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Nearly 30 years after its founding, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research continues to pioneer ways to put objective data and evidence-based research into the hands of people who need it: community organizations and advocates committed to making a difference in their communities; policymakers working to create practical, effective laws and policies grounded in fact; and people across the state of California and the nation fighting for health care access and health equity.

Whether through our nationally-recognized California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), a unique source of information on all Californians including often-overlooked racial, ethnic, and sexual minority groups, or through our rapid-response policy analysis, timely and readable publications, and user-friendly web tools, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research will continue to develop and provide our evidence toolbox of data, dashboards and insights, delivering on our core mission: to improve the public’s health through high-quality, objective, and evidence-based research and data that informs effective policymaking.

January: UCLA CHPR releases “The State of Health Insurance in California: Findings from the 2019 and 2020 California Health Interview Surveys,” the 10th installment of our ongoing, in-depth study of the overall outlook for health insurance coverage in our state. The report highlights health insurance over the decade following the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as the ACA or “Obamacare.”


February: Vickie Mays is named senior fellow and Daniel Eisenberg as director of the Mental Health Program at UCLA CHPR.


February: New data added to the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) Preliminary COVID-19 Estimates Dashboard takes a closer look at the impact of the pandemic on Asians, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. 


March: Family, friends, colleagues, and students gather at UCLA to remember the late Steven Wallace, husband, father, professor, mentor, friend. The Steve Wallace Fellowship Fund is created in his honor to provide support to first-generation students interested in advancing public health policy. Each year, a fellow will be selected to join a research team based in CHPR and gain experience and mentorship from the center’s research scientists.

UCLA CHPR’s Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) Data Policy Lab is featured in an episode of PBS NewsHour discussing the critical work the Lab is doing to address striking gaps within data and research for NHPIs.


April: CHIS data are cited in the California Health Benefits Review Program analysis of California Assembly Bill 1930 Medi-Cal: Comprehensive Perinatal Services, which would mandate that coverage for specified comprehensive perinatal services, delivered through the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP), for Medi-Cal beneficiaries be extended from 60 days to 12 months following the last day of an individual’s pregnancy.


April: Gerald Kominski, director emeritus (2012–2018) and senior fellow at the UCLA CHPR and a professor for 30 years at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, is celebrated at a gathering of colleagues, students, family, and friends. He establishes the Gerald F. Kominski Health Policy Fellowship to help first-generation college graduates study health policy in UCLA's MPH program.


April: In partnership with UCLA CHPR and using CHIS data, Nourish California and the California Immigrant Policy Center release a report that revealed that nearly half (45%) of undocumented Californians are currently experiencing food insecurity. Data are used by the Food4All Campaign, which co-sponsors Senate Bill (SB) 464 with Senator Melissa Hurtado, aimed at providing food assistance benefits to undocumented adults.


May: Associate Center Director Nadereh Pourat and the HEER team release the Final Summative Evaluation of PRIME, the third in a series of reports based on their evaluation of the state's Public Hospital Redesign and Incentives in Medi-Cal (PRIME) waiver program.


June: The California Health Interview Survey releases the 2023 CHIS COVID-19 Preliminary Estimates Dashboard, which features brand new questions on Californians’ experiences with long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms, as well as respondents’ reasons for not receiving the vaccine or booster shots, and where they obtained their news about COVID-19.


July: Two UCLA students, Angelica Johnsen and Alma Lopez, are named the winners of the Health Equity Challenge, a competition presented by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and The MolinaCares Accord. Community groups that partnered with each student receive $50,000 to fund and implement their projects, both of which tackle mental health inequities.


August: Health Equity Program Director Kathryn Kietzman release findings from the California Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) Study, a follow-on survey to the 2019–2020 California Health Interview Survey, which analyzed the need for long-term services and support among adults age 65 and older and adults with disabilities and assessed the financial constraints that limit options for such supportive care.


September: Preliminary 2022 data released by the California Health Interview Survey found that more than 1 in 13 (8%) Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) adults in California experienced a hate incident due to COVID-19.


