkers we found that, adjusting for numerous covariates, rate of purchasing to-go drinks was strongly associated with mean number of problems (e.g., hangovers, fights, work absenteeism) following all extreme drinking levels.


Health Equity and HIV Poster Session (4273)

poster icon 3:00 – 4:00 pm EST Poster: “Working Boys” – Digital Storytelling Intervention for Transmen in San Francisco and Alameda Counties, CA

Tooru Nemoto, PhD, Research Program Director – Health Intervention Projects for Underserved Populations (HIPUP)
Mariko Iwamoto, MA, Sabrina Suico
To increase community awareness of substance use, HIV/STIs, and mental health issues among trans youth, HIPUP implemented the digital storytelling intervention. Participants created digital storytelling videos, sharing their personal stories of being a transman of color engaging in sex work.
Community Health Planning and Policy Development Poster Session (4268)

poster icon 3:00 – 4:00 pm EST Poster: Evaluation of a county-integrated contact tracing support project in California

Esmeralda Salas, Research Associate, BS – Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL)

Stephanie Bultema, MAAL, PhD Candidate, Director of Research and Network Science; Peter Forberg, MA, Research Associate; Sue Grinnell, MPH, Director; Max Chavez, BA, Research Assistant; Beverly Bruno, BS, Research Assistant; Emily Christopher, MPH; Danielle Theberge; Nicole Lordi; Becky Garrow, MPH, Garrow Consulting

This evaluation provides valuable learnings to ongoing and future cross-sector collaborative efforts to support pandemic response and offers guidance on project implementation.

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

8:30 – 10:00 am EST: Partnerships for Improving Healthcare Services‚ Delivery‚ and Outcomes (5026)

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8:45 – 9 am EST Presentation: Drivers of systems change through partnerships (926326)

Stephanie Bultema Director of Research & Network Science, MAAL, PhD(c)) – Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL)

Sue Grinnell, MPH – PHIL Director 

The presentation explores how cross-boundary partnerships can generate systems change.


8:30 – 10:00 am EST: Improving alcohol-related outcomes by focusing on priority and often overlooked populations: What do the data say? (5002)

presentation icon8:30 – 8:45 am EST Presentation: The association of Medicaid expansion and receipt of alcohol screening and brief intervention in primary care: Is increased access to primary care enough? (518736)

Aryn Phillips, PHD, MPH – Alcohol Research Group

Meenakshi Subbaraman, PhD; Kara Bensley, PhD, Joanne Delk, MS, Nina Mulia, DrPH

In this session, we present results from an investigation into the association of living in a state that expanded Medicaid eligibility with receipt of alcohol screening and brief intervention in primary care among nonelderly low-income adults.

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9:30 – 9:45 am EST Presentation: Intersectional disparities in alcohol treatment completion: Results from US national administrative data

Joanne Delk, MS – Alcohol Research Group

Meenakshi S. Subbaraman, PhD, Biostatistician; Yu Ye, Biostatistician MS; Kara Bensley, PhD, Associate Scientist; Nina Mulia, DrPH, Senior Scientist and Center Associate Director; Aryn Z. Phillips PhD, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Katherine J. Karriker-Jaffe, PhD, RTI International

We will present race-by-gender disparities in completing specialty alcohol treatment and discuss finding showing the disparities are greatest for minoritized women when compared to White men.


12:30 – 2:00 pm EST: Examining Data Needs to Advance Health Equity (5126)

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12:30 – 12:45 pm EST Presentation: Harnessing the power of local public health to advance equity (917815)

Ana I. Bonilla, MPH, MURP – Public Health Alliance of Southern California 

Alyssa Kennett, MPH, MIA, San Joaquin Valley Public Health Consortium; Melissa Jones, MPA, Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative; Richard Vezina, MPH, Blue Shield of California Foundation

In this session, attendees will learn about models that demonstrate how local health jurisdictions (LHJs) can work together to share information, extend their resources, influence policies that support improved health across their jurisdictions, and lift up the communities they serve.

