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The Center's 2022 Health Policy Seminar Series

March 09, 2023

  • Tiffany Lopes
  • 310-794-0930
  • UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
    The Center is pleased to host leading health policy experts at our monthly seminar series. All events are currently being held on Zoom.

    Data Within Reach: Centering the NHPI Community
    Wednesday, March 22, 2023
    1–2:30 p.m. PT | Zoom

    Register to attend.


    Health inequities in Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) populations have been perpetuated and exacerbated by decades of data inequity. The COVID-19 pandemic further exposed the striking gaps within data and research for NHPIs with the majority of states in the U.S. not reporting disaggregated COVID-19 cases for NHPIs, despite NHPIs having experienced among the highest COVID-19 rates of any racial and ethnic group in California and throughout the country.


    Join the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research's Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) Data Policy Lab for the launch of a series of data dashboards aimed at providing accessible data tools on the health and health needs of the NHPI community. Designed with community input from 34 NHPI organizations, the data dashboards hope to address the community’s barriers to accessing and utilizing disaggregated health and social determinants of health data to inform advocacy efforts and programs. The launch will feature the following data dashboards:

    ·         NHPI Social Determinants of Health at the U.S. State Level Dashboard

    ·         NHPI Social Determinants of Health at the California County Level Dashboard

    ·         NHPI California County COVID-19 Dashboard

    ·         NHPI Top 10 U.S. Counties COVID-19 Dashboard


    The Social Determinants of Health dashboards feature demographic characteristics representing the current state of the NHPI community, including higher education attainment, uninsurance, poverty, home ownership, veteran status, and much more.


    The COVID-19 dashboards present COVID-19 case and mortality statistics and highlight the continued lack of reliable NHPI vaccine data.


    The launch will also feature community leaders presenting how data are used by NHPI organizations and the importance of having these accessible data tools.



    Wednesday, March 1, 2023: "Coping with COVID-19: The Mental Health Consequences of the Pandemic's Economic and Social Crisis" 

    Business shutdowns and financial challenges. School and day care closures and lack of child care. Quarantine and household conflict. The pandemic’s stay-at-home orders intended to keep people safe from COVID-19, but did it have an adverse effect on their mental health?

    In a new UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) study, researchers examine the association between economic hardship, household conflict, and mental health outcomes during the pandemic.

    Though we know serious psychological distress and suicidal ideation among adults increased during the pandemic, UCLA CHPR Research Scientist Imelda Padilla-Frausto, PhD, MPH, will share data from the California Health Interview Survey on how mental health was further compromised among Californians whose livelihoods were disrupted and those who were struggling financially due to the pandemic. Seminar recording to come. 

    Wednesday, February 8, 2023: "Selected Findings from the Final Evaluation of the California Whole Person Care Program"

    In 2016, California launched the Whole Person Care (WPC) program, a pilot project designed to integrate medical, mental health, and social services for Medi-Cal patients who frequently accessed health services, incurred disproportionately high costs, and had poor health outcomes. 

    The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program, led by Nadereh Pourat, PhD, was chosen to conduct the statewide evaluation of the WPC pilot program, which ended in 2021. 

    On Wednesday, February 8, Pourat will present selected findings from the final evaluation of WPC, particularly changes to health service utilization of enrollees and associated costs. The evaluation findings described a major and expansive effort in California to address the needs of the most vulnerable Medi-Cal beneficiaries who were high utilizers of services. 

    The presentation will outline program achievements, as well as challenges faced by the 25 participating Pilots. 

    Susan Philip, MPH, deputy director of Health Care Delivery Systems for the California Department of Health Care Services, will discuss the relevance of the findings for the California Advancing and Innovating Medi-Cal (CalAIM) and share next steps in caring for high-need, high-cost Medicaid beneficiaries. View recording of the seminar.

    Wednesday, November 30, 2022: "Demand for Aging and Disability Services Is Increasing in California: Can We Meet the Need?"

    Hundreds of thousands of older adults and adults with disabilities in California who are Medi-Cal beneficiaries need help with personal and household care to stay in their homes and out of institutional facilities.