October: UCLA CHPR unveils findings from the 2021 California Health Interview Survey. Data highlight the urgent need for mental health services and difficult accessing care. New data on gun violence and firearm storage, adverse childhood experiences, encounters with police, climate change, and housing instability featured.


November: The Los Angeles Department of Public Health awards a team of UCLA researchers $21 million to conduct the Aliso Canyon Health Study, which will evaluate the short and long-term health impacts of the Aliso Canyon gas blowout that happened in 2015– 2016.


November: UCLA CHPR releases a study that shows that the economic effects of COVID-19 increased the risk for poor mental health among California adults.


December: The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) 2022 Making an Impact report is released, highlighting an exciting year of data.

February: AskCHIS Neighborhood Edition (NE)™ releases new data and four vulnerability indices to assist with COVID-19 and more.


February: California Assembly Bill AB1038 (California Health Equity Program) cites a California Health Care Foundation report that references CHIS/UCLA CHPR data in its Assembly analysis.


March: Steven Wallace, associate center director, passes away.


May: Ninez A. Ponce, director of the UCLA CHP, is named to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s newly established National Commission to Transform Public Health Data System.


August: Referencing Ninez Ponce’s assertion that the prevalence of mass shootings “has led many to view gun violence as an epidemic and matter of public health,” the Los Angeles City Council ask the city attorney to file a motion in support of California Attorney General Rob Bonta battling the California courts overruling the state's ban on assault weapons.


September: UCLA CHPR names researchers to three new leadership roles: Corrina Moucheraud, center associate director; Kathryn Kietzman, director of the Health Equity Program; and Ying-Ying Meng, director of research.


September: The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District cites data from the UCLA CHPR fact sheet “Proposed Changes to the ‘Public Charge’ Rule Will Affect Health, Hunger and the Economy in California" as evidence to oppose public charge in a stay of an order against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.


October: Ninez Ponce is featured at the White House Filipino American History Month event. Watch a video of the event.


October: 2021 E.R. Brown Virtual Symposium “Opening Doors for All: Improving Health in Housing and Homelessness” brings together public health leaders, community advocates, policymakers, and other leaders to discuss some of the underlying economic and social factors contributing to homelessness and what can be done to effectively address and invest in solutions. Watch videos of Day 1 and Day 2.


October: The American Public Health Association posthumously renames a lifetime achievement award after Steven Wallace, late associate center director. Steve had received the award in 2018.


December: UCLA CHPR names Arturo Vargas Bustamante and Mark Peterson senior fellows.

February: Steven Wallace is part of a roundtable discussion about the Master Plan for Aging hosted by state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson and California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly. (we have a photo)


March: Prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic and concerns over public health, the UCLA CHPR transitions to remote work.


April: UCLA CHPR debuts a COVID-19 Rates and Risk Factors by California County Dashboard, a sortable table that shows COVID data by health status, age, insurance status and more across race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Read about the tool.


June: The COVID-19 Rates and Risk Factors by California County Dashboard is released, an updated version of the previous COVID-19 dashboard that presents graphic visualizations of data.


August: The Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) COVID-19 Data Policy Lab, hosted at the UCLA CHPR, releases a dashboard that shows rates of the virus among NHPI ethnic groups and other major racial groups, by state.


August: UCLA researchers are awarded a $596,000 grant by national collaborative on gun violence research to study gun violence related to firearm ownership, storage, and perceptions of safety. The research also aims to fill gaps in knowledge about risk factors for gun suicide and urban gun violence among groups who are disproportionately impacted: youth/young adults, veterans, immigrants, LGBT.


September: For the first time in its history, the California Health Interview Survey releases preliminary estimates about COVID-19 vaccine uptake and other effects of the pandemic, a year before normal release time, in a 2020 CHIS Preliminary COVID-19 Estimates dashboard. Read about the dashboard.


October: The 2020 E.R. Brown Symposium, “Healing a Fractured Society: Health Care as a Right,” features experts who focused on fractures the COVID-19 pandemic revealed in our health systems and introduced strategies for change in addressing health equity.


November: Center Faculty Associate Janet Frank is appointed to the California Commission on Aging.


December: Gerald Kominski and four other UC researchers are named as expert policy guides for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Healthy California for All Commission, which will develop a path toward universal health coverage in California.

