Central Valley Health Policy Institute News
Earlier this week, the New York Times published an analysis of national data that
found that Black and Latinx Americans are three times as likely to catch COVID-19
compared to whites. To discuss the implications of those findings, and what it means
for the battle against the virus here in the San Joaquin Valley, Valley Edition Host
Kathleen Schock spoke with Whitney Pirtle, assistant professor of sociology at UC
Merced, Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner with the Central Valley Health Policy Institute,
and Chet Hewitt, President and CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation and The Center
at Sierra Health, which is focused on ending health inequities in the San Joaquin
Dr. Tania Pacheco-Werner, KSEE 24: Coronavirus, Facts Not Fear
Bearing the Burden
Unequal from Birth
“We're talking about the impacts of racism and poverty and how our public systems
do or do not mediate those impacts on people's health status... In a way that's a
litany of the impacts of of racism and poverty on people's lives. That in turn both
produce greater risk of disease and less access to health care.”
- DR. JOHN CAPITMAN
Low-Income Californians Feel Twice The Burn From Wildfires
“Without a doubt, these communities are at higher risk” when fires break out, said Emanuel Alcala, a postgraduate fellow with the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at California State University-Fresno. “Especially because you already have other environmental hazards: toxic waste sites, poor quality of water, and poor quality of air.”
A Mother’s Zip Code Could Signal Whether Her Baby Will Be Born Too Early
John Capitman, director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute, was one of the early developers and leaders of the initiative. He doesn't believe that commonly cited risk factors accurately represent the cause of birth-related health disparities. For example, the CDC lists “black race” as a factor associated with preterm births. Capitman and his colleagues argue that it’s not race, but racism that should be recognized. “We're talking about the impacts of racism and poverty and how our public systems do or do not mediate those impacts on people's health status,” Captiman says.
Study examines link between community poverty and bad health
January 4, 2018
FRESNO, Calif. - UC Merced PhD student and Fresno State researcher Emanuel Alcala sits down with KSEE24's Evan Onstot to discuss a new study examining the link between poverty at a neighborhood level and poor health.
Report: Valley Hospitals Need To Do More To Improve Community Health
August 22, 2017
Leading a healthy life is about much more than being able to see a doctor or get into a hospital. It is also about access to fresh foods, and places to go to exercise like parks. That is a major struggle for people in many communities in the San Joaquin Valley. A new report from the advocacy organization Building Health Communities and the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State says hospitals should be doing more to improve ‘neighborhood health’.
I recently accompanied a neighbor on his annual check-up. The results were predictable: the doctor asked him to lose weight, get more exercise, and get more involved socially. My neighbor had only two questions, “Why are you being so negative?” and “Will Medicare pay for this?”
It seems that Valley leaders, environmental managers, and planners are much like my neighbor. Rather than focusing on what our region can do to improve equity and sustainability, we rail against environmental regulations and plead for federally-funded incentives. Instead, in order to prosper as a region we need to work through some difficult questions about our possible futures:
● How can we meet the demand for housing close to jobs and opportunities while minimizing loss of farms and green space?
● How can we dramatically reduce our dependence on fossil fuels?
● How can we alter our agricultural economic engine to produce better jobs and less pollution?
Hot Geography – Climate Change & Water – An Interview with John Capitman, Jonathan
Nelson and Laura Feinstein
May 25, 2017
Carpe Diem West
Community health and water crises
Dr. John Capitman, Central Valley Health Policy Institute, Fresno State
Water is one among several indicators of health disadvantage; there is close correlation between water impacts and already-stressed communities. What the data shows us is that in most water impaired communities residents are also facing greater risks from almost every key environmental measure.
Here in the Central Valley we have higher rates of premature mortality, greater hospital use, and higher levels of premature death compared to the rest of California. The zip codes that are most impacted by these factors are those with greatest poverty and those with larger proportions of Latinos and there’s as much as a 21-year difference in life expectancies for zip codes that are less than 10 miles apart.
From a public health context, it’s the little children, moms, elders and persons with disabilities, that are the miner’s canaries – the first to hurt in the face of a rapidly warming climate.
A California regulator’s curious crusade to remake the Clean Air Act
May 23, 2017
The Center for Public Integrity
FRESNO, Calif. – The 250-mile-long San Joaquin Valley is an economic powerhouse, producing everything from crude oil to grapes, cotton to pistachios.
It’s also a pollution-trapping bowl, bounded on three sides by mountains and punished by meteorological conditions that cause dirty air to stagnate. All eight counties in the valley are in “extreme non-attainment” of the federal smog standard, which has led to penalties. Lung-searing ozone, the main component of smog, is cooked by triple-digit summer heat. Fine particles, tied to both heart and respiratory disease, fill the air on foggy winter days.
In theory, the Clean Air Act was built for places like this.
Why Do African-American Infants Die More Often Than Others In Fresno County?
July 15, 2015
Valley Public Radio
African-American infants in Fresno County are three times more likely to die within their first year than white infants, largely because of premature birth, low birth weight or birth defects.
The alarming rates of African-American infants dying in their first year in the county are prompting public health officials to dig deeper.
“Over the last few years ever since 2008 Fresno has experienced a dramatic growth in infant mortality rates particularly for African-American women,” says Dr. John Capitman, executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute.
Jody Hironaka-Juteau: Valley institute provides tools for longer, healthier lives
July 15, 2015
Today’s students are deeply committed to making a difference in our community.
For Fresno State health and human services students, this goal includes helping Valley residents have a fair opportunity for long, meaningful lives. The Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State helps students and community members develop tools to shape our region’s health policies and practices.
The Bee recently published a series of reports detailing public-health problems impacting children and families in our region. These reports underscore the importance of timely, appropriate care in promoting health and well-being, but they also highlight causes that range from individual behaviors to the social environment. Through research, analysis and education, the institute helps Valley residents and leaders understand these health challenges and actions required to improve outcomes.
First 5 Fresno board says black infant death report a ‘call for action’
July 15, 2015
Reducing Fresno County’s high rate of black infant deaths will take a community effort, First 5 commissioners learned Wednesday at a review of a six-month research project to look at reasons why so many babies die before their first birthday.
Black infant deaths far exceed other ethnic groups in Fresno County, report shows
July 14, 2015
Black babies in Fresno County are three times as likely to die within their first year of life than white infants, and they die nearly three times as often as Hispanic babies.
It’s a statistic First 5 Fresno County board members will discuss Wednesday at noon at The Lighthouse for Children on Tulare Avenue in downtown Fresno.
The public is invited to the board meeting and to a community meeting on July 24 to continue the discussion.
First 5 granted researchers at Fresno State’s Central Valley Health Policy Institute $25,000 to study why so many black infants die and to recommend how to reduce the deaths.
Foundation Examines Oral Health Inequities in Central Valley
June 25, 2015
FRESNO -- When a national oral health advocacy organization, the DentaQuest Foundation,
asked Fresno State University's Central Valley Health Policy Institute (CVHPI) to
examine the state of oral health in the region and take a grassroots approach to prioritizing
needs, it made perfect sense. It was essentially a continuation and expansion of the
institute's ongoing efforts.
"We were interested immediately," said CVHPI Executive Director John Capitman. "We knew from our prior work that this was an important challenge and that we could reach back to some of our prior colleagues and collaborators to work on this."
Please click here to read the article - "Foundation Examines Oral Health Inequities in Central Valley"
The California Task