Cover page: Supporting Communities and Local Public Health Departments During COVID-19 and Beyond: A Roadmap for Equitable and Transformative ChangeMore from Public Health Alliance of Southern California: In this report, Public Health Alliance of Southern California and the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Health Equity share policy, program, and resource recommendations to help ensure that local public health departments are adequately prepared to protect communities most vulnerable to COVID-19, as well as future public health emergencies.


PHI Presenters

Dalila Madison Almquist, MPH; States Strategy Co-Lead
State of Equity

Dalila Madison Almquist is the States Strategy Co-Lead, State of Equity (formerly Health in All Policies) at the Public Health Institute. Dalila brings more than a decade of experience advancing racial equity and health equity. She received a degree in Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and a Master’s in Public Health from San Diego State University.

Ana I. Bonilla, MPH, MURP; Health Equity & Justice Manager
Public Health Alliance of Southern California

Ana I. Bonilla is the Health Equity & Justice Manager with the Public Health Alliance of Southern California. She works to advance health equity and racial justice with the region’s 10 local health departments. Prior to joining the Public Health Alliance, she led affordable housing policy for Enterprise Community Partners – PNW and supported healthy, equitable land use policies with Prevention Institute. She holds a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning and Public Health from UCLA.

headshot of Stephanie Bultema
Stephanie Bultema, MAAL, PhD(c); Director of Research and Network Science
Population Health Innovation Lab

Stephanie Bultema is Director of Research and Network Science in the Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL) at the Public Health Institute and a PhD candidate in Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. Her work, teaching, and studies focus on large-scale collaboration for the common good.

Joanne Delk headshot
Joanne Delk, MS
Alcohol Research Group

Joanne Delk, MS, works for the Alcohol Research Group. She is an analyst on projects assessing disparities in alcohol-related care and whether this is changing under health reform. She is also the project coordinator for a NIAAA-funded longitudinal survey, Peer Alternatives to Addiction 2 Study (PAL2), designed to understand how and for whom mutual-help group alternatives for addiction are effective.

Peter Forberg, MA; Research Associate
Population Health Innovation Lab

Peter Forberg is a research associate at the Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL). During college, Peter worked on queer sexual health in Chicago. Shortly after graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in sociology, he began working with PHIL. His work now focuses on multi-sector health initiates. Through this work, he hopes to better understand the complexity of health systems through mixed methods research such as interviews, surveys, and network science.

Ann-Marie Gomes, MPH, MSW; Research Associate IV
Alcohol Research Group

Anne-Marie Gomes is a public health researcher in the Alcohol Research Group at the Public Health Institute. She specializes in health equity and reducing disparities for racial-ethnic minorities and under-resourced groups, and is working on the Community College Smokefree Policies project. Anne-Marie is presently a doctoral candidate in Social Welfare at the State University of New York, completing her dissertation study on the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACES) on mothers with special needs and their families.

Thomas Greenfield
Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD; Scientific Director
Alcohol Research Group

Tom K. Greenfield, is scientific director of the Alcohol Research Group, Public Health Institute in California, where he has conducted numerous national alcohol surveys and led numerous NIAAA-supported projects, now co-leading a Center project on high intensity drinking with Dr. Lui. He has done alcohol epidemiological and policy studies throughout his career, with over 250 peer reviewed articles, plus chapters, books, monographs, and commentaries. He currently serves on the Alcohol Justice board of directors and as an ATOD Section Councilor at APHA.

Sue Grinnell
Sue Grinnell, MPH; Director
Population Health Innovation Lab

Sue Grinnell is the Director of Population Health Innovation Lab (PHIL) with current focus on Accountable Communities of/for Health (ACH) sites and health focused multisector collaboratives (MSCs). Experience includes supporting the formation of the ACH model in Washington, Vermont ACH Learning Lab, and California Accountable Communities of Health (CACHI) Accelerator sites. Sue supports deepened capacity for collaboratives to navigate the complexity of population health using various innovative practices including the Art of Hosting and Design Thinking.