March: UCLA CHPR launches its 25th anniversary by presenting “The E. Richard Brown Symposium on Universal Health Care in California.” In Sacramento, experts discuss how universal health care systems in other countries function, and at a workshop at UCLA the next day, they brainstorm with UCLA faculty, students, and others and present topics for further research on universal health care. Read a Q&A about the symposium. (We have many photos)


March: California Assemblymember Rudy Salas introduces AB 480 (Mental health: older adults), which would advance geriatrics behavioral health workforce training and establish an administrator to oversee mental health services for older adults. The bill analysis used research led by UCLA CHPR’s Janet Frank and Kathryn Kietzman.


June: AcademyHealth awards its prestigious 2019 Health Services Research Impact Award to Center Director Ninez Ponce and the California Health Interview Survey


June: Gov. Gavin Newsom issues an executive order calling for the creation of a Master Plan for Aging. UCLA CHPR’s Janet Frank, faculty associate, and Kathryn Kietzman, research scientist, are named subcommittee members.


September: The state resolution (ACR1) condemning rule changes to the public charge designation is chaptered by the California state secretary. Center research was used in statements and articles about the harmful health and economic impacts of the rule change.


September: California Health Interview Survey transitions to a mixed-mode survey (web and telephone) using a random sample of California addresses.


November: Steven Wallace is presented with the Arthur Cherkin Award for contributions in aging by the UCLA Multicampus Program in Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.

New Director: Ninez Ponce, principal investigator of the California Health Interview Survey and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management, is appointed director of the Center.

Public charge: Analysis by the Center, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Education and Research and the California Food Policy Council of ‘public charge’ rule changes proposed by the Department of Homeland Security was cited in official comments by U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and Nanette Diaz Barragán, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and many other groups such as the California Latino Legislative Caucus, The California Endowment, Blue Shield of California Foundation, Health Access and Western Center on Law & Poverty


Assembly resolution: State Assemblyman Rob Bonta cited data from Center analysis in a state assembly bill resolution condemning the rule changes.


Restaurant law: Analysis on prediabetes based on CHIS was used to inform a California law that requires healthier default beverage choices for kids’ meals served at restaurants.

Elder Index and legislation: The Alliance for Children’s Rights used the Elder Index Grandparents Raising Grandchildren data to inform legislation that provides equal funds for grandparents or other relatives who raise children in the foster care system.

CHIS redesign experiments: With funding from Kaiser Permanente and the Department of Health Care Services, CHIS staff conducted two field experiments exploring the use of a web version of the CHIS survey to help inform decisions about the design of the 2019 CHIS.

SB562 (The Healthy California Act): An exhibit from the Center's 2016 study on public funds, Public money accounts for more than two thirds of health care spending in California. was inserted into the Bill Analysis for SB 562, the single-payer bill coauthored by senators Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins.


AB447 (Amendment that allows Medi-Cal to cover the cost of continuous glucose monitors): Susan Babey, co-director of the Center's Chronic Disease Program, provided data on diabetes for the Medi-Cal population to Assemblyman Adam Gray's office. Gray is coauthor of the bill.

AB1003 (California Community Health fund): CHIS data on prediabetes were cited in analysis of the 2-cent-per-fluid-ounce tax on sugary beverages and soda proposed by Assemblyman Richard Bloom.  

Sacramento briefing: Center Associate Director Ninez Ponce presented CHIS data Sept. 15 at a legislative briefing to advance immigrant access to care. The briefing was hosted by the Asian & Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, Asian Health Services and others.

City of Santa Monica Elder subsidies:The city of Santa Monica approved pilot project subsidies July 25 that will help 26 low-income elders stay in their homes. Subsidy amounts are based on the Center's Elder Index, which uses CHIS data in its calculations. The Elder Index for California was calculated by the Center and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. 

