Kim Rhoads, MD, MS, MPH, worked with Umoja Health to bring pop-up COVID-19 testing sites to the Black community in Oakland

Director's Notes 

February is Black History Month, which is a reminder that we should consistently – year-round – celebrate the contributions of those with African heritage and to redouble our work to address the persistent effects of racism. This is particularly true for IHPS as we prepare to celebrate our founder Philip R. Lee’s life on February 25. Please join us if you are able and also visit our expanded website (here) that honors his life and legacy.

Phil Lee was passionate about racial equity. As Assistant Secretary for Health, he developed policies that required hospitals to desegregate to receive reimbursement from the newly-launched Medicare program. Later, as Chancellor at UCSF, he worked with the UCSF Black Caucus to address grievances regarding unequal pay and the lack of diversity in UCSF’s professional schools. UCSF was at the forefront of addressing these issues at the time, and our highly-diverse student body today can be traced to his and the Black Caucus’s work.

But, there is much more for us to do, as an Institute and as a society. We can point to progress, but we also know that racism and the reverberations of the US’s history of slavery continue to impact Black Americans. Addressing profound inequality of opportunity and eliminating both microaggressions and overt racism is not easy work, but it is necessary work for our society to benefit from the contributions of all people.

Joanne Spetz

Kim Rhoads helps bring COVID testing to Black community
As COVID-19 surged through the Black community, Kim Rhoads, MD, MS, MPH, shifted her focus to bring testing and information to the Black community by mobilizing pop-up testing sites in the neighborhoods where people lived and utilizing a community-based model to build trust and impart information. Read more.
Black Women's Perspectives on
Structural Racism across the Reproductive Lifespan:
A Conceptual Framework for Measurement Development

In a recent article in Maternal and Child Health Journal, Brittany D. Chambers, PhD and Monica R. McLemore, RN, PhD, FAAN, along with their colleagues, detail the results of the first study to develop a conceptual framework of structural racism from the perspectives of Black women across the reproductive lifespan in the field of maternal and child health.  Read more

 Man vs. Machine: Comparing Physician vs. Electronic Health Record-Based Model Predictions for
30-Day Hospital Readmissions

A human-plus-machine approach to predicting 30-day hospital readmissions is better than either human or machine alone was the finding of Oanh Nguyen, MD, MAS, Anil Makim, MD, MAS and colleagues in a recent Journal of General Internal Medicine article. Read more

 Leveraging big data to guide
better nurse staffing strategies

Improvements in the creation of cost-effective strategies for hospital workforce deployment can come from linking complex analytical approaches with data on the impact of nurse staffing on the long-term costs of patient care, writes
Joanne Spetz, PhD in a recent BMJ Quality and Safety editorial. Read more

PRL-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 regularly updated webpage. One recent publication is
Matt Pantell, MD, MS, Laura Gottlieb, MD and colleagues, The National Academy of Medicine Social Care Framework and COVID-19 Care Innovations, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Read more about our work to address the COVID pandemic here.
Faculty Spotlight: Matt Pantell, MD, MS
Matt Pantell, MD, MS is an assistant professor, where his research is conducted with the UCSF Center for Health and Community, the UCSF Social Interventions Research and Evaluation Network, and the UCSF Preterm Birth Initiative. He is affiliated faculty at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. His research focuses on the utility of incorporating social information into clinical decision making, addressing social needs in clinical settings, data mining and the analysis of large datasets, and biological manifestations of the social determinants of health.

Clinically, Dr. Pantell works is as a pediatric hospitalist at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital - Mission Bay and Washington Hospital in Fremont. He also works as an pediatric urgent care physician and runs the Tattoo Removal Clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Read more about his current work here.

Upcoming Events

1ST UCSF Health Services Research Symposium
Accelerating our Impact on Health: Methods, Strategies, and Opportunities
Focus on Healthcare Value: Accelerating Research at UCSF and Beyond
February 17, 12 - 1 pm, Webinar registration here
 (archived panel presentations here)

PRL-IHPS Health Policy Grand Rounds
Lisa Simpson, M.B., B.Ch, M.P.H., FAAP, President and CEO - AcademyHealth
The Future of Health Services Research 
March 24, 12 - 1 pm, Webinar registration here
A Celebration of Life:
Philip R. Lee, MD

Please join us on Thursday, February 25, 2021, at 12:00 pm, when we will honor the life of former UCSF Chancellor and Professor Emeritus of Social Medicine, Phillip R. Lee. A fierce advocate for racial equity and health care reform and an inspiring leader and life-long mentor, Dr. Lee made an indelible mark on the nations’ health care environment.

We will celebrate his trailblazing career and momentous achievements and hear from many of his colleagues, family members, and friends from across the nation who were influenced and inspired by him. If you would like to contribute a story, memory, or other reflections in the memory of Dr. Lee to be included as part of a special website devoted to the memory of Dr. Lee, please contact Jay Sullivan ([email protected]).

Information for the virtual event on February 25 here.

PRL-IHPS Faculty In The News

Julia Adler-Milstein:
Who’s tracking the health trackers? (Politico)

Naomi Bardach:
All aspects of his return-to-school plan are negotiable, Gov. Newsom tells superintendents (Lake County Record-Bee)

Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo:
Covid-19 Vaccines Don’t Appeal to Some Firefighters, Even With Prizes
(Wall Street Journal)

Kim Rhoads:
Changemakers: UCSF Researcher Spearheads COVID-19 Fight in Black Communities (NBC Bay Area)

Tracey Woodruff:
Some baby food may contain toxic metals, US reports (Boston Globe)


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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Contact Us
Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies
University of California, San Francisco
490 Illinois Street, Floor 7
San Francisco, CA 94143

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