image: 2020 APHA

PHI at APHA 2020

Find PHI and our programs at the APHA 2020 Annual Meeting, an all-virtual event taking place from Oct. 24-28.

APHA 2020

PHI and its programs are sharing research, expertise and new ideas at 23 posters, presentations and special sessions at the 2020 APHA meeting. Because this year’s meeting is virtual, it is easier than ever to tune in.

  • Follow us on twitter for updates on sessions and live tweets of some presentations.
  • Visit us virtually at booth #510 to find out about our programs, job opportunities and more.
  • 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 Daily Schedule

Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday

Sunday, October 25, 2020

12:00pm – 1:00pm MT: Alcohol Use Disorder Interventions and Research: Focusing on Subpopulations in Communities (3148)

poster iconPoster: Alcohol consumption, beverage preference, and chronic conditions in Asian Americans

Won K. Cook, PhD – Alcohol Research Group
Christina Tam, PhD; William C. Kerr, PhD; Nina Mulia, DrPH; Libo Li, PhD

This study examined the associations of alcohol consumption level with cardiovascular disease and common conditions that increase its risk (diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol) in Asian Americans and their moderation by alcoholic beverage preference (wine, beer, liquor, and no preference).

2:00pm – 3:00pm MT: Addressing Alcohol-Related Problems (2022)

poster iconPoster: Quantifying risk of injury from alcohol consumption: An instrumental variable analysis

Yu Ye, MA – Alcohol Research Group

William C. Kerr, PhD, Senior Scientist; Center Director Cheryl J. Cherpitel, DrPH, Senior Scientist; Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre on Alcohol Epidemiology and Injury; Joseph Terza, Professor, IUPUI

To quantify the relative risk of injury from chronic drinking using both conventional regression and the instrumental variable method.

2:30pm – 3:30pm MT: Perinatal and Women’s Health (2071)

poster iconPoster: Racial/ethnic differences in maternal comorbidities, severe maternal morbidity, near-miss morbidity, and pregnancy-related mortality in California, 2008-2014

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

Dan Susan Sun, California Department of Public Health/ Maternal Child Adolescent Health

Racial/ethnic differences in maternal comorbidities (MC), severe maternal morbidity (SMM), near-miss morbidity (NMM), and pregnancy-related mortality (PRM) have been examined individually, but not collectively. We examine racial/ethnic differences in the rates among these measures analyzing California delivery hospitalizations.

California Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (CA-PAMR): Pregnancy-Associated Suicide from 2002 to 2012

Find out more: California Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review (CA-PAMR): Pregnancy-Associated Suicide from 2002 to 2012 offers an in-depth review of maternal deaths and offers key insights to improve care and reduce preventable maternal suicide.


4:00pm – 5:00pm MT: Cannabis Research: Attitudes, Behaviors and Beliefs (2085)

presentation icon4:00pm MT Presentation: Mixed method measurement of youth cannabis use and beliefs in states with and without legalization

Alisa Padon, PhD – Getting it Right from the Start

Lynn Silver, MD, MPH, Brooke Briggance, Jasmine Nakagawa

This presentation reports on insights derived via mixed methods study into the complex drivers of youth use of cannabis and perceptions of cannabis legalization.

Cannabis Revenue

Find out more: California Cannabis Tax Revenues: A Windfall for Law Enforcement or an Opportunity for Healing Communities? examines how cities across California are taking the money and spending it on city and county law enforcement.


5:00pm – 6:00pm MT: Nutrition and Aging / Food Insecurity (2082)

poster iconPoster: Food insecurity and dietary outcomes among a population-based sample of low-income mothers 

Jacqueline Barkoski, PhD, MPH – Center for Wellness and Nutrition

 Alondra Vega-Arroyo, PhD; Celeste Doerr, PhD; Fred Molitor, PhD

This study investigated food insecurity among low-income Californian mothers and found food insecure mothers had lower diet quality, were consuming fewer fruits and vegetables and drinking more sugar-sweetened beverages compared to food secure mothers. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

10:30am – 12:00pm MT: Community-Based Approaches to Addressing Mental Health and Substance Abuse (3104)

presentation icon11:00am-11:15am MT Presentation: All hands on deck: A national learning network to prevent overdose deaths

Carmen Nevarez, MD, MPH – California Opioid Safety Network

Overdose deaths are plaguing the nation and forging a successful response requires a systems perspective, coherent vision, and committed collaborations at the local level where communities are first impacted. 

