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Institute for Population Health Improvement

Institute for Population Health Improvement

News releases

October 2014arrow

Study on Western diet and role in GI cancer funded

October 28, 2014

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has awarded a $2.7 million grant to UC Davis researchers to investigate how the so-called Western diet, which is high in fat and sugar, increases the risk of developing liver and gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. In addition, the researchers will study whether bifidobacteria, a common family of bacteria in the human gut, can be enriched to prevent cancer.

Health disparities expert from Rutgers to speak in Sacramento

October 27, 2014

Denise Rodgers, a family medicine physician at Rutgers University and national leader in reducing health disparities, will speak in Sacramento as part of the 2014 UC Davis Health System Snively Visiting Professorship in Family and Community Medicine.

Distinguished cancer prevention researcher to lead public health sciences at UC Davis

October 21, 2014

Brad Pollock, a leading researcher on the incidence and control of childhood and adolescent cancer, has become chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences at the UC Davis School of Medicine.

Program trains next generation of health-care leaders

October 2, 2014

Eighteen health leaders from nonprofit organizations and public agencies throughout Northern and Central California began classes this week as members of the Health Leadership Program's Class XI. The program, a partnership of the Sierra Health Foundation, UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI) and the University of San Francisco (USF) School of Management, is jointly led by IPHI Director Kenneth Kizer and Richard Callahan, chair of USF's Department of Public and Nonprofit Administration.

September 2014arrow

Higher nurse-to-patient standard improves staff safety

September 23, 2014

A 2004 California law mandating specific nurse-to-patient staffing standards in acute care hospitals significantly lowered job-related injuries and illnesses for both registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, according to a UC Davis study published online in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health.

Mothers of children with autism less likely to have taken iron supplements during pregnancy

September 21, 2014

Mothers of children with autism are significantly less likely to report taking iron supplements before and during their pregnancies than the mothers of children who are developing normally, a study by researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found.

Aguilar-Gaxiola presents NIH seminar on mental-health treatment gaps among Latinos

September 18, 2014

Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiola, professor of clinical internal medicine and director of the UC Davis Center for Reducing Health Disparities, on Thursday, Sept. 18, presented a seminar entitled, “If You Build It, Will They Come? Addressing Mental-Health Treatment Gaps in Latinos,” at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

August 2014arrow

Kizer appointed to UCOP Advisory Council on Student Veterans

August 21, 2014

Kenneth W. Kizer, a distinguished professor and director of the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement and national expert on veterans’ issues, has been asked to serve on University of California President Janet Napolitano’s Advisory Council on Student Veterans.

July 2014arrow

Experiences at every stage of life contribute to cognitive abilities in old age

July 24, 2014

Early life experiences, such as childhood socioeconomic status and literacy, may have greater influence on the risk of cognitive impairment late in life than such demographic characteristics as race and ethnicity, a large study by researchers with the UC Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Center and the University of Victoria, Canada, has found.

Pancreatic surgery complications impact hospital costs more than length of stay

July 10, 2014

When it comes to a specific type of pancreatic surgery, post-operative complications have a far greater impact on total cost than does how long the patient stays in the hospital, according to a published paper by UC Davis researchers.

June 2014arrow

Cancer Center's specialty pharmacy program helps patients adhere to oral chemotherapy

June 24, 2014

A UC Davis program designed to better manage cancer patients taking oral chemotherapy drugs has demonstrated that one-on-one counseling, education and monitoring can improve adherence to potentially life-saving cancer treatments.

Restoring trust in VA health care

June 4, 2014

In the wake of recent revelations of overly long patient wait times and systematic manipulation and falsification of reported wait time data, UC Davis and Harvard public policy leaders believe the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health-care system’s problems can be fixed by strong leadership, greater transparency and reforms that refocus the organization on its primary mission of providing timely access to consistently high-quality care.

May 2014arrow

Tailored intervention has low impact on colorectal cancer screening

May 12, 2014

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives, but too few people get tested. In an effort to increase these numbers,researchers from UC Davis and elsewhere investigated whether an individualized interactive multimedia computer program (IMCP) would spur patients to get screened.

April 2014arrow

SSRI use during pregnancy is associated with risk of autism, developmental delays in male children

April 14, 2014

Prenatal exposure to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), medications frequently prescribed to treat depression, anxiety and other mental-health disorders, is associated with a higher incidence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and developmental delays (DD) in male children, a study of nearly 1,000 mother-child pairs has found.

UC Davis personalizing outreach to address Asian cancer health disparities

April 11, 2014

In an effort to reduce cancer health disparities among Asian-Americans, UC Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center now offers individual, in-language education and culturally sensitive materials for every Asian-American cancer patient.

Achieving integrated health care: Nine key lessons

April 9, 2014

Drawing on three decades of experience leading diverse efforts to achieve integrated and higher-value health care, Kenneth W. Kizer, distinguished professor and director of the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement, identified nine key “lessons learned” about health-care integration based on efforts in California and nationally.