    But according to research by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR), the proportion of this vulnerable group receiving help from non-family caregivers is a small fraction of the population that is eligible for support services.

    UCLA CHPR Senior Research Scientist and Health Equity Program Director Kathryn Kietzman, PhD, and Associate Center Director and Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program Director Nadereh Pourat, PhD, discuss the use of two major Medi-Cal long-term supports and services programs in the state and which Californians are — or aren't — accessing these services. View recording of the seminar. 

    Wednesday, November 16, 2022: "Launch of the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander and Data Policy Platform"

    The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Data Policy Lab unveil the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) Data Policy Platform, No Health Equity without Data Equity, created to improve NHPI data quality, identify data gaps, and create data systems processes that provide meaningful opportunities for community involvement.

    Developed with the contributions of 135+ NHPI leaders from across the country, the NHPI Data Policy Platform proposes a framework to be used by change agents, policymakers, community leaders, and data-driven institutions to address NHPI communities’ data needs.

    Speakers discussed the harm created by data systems that inadequately reflect NHPI communities’ challenges and strengths while proposing a framework and specific recommendations for improving data systems for NHPIs. View recording of the seminar. 

    Wednesday, October 5, 2022: California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) Annual Data Release

    2021 was a year defined by the ongoing health, financial, and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. But other factors affected the well-being of Californians, too. Join the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) on Wednesday, October 5, 2022, as we release comprehensive findings from the 2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).

    From delays in receiving medical care to mental health conditions such as suicide ideation, the survey findings will spotlight some of the ongoing health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other important health concerns affecting Californians. This year’s release will also feature data from first-time questions on gun violence and firearm safety, housing security, climate change, childhood experiences, encounters with police, and more.

    For more than two decades, UCLA CHPR has produced CHIS, which interviews more than 20,000 California households on a wide range of health topics, including health conditions, health insurance and access to care, health behaviors, and more. CHIS includes various sociodemographic factors ­— such as race and ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, income, and geography — to provide a detailed picture of the health and health care needs of California’s large and diverse population.

    Join Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP, UCLA CHPR director and CHIS principal investigator, and Todd Hughes, CHIS director, as they present key findings from the 2021 survey. Sean Tan, MPP, senior public administration analyst, will also discuss a fact sheet that looks at gun safety and attitudes related to gun violence among select populations: young adults (aged 18 to 25), immigrants, veterans, LGBT people, and individuals living in rural areas. View recording of the seminar.

    Tuesday, August 23, 2022: "Support at Home Out of Reach for Many Adults and Adults with Disabilitiees in California"

    Financial difficulties. Trouble with personal and routine care needs such as eating, bathing, doing chores, and leaving the house. Older adults and adults with disabilities need help to maintain their independence and support their quality of life. But are they getting it?

    Access to long-term services and supports is needed to maintain the physical and mental health and well-being of older adults and adults with disabilities, but according to a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR), many California older adults and adults with disabilities are not getting the help they need and struggling to make financial ends meet.

    The California Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) study, a follow-on survey of the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), was developed to understand the needs and unmet needs of older adults and adults with disabilities in California.

    Researchers will share findings from two fact sheets. The first focuses on unmet needs: both personal care needs such as eating, bathing, and getting around inside the home; and routine care needs, which include everyday household chores, grocery shopping, and getting around for other purposes. The study also highlights some of the negative consequences associated with unmet need, including going without groceries or personal items because of difficulty shopping and making mistakes in taking prescribed medicines.

    The second fact sheet examines financial hardship among older adults and adults with disabilities, including difficulties paying for housing and medical bills, and cutting down on the amount spent on food and medicine.

    Presenters will also discuss some unmet needs and financial difficulties by race and ethnicity, highlighting some of the vast differences among groups.

    Join UCLA CHPR Senior Research Scientist and Health Equity Program Director Kathryn G. Kietzman, PhD, and graduate student researcher Lei Chen as they share findings from the study and some policy recommendations to help improve the health, well-being, and quality of life for all Californians. View recording of the seminar.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2022: "Experiences of Exclusion: 
    How Policy Shapes the Lives of Latinx and Asian Immigrants"

    Public charge. Discrimination in the workplace. Experiences with law enforcement. 