Racial Equity

1:00pm - 2:30pm MT: Capitol Collaborative on Race & Equity: Building California State Government Capacity to Advance Racial Equity (3175)

Host: Holly Nickel - Health in All Policies

Special Session Description: This practitioner panel will feature successes, challenges, and lessons learned from incorporating racial equity into California’s state-level agency policies, practices, and culture through the Public Health Institute’s (PHI) Capitol Collaborative on Race & Equity (CCORE). CCORE is a community of nearly 30 California State government agencies, including education, health, social services, transportation, corrections and rehabilitation, financial management, natural resources, and others, working together since 2018 to learn about, plan for, and implement practices that embed racial equity approaches in state government. Panelists will also share reflections on how the public/private structure of CCORE helps accelerate broad system-wide changes. This work is made possible with the support and partnership from many organizations including Race Forward’s Government Alliance on Race and Equity, California’s Strategic Growth Council, The California Endowment, The California Wellness Foundation, and the California Department of Public Health.

See Special Session Details

1:00pm – 2:30pm MT: Costs and Access to Substance Use Interventions (3170)

presentation icon1:40pm MT Presentation: Medicaid expansion’s impact on alcohol and opioid treatment admissions in racial/ethnic groups

Nina Mulia, DrPH – Alcohol Research Group

Camillia K. Lui, PhD, Scientist; Kara M. Bensley, PhD, Associate Scientist; Meenakshi S. Subbaraman, PhD, Biostatistician

We used state-level data from 2010-2016 to analyze specialty treatment admission rates for White, Black and Latinx substance users in Medicaid expansion and non-expansion states. Medicaid expansion increased treatment utilization by low-income substance users of each racial/ethnic group.

2:00pm – 3:30pm MT: Tobacco Control Policies (3264)

presentation icon2:00pm MT Presentation: Which community colleges have adopted smoke-free policies? Differences by geography and community policies

Camillia Lui, PhD – Alcohol Research Group

Deidre Patterson, MPH, Research Associate IV; Nina Mulia, DrPH, Scientist; Sang Leng Trieu, DrPH

Applying a health equity framework and pooling data across 2008-2018, we found that California community colleges located in communities with stronger tobacco control policies were more likely to be smoke-free, but this varied by geography and time.

3:00pm – 4:30pm MT: Science, Justice and Health Equity (3307) 

presentation icon3:00pm MT Presentation: Beyond the Headlines: Using news coverage to understand power and why it matters for community health

Katherine Schaff, DrPH – Berkeley Media Studies Group 

Pamela Mejia, MS MPH; Lori Dorfman, DrPH – Berkeley Media Studies Group

Building community power to shape the conditions that affect health is important for advancing racial and health equity. To identify opportunities to elevate stories of power-building for health, Berkeley Media Studies Group researchers evaluated how California news coverage reflects and transmits elements of power like inclusion, participation, and justice. In this session, we will share key findings from our analysis, discuss how social movements can shift coverage and help shift power, and review opportunities to engage reporters around making power visible in the news.

mothers attending Mothers Against Gun Violence candlelight vigil

3:00pm - 4:30pm MT: ISC Gun Violence Prevention (3270)

3:30pm - 3:45pm MT Presentation: Communicating about firearms and firearm violence: Strategies and techniques for success in dialogue, discussion and advocacy.

Panelists: Pamela Mejia, MS, MPH, Berkeley Media Studies Group; Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT; Woodie Kessel, MD, MPH, University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD; Howard Spivak, MD, Brookline, MA

Panel and audience discussion on terms commonly used and misused in conversations centered on firearm violence events, interventions and policy, and potential impact various terms have on conversations that take place and interpretation of events and outcomes.

3:00pm – 4:30pm MT: Exploring Measurement Approaches to Assess Community Partnerships (3278)

presentation icon3:45pm MT Presentation: Increasing the capacity of leaders to work collaboratively, transcend boundaries, and build equitable communities: Impact evaluation of 125+ multisector teams

Carmen Nevarez, MD, MPH – Center for Health Leadership and Practice

Karya Lustig, MA, ISS 

This presentation will outline the core components of a longstanding health leadership program that has driven successful outcomes in 125+ communities over 10 years. The Program Director will share key takeaways and practical tools for advancing collaborative practice among multi-sector collaboratives.

