CHI Releases Brief on Setting California's Health Agenda
It appears that health was not on the agenda in the 2010 election cycle, yet it must be a priority for policymakers interested in enhancing the quality of life for all Californians. Developed jointly by the Center for Health Improvement, the Prevention Institute and the Public Health Institute, Our Health is California's Health: Setting the Health Agenda for 2010 & Beyond, is a tool for elevating the discussion. This document offers a vision for a healthier California and a road map for achieving it: recommendations cover health care access and quality, promoting safety in homes and communities, and preventing chronic disease. Read the release or view the brief.
CHI Trains 70 Alaskans on Health Policy
In conjunction with conference sponsors SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska, the Center for Health Improvement developed a three-day training “Motivate. Engage. Change: Harnessing the Power of Policy”. The training program helped 70 attendees learn to identify opportunities for change and explained how to work through the health policy process. The training provided advocates with the knowledge and tools they need to collect, analyze, and present data; develop policy goals for schools, workplaces, and community settings; and get buy-in from key players for implementing evidence-based health promotion policies. The program taught participants how to build coalitions, develop their leadership potential, and tell their stories to help engage others in policy change. Participants also heard firsthand from a current legislator and others working on policy in the state capital on how to navigate the policy process. Karen Shore, PhD, CHI’s vice president for planning & health policy, led development of this policy and advocacy training held in mid-August in Juneau, Alaska. If you are interested in learning more about this training and how CHI can work with you to develop a policy and advocacy training for your audience, contact Dr. Shore at email@example.com.
Reed Publishes Review of Public Perceptions About Cognitive Health
CHI President & CEO Peter S. Reed, PhD, MPH, is one of five authors of a new comprehensive assessment that found that although most Americans are aware of Alzheimer’s disease, few rated themselves as very knowledgeable about it. The authors also found insufficient information to understand public perceptions about cognitive health in general and called for additional work to address gaps that would facilitate strategies to enhance knowledge in this area. “The Public’s Perceptions About Cognitive Health and Alzheimer’s Disease Among the U.S. Population: A National Review,” appears in the June 2009 issue of The Gerontologist. Read the abstract.
Kohatsu Elected Chairman of CHI's Board of Directors, DeBuono Named Vice-Chair
At the June 2009 meeting of CHI's board of directors, Neal Kohatsu, MD, MPH, California Department of Public Health was elected to chair the board, while Barbara DeBuono, MD, MPH, George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, was elected as CHI’s new vice chair. Longtime board members and past chairmen Lester Breslow, MD, MPH, and Gordon DeFriese, PhD, were designated Chairmen Emeriti in recognition of their extensive service to CHI and the larger fields of public health and health services.
CHI Policy Brief Recommends That California Invest in Resilience to Foster Healthy Agingbrief published in June 2009, "New Perspectives: Investing in Resilience to Promote Healthy Aging."
Based on evidence that fostering resilience may help improve the health and quality of life for seniors and lead to lower health care costs, the California Health Policy Forum published a policy brief in late June recommending that the state invest in programs that target the factors that foster, strengthen, or maintain resilience. As a complement to two recent California Health Policy Forums on healthy aging, CHI developed the brief, which offers concrete policy recommendations, to inform the public policy-making process. Read the
50+ Attend CalHEP Meeting, Rally at the Capitol
More than 50 advocates from across California attended CalHEP’s 3rd Annual Spring Meeting on June 10, 2009 and rallied at the Capitol in support of preserving funding for hepatitis screening and syringe exchange programs. Rachel McLean, California’s Adult Viral Hepatitis Prevention Coordinator, kicked off the meeting with a discussion of current hepatitis A, B, and C prevention activities and gave an update on California’s viral hepatitis strategic plan. A panel discussion on state and federal health reform featured Herb Schultz, senior advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; Jeff Caballero, executive director of the Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations; and Assemblymember Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco). Advocates also met with their state legislators after the rally to discuss the importance of hepatitis and its impact on California communities. The California Hepatitis Alliance seeks to reduce the scope and consequences of the hepatitis B and C epidemics, which disproportionately affect California’s ethnic communities and the socioeconomically underserved. CalHEP is a program of the Center for Health Improvement. Learn more by visiting CalHEP’s website.
Health Affairs Article Analyzes PROMETHEUS Payment Model
How providers get paid affects delivery of care and cost control. In a June 2009 Health Affairs article, Francois de Brantes, Guy D'Andrea, and Meredith B. Rosenthal examined the PROMETHEUS payment model to illustrate the role of warranties in health care and their potential impact on providers' behavior and profitability. CHI is the administrator for testing of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded PROMETHEUS payment model and offers technical assistance to the pilot sites. Read the article and learn more about PROMETHEUS.
