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PHI in the News

All in the Family: What Multigenerational Cohorts Are Revealing about Potential Environmental Impacts on Neurodevelopment

July 18, 2019 | Lindsey Konkel | Environmental Health Perspectives

Is it possible for grandparents who have been exposed to environmental chemicals to genetically pass on health impacts from the exposure to future generations? Dr. Barbara Cohn and colleagues at PHI's Child Health and Development Studies are trying to find the answer as part of their multigenerational data project. Lindsey Konkel reviews the CHDS dataset for the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.  more

Plumas County’s Approach to Opioid Crisis Feted Nationally

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

Photo by David McNew/AFP/Getty Image

New Report Details How Extreme Heat will Affect the Bay Area

July 16, 2019 | PDF | Hosted by Michael Krasny | KQED Forum

Heat waves are deadly, and a new report out from the Union of Concerned Scientists finds that that Bay Area's heat waves are likely to continue increasing in occurence. The director of PHI's Center for Climate Change and Health, Linda Rudolph, MD, MPH, is featured on KQED's Forum alongside Kristina Dahl, PhD and Molly Peterson. They discuss Dahl and colleagues' new report, ways Bay Area citizens can protect themselves during future heat waves, and how Bay Area citizens can support governmental actions that aim to reduce heat-trapping emissions.  more

22 Women From Across State Trained to Promote Leadership

July 12, 2019 | Arohi Gadagkar | The Indian Express

The Indian Express covered the Collective Impact Partnership (CIP), a project lead by Rise Up, in partnership with the Global Fund for Women, How Women Lead, Public Health Institute, and World Pulse. The CIP trained 22 women from across the state of Maharashtra to promote women's economic empowerment and social justice for women and girls.
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Photo by Salgu Wissmath for NPR

With Rural Health Care Stretched Thin, More Patients Turn To Telehealth

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

The Secondhand Harms of Drinking Impact 1 in 5 Adults, Study Says

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

US Suicide Rates Are The Highest They've Been Since World War II, According To The CDC

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

Editorial: California Legislature Must Extend Clean-air Checks to Trucks

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

More Monterey County schools to get heads up when pesticides are being sprayed nearby

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

Domestic Violence Connection Missing in Many Child Welfare News Stories, Study Says

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

Flexibility, Benefits And Feeling Appreciated Key Top Nonprofits

April 01, 2019 | Mark Hrywna | Nonprofit Times

Image: Blue background, white font: "NPT's Best Nonprofits to Work For 2019"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

Lake ranked as least healthy county in California in new national report

March 19, 2019 | Lake County News

Image result for lake county newsThe 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

Sound Ambition

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

Berkeley’s sugary soda consumption plummeted after tax, study says

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

Some Rural California Hospitals Will Try To Prevent Overdoses With Opioid Treatment In The ER

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

Breast Cancer and DDT: Timing of Exposure May Matter

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."

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Alcohol Problems Grow as Booze Gets a Bigger Kick

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

James Tensuan for NPR

Far From Parkland Spotlight, Teens In East Oakland Want To Tell Their Stories

February 14, 2019 | PDF | Sam Sanders & Anjuli Sastry | NPR

For some young people, a year's attention on events like Parkland hasn't turned into the attention they're asking for: a spotlight on the everyday gun violence they experience in their neighborhoods.

"We can't solve a problem when we don't know what's happening," says Pamela Mejia, head of research at PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group, which examines mass media and its connection to public health. "If the coverage is overwhelmingly driven by very high profile but fundamentally fairly rare issues ... what people, voters, policymakers ... are learning about and having a sense of as the norm is only those very isolated incidences. And then the solutions that they're thinking about are really solutions that only address those specific problems."  more

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