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors: Center Director Gerald Kominski testified at the Aug. 15 meeting about the role ACA funding played in the expanding health benefits to Los Angeles residents and the important role the Supervisors had in supporting projects funded by that money. (See item S-1 on video, at the 4:08:43 mark)

California Assembly Health Committee on Healthcare Delivery System: In an Oct. 23 hearing that examined the state’s current health care system, California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data and estimates from the Center's CalSIM micro-simulation model were used during testimony by Ken Jacobs and Laurel Lucia of the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

AB 635: Bill analyses by several Senate committees cited CHIS data that an estimated 281,000 Medi-Cal patients had problems understanding or needed an interpreter to understand their doctor because of language problems. The bill, which increases funding for medical interpretation services for Medi-Cal patients, was signed into law in September. 

UCLA-SAFE: The Center project, 
UCLA-SAFE, launches a smoke-free housing initiative, Smokefree Apartments Los Angeles, that encourages owners of market-rate, multi-unit apartments in densely populated areas of LA to voluntarily put in place smoke-free policies to reduce residents' exposure to secondhand smoke. Supported by a $3 million grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the program focuses on neighborhoods where high proportions of Latinos and African-Americans reside. The two groups have among the highest rates of chronic disease, including diabetes, heart disease and cancer.


ACA 411: New CHIS data were added to the California Health Care Foundation's ACA 411 interactive web tool, which helps track the Affordable Care Act's effect on insurance coverage, access to health care services, and affordability in California after health care reform. The updated CHIS data show Medi-Cal expansion brought state rates of uninsurance to a historic low. Future CHIS data will help ACA 411 users gauge the effects of an ACA repeal.


AskCHIS Neighborhood Edition API: An application programming interface that provides live access to the latest AskCHIS NE data joins the lineup of new CHIS products in February. Subscribers include the California Office of Health Equity, St. Joseph Health, and Healthy City, which populates many city and community health dashboards.

Supreme Court amicus briefs on same-sex marriage: Numerous organizations submitted amicus briefs that cited Same-Sex Legal Marriage and Psychological Well-Being: Findings from the California Health Interview Survey, a Williams Institute study based on CHIS LGB data, in support of same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the petitioners in June.


National LGBT surveys: CHIS methodologies on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender questions are guiding an Office of Management and Budget workgroup on LGBT data collection.


Health care for undocumented minors: Gov. Jerry Brown in October signed into law SB4, which extends full-scope Medi-Cal to undocumented immigrants under the age of 19. Assessing Health Care Services Used By California's Undocumented Immigrant Population In 2010, an article coauthored by the Center's Nadereh Pourat that used CHIS estimates on DACA youth, helped educate policy-makers on the impact of both SB4 and SB10, a related proposal that would extend Medi-Cal to adult immigrants, both legal and undocumented.


Child mental health services: An audit request by state Senator Jim Beall to analyze how school districts are using mental health funding for students was informed by CHIS data, which showed that about 600,000 children in California have a need for student mental health services. The Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved the request in April.

U.S. Senate Bill 2908: Center estimates are used in U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein’s bill, which proposes amending the IRS code to expand eligibility for premium subsidies under qualified health plans.

LIHP transition: The Center helps to facilitate the transition of 652,000 Californians from the Low-Income Health Program into Medi-Cal on Jan. 1. 


AskCHIS Neighborhood Edition: In late 2014, the Center will introduce its new, cutting-edge tool to examine, map and chart health data by ZIP code and city. 


Democratizing data: The Center's Health DATA Program has trained more than 4,475 representatives from 1,800+ organizations on how to find, use and communicate health data.


Thousands of users: Nearly 43,000 people are registered AskCHIS users.


Approaching one million: Approximately 980,080 queries have been made on AskCHIS, the Center's user-friendly, online query tool.

SBX1 1 and ABX1 1: Two state bills authorize the expansion of Medi-Cal and cite two Center products: The State of Health Insurance in California report, which found that 7.1 million Californians were uninsured in 2009, and CalSIM, which projected that between 89 and 92 percent of Californians under age 65 would have health coverage under full ACA implementation

Defense of Marriage Act: A Center study is used in an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court to support arguments that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) significantly impairs married gay and lesbian workers access to employer-provided health care benefits for their spouses. The Supreme Court repealed key sections of DOMA in June 2013.

Individual mandate: A joint Center/UC Berkeley Labor Center study is used in an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in defense of a core principle of health care reform ? that all Americans be compelled to purchase some kind of health insurance. The study uses CalSIM to estimate that without the mandate up to one million or more Californians will go without health insurance.


New director: Gerald Kominski, associate director and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and a leading authority on health care reform and health economics, is appointed Center director.

California Simulation of Insurance Markets launched: The Center's new California Simulation of Insurance Markets (CalSIM), a microsimulation model of eligibility and enrollment under the ACA, is used by the new California Health Benefit Exchange to implement health care reform.


Elder Economic Planning Act of 2011: Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown signs a law requiring the state's Area Agencies on Aging to use the Center's Elder Index in their strategic planning calculations of the true cost of living for low-income seniors.

Low-Income Health Program: The Center is selected as the primary evaluator of California's "bridge to health care reform" program, designed to provide health coverage to uninsured low-income residents. 

Affordable Care Act: A Center study estimating that 8.2 million Californians? nearly one-quarter of the state's population ? were uninsured sparks front-page stories in the Los Angeles Times and other media across the nation and helps propel passage of federal health care reform.


Fighting pollution: Health DATA begins to offer community-based research and training on environmental-related health issues.

Affordable Care Act debate: The Center's estimates of the number of Californians eligible for Health Insurance Exchange subsidies and for expanded Medi-Cal under the proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) are heavily relied upon by California's congressional legislators in the debate leading up to the bill's passage. 

Health Profiles: The Center publishes the first of many easy-to-read, one-page fact sheets that contain CHIS-based estimates on the health status, health behaviors and demographics of adults, adolescents, and children by county, region and legislative district.

Soda tax: A Center study on the link between soda and obesity is cited in a proposal to tax soda to support a children's health fund.

The Elder Index: The Center is asked to calculate the true cost of living for seniors in California as part of a larger national movement to replace outdated Federal Poverty guidelines. The new "Elder Index" calculates costs by county, taking into account what elders need for rent, food, transportation, health care and other basic items. 

Fast-food moratorium: The City of Los Angeles institutes a moratorium on building fast-food outlets in South Los Angeles, based in large part on a Center study about food environments and obesity.

Early state health reform: Then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launches his new health reform effort at the UCLA School of Public Health and cites the Center's The State of Health Insurance in California: Findings from the 2005 California Health Interview Survey on the decline in employer-sponsored coverage as justification for the reform. CHIS data are subsequently used by the state's Legislative Analyst's Office and policymakers from both parties in debate about the proposed reform effort.

Single-payer bill: CHIS data is cited extensively in SB 840, a single-payer bill that is passed by the legislature but vetoed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

AskCHIS debuts: The Center introduces AskCHIS, the user-friendly, online query tool that gives people the ability to access and use CHIS data.

Food insecurity bill: A Los Angeles Times story based on a Center study of food insecurity prompts passage of AB 231, which increases eligibility for the federal food stamps program. 

First 5 California: CHIS data are used by First 5 California in more than a dozen counties to develop early childhood education programs.

Health of Older Californians report: The Center publishes its first omnibus report on elder health, using 2001 CHIS data.  

Cancer Screening in California report: The Center publishes its first omnibus report on cancer screening, using 2001 CHIS data.  

SB 2: The Center's data and expertise are used in designing this law, which requires medium and large companies to provide health benefits to workers in California. Although the law was later repealed, it laid the foundation for future health care reform efforts.

Healthy Kids: First 5 California starts to use CHIS data for a new program that extends health coverage to children in low-income families who are ineligible for Medi-Cal or Healthy Families.

First CHIS survey: The Center conducts the first California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) of about 50,000 California adults, teens and children.


First State of Health Insurance in California (SHIC) report: The Center launches a new comprehensive report of health insurance status and trends.  

Health DATA: A new public-service program is established at the Center to build the capacity of advocates, service providers and decision-makers to access and use health data.

Health insurance report card: The Center and the UC Berkeley School of Public Health begin to produce an annual report card on the number of people insured in the state.

Center founded: The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is founded by E. Richard "Rick" Brown, a professor at the UCLA (now Fielding) School of Public Health and a renowned health policy advocate.