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Annual Report: 20 Ways the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Made an Impact in 2020

In a "Letter from the Dean," UCLA Fielding School of Public Health dean and distinguished professor of biostatistics Ron Brookmeyer lauds the work of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; the letter was published in the center's 2020 annual report

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare and compounded longstanding inequities, leading to a converging crisis that has taken a devastating toll on communities across our state and nation. As we chart our path forward in 2021, the need to identify and implement lasting solutions remains paramount.

The democratization of data — ensuring that research findings are publicly available to serve as tools in effecting change — has been a hallmark of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research since its doors opened in 1994. The Center’s California Health Interview Survey remains the nation’s largest state health survey and California’s most comprehensive source of health data. The survey findings are publicly accessible online for anyone to learn about the health statistics of a neighborhood or region in our state. Over the years, there have been more than 1.5 million searches in the database.

This year’s report from the Center is a compilation of research and project data related to COVID-19 and various risk factors across California counties, immigration, the Affordable Care Act, mental health, and more. Evidence-based findings like these — information about what works — can result in a tipping point that brings about policy change.

The passing of Fielding School professor Dr. Steven P. Wallace — who served as an associate director at the Center for 25 years — is a profound loss felt deeply by our community. Steve led with light and resolve, was an indispensable leader in research and community collaborations, and had an incalculably positive impact on students and scholars.

Steve’s considerable legacy includes the many talented individuals he mentored through the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research who will carry their shared values and determination forward as the Center continues to lead the way through data, evidence, and analysis to help make California, and far beyond, healthier and more equitable.