Category Archives: Context of Population Health

California’s Housing Shortage and Employment

A graph showing slow job growth in LA

Lately I’ve been thinking about how LA has been bad with job creation, and I wonder if there’s a connection to housing. The above graph is from an UCLA Andersen Forecast that is a few years old.  More recent data put LA in the middle of the pack, but still not great. What’s worse is […]

Housing and Health

To promote the conditions of health, we have to tackle housing.   A recent report from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, takes note of the housing shortage in California and finds, among other things, that: Between 1980 and 2010 construction of new housing units in LA and San Francisco grew by only 20%, compared to the […]

Lowering the cost of fruits and vegetables may save lives

We hear it all the time. If we eat our fruits and vegetables it will help decrease our waistline and increase our overall health. However, many low-income and middle-income populations cannot afford these healthy foods, instead opting for packaged, processed foods that aren’t so good for their health. But what would happen to their health […]

Single-Payer Wonkiness

Single-payer health insurance has a lot to recommend it. Some—but not all—single-payer systems provide convenient and comprehensive access to care. Some—but not all—singer-payer systems can constrain excessive costs. When it comes to single-payer, it’s the wonky aspects that matter, not the big vision thing.  Overall, there is no particular connection between single-payer systems and quality. […]

Using Predictive Analytics to Prevent Morbidity and Mortality

Many public health interventions are designed to address already existing public health epidemics, for example by encouraging physical activity to address the obesity epidemic or creating a vaccine after a large outbreak. Public health challenges can be difficult to predict, which explains why interventions are often designed after a public health challenge is considered an […]

California Vaccination Rates Up Ahead of Enactment of State Law

The vaccination rate for California kindergartners has increased 2.5 percentage points since the previous school year, according to recently released data from the California Department of Public Health. Los Angeles County saw the largest increase in the number of fully vaccinated students – almost 9,000 children – compared to the previous school year. Alameda County […]

Planning by Pitchfork… and Free Hamburgers

Another great podcast by Jeff Wood interviewing Jay Crossley of Houston Tomorrow about Houston’s new general plan. Jay is a proponent of “meaningful, equitable planning,” and finds it distressing that until now, “A $5 billion business [Houston] doesn’t have a general plan.”   Houston also notable for its bus system redesign. There are many interesting […]

Obama’s Healthy Transportation Agenda

a graph of gas taxes around the world

Angie Schmitt has a great piece on Obama’s transportation proposal.  I’d like to highlight the potential benefits to population health. Obama proposes a $10-per-barrel surcharge assessed on oil companies, which would generate about $30 billion annually to be spent disproportionately on transit and bike and ped improvements.  To put this in context, the price of a barrel […]

The Role of Public Health Technology in Emergencies

As extreme weather conditions become more common, connecting people to information and aid during emergencies can be crucial to saving lives. Social media sites and other technologies are quickly becoming common tools for public health departments and other organizations to quickly inform and mobilize people. Today, more than 100,000 health apps are available in the […]

The Public Health Impact of Climate Change

It’s official. The World Health Organization declared the Zika virus an international public health emergency on Monday. So far all known cases in the U.S. have been infected abroad, but the virus is expected to spread rapidly if nothing is done, partly due to warmer weather patterns that let mosquitos thrive.   The past year […]