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

8:30am – 10:00am MT: Alcohol and Violence: Evidence and Implications (4003)

presentation icon9:00am MT Presentation: Toxicologic testing of suicide decedents in the national violent death reporting system: Trends and differences across participating states

Kara Bensley, PhD – Alcohol Research Group

William C. Kerr, PhD, Senior Scientist and Center Director; Bentson H. McFarland, MD, PhD; Raul Caetano, MD, MPH, PhD; Mark S. Kaplan, DrPH; Shannon Monnat, PhD; Norman Giesbrecht, PhD

This study examines variation in the prevalence of alcohol and opioid post-mortem toxicology testing among suicide decedents across states and years between 2012-2016 using data from the National Violent Death Reporting System. 

presentation icon9:15am MT Presentation: Mental health implications of having heavy drinkers in your life: The mediating role of exposure to alcohol-related violence

Deidre Patterson, MPH – Alcohol Research Group

Katherine J. Karriker-Jaffe, PhD, Senior Scientist; Thomas K. Greenfield, PhD, Senior Scientist and Scientific Director

Using data from the National Alcohol Survey 2015, the presenter will discuss the implications of mental health in heavy drinkers and role of alcohol-related violence.

poster icon9:00am – 10:00am MT Poster: Building Public Health Competencies for Cross-Sector Leadership: Results and learnings from the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH)(poster)

Carmen Nevarez, MD, MPH – Center for Health Leadership and Practice

Karya Lustig, MA, ISS; Maggie Jones, MPH, Director, Center for Community Health and Evaluation, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute

The National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH) has consistently seen improvements in participants’ reported skills and abilities related to core competencies. This session will explore alumni survey evaluation results from the first eight cohorts.

10:30am – 12:00pm MT Invited Session: Communications for Culture Change: Communications Strategies That Create Space for New Approaches to Preventing Violence (organized by HCWG) (4147)

presentation icon10:30am MT Presentation: Beyond the police blotter: The news about violence and how advocates can change the public conversation

Pamela Mejia, MS, MPH – Berkeley Media Studies Group

Shifting the public narrative on violence – including, for example, who is deemed a legitimate spokesperson, and what solutions are considered credible — is a critical step toward prevention, and the news media are an especially important part of shaping our narratives on violence. Berkeley Media Studies Group’s Head of Research will review how patterns in news coverage of gun violence and domestic violence can instill fear and discourage action toward change, as well as opportunities to reframe the public narrative to include prevention and counteract racist stereotypes.

Changing the Discourse About Community Violence: To Prevent It, We Have to Talk About It

Find out more: Changing the Discourse About Community Violence: To Prevent It, We Have to Talk About It explores news portrayals of community violence and makes recommendations for how to shift one piece of the discourse—the news media—to elevate prevention and multi-sector collaboration.


1:00pm – 2:30pm MT: Economic Impact and Return on Investment in Public Health (4237)

presentation icon1:15pm MT Presentation: Impact of Economic Factors on ED Utilization in Californias Sickle Cell Population: Examination of ED utilization rates by household income

Niani Coker, MPH, CHES – Tracking California

Susan Paulukonis, MA, MPH, Program Director(PI)

We examine the association between living in areas with low median household income (MHI) and Emergency Department (ED) utilization in persons with SCD over a 10-year period.

3:00pm – 4:00pm MT: Violence Prevention(4259)

poster iconPoster: Pregnancy-associated violent deaths, 2012-2016: Findings from the California pregnancy-associated mortality review

Violent deaths represent approximately 14% of all deaths occurring up to year after the end of pregnancy among California women. This poster describes a high-level view of two very different tragic mechanisms of violent death; homicide and suicide.