    How are Latinx and Asian immigrants in California faring under state and federal policies?

    The RIGHTS (Research on Immigrant Health and State Policy) Study was developed by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) to understand the experiences of Asian and Latinx immigrants in California as they seek health care, go to work and school, and engage in their communities. Join RIGHTS investigators as they share their findings from four studies on Asian and Latinx immigrants’ experiences with a range of public policies that influence health — from health care to labor protections to immigration enforcement. Presenters will discuss how the intersecting experiences of policies are a critical social determinant of health for Asian and Latinx immigrants. View recording of the seminar.

    Monday, February 28, 2022: "Gaps in Health Care Access Among LGBT Adults in California"

    California is home to more than 2 million lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) adults, who experience many of the same challenges and barriers to accessing health care as straight and cisgender adults, including lack of insurance and poverty.

    However, research shows that LGBT populations are more likely to be uninsured, to be living in poverty, and to have disabilities that may impact access to health care. Sexual and gender minorities also have unique barriers to health care that include experiences of discrimination, lack of competent providers, and barriers to gender-affirming health care.

     A new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) and Williams Institute is taking a closer look at differences in health insurance coverage and health care access by sexual orientation and gender identity, revealing significant disparities within the LGBT community.

    Using data from the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), authors found that although lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults had similar or better rates of insurance coverage compared to straight women and men, they were more likely to experience barriers in accessing health care, particularly delays in getting needed health care and experiencing unfair treatment when getting medical care. Transgender adults had higher rates of public insurance coverage than cisgender adults but were not more likely to lack health insurance. However, transgender adults were more likely to experience a number of barriers to care, including being less likely to have preventive care visits, being more likely to have difficulty finding primary or specialty care providers, and being more likely to experience delays in getting needed health care.

    Join UCLA CHPR Senior Research Scientist and Chronic Disease Program Co-Director Susan H. Babey, PhD, and the Williams Institute's Senior Scholar of Public Policy Jody L. Herman, PhD, and Senior Scholar of Public Policy Bianca D.M. Wilson, PhD, as they share their findings and discuss some of the LGBT community's unique barriers to care, as well as the need to identify health care and structural interventions that will improve access to care for sexual and gender minorities. View recording of the seminar.

    Wednesday, December 1, 2021: "Who Is Caring? How Are They Faring? A Look at Family and Friend Caregivers in California"

    In 2020, there were an estimated 6.7 million people who were family and friend caregivers in California alone. Nearly 1 in 4 provided 20 or more hours of care to a family member or friend with a serious or chronic illness or disability in a typical week and yet only 1 in 12 reported having been paid for any of these caregiving hours. Statewide population-level data that captures the experience and consequences of caregiving is limited. Using data from the 2020 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), researchers at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) shed light on caregivers’ demographic profiles, financial concerns, and physical and mental health issues. 

    Led by Kathryn Kietzman, PhD, director of the Health Disparities Program and senior research scientist at UCLA CHPR, and Sean Tan, MPP, senior public administration analyst at UCLA CHPR, the webinar will highlight the role of caregivers as the backbone of the long-term care system. Researchers will walk through findings of their new policy brief, sharing demographic profiles of California caregivers, as well as characteristics of individuals they are providing care to. The presentation will also unveil the hidden costs of caregiving, for instance, the hours associated with caregiving, much of which are not financially compensated for, as well as missed opportunities for educational or career advancement. Researchers will highlight the financial and physical and mental health toll that caregivers experience as well as the disparities that exist across these health factors.

    In addition to outlining the financial, physical, mental, and emotional factors associated with caregiving, researchers will discuss some of California’s policies that support caregivers and propose different policy recommendations or solutions to improve conditions for family caregivers who are providing vital, life-supporting care. These proposed solutions may be used by policymakers, program creators, and other community-support organizations in order to address issues of caregivers across California. View recording of the seminar. 

    Wednesday, September 22, 2021: "California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) 2020 Data Release"

    The COVID-19 pandemic. Racial injustice and inequality. A national election, a divided nation. 2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges and change, but how big of an impact did it have on the lives and health of Californians? Join the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, as we release comprehensive findings from the 2020 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).

