Director's Note
February is Black History Month, although this history truly should be part of all of our lives, curricula, and knowledge year-round. But, many of us have been educated in systems that intentionally overlooked and misrepresented the experiences of Black people in America, and thus taking the time to put a spotlight on this history is important as it lays the foundation for addressing past wrongs head-on. We have much work to do as a nation, and the researchers and educators at IHPS are contributing through their scholarship and teaching. This month’s News features faculty whose research focuses on health equity in general, as structures in U.S. health care – uninsurance, racism, costs, lack of cultural humility – affect equity across multiple communities and populations. I am inspired by my colleagues’ groundbreaking work, and I am sure you will be too!

Joanne Spetz
IHPS Focus On:
Health Equity

Many IHPS faculty are working on policy related to health equity. Kim Rhoads, MD, MPH is the founder and director of Umoja Health, a community partnership created to address the immediate and urgent need to support the un- and under-served communities of color in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Bay Area, Rita Hamad, MD, PhD, Justin White, PhD, and Maria Glymour, ScD, MS are looking at the effects of school segregation on lifetime health inequities, Catherine Chen, MD has looked at aversive racism in academic medicine, Elaine Khoong, MD, MS studies health inequities in the use of telemedicine, Caravella McCuistian, PhD, MA is researching health inequities in substance abuse, Christina Mangurian, MD, MAS is director of the UCSF Program of Research on Mental health Integration among Underserved and Minority populations (PReMIUM) which partners with health care delivery systems to promote the integration of mental health and general healthcare, and Elena Portacolone, PhD, MBA, MPH has projects that seek to provide evidence to lessen inequity for older adults of color accessing care for Alzheimer's. These are just some of the projects and researchers at IHPS focusing on health equity. In looking forward, Monica McLemore, RN, PhD, FAAN has a recent paper that provides a set of principles to guide novice equity researchers to becoming community members rather than mere tourists of health equity. Learn more about IHPS's current work in health equity.

Upcoming Events
California Labor Lab Webinar Series
February 23, 2022
12 - 1 pm PT
Tracking Re-Employment Patterns of Unemployed Workers During the Recovery

Till von Wachter, PhD
Professor of Economics, UCLA

Registration here
Learn more about the California Labor Lab, housed at IHPS, and the new seminar series here
IHPS "How to Impact Policy Change" Series
March 9, 2022
12 - 1 pm PT
Impacting Policy 101

Janet Coffman, PhD (r) & Beth Griffiths, MD (l)
Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies

Webinar link here
Full Spring 2022 Webinar topics here
IHPS Health Policy Grand Rounds
March 16, 2022
12 - 1 pm PT
IHPS Health Policy Grand Rounds

Ninez Ponce, PhD,
Director, Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA

Webinar link here
Save the Date!
UCSF Chancellor's Health Policy Lecture
May 3, 2022
4-5 pm PT
Sandro Galea, MD
Dean and Robert A. Knox Professor
Boston University School of Public Health
New Chair of IHPS National Advisory Board
Congratulations to Sunita Mutha, MD, the new Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (IHPS) National Advisory Board Chair. Dr. Mutha will succeed Steven A. Schroeder, MD, who was the founding Chair of the IHPS National Advisory Board. Read more.
Research Highlights

The largest poverty alleviation policy in the U.S. for families with children is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). It has the potential to promote healthy births and in particular decrease Black-White disparities in birthweight in a new study by Rita Hamad, MD, PhD and colleagues detailed in a recent Women’s Health Issues article.

Although structural racism is well documented as an important contributor to health care inequities, its effects on medical students, trainees, and faculty have received less attention. An article in New England Journal of Medicine by Catherine Chen, MD and colleagues looks at aversive racism as a critical and overlooked contributor to structural racism in academic medicine. Aversive racism, an established construct in social psychology, is defined as exhibiting racist tendencies while denying that one’s thoughts, behaviors, or motives are racist.

Global and local (“glocal”) disparities in stroke incidence, prevalence, care, and mortality are persistent, pervasive, and progressive. In particular, the disproportionate burden of stroke in people of African ancestry compared to most other racial/ethnic groups around the world has been long standing, is expected to worsen, and so far, has defied solution, largely because conventional risk factors likely account for less than half of the Black versus White disparity in stroke outcomes. In a recent article in Stroke, Bruce Ovbiagele , MD, MSc, MAS, MBA, MLS findings from his international multidisciplinary team that has been involved in conducting several epidemiological studies and clinical trials in the area of stroke disparities, as well as executing career enhancing research training programs in the United States and Africa on lessons learnt from previous studies, presents objectives/design of ongoing initiatives, and plans for the future.

Occupational exposures have a well-established association with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and exposure to silica and coal-mining, in particular, have been linked to RA. In a new article in Occupational and Environmental Medicine,  IHPS’s Gabriela Schmajuk, MD MSc, Laura Trupin, MPH and Edward Yelin, PhD along with their colleague, Paul Blanc, MD MSPH, build on their previous work that established that underground coal-mining work history in the U.S. substantially increases the odds of RA.

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 by Julia Adler-Milstein, PhD and colleagues, Factors and Reasons Associated with Low COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake among Highly Hesitant Communities in the US published in American Journal of Infection Control.  Read more about our work to address the COVID pandemic here.
IHPS Faculty Spotlight
Tasce Bongiovanni, MD, MPP is an assistant professor in the Division of General Surgery and affiliated faculty at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies. She serves as an acute care surgeon and surgical critical care intensivist at UCSF Parnassus, and trauma surgeon at Zuckerberg San Francisco General (ZSFG). 

Dr. Bongiovanni earned her BS in Commerce from Santa Clara University and a Master's in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Dr. Bongiovanni has deep roots at UCSF spanning more than a decade. She earned her MD at UCSF, and then stayed on to complete her General Surgery Residency here, followed by fellowships in Surgical Critical Care and Trauma Surgery at UCSF/ZSFG. As a research resident, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the Yale University School of Medicine. Recently, she was named as a recipient of a Learning Health Systems NIH K12 Grant and a 2019 John A. Watson Faculty Scholar Award. 
Media Mentions