3:00pm – 4:30pm MT: Cannabis Policy, Legalization and Associated Outcomes(4265)

presentation icon3:30pm MT Presentation: Marijuana policy and public health: Two years after legalization

Lynn Silver, MD, MPH, FAAP – Getting it Right from the Start

Alisa Padon, PhD,  Amanda Naprawa, JD, MPH

This presentation will summarize our recently published analysis of the laws of all 539 of California’s cities and counties and the extent to which they incorporated, or failed to incorporate,  key lessons from tobacco control and other public health concerns.

presentation icon3:45pm MT Presentation: Characteristics of the Washington cannabis market from 2014 to 2016

William Kerr, PhD, Senior Scientist; Center Director – Alcohol Research Group

Yu Ye, MA, Biostatistician

Survey-based estimates of the size of the Washington cannabis market and purchaser characteristics will be presented.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

8:30am – 10:00am MT Addressing Specific Health Outcomes through Partnerships and Innovation (5024)

presentation icon8:30am MT Presentation: National Alliance for Health (NAFH) focuses public health and health care leaders on specific health outcomes

Stephanie Bultema – Population Health Innovation Lab

Tarah Ranke, MPH, M(ASCP), National Alliance for Health Program Manager, Sue Grinnell, MPH, Director of the Population Health Innovation Lab, Mary Pittman, DrPH, President & CEO

This presentation introduces the National Alliance for Health (NAFH) and presents the results of a network study that explored the extent to which NAFH partners collaborate with one another to address six shared focus areas.

10:30am – 12:00pm MT Impact of Alcohol Policies in Reducing Harms (5055)

presentation icon10:45am MT Presentation: Differential effects of beverage-specific taxes on alcohol-related harms across demographic subgroups

Meenakshi Subbaraman, PhD – Alcohol Research Group

Nina Mulia, DrPH, Scientist; William C. Kerr, PhD; Senior Scientist and Center Director; Katherine J. Karriker-Jaffe, PhD, Senior Scientist

Goals are to describe the varied effects of beverage-specific taxes on alcohol-related harms in subgroups defined by gender, race/ethnicity, and age, and discuss the importance of assessing whether alcohol control policies benefit diverse population subgroups equally.

Cover: Using Law and Policy to Reduce Alcohol-Related Deaths in the United States

Find out more: Using Law and Policy to Reduce Alcohol-Related Deaths in the United States presents evidence-based policy solutions that demonstrate how laws and policies can help support healthier, safer, and more livable communities and reduce the negative effects of alcohol use.


presentation icon11:30am MT Presentation: The high cost of the 4 a.m. bar bill in Los Angeles: A cost-benefit analysis

William Kerr, PHD – Alcohol Research Group

Meenakshi S. Subbaraman, PhD, Biostatistician; Bruce C. Livingston, MPP

The estimated potential cost of extending bar opening hours from 2 am to 4 am will be described.

PHI Presenters

Jacqueline Barkoski, PhD, MPH, Environmental Epidemiologist
Center for Wellness and Nutrition

Jacqueline Barkoski specializes in modifiable risk factors in children’s health. Dr. Barkoski joined PHI's Center for Wellness and Nutrition's evaluation team in 2019, following a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California, Davis, where she investigated the impact of early life exposures on child neurodevelopment. Since joining CWN, she has led statewide and regional evaluations of SNAP-Ed interventions.
Kara Bensley
Kara M. Bensley, PhD, Associate Scientist and Associate Professor, Bastyr University
Alcohol Research Group

Kara M. Bensley's research focuses on racial/ethnic and rural disparities in receipt of alcohol-related care and alcohol use in vulnerable populations.

Stephanie Bultema
Stephanie Bultema, Research Scientist III, Co-Principal Investigator
Population Health Innovation Lab

Stephanie Bultema is a PhD candidate (ABD) at the University of Colorado Denver's School of Public Affairs, studying collaborative governance in Accountable Communities of/for Health. Before joining the PHIL team, she worked as Senior Researcher in the University of Colorado Denver's Center on Network Science (2017-2020) and served as a public health professional from 2010-2017, most recently working as an Assessment Epidemiologist II in the Spokane Regional Health District’s Data Center.
Niani Coker
Niani Coker, MPH, CHES, Project Specialist
Tracking California

Niani Coker is responsible for multiple state, federal, and privately funded grants focusing on surveillance of sickle cell and sickle cell trait. Coker is interested in raising awareness, increasing knowledge, and changing attitudes about Sickle Cell Disease for both lay and professional audiences.