    For the last two decades, UCLA CHPR has produced the CHIS, which collects information from more than 20,000 Californians on a wide range of health topics — from health conditions to health care access, mental health to health status and behaviors, and many more topics across various sociodemographic factors such as race and ethnicity, gender, age, and income — to provide a detailed picture of the health and health care needs of California’s large and diverse population. 

    As the pandemic began, CHIS quickly adapted to add a series of COVID-19 questions to better understand how COVID-19 has affected the diverse health care needs of the 39.5 million people who live in California. From COVID-19 as a barrier to care, to the impact of the pandemic on binge-drinking and smoking, to race/ethnicity and mental health distress, plus much more, we will highlight data on a broad range of topics to help policymakers, health departments, community advocates, researchers, and others identify needs in the state and in their communities and improve the health and well-being of adults and youth across California. 

    On September 22, 2021, the UCLA CHPR will release comprehensive findings from the 2020 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS). Ninez A. Ponce, PhD, MPP, UCLA CHPR director and CHIS principal investigator, and Todd Hughes, CHIS director, will discuss key data from the 2020 survey. Sean Tan, MPP, senior public administration analyst, will share findings from a policy brief that looks at health care access and the challenges faced by various racial and ethnic groups, older adults, and other at-risk communities.

    These comprehensive findings will build on CHIS’ preliminary COVID-19 estimates, which provided early monthly data on COVID-19 treatment and vaccine acceptability, personal and financial impacts of the pandemic, and conflict in the household during stay-at-home orders, easily filtered by numerous demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and health risk factors. For the first time in history, these data were released more than a year in advance of the full CHIS to provide timely data to aid in the state’s response to COVID-19. Data have been featured in various news media, including NBC, CBS, FOX, the Los Angeles Daily News, KCRW, and much more.  

    As the largest state health survey in the nation, policymakers, legislators, local health departments, community organizations, researchers, health experts, members of the media, and others depend on CHIS for credible and comprehensive data on the health of Californians. View recording of the seminar. View speakers' slide presentation.

    Monday, June 21, 2021: "Disparities in Oral Health and Access of Low-Income Californians"

    Oral health plays a vital role in overall health status and has been linked to chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, yet it is often overlooked as a critical health issue. For Californians who have low incomes, access to care is a challenge. Education, where people live, race/ethnicity, age, English language proficiency, immigration status, and other determinants of oral health can play a significant role in oral health status, according to recent studies by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR).

    On Monday, June 21, Nadereh Pourat, PhD, UCLA CHPR associate director and director of the Health Economics and Evaluation Research Program, walked through findings from several studies she conducted on factors that contribute to or improve disparities in oral health status and access to dental care.

    For example, a third of the 39.5 million people living in California have low incomes, and face continued challenges in accessing oral health care. A high proportion ─ 39% ─ reported having fair or poor oral health status and 41% reported not having visited the dentist in the past year, according to one of the studies that uses 2019 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) data. A heightened demand for services and a short supply of dentists who see Medi-Cal patients also play a role in why low-income California adults are having difficulties in meeting their dental care needs.

    A professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Pourat highlighted several policy recommendations on policies that can improve access to dental care and improve oral health outcomes for California’s most disadvantaged communities. These include promoting the availability of affordable dental insurance options, including dental care as an essential health benefit, advancing policies to fund services for Medi-Cal related treatments, expanding on pipeline education programs to attract a workforce to serve in low-income neighborhoods, and more. View recording of the seminar.

    April 28, 2021: "Breaking Down Barriers Faced by Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients"

    Each year, thousands of patients across the United States are diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer (MBC), or breast cancer that has spread to a different part of the body. In 2019, 30,650 individuals were diagnosed with breast cancer and 4,620 died from the disease in California alone. Metastatic breast cancer is the cause of nearly all these deaths.On Wednesday, April 28, researchers from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) and UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) shared findings from a study they conducted that looks at barriers to metastatic breast cancer care in California.AJ Scheitler, EdD, director of stakeholder relations at UCLA CHPR, and Beth Glenn, PhD, co-director for community outreach and engagement at UCLA JCCC, presented on three crucial aspects ─ referrals to clinical trials, removing hurdles in health insurance requirements, and access to palliative care ─ and propose possible solutions for system or policy changes that can improve care for metastatic breast cancer patients.The study, which was conducted in early 2020, collected insights from several sources, including patients, caregivers, research, and a social media Twitter chat, covering a variety of perspectives on the barriers that women face as well as potential solutions to improve care. Interview responses and narrative data led to the discovery of barriers, from high costs of care to lack of support services. View recording of the seminar.

