Public Health Institute Newletter, October 29, 2009

1) WHAT’S NEW: Check out new items on PHI Web site
a) PHI supports call to address health impact of climate change
b) Public Health Trust announces new leadership
c) Berkeley Media Studies Group contributes to new report on cereal companies’ marketing to kids

2) PROGRAM NEWS:
a) CaMI reports on sexual and reproductive prevention technologies’ symposium
b) Occupational Health Branch identifies safer pest control methods

3) RESEARCH TOOLS ANNOUNCEMENT: NIH is replacing its research projects’ database system

4) COMMUNINITY FORUM ALERT: Office of National AIDS Policy to host East Bay community HIV/AIDS discussion on Sunday

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1) WHAT’S NEW: Check out new items on PHI Web site
a) PHI supports call to address health impact of climate change

PHI has issued a statement in support of the Trust for America’s Health’s (http://healthyamericans.org/) urgent call for states to address public health impacts as they craft and promote their plans for managing impacts related to climate change. To read the complete statement, go to the news release page at http://www.phi.org/news_events/.

b) Public Health Trust announces new leadership
Kathryn Sáenz Duke will become the next director of the Public Health Trust (PHT) http://www.publichealthtrust.org/, beginning November 1. Kathryn will succeed Brenda Drake, who is retiring from her role as PHT’s director after five years. To read more the press release about the leadership transition, go to http://www.phi.org/news_events.

c) Berkeley Media Studies Group (http://www.bmsg.org/) contributes to new report on cereal companies’ marketing to kids
One way cereal companies market their least healthy fare to children is by putting fun “advergames” on their Web sites. The tactic lures legions of unsuspecting children in to sway their tastes, according to findings of PHI’s Berkeley Media Studies Group (BMSG), which are included in a cereal marketing study by the Yale University Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

BMSG reviewed the cereal makers’ Web sites, examining their use of interactive content such as advergames, entire games that are advertisements for a cereal; the way they promote their products with licensed characters; the claims they make for the cereals; and their depiction of cereals as magical or special. To read or download a copy of the report, visit http://www.phi.org/news_events/index.cfm.


2) PROGRAM NEWS:
a) CaMI reports on sexual and reproductive prevention technologies’ symposium
PHI’s CaMI project (http://www.cami-health.com/) has issued a report summarizing its recent symposium held to identify opportunities to propel the development and introduction of combined sexual and reproductive prevention technologies. Most of today’s prevention products -- such as devices, vaccines or microbicides -- address only a single health concern. The goal of the Symposium was to accelerate the development of multi-purpose technologies and strategies to prevent unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and other common reproductive tract infections as well as increase access to existing, underutilized technologies. The international symposium, “Advancing Prevention Technologies for Sexual and Reproductive Health,” met in Berkeley last spring. CaMI stands for the California Microbicides Initiative. To download the report, go to: http://www.phi.org/resource_library/.

b) Occupational Health Branch identifies safer pest control methods
After investigating an incident in which workers became ill due to drift of a pesticide, the California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch (OHB) evaluated factors that contributed to the workers’ exposure and identified safer alternatives for pest control. The Occupational Pesticide Illness Prevention Program (OPIPP), which is part of OHB, made recommendations for safer pest control practices, including hazard elimination, chemical substitution, engineering controls and administrative controls. To prioritize the control methods, OPIPP used a framework often employed by industrial hygienists, which involves a hierarchy of controls. OHB’s case study of this incident was recently published in the journal Public Health Reports. PHI assists the Occupational Health Program of the California Department of Public Health in operating this program.

For more information on OHB’s work in this area, go to: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/programs/ohsep/Pages/Pesticide.aspx.

Thank you, Justine Weinberg, research scientist at OHB, for letting us know about this!


3) RESEARCH TOOLS ANNOUNCEMENT: NIH is replacing its research projects’ database system
For those of you who want to know more about National Institutes of Health-funded research projects, you will need to go to a new place online to access information. NIH will be retiring its old system, CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects), on October 31. The institute has replaced its searchable database system with a new query tool called RePORTER (RePORT Expenditures and Results). The new system is available now and offers all of the features of CRISP as well as many others. For questions on RePORTER, go to report@od.nih.gov. For questions related to CRISP, contact the help desk at http://ithelpdesk.nih.gov/eRA.


4) COMMUNITY FORUM ALERT: Office of National AIDS Policy to host East Bay community HIV/AIDS discussion on Sunday
To gather community input and expertise on what’s needed to address the domestic HIV epidemic, the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP) at the White House (http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/onap/) is hosting a community discussion at Berkeley High School on Sunday, November 1. This is one of 14 regional meetings being held around the country this fall to address President Obama’s commitment to develop and implement a national HIV/AIDS plan. The meeting will be held in the high school auditorium from 2 to 4 p.m. For more information on the government’s plan, visit www.nationalaidsstrategy.org. For more information on the East Bay Community Discussion, go to http://www.phi.org/news_events/calendar_of_events.cfm?reqMonth=11&a....

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