Won Cook
Won K. Cook, PhD, Scientist
Alcohol Research Group

Won K. Cook has a strong interest in immigrant alcohol use and other health and health care access issues; risk relationship between harmful drinking patterns and chronic health conditions; clustered lifestyle risk behaviors; effects of alcohol policies on drinking and alcohol-related harms; and community-based participatory research to improve the health of disadvantaged populations. Currently, she is the principal investigator of a research project on Asian American drinking, other risk behaviors, and chronic conditions funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
head shot: Wiliam Kerr
William C. Kerr, PhD, Senior Scientist and Center Director
Alcohol Research Group

Dr. Kerr's expertise includes the methodology of alcohol use measurement, trends in U.S. alcohol consumption and the underlying causes and relationships between alcohol use and health outcomes. He also researches health disparities; economic conditions and alcohol problems and alcohol control policy analyses and evaluation.
Camillia Lui
Camillia Lui, PhD, Scientist
Alcohol Research Group

Dr. Lui's research focuses on understanding socioeconomic disparities in alcohol/tobacco use, problems and treatment, especially during the transition from adolescence into adulthood; environmental prevention strategies and local policies to reduce alcohol, tobacco, and other substance use among youth and young adults, and program evaluation and organizational capacity building in Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.
Christy McCain
Christy McCain, MPH
CA-Pregnancy-Associated Mortality Review

Christy McCain has been working with the CA-Associated Mortality Review team for 13 years conducting medical record reviews and data analysis.

Pamela Mejia
Pamela Mejia, MS, MPH, Head of Research
Berkeley Media Studies Group

Pamela Mejia leads qualitative and quantitative analyses of how the media portray public health and social justice issues, and the implications of those portrayals for communicating strategically. Pamela’s research has informed communication strategy for the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (on whose Board of Directors she sits), the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, among others. She has been published in the American Journal of Public Health, Critical Public Health, and the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.
head shot: Nina Mulia
Nina Mulia, DrPH
Alcohol Research Group

Nina Mulia's research areas include racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in alcohol use, problems, and treatment services utilization. She also studies life course changes in drinking patterns and the effects of public health policies on alcohol-related outcomes.
Carmen Nevarez
Carmen Nevarez, MD, MPH, Director
Center for Health Leadership and Practice

Carmen Nevarez is vice president of external relations and preventive medicine at the Public Health Institute. She supports communities addressing complex issues through broad-based collaborations. Her main focus areas include health equity, chronic disease and opioid use disorder. Dr. Nevarez has served as president of APHA, is a member of the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California board, and is board chair of the Langeloth Foundation.
image: holly nickel
Holly Nickel, PhD, Racial Equity Strategist
Health in All Policies

Holly Nickel leads the Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity (CCORE), a racial equity capacity-building program designed to normalize, operationalize, and institutionalize racial equity in California’s state government. Prior to joining PHI, Holly worked at the Safe Routes to School National Partnership and at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, where she developed and implemented racial equity strategies and worked to increase physical activity and healthy eating opportunities for all Michigan residents.
Alisa Padon
Alisa Padon, PhD
Getting it Right from the Start

Dr. Alisa Padon’s research focuses on policies and marketing of cannabis products, tobacco products, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages with a focus on their impact on youth.

Deidre Patterson
Deidre Patterson, MPH, Research Associate IV
Alcohol Research Group

Deidre Patterson received her MPH in Community Health from Hunter College (CUNY) and The Master of Applied Science in Spatial Analysis for Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She works on diverse topics including economic conditions and alcohol problems and alcohol-related problems and consumption measurement. Other research interests include ethnic variation in drinking behavior, disparities in alcohol behaviors and treatment, as well as cultural and community effects on alcohol drinking patterns.
Lynn Silver
Lynn Silver, MD, MPH, FAAP, Senior Advisor
Prevention Policy group, Getting it Right from the Start project

Dr. Silver and her team advocate for the adoption of policies that can better protect public health, youth, and social equity where state or local government is moving forward with legalization and carry out research on policy adoption and outcomes. Silver is a pediatrician who formerly served as a county health officer and as Assistant Commissioner of Health in NYC.
Meenakshi S. Subbaraman, PhD; Biostatistician, Director of Statistical and Data Services
Alcohol Research Group

Meenakshi S. Subbaraman's primary areas of expertise are alcohol and cannabis policy, the intersection of alcohol and cannabis use, treatment for alcohol use disorders, and methods for studying causality and mediators/mechanisms of action.
Yu Ye
Yu Ye, MA, Biostatistician
Alcohol Research Group

Yu Ye's work focuses on statistical modeling of multilevel, longitudinal, and panel data, evaluation of causality and selection bias, relative risk, and attributable fraction estimates of an acute event such as injury.

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