    Mar. 24, 2021: "The Impact of the ACA on Cancer Detection Among Older Adults"

    Srikanth Kadiyala, PhD, senior economist at UCLA CHPR, shared findings of a study published in Health Affairs on the effects of the ACA on health care use and outcomes, looking specifically at older adults near age 65 and cancer detection rates among this group. 

    Using cancer registry data from 2010 to 2016, Kadiyala and his co-authors Fabian Duarte, PhD, associate professor of economics at the University of Chile; Gerald Kominski, PhD, senior fellow at UCLA CHPR; and Antonia Riveros, a graduate student at the University of Chile, found that the ACA reduced the cancer detection spike occurring at age 65 by 45%. More than two-thirds of the newly detected cancers were at the early or middle stages, implying substantial potential for positive health benefits.

    Kadiyala will walk through factors, such as how the expansion of Medicaid, private insurance benefits, availability of more affordable individual insurance plans offered in the ACA marketplace, and Medicare had a large positive impact on disease detection. The study builds on research on the older adult population, a group that has not been widely studied when looking at ACA impact, as ACA-related research studies have largely focused on the younger adult, Medicaid population, according to Kadiyala.

    His talk will highlight the implications of conducting more research on this near-elderly population, which may guide policies to improve health care and outcomes for this group, as well as the overall key role that health insurance has on disease detection. View recording of the seminar.

    Feb. 17, 2021: "The Urban Spatial Structure and Pandemic Inequalities"

    More than 1 million Angelenos have been infected with COVID-19, and more than 4 out of 5 of those cases have been racial and ethnic minorities. But, how can we pinpoint the populations most at risk? Can knowledge of underlying spatial structure, factors, and processes, help us prioritize health services and resources, including vaccines, to the most at-risk populations?

    Paul Ong, PhD, director of the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, has taken an empirical, quantitative approach, and shares his recent studies, which look at available pre-pandemic analytical tools used by public agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Health Resources and Services Administration, along with a measure created by UCLA. The tools, he found, have had limited precision, accuracy, and consistency in identifying the residential spaces of disadvantaged racial and ethnic groups, particularly smaller Asian subgroups. 

    Ong discussed the critical and immediate need to develop better methodological approaches to better allocate COVID-19 support and other vital resources to the communities most at-risk. View recording of the seminar.  

    Jan. 27, 2021: "Youth in Distress: Structural, Social Factors Related to Mental Health of California Adolescents"

    D. Imelda Padilla-Frausto, PhD, MPH, a research scientist at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; Blanche Wright, MA, a doctoral candidate in the UCLA Psychology Department; and Dr. Ann Crawford-Roberts, a resident physician at UCLA, discussed their new policy brief which found that nearly 1 in 3 California adolescents reported having serious psychological distress and 1 in 7 reported experiencing moderate psychological distress in 2019. Psychological distress, measured by the number and frequency of symptoms reported in the past year, may interfere with adolescents’ social, educational, and occupational functioning and require treatment. View recording of the seminar. 

    Nov. 16, 2020: "Overcoming Invisibility: Better Health Data for American Indians and Alaska Natives"

    An estimated 5.7 million American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) live in the United States, but they are often underrepresented and even invisible in publicly-accessible health data and research, making it nearly impossible to know what services are needed to improve their health. View a recording of the seminar.

