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Magazine November 2011

UCLA Public Health Magazine

November 2011

November 2011 Magazine cover

children eating lunch
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, eight preventive services determined by the Preventive Services for Women Committee to be necessary for women’s health and well-being were added to the list of services health plans will be required to cover without copayments or deductibles.Thus, by 2013 an estimated 90 million Americans will be in employer plans with no cost-sharing for annual well-woman visits, screening for gestational diabetes, breastfeeding support, HPV testing, STI counseling and HIV screening, contraception methods and counseling, and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.

Dean's Message

Linda Rosenstock smiling for the camera
During a recent press conference in Washington, DC, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa noted that as a nation, we spend more than $2 trillion on health care but only invest 4 cents of every dollar on prevention – this despite the knowledge that for each dollar spent on prevention, we save $6.
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Articles

graphic of a human silhouette overlayed with puzzle pieces and a keyhole
On the World Health Organization’s list of the 10 leading causes of disability as measured by years of healthy life lost, four are related to mental health. According to Healthy People 2020, the 10-year agenda of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for improving the nation’s health, mental disorders account for one-fourth of all years of life lost to disability and premature death – more than for any other group of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease.
homes destroyed by a tsunami with debris all around
When a 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami devastated northeast Japan last March, a current MPH student was seeing patients in Tokyo and a recent PhD graduate, also Japanese, was preparing to defend her dissertation. Both have returned to the affected areas multiple times to help.
Simin Liu instructing a student in the lab
Brian Chen spent much of his doctoral education at UCLA working at a laboratory bench, applying the most advanced molecular and genetic methods to learn more about the epidemic of type 2 diabetes. As part of a group headed by Dr. Simin Liu, Chen used cutting-edge technologies for genotyping, measuring the length of telomeres (the structures at the end of chromosomes, considered biomarkers for aging), and analyzing blood protein levels, among others. “It was no holds barred,” he says. “If there was a molecular or genetic technique that could help us address a question we had about type 2 diabetes, we learned how to do it and then applied it.”
children eating lunch
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, eight preventive services determined by the Preventive Services for Women Committee to be necessary for women’s health and well-being were added to the list of services health plans will be required to cover without copayments or deductibles.Thus, by 2013 an estimated 90 million Americans will be in employer plans with no cost-sharing for annual well-woman visits, screening for gestational diabetes, breastfeeding support, HPV testing, STI counseling and HIV screening, contraception methods and counseling, and screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence.

Research Highlights

farm workers spraying pesticides on artichoke plants
Combined exposure to three chemicals commonly sprayed on crops to fight pests in California’s Central Valley triples the risk of Parkinson’s disease for people who work near where the pesticides are sprayed, a research team headed by Dr. Beate Ritz, professor of epidemiology at the UCLA School of Public Health, has found.
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girl receiving a shot in her arm
Low-income, ethnic minority adolescent girls in Los Angeles County are using the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at lower rates than national estimates.
woman paying for a prescription
Pharmaceutical prices in the United States tend to be significantly higher than in other countries, with prices in poor, developing countries being the lowest of all, according to a study by two UCLA School of Public Health faculty members.
closeup of obese child grabbing stomach fat
A significant portion of the $3 billion the United States spends annually on pediatric obesity could be saved by streamlining medical coverage to address health issues affecting young obese patients now rather than waiting to treat conditions they develop as they get older, according to a study led by a member of the UCLA School of Public Health faculty
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Providing financial and technical assistance for community-based organizations to institute health-promoting workplace programs significantly increased implementation of new food procurement policies and exercise breaks, a group of researchers led by UCLA School of Public Health faculty has found.
Community representatives can be trained to engage effectively in research and to use others’ findings for policy advocacy and program development, according to a study conducted at a three-day community-based health-research training program offered by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.
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U.S. households are more likely to prepare for terrorism and other potential hazards when they see others preparing and when they receive information that increases their knowledge about preparedness and convinces them that preparedness behaviors are effective, according to a UCLA School of Public Health study.

Faculty Profiles

Marjorie Kagawa-Singer standing on steps with a group of people behind her
From the start of her career as a cancer nurse in the early 1970s, Dr. Marjorie Kagawa-Singer sensed that something was wrong with the approach to preventing, controlling and treating diseases, particularly in communities of color.
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Student Profiles

Courtney Coles smiling by a desk with a computer monitor
When Courtney Coles was growing up in Austin, Texas, she sensed something was amiss with her family’s response to her great-grandmother’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. “They didn’t really understand what it meant,” Coles says. “They said we should just pray about it and she would get better, rather than focusing on facilities or therapies that might be helpful.”
Ryan Coller speaking with a woman
Throughout medical school and his training at UCLA as a resident and then chief resident in pediatrics, Ryan Coller knew there was one more degree he needed. “I’ve always seen child health as a field that extends beyond the walls of the clinic and the hospital,”

News Briefs

At a time when Americans are leading increasingly digital and sedentary lifestyles, coupled with growing obesity rates, the UCLA School of Public Health has partnered with the Portland-based outdoor clothing company KEEN to re-energize adults at work and make workplace recess as common as casual Fridays.
Dr. Linda Rosenstock, Dean of the UCLA School of Public Health, has announced that she will step down at the end of this academic year.
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Two of the school’s centers, the UCLA Center for Global and Immigrant Health and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, have announced new leaders.
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To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the school has launched a number of programs to provide alumni and friends with an opportunity to engage and learn with world-class faculty.