Director's Note
Demographic data show rising median and average ages of the population in the U.S. and worldwide. This trend brings both opportunities and challenges to our healthcare system. The “Baby Boom” generation of workers has rich and deep experience in the workforce, which can be leveraged as there is continued employment of older workers. At the same time, rising healthcare needs that often come with age will lead to growing demand for long-term services and supports, greater demand for healthcare workers to care for the aging population, and increases in complex care needs. Many IHPS faculty and staff focus on these issues, which we highlight this month, including research on geriatrics care, quality of care in nursing homes, appropriate medication prescribing, technologies that support aging at home, and hospice services. These issues are among the most pressing faced by the U.S. healthcare system – read on to learn about the important knowledge and policy recommendations we generate!

Joanne Spetz
PRL-IHPS Focus On:
Aging and Dementia
Many PRL-IHPS faculty are working on aging, end-of-life and dementia healthcare issues. Liz Dzeng, MD, MPH, PhD; Krista Harrison, PhD; Laura Wagner, PhD, RN, FAAN and Joanne Spetz, PhD are some of our faculty working in this area. Learn more about their current research.

Upcoming Events
PRL-IHPS Health Policy Grand Rounds
An Update on Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice – Policy Implications

October 20, 12 - 1 pm

Monica R. McLemore RN, MPH, PhD, FAAN
Thelma Shobe Endowed Chair
Associate Professor, Family Health Care Nursing Department
Research Scientist, Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health (ANSIRH)

PRL-IHPS Associate Directors for Training
Congratulations to the new
PRL-IHPS Associate Directors for Policy!
We are delighted to announce Janet Coffman, PhD, MA, MPP (l) and Beth Griffiths, MD, MPH (r) will be the new Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies (PRL-IHPS), Associate Directors for Policy. 

The Associate Director for Policy is a new position at PRL-IHPS that will lead the development and execution of programs and activities that aim to develop the capacity and skills of PRL-IHPS and UCSF faculty and staff to actively engage policymakers and influence policy at the local, state, and national levels.
Research Highlights
In a recent JAMA Open Network article, Patti Katz, PhD, Gabriela Schmajuk, MD and colleagues found important disparities in functional status by socio-economic status in a national cohort of individuals with rheumatoid arthritis, despite utilization of rheumatology care.

In a recent article in The Gerontologist, Ulrike Muench, RN, PhD, FAAN, Joanne Spetz, PhD and collagues detail their analysis of financial stability, time spent on work and leisure activities, and quality of life of direct care workers showing the challenges that Black and Hispanic individuals in this workforce face.

Findings from a study by Laura Schmidt, PhD and colleagues published in BMJ Global Health underscore the decisive role that peer-reviewed research can play in implementing progressive public health policies. Mexico created a real-world context for the first peer-reviewed empirical studies demonstrating the effectiveness of taxing sugar-sweetened beverages. Despite a notable degree of industry opposition, peer-reviewed evaluations of the Mexican tax eventually garnered the attention of international expert panels on NCDs. This gave impetus to measured endorsements of soda taxes by the UN and WHO, setting the stage for their growing adoption by countries around the globe.

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 by Joseph Guydish, PhD and colleagues, "COVID-19 vaccine trust among clients in a sample of California residential substance use treatment programs, published in Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence.  Read more about our work to address the COVID pandemic here.
IHPS Faculty Spotlight
Kevin Knopf, MD, MPH
Kevin Knopf MD, MPH is Division Chief of Hematology/Oncology at Highland Hospital, Oakland, California and Assistant Clinical Professor at UCSF. He is also a health economist and health services researcher whose research focuses on cost-effectiveness, patterns and quality of care in oncology, and health disparities in cancer screening, diagnosis and treatment. He trained at the National Cancer Institute Medicine Branch and the Health Services and Economics Research Branch after receiving an undergraduate degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his medical degree at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine. He completed his clinical training at Northwestern Medical School, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and received an MPH in Epidemiology and Statistics at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
Media Mentions