The vast majority of injuries and illnesses in agriculture are not counted

April 8, 2014

Federal agencies responsible for tracking workplace hazards fail to report 77 percent of the injuries and illnesses of U.S. agricultural workers and farmers, new research from UC Davis has found. [en español]

March 2014arrow

Time, trust and transparency keys to minority biospecimen collection

March 26, 2014

Blood and tumor specimen collection from cancer patients is critical to research into new, more personally targeted therapies. But biospecimen collection among diverse populations lags far behind that of whites. [Chinese, Vietnamese and Spanish]

UC Davis physician featured in national health equity project

March 24, 2014

UC Davis professor Christopher Bowlus of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, and his liver cancer disparity research, are featured on the Health Equity Research Snapshot of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

UC Davis faculty drive efforts to improve CT safety

March 19, 2014

UC Davis clinicians and physicists have recommended new strategies to make computed tomography (CT) safer, including adoption of a new metric for dose measurement, ways to manage exposure protocols that differ by CT brand and specific approaches to reduce exposure during needle biopsies. The recommendations are detailed in papers published in the March issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR).

February 2014arrow

IPHI's Helen Wu receives prestigious research award from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

February 6, 2014

Helen Wu, a research and policy scientist in the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI), has been selected to receive a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Mentored Research Scientist Development Award under its Public Health Services and Systems Research Program.

Tighter economic regulation is needed to reverse obesity epidemic

February 2, 2014

Governments could slow — and even reverse — the growing epidemic of obesity by taking measures to counter fast food consumption, according to a study published today in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

January 2014arrow

Commentary recommends abandoning the GDP

January 15, 2014

In a commentary published this week in Nature, a global team of public-health experts that included Roberto De Vogli of UC Davis said it is time to abandon the GDP in favor of benchmarks that bring environmental and social health on par with economic progress.

Complementary medicine in wide use to treat children with autism, developmental delay

January 11, 2014

In a study of the range of treatments being employed for young children with autism and other developmental delays, UC Davis MIND Institute researchers have found that families often use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments and that the most frequent users of both conventional and complementary approaches are those with higher levels of parental education and income. [en español]

UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement provides free Direct accounts for rural California providers

January 8, 2014

As part of its gaol of accelerating the adoption of health information exchange (HIE) technology, the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement’s California Health eQuality (CHeQ) Program is offering free Direct accounts through its Rural HIE Incentive Program launched earlier this year.

December 2013arrow

Survival rates have not improved for metastatic prostate cancer

December 18, 2013

Since the prostate specific antigen (PSA) test was introduced in the late 1980s, prostate cancer mortality has dropped by more than 40 percent. However, there has been tremendous controversy over whether the PSA test has caused that decline.  In a newly published study, UC Davis researchers suggest that PSA screening likely plays an important role. [en español]   

MIND Institute research named a Top 10 Scientific Advance for 2013 by Autism Speaks

December 18, 2013

A study by UC Davis MIND Institute researchers has been named one of the Top 10 Scientific Advances of 2013 by Autism Speaks, the international science and advocacy organization.

Trauma-care quality improvement needs national focus

December 4, 2013

The ability to objectively measure and compare the quality and long-term outcomes of trauma care nationwide will be imperative under the new health-care payment models that are evolving, UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement Director Kenneth W.  Kizer told attendees of the Trauma Quality Improvement Program (TQIP) of the American College of Surgeons last month.

November 2013arrow

Health insurance increases preventive care but not risky behaviors

November 22, 2013

People with health insurance are more likely to use preventive services such as flu shots and health screenings to reduce their risk of serious illness, but they are no more likely than people without health insurance to engage in risky health behaviors such as smoking or gaining weight, researchers at UC Davis and University of Rochester have found. [en español]

Institute for Population Health Improvement expands high-tech health-care services for some 3.5 million Californians

November 20, 2013

Communication of clinical information needed to provide safe and effective, high quality health care is now easier in 12 rural California counties as a result of an initiative launched earlier this year by the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI).  

Institute for Population Health Improvement to direct leadership training program for nonprofits, public agencies

November 19, 2013

The UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI) received a $125,000 grant from the Sierra Health Foundation to restart the foundation’s popular Health Leadership Program for nonprofits and public agencies. Faculty from the University of San Francisco School of Management will also collaborate on the project.

Institute for Population Health Improvement funds state’s first "Blue Button" project for Medi‑Cal

November 18, 2013

As part of its mission to accelerate the adoption of health information exchange throughout California, the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement’s California Health eQuality program awarded $400,000 to L.A. Care, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, to develop Blue Button functionality. Blue Button will allow L.A. Care members to access their own prescription data online. The project is the first in California and among the first in the nation to develop the tool for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Children who have autism far more likely to have tummy troubles

November 6, 2013

Children with autism experience gastrointestinal (GI) upsets such as constipation, diarrhea and sensitivity to foods six-to-eight times more often than do children who are developing typically, and those symptoms are related to behavioral problems, including social withdrawal, irritability and repetitive behaviors, a new study by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute has found. [en español] [中文 Chinese]

Institute for Population Health Improvement receives grants to support health policy presence

November 6, 2013

The Institute for Population Health Improvement (IPHI) has received grants totaling $423,236 from the California HealthCare Foundation and The California Endowment to increase awareness of evidence-based policies to address a wide range of health issues facing California and the nation.

Schenker recognized by UC Davis and Harvard

November 5, 2013

Marc Schenker, a physician and specialist in occupational, environmental and pulmonary disease, has received the alumni award of merit from the Harvard School of Public Health and was recognized by UC Davis as a distinguished professor for his research accomplishments, teaching excellence and service to the university.

Interactive computer program helps patients talk with their physician about depression

November 5, 2013

Patients who used an interactive computer program about depression while waiting to see their primary-care doctor were nearly twice as likely to ask about the condition and significantly more likely to receive a recommendation for antidepressant drugs or a mental-health referral from their physician, according to a new study by researchers at UC Davis.