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Tony Kuo, M.D., M.S.H.S. directs the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention in the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. He also serves as the Director of the Office of Senior Health for the County of Los Angeles. Dr. Kuo has more than 15 years of clinical practice experience in continuity, urgent/emergency and homeless shelter care. His professional interests span the continuum of medicine and public health. They include undergraduate and graduate medical education; nutrition and physical activity promotion; cardiovascular health promotion; diabetes prevention; patient-centered care; and social programs that affect health.
Dr. Kuo received his Medical Degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine and his Master’s in Health Services from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Fielding School of Public Health. He is boarded in Family Medicine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He has joint appointments in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Please check with the faculty member or their office about availability to serve during current academic period.
(Four key contributions to science out of more than 135 peer reviewed publications)
1. Kuo T, Jarosz CJ, Simon P, Fielding JE. Menu labeling as a potential strategy for combating the obesity epidemic: A health impact assessment. Am J Public Health 2009;99(9):1680-1686.
Laws mandating the provision of calorie information at the point of purchase in large chain restaurants have garnered growing public and legislative support as a potential strategy for addressing the obesity epidemic. This was the focus of the California Senate Bill (SB) 1420 in 2008; its passage contributed to the eventual inclusion of menu labeling in the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. In the publication, Dr. Kuo and his co-authors presented results from a health impact assessment that quantified the potential impact of a state menu labeling law on population weight gain in Los Angeles County, California. Findings suggested that mandated menu labeling could have a sizable salutary impact on the obesity epidemic in the region, even with only modest changes in consumer behaviors. These results helped to inform the policy discussion and development of SB 1420.
2. Gase LN, Kuo T, Coller K, Guerrero LR, Wong MD. Assessing the connection between health and education: Identifying potential leverage points for public health to improve school attendance. Am J Public Health 2014;104(9):e47-e54.
A collaboration between UCLA and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, this study examined multiple variables influencing school truancy. Study findings identified potential leverage points for improving school attendance in Los Angeles County. These included partnership opportunities with schools, community-based organizations, law enforcement, and the courts to address mental health issues, substance misuse, and parenting styles in the school setting – all factors that can influence truancy rates among youth in the region. This study and other subsequent studies of youth issues contributed to the development of a comprehensive roadmap and action plan for youth diversion programming in the county of Los Angeles.
3. Kuo T, Gase LN, Inkelas M, The Population Health and Policy Workgroup. Dissemination, implementation, and improvement science research in population health: Opportunities for public health and CTSAs. Clin Transl Sci 2015;8(6):807-813.
Based on the convening of a local symposium on dissemination, implementation, and improvement (DII) sciences, the article identified and conceptualized an integrated learning approach based on DII research methods that public health and Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSAs) programs can apply in the real world to address population health issues. In the publication, Dr. Kuo and his co-authors introduced potential strategies for bridging the culture and traditions of public health with those of the DII science research community. The resulting integrated learning model formed a foundation for the present collaborations between UCLA and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
4. Kuo T, Robles B, Trogdon J, Ferencik R, Simon P, Fielding JE. Framing the local context and estimating the health impact of CPPW obesity prevention strategies in Los Angeles County, 2010-2012. J Public Health Manag Pract 2016;22(4):360-369.
Information on population reach and program milestones was synthesized to describe historical and programmatic progress of obesity prevention efforts implemented during 2010-2012 as part of the local arm of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work program in Los Angeles County. Qualitative assessments and systems dynamic modeling were used to project health impacts for three program focus areas: physical activity promotion, health marketing, and creation of healthy food environments. Program context and the modeling of health impacts showed modest but promising improvement potentials for reducing obesity, increasing physical activity, and decreasing junk food consumption in youth and adults. The results have been used to inform the design and redesign of several obesity prevention programs in the region.
Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography (1998-present):