CHI Champions Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease
Because CHI is committed to disease prevention, we’ve joined the Alzheimer’s Early Detection Alliance—a group of corporations, nonprofits, and government entities determined to make a difference in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. There’s no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and no proven method to prevent its onset. Early detection provides an opportunity for affected individuals to take an active role in their own care, plan for their own future, and begin treatment as soon as possible. We encourage you to support the Alzheimer’s Association and join in the effort by knowing the 10 signs. Learn more about Alzheimer’s disease by visiting www.alz.org or calling the 24/7 Helpline at 800.272.3900.
CHI Health Policy Forum Examines 'Aging Well in Place'
Experts from across California gathered April 2, 2009, at the State Capitol for wide-ranging discussion of factors that can help older adults remain in their homes as long as reasonably possible as they age. The two-hour forum, called “Aging Well in Place,” explored some health, financial, living and care options for maintaining independence. Panelists were: David Mandel, supervising attorney with California Senior Legal Hotline; Catherine Sarkisian, MD, MSPH, professor of geriatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; Mark Helmar, chief of long-term care with California’s Department of Health Care Services; and Bob Chason, an independent health care consultant and former CEO of UC Davis Medical Center. Amy Shin, chief administrative officer at On Lok in the Bay Area, facilitated the discussion. Read more about the session in CHI’s electronic newsletter. This forum was a follow-up to the “Perspectives on Aging Well” forum held on December 11, 2008. Learn more about The California Health Policy Forum at www.cahpf.org and get details and resource materials from this session.
Reed Publishes Quality of Care Work in International Psychogeriatrics
In an article published in March 17, 2009, CHI President and CEO Peter S. Reed, PhD, MPH, teamed up with Elizabeth Gould to report on the Alzheimer’s Association’s Quality Care Campaign, finding that most of those delivering hands-on care to people with dementia do not receive adequate training in dementia care. Published in International Psychogeriatrics, “Alzheimer’s Association Quality Care Campaign and Professional Training Initiatives: Improving Hands-on Care for People With Dementia in the USA” concludes that staff respond positively to evidence-based training that emphasizes the importance of leadership, team communication and collaboration, support and empowerment of direct care staff, awareness and practice of specific dementia care issues, resident and family involvement in care, and professional self care. Read the abstract.
Gov. Picks CalHEP’s Lawford for Advisory Board
In March, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Christopher Kennedy Lawford—California Hepatitis Alliance’s honorary steering committee chair—to California’s Public Health Advisory Committee. In the unsalaried position, Lawford, together with other committee members, provides advice and recommendations to the state’s director of public health on programs and policies to improve the health and safety of Californians and helps identify strategies to improve public health program effectiveness and define emerging public health issues. CHI leads CalHEP, a coalition of organizations focusing on fostering sound public health policy and advocacy to improve California’s approach to viral hepatitis.
CHI Names Peter S. Reed President & CEO
On December 5, 2008, the Center for Health Improvement announced that it had selected Peter S. Reed, PhD, MPH, to lead CHI as its president and chief executive officer. He will officially join the nonprofit on January 20, 2009. Dr. Reed is currently at the national office of the Alzheimer’s Association, where in his role as senior director of programs he led a staff of nearly 50 in developing, implementing, and evaluating innovative programs for use by the Association’s nationwide network of 77 chapters and 300 offices. He was the principal investigator on three federally funded projects, including the Brain Health Initiative for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He also served as spokesperson for the Association, and has appeared on NBC, ABC, and CNN. He joined the Association in January 2004, after working in research in dementia and aging with the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the University of North Carolina Center on Minority Aging. A Fellow at the University of North Carolina Institute on Aging, Dr. Reed earned his doctoral and master’s of public health degrees in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of North Carolina.He is author and co-author of more than 45 peer-reviewed and invited articles, book chapters, and monographs.
Health Policy Forum Redefines What It Means to Age Well
Few issues are as potentially important to California's future as its aging population, the on December 11, 2008, the California Health Policy Forum examined the issue from a holistic perspective. “Perspectives on Aging Well” presented an overview of what it means to age well and how the issue and enhancing psychological and social factors can contribute to keeping people healthy longer into old age and, hopefully, out of institutionalized care as long as possible. Panelists were: David Bank, MS, vice president, Civic Ventures and editor oof Encore.org, San Francisco; David Feeny, PhD, senior investigator and assistant program Director, Center for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente Northwest; Cordia Wade, MA, member, Sacramento County Adult and Aging Commission; and emeritus professor of gerontology, American River College; and Elaine Welch, RN, MBA, executive director, Contra Costa for Every Generation—Making Our Community Aging-Friendly. Peter S. Reed, PhD, MPH, then-Senior Director of Programs, Alzheimer’s Association National Office, and now CHI’s president and CEO moderated the discussion. Visit www.cahpf.org for details and resource materials.