Christy McCain, MPH; Research Scientist
CA-Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review

Christy McCain, MPH, has more than 20 years of domestic and international health experience, including survey development, training, fieldwork coordination, health education and writing. McCain’s expertise lies in maternal and child health and reproductive health issues.

Emilie McClintic, MPH; Research Associate
Center for Wellness and Nutrition

Emilie McClintic is a Research Associate at the Public Health Institute Center for Wellness in Sacramento, CA. She has expertise in researching and evaluating behavior change interventions and nutrition education and food access programs including SNAP-Ed programs. Emilie earned her MPH from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University in 2016 where she studied Global Health and Community Nutrition and received a certificate in the Social Determinants of Health.

Tooru Nemoto
Tooru Nemoto, PhD; Research Program Director
Health Intervention Projects for Underserved Populations

Dr. Nemoto is the Research Program Director with the Health Intervention Projects for Underserved Populations program at Public Health Institute in Oakland, CA. He has over 25 years of experience conducting community-based intervention studies and projects, particularly in substance abuse and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention for neglected and stigmatized populations, such as transgender and gender non-binary people, men who have sex with men, and sex workers in the U.S. and Asian countries (e.g., Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia). He also published over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals, conducted more than 80 presentations, and invited lectures. He was a co-Chair of the NIDA AAPI Workgroup from 1999 to 2006.

Aryn Phillips, PhD, MPH; Assistant Professor
Alcohol Research Group

Aryn Phillips, PhD, MPH, is an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy & Management in the School of Public Health. She is a health services researcher interested in alcohol use among adults with chronic conditions, particularly older adults. She received her PhD in health policy from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, during which she was a T32 pre-doctoral fellow at the Alcohol Research Group.

Carmen Nevarez
Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH; Director
Center for Health Leadership & Impact

Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH, is senior vice president emeritus, external relations and preventive medicine at the Public Health Institute. She directs PHI Center for Health Leadership & Impact, supporting communities addressing complex issues through broad-based collaborations. Main focus areas include health equity, chronic disease and opioid use disorder. Dr. Nevarez is past-president of APHA, a member of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California board and is board chair of the Langeloth Foundation.

Dr. Soma Saha
Somava Saha, MD, MS; Program Co-Lead
Communities RISE Together

Dr. Saha serves as Founder and Executive Lead of Well-being and Equity in the World, and Executive Lead of the Well Being In the Nation Network, which work together to advance inter-generational well-being and equity. She is the Co-Lead on the Communities RISE Together initiative, a collaboration between WE in the World and their Well Being In the Nation (WIN) Network and PHI.

Esmeralda Salas, BS; Research Associate
Population Health Innovation Lab

Esmeralda Salas is committed to promoting individual and community wellbeing by addressing root causes of health inequalities and disparities in accessing resources through community engagement, collaboration, advocacy, mentoring, and research. Esmeralda has mentored children with adverse childhood experiences and mental disorders across San Diego County. She also worked with non-profits and migrant communities around the U.S./Mexico border region to conduct advocacy and research work. Additionally, Esmeralda supported national and international research projects and interventions promoting youth and community wellbeing through community partnerships. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, in 2021.

Meenakshi Subbaraman
Meenakshi Subbaraman, PhD; Biostatistician
Alcohol Research Group

Meenakshi Sabina Subbaraman, PhD works as a biostatistician for the Public Health Institute’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Studies group and instructor for the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Her research interests include causal inference; methods for studying mediators, moderators, and mechanisms of action; recovery from substance use disorders; recovery housing; cannabis and alcohol policy; cannabis/alcohol substitution and complementarity; and policies related to substance use during pregnancy.

Susan Watson
Susan Watson, MPH; Program Director
Together Toward Health; CA4Health

Susan Watson, MPH, is the Program Director for the COVID-19 equity initiative Together Toward Health, and the CA4Health community of practice to advance health and equity in California. She has expertise in leading large-scale efforts with both community and institution participation across California. Ms. Watson has prioritized working on issues related to equity, community health, and the elimination of racial and ethnic disparities throughout her public health tenure and has cultivated relationships with local health departments and community-based organizations across California. She has master’s in public health from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University.

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