    UCLA CHPR Senior Public Administration Analyst Tara Becker, PhD, and Senior Research Scientist Riti Shimkhada, PhD, shared findings from their policy brief (co-authored by Susan H. Babey, PhD; AJ Scheitler, EdD; and Ninez A. Ponce, MPP, PhD) which examined AIAN data availability and the variations in estimates due to differences in coding and tabulating from eight large population health surveys. Becker and Shimkhada will discuss implications of the limited accessibility of AIAN information in population datasets and provide recommendations that may help improve availability of health information and our understanding of disparities within the American Indian and Alaska Native population.
    View a recording of the seminar. 

    Oct. 29, 2020: 
    "California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) 2019 Release"

    UCLA CHPR unveiled the findings of the 2019 California Health Interview Survey which are vital for stakeholders to consider in order to improve the health and well-being of adults and youth across California. Ninez A. Ponce PhD, MPP, UCLA CHPR director and CHIS principal investigator, and Todd Hughes, CHIS director, discuss findings from the 2019 survey and share data from brand new questions on sex without consent, public program participation, caregiving, social media use and mental health, and suicide ideation among veterans, and share sampling and data collection redesign. Susan H. Babey, PhD, UCLA CHPR senior research scientist and co-director of the Chronic Disease Program, provide a special look at voter participation findings across the state in advance of the presidential election. View a recording of the seminar. 

    Sept. 30, 2020: "California Elder Index 2019 Release: Basic Economic Needs of Older Adults and Profile of Those Struggling to Make Ends Meet"

    According to the California Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index (CA Elder Index), older adults in California, on average, need two times the FPL amount  single elders who rent have an economic need of $27,816 for a basic and decent standard of living. The CA Elder Index uses publicly available data on the actual cost of basic living expenses for housing, health care, food, and transportation. It was developed to provide an evidence-based indicator of the actual basic costs faced by older adults ages 65 and over. D. Imelda Padilla-Frausto, PhD, MPH, UCLA CHPR research scientist, and Steven P. Wallace, PhD, UCLA CHPR Associate Center Director, discuss the release the 2019 California Elder Index and trends in the basic cost of living for older adults from 2013 to 2019; uncover the hidden poor  older adults with income above the FPL but not enough income to meet their basic needs; identify gender, racial, and ethnic inequities; and discuss the implications for older adults during COVID-19. This webinar is co-sponsored by the Metta Fund, a private foundation dedicated to advancing the health and wellness of San Francisco's older adult population. View a recording of the seminar.

    Aug. 27, 2020: "Hidden No More: Unmasking Data for Health Equity"

    So how does a group which has often been masked by a lack of meaningful data become unhidden? The brand-new Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) COVID-19 Data Policy Lab at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) is looking to do just that — by revealing targeted data for NHPIs across the nation in order to better deploy resources and other actions to help the disproportionately affected population. UCLA Director Ninez Ponce and scholars from the NHPI COVID-19 Data Policy Lab — Richard Calvin Chang, Corina Penaia, Karla Thomas, Vananh Tran, John Greer, and Nicholas Pierson — discuss findings and data used in testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, featured in news media, and a Health Affairs blog. This webinar is co-sponsored by the National Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response Team, the Southern California Pacific Islander COVID-19 Response Team, the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, and Asian American and Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Fund, a project of NEO Philanthropy, Inc. View a recording of the seminar.

    July 16, 2020: "Combining Traditional Modeling with Machine Learning for Predicting COVID-19"

    Global COVID-19 cases surpassed 10 million in late June, with the death toll exceeding half a million people. Here in the U.S., many states have rolled back reopening plans as cases shattered record highs. So what comes next? The recent surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths has prompted an even greater need to understand the disease and its spread among communities in California and throughout the nation, with health care experts, academic centers, researchers, and other agencies using models to help forecast case and death rates, and ultimately identify hot spots and the need for targeted resources in those areas. While most use either SEIR models (compartmental model), curve fitting, or machine learning to model COVID cases and deathsChristina Ramirez, Professor of Biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and her colleagues have combined all three techniques into a single comprehensive model to forecast the total number of COVID-19 cases and deaths across the nation.


    Dr. Ramirez shared her groundbreaking, comprehensive model that combined traditional SEIR models with case velocity and machine learning to get precise, reliable estimates of COVID-19 case and death rates — shining a light on whether the pandemic is gaining speed and if deaths are accelerating or stabilizing. This project also uses the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to obtain an accurate snapshot of California data so that morbidity and mortality rates are based on the known prevalence of sociodemographic factors such as age, race, and co-morbidities or underlying health conditions. View a recording of the seminar.

