The newly-opened UCSF Wayne and Gladys Valley Center for Vision, future Mission Bay home of the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (photo by Dan Dohan)

Interim Notes 

Welcome to the IHPS newsletter, August edition. As we await a new IHPS Director to succeed Claire Brindis, I’ll use this space to share reflections from my perch as the Institute’s interim director.

This month, I’m marveling at how IHPS’ faculty, staff, and trainees have risen to the challenge of these unprecedented times. We're answering the call for research and action about how the COVID-19 pandemic reflects and reinforces health determinants and inequalities. We’re working to produce and translate evidence so policymakers can respond wisely to this unprecedented crisis. And we're supporting each other with kindness and compassion as we juggle socially-distanced lives.

Plus, we're still trying to improve everything we do. In that spirit, I’m pleased to highlight a new element of the Newsletter: researcher interviews. Conducted and edited by communications lead Beth Thew, these interviews give a fuller sense of the dynamic work happening at the Institute – including our work related to COVID-19 and social justice generally.

I hope you enjoy this month’s Interview as well as the rest of the newsletter. Be well.

Dan Dohan

Over half of the US population consumes more added sugars than is recommended by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Dr. Kearn's  K08 project, "Overcoming Barriers to Implementing Policies to Reduce Sugar Consumption for Dental Caries Prevention", will identify, develop, and pilot-test theory-based interventions with the potential to increase the proportion of dentists involved in the dissemination and implementation of sugar reduction policies and programs for dental caries prevention.

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Providing low-income families with monetary incentives to brush their young children’s teeth is feasible, acceptable, and potentially effective, according to the findings from a pilot trial conducted by Justin White, PhD, Jenny Liu, PhD, Jim Kahn, MDStuart Gansky, DrPH  and their colleagues, recently published in PLoS ONE.

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The US health care system, which is largely dependent on fee-for-service payments for elective procedures is at risk of a financial meltdown during Covid-19 writes Andrew Bindman, MD, in a recent JAMA Forum article. 

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Educating frontline providers, particularly interns and residents, on setting patient expectations of pain and improving patient knowledge of both pain and opioids is a promising area in surgery to address the opioid crisis. Elizabeth Wick, MD and colleagues shared their findings on surgery opioid reduction in a recent Perioperative Medicine article.

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At the global level, human and planetary health leaders should define water access as a basic human right, and develop independent systems for monitoring and benchmarking transnational corporations on their combined nutritional and environmental impacts urge Laura A. Schmidt, PhD, Cristin Kearns, DDS and colleagues in a recent Lancet Planetary Health article.

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IHPS faculty are responding to policy challenges raised by the COVID-19 pandemic with rapid-cycle research and technical assistance. A compilation of their work to date is available on a webpage that is updated regularly. One recent publication in Emergency Medicine Journal from Jahan Fahimi, MD and Maria Raven, MD, along with their colleagues, is "Emergency department preparation for COVID-19: accelerated care units".

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PRL-IHPS Faculty In The News

Naomi Bardach in KQED, NBC Bay Area and KPIX
COVID-19 Risk in Schools: What You Should Know
San Francisco Child Care Providers Are Hurting During Coronavirus Pandemic
Safe School Reopening Strategy
Pandemic Plan: UCSF Task Force Researches Safe Back-to-School Strategy
Debate Over Emotional, Educational Toll Of Distance Learning Heats Up With Back-To-School Weeks Away

Janet Coffman in The Atlantic and California Healthcare Foundation blog
A Mental-Health Crisis Is Burning Across the American West
San Francisco Puts Community Paramedics on Front Lines of the Pandemic
Joanne Spetz in Deseret News
As COVID-19 hits rural America, small hospitals in the West struggle to keep up

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo on WNYC, KTVU, WXXI, KALW and  in Washington Post, San Jose Mercury News, Palo Alto Online, Washington Post, KALW, and Baltimore Sun among others

Why Are People So Angry About Wearing Masks?
San Francisco flattened the curve early. Now, coronavirus cases are surging.
All nine Bay Area counties are on California's COVID-19 watch list
Extended Families Living Together Raise Risks For COVID-19 Transmission
Faced with dying Californians and withering businesses, Gov. Newsom steers a middle path. Can it last?
In the pandemic, we had to move to our new home. This is how we did it.
City Visions: COVID Exposes Racial Health Gap In Bay Area
With eating disorders, looks can be deceiving

Liz Dzeng in The Chronicle of Higher Education
After Their Society Was Sued Out of Existence, These Scientists Are Building a New One

Ralph Gonzales on KGO-TV (ABC)
Coronavirus transmission: UCSF doctor explains dangers of workplace break rooms
Kevin Grumbach on KPIX
‘COVID-Phobia’ Harming Skittish Patients Needing Care, Health Care Industry As A Whole

Bob Hiatt in Fall River Herald News
At least 120,000 Americans are needed to test COVID-19 vaccines. A ‘very encouraging’ 107,000 are so far signed up.

Margot Kushel in Bloomberg, SFGate, the New York Times and India Currents
Tracing the Invisible Danger of Household Crowding
Regional: State, County Officials Call For Continued Eviction Protections
12 People in a 3-Bedroom House, Then the Virus Entered the Equation
Can’t Pay Rent? You’re Out!

Christina Mangurian in Newswire
New Study Suggests Mental Illness May Increase Diabetes Risk

Monica McLemore in Vox
America is failing Black moms during the pandemic

Maria Raven in San Jose Mercury News
If you think the coronavirus pandemic is stressful, try being an emergency room doctor

Kim Rhoads in Mission Local
San Francisco tests for COVID-19 more than most anywhere else, but does it have a strategy?
It’s taking a week for contact tracers to reach COVID-19 patients. This ‘negates the point of contact tracing.’
Sunnydale locals flatten a public housing COVID-19 outbreak

Rita Redberg in Counter Punch
Pharma Tries to Cash in on Covid Shutdowns With Its Best-Selling Drug

Hilary Seligman in Sacramento Bee
‘It’s like a vicious cycle’: How the pandemic leaves the poor not only exposed, but hungry

About The Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

The Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (PRL-IHPS) contributes to the solution of complex and challenging health policy problems through leadership in research, training, technical assistance, and public service. Our special competence lies in translating research across disciplines and fields to inform health policy. We undertake this work with a commitment to improve health and health care within local, state, national, and international communities and with a focus on improving the health of vulnerable populations.

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