CHI Mourns Death of Board Member Don Vickery
Donald M. Vickery, MD, MPH, a pioneer in health education and medical self-care, founder and president of The Self-Care Institute, and member of the board of directors of the Center for Health Improvement (CHI) died November 22, 2008, at his home in Evergreen, Colorado. He was 64 and had lung cancer. Soon after accepting an appointment as CHI’s President and CEO this spring, Dr. Vickery learned of his illness and did not assume the leadership of the Sacramento-based health policy and technical assistance organization. He was president and chief executive of the Center for Consumer Health Education, based in Evergreen, from 1980 to 2008. He authored several books, including two best-sellers as a co-author: Life Plan: Your Own Master Plan for Maintaining Health and Preventing Illness, a guide to Take Care of Yourself (more than 20 million copies sold), and Taking Care of Your Child: A Parent's Illustrated Guide to Complete Medical Care, which won the American Medical Writers Association Award. Dr. Vickery was a board-certified internist and a fellow of both the American College of Physicians and the American College of Preventive Medicine. For many years, he held leadership positions at the Partnership for Prevention and the American College of Preventive Medicine.
Health Departments Adopt CHI’s Worksite Wellness Program
In light of research findings that worksite improvements and interventions helped maintain employees’ health, the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) rolled out plans early this year to permanently adopt the Worksite Wellness program piloted by the Center for Health Improvement. Employees are eager to see the program continue: 70% of respondents in an employee survey called the worksite wellness program either “very” or “extremely” valuable for improving employee morale; 99% believe nutrition and regular physical exercise contribute to higher productivity on the job; and 92% want to see an employee wellness website. Results were published in a July 2008 research brief, "Worksite Wellness Program Keeps Employees Healthy." Read more.
Christopher Kennedy Lawford Is CalHEP Honorary Chair
Christopher Kennedy Lawford has agreed to serve as honorary chair of the California Hepatitis Alliance and to help the alliance bring greater awareness to viral hepatitis in California. He will be the keynote speaker at CalHEP’s membership meeting in Sacramento on March 12, 2008. The firstborn child of famed Rat Pack actor Peter Lawford and Patricia Kennedy—and nephew of President John F. Kennedy—Christopher Lawford is an accomplished author and actor. Diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2001, Lawford wrote about his personal experiences in a memoir, Symptoms of Withdrawal: A Memoir of Snapshots and Redemption, following his successful hepatitis C treatment. The book was published in 2005 and became a New York Times Bestseller. He has dedicated much of his time to speaking about his experience to help increase diagnosis and treatment of liver disease. The CalHEP program is administered through CHI.
AHRQ’s Learning Network for CVEs Launched
Fourteen communities from across the country were formally welcomed into the Learning Network for Chartered Value Exchanges at a two-day conference in the Washington, D.C.-area at the end of February. Part of the Value-Driven Health Care Initiative led by Mike Leavitt, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the nationwide learning network is designed to help community collaboratives advance health care quality and manage costs. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has contracted with the Center for Health Improvement to provide technical assistance for the Learning Network.
Transforming CA’s Mental Health System
Will the transformation taking place in California’s mental health care system using financing from Proposition 63 allow it to leapfrog over the state’s primary care system, which typically gets far more money and attention? That’s the question raised at the end of an October 25 California Health Policy Forum that featured a panel discussion of the implementation challenges and successes of the 2004 proposition. Proposition 63 became the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), which is funded by a 1% tax on people with incomes over $1 million and contains provisions that prohibit the use of these new funds to supplant existing programs and services. To date, it has provided more than $2 billion to California counties for new services to underserved populations. CHI manages the nonpartisan Forum held in the state’s Capitol that fosters solutions-oriented conversations on improving health policy among legislative and agency staff. The Forum is funded by The California Endowment, the California HealthCare Foundation, and The California Wellness Foundation. Read more about the October 25 Forum on Proposition 63.
Policy Brief: California Must Do More for Syringe Exchange
A CHI Policy Brief published in September recommends that California do more to lift barriers to establishing Syringe Exchange Programs (SEPs) throughout the state. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence about the efficacy of SEPs in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, and other diseases, a complex web of laws continues to make it difficult to establish and fund SEPs in California. On October 14, 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 110 by John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) that will allow local governments and the California Department of Public Health to use state General Fund dollars to support purchase of sterile syringes for distribution by SEPs. The legislation provides no new funding directly to programs, but it is an incremental improvement on current law and should lead to greater stability in funding for these life-saving programs. Work on CHI’s policy brief was funded by the Syringe Access Fund of Tides Foundation and conducted by CHI Senior Consultant Martha Saly, MSOD, and public policy researcher Glenn Backes, MSW, MPH. The brief was featured on Univision Spanish-language television, in the Bay Area Reporter, and other media. Read the policy brief online at CHI’s website.
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