    June 29, 2020: "Pride and Pandemic: Vulnerabilities to COVID-19 Among LGBT Adults in California"

    Two reports produced by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law extract data from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), where researchers found that LGBT adults in California are significantly at risk for health and economic harm due to COVID-19. Among those risks, more than 200,00 LGBT people in California have one or more high-risk medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or HIV; 612,000 were living below 200% of the federal poverty level prior to the pandemic; and 134,000 do not have health insurance. Additional health factors include problems paying for medical bills and delaying or forgoing care because of cost or lack of insurance, and economic risks are related to factors such as poverty level, race/ethnicity, gender identity, housing, food security, and employment status.

    Kathryn O’Neill, lead report author and policy fellow and analyst at the Williams Institute, shared key report findings that describe the characteristics of the LGBT community in California with an emphasis on those factors which increase vulnerability to harm from the COVID-19 pandemic. View a recording of the seminar.

    May 20, 2020: "Health at Risk: Policies Are Needed to End Cigarette, Marijuana, and E-cigarette Secondhand Smoke in Multi-Unit Housing in Los Angeles"

    Peggy Toy, director of the Health DATA Program, and Catherine Yount, public policy analyst, shared findings from their study, which highlighted the high level of secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing and gaps in existing voluntary smoke-free policies. Despite an increasing number of smoke-free local laws in the last 10 years, the proportion of Californians reporting exposure to secondhand smoke from tobacco, marijuana, and e-cigarette vapor continues to rise. Residents of market-rate, privately-owned multi-unit housing (e.g., apartments) are particularly at risk of drifting secondhand smoke. In a 2019 study conducted by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) that included 4,800 tenants and 176 multi-unit housing owners in the City of Los Angeles, 49% of tenants reported exposure to drifting secondhand smoke, including tobacco (39%), marijuana (36%), and e-cigarette (9%). Presenters will discuss the need for a consistent implementation and enforcement plan to prevent exposure to secondhand smoke for all Los Angeles residents. Find the recorded video here.

    Mar. 26, 2020: “Census Undercount of Latino Immigrants: Impact on Health and Socials Programs in Los Angeles

    Steven P. Wallace, Associate Center Director at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, presented findings of a study he conducted with colleagues that looked at funding at risk in Los Angeles County (LAC) for health care and social services. They also did an analysis of services that could be lost if Latinos are undercod in the census. Wallace will discuss the projected funding loss for critical services in LA County, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8), Head Start early childhood education program, and the Health Center Program, if there is a 2%, 5%, or 10% undercount of Latinos. The study found that a worst-case scenario (10% undercount) would result in missing about 466,000 people in the census count and losing $221 million in federal funding. He will discuss the overall implications of a census undercount on critical programs and services for the county's underserved and underrepresented groups. Find the recorded video here.

    Feb. 19, 2020: “Addressing the Aging Population and the Needs of Older Adults

    Ritu Sadana, senior health adviser at the World Health Organization (WHO), shared how the WHO negotiated its first global strategy and action plan on ageing and health (2016–2020)She also discussed its extension, a proposal for a Decade of Healthy Ageing (2020–2030) that will be considered by the upcoming World Health Assembly in May 2020, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2030. Sadana will focus on how WHO has engaged Ministries of Health in eight countries to increase their commitment to evidence-informed policies and programs through a country-led effort that also reflects a collaboration between the World Health Organization’s three levels (headquarters, regional and country offices) and the UCLA Center for Health Policy ResearchCenter Research Scientist Kathryn Kietzman briefly discussed efforts currently underway in California to develop a Master Plan for Aging and her work as part of the research subcommittee tasked with developing a data dashboard to measure progress made by the state over the next 10 years. Find the recorded video here.

    Feb. 5, 2020: "Cost of Single-Payer Health Care in the US: A Systematic Review"

    Dr. James G. Kahn, a professor in the UCSF Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, and Dr. Michael A. Rodriguez, professor and vice chair in the Department of Family Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and faculty associate at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, discussed findings from a recent study by researchers at UCLA, UCSF, and UC Berkeley that shows that a single-payer health care system would save the U.S. money over time. They looked at 22 economic analyses by government, business, and academic centers across California, New York, and other states and found that 19 of them predicted savings in the first year after implementation, averaging 3.5% of total health care spending. Find the recorded video here.

    Dec. 16, 2019: "Identifying Mental Health Needs in California: A Public Health Approach"

    Imelda Padilla-Frausto, Center research scientist, presented a study looking at mental health needs in the state. Findings may be used to guide efforts for preventive outreach and early intervention services. By taking a preventive and early intervention approach, Padilla-Frausto presented data comparing two groups: individuals identified as having moderate psychological distress (those who have a lower score on the Kessler 6 screening tool) and those who have serious psychological distress – looking at various factors such as life and work impairment, demographic characteristics, and use of mental health services. Find the recorded video here. and the seminar slides here​.

    Oct 24, 2019: California Health Interview Survey 2018 Data Release

    Ninez Ponce, Center director, CHIS principal investigator and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, and Todd Hughes, CHIS director, shared highlights from the 2017-2018 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), including newly expanded questions on tobacco, marijuana and e-cigarette use, and important findings and trends in key health topics such as health insurance coverage and mental health. Find the recorded video here

    Oct. 7, 2019: “Whole Person Care Improves Care Coordination for Many Californians”

    Associate Center Director Nadereh Pourat and Emmeline Chuangassociate professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, describe the progress of 25 WPC Pilots participating in the statewide Medi-Cal initiative on coordinating medical, behavioral health, and social services. Their evaluation provides a framework for organizations seeking to address the challenges of providing care to high-need patients who frequently use high-cost services such as those without stable housing or with multiple chronic conditions. Find the recorded video here.

    May 14, 2019: "Medicare for All: Is it Finally Time for Single Payer in the United States?"

    As a continuation of the robust discussion at the recent E. Richard Brown Symposium focused on universal health care in California, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Senior Fellow Gerald F. Kominski addressed the topic “Medicare for All: Is It Finally Time for Single Payer in the United States?” Find the recorded video here.

    March 26, 2019: “Economic Insecurity Among Older Adults of Color: Housing and Health as Cause and Effect”

    In the Center’s March Health Policy Seminar, Associate Center Director Steven P. Wallace discussed elder economic insecurity using Elder IndexTM data and how the housing burden borne by elders, particularly those of color, affects health. Find the recorded video here.

    Feb. 19, 2019: “Reducing Access Disparities in California by Insuring Low-income Undocumented Immigrants”

    Using the latest California Health Interview Survey data on the health insurance, demographics, health status, and access to care of undocumented low-income adults ages 19-64, new research led by Associate Center Director Nadereh Pourat reveals the demographics and characteristics of undocumented adults, how their access to health care compares to documented counterparts, and the implications of extending Medi-Cal eligibility to the last remaining uninsured population who have limited options for coverage. Find the recorded video here.

    Jan. 23, 2019: "Improving California's Behavioral Health Workforce for Older Adults"

    Center Faculty Associate Janet Frank and Center Research Scientist Kathryn Kietzman recommended training and funding strategies that state policymakers, educational institutions and county mental health/behavioral health departments and their contracted providers can take to improve the state mental health care workforce that serves the unique needs of older adults. Find the recorded video here.

    Nov. 7, 2018: "How Proposed Changes to the 'Public Charge' Rule Will Affect Health, Hunger, and the Economy in California"

    Ninez A. Ponce, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research; Laurel Lucia; director of the health care program at the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education; and Tia Shimada, director of programs at California Food Policy Advocates, presented analysis from their report and shared estimates of the health and economic impact the federal "public charge" immigration rule change will have on California, its regions, and its racial and ethnic groups. Under proposed changes to Department of Homeland Security immigration rules, people could be denied status as lawful permanent residents if they receive certain health care, nutrition and other benefits. Find the recorded video here and download the seminar slides here(Note: Updated version as of 11/29/18.)
    See all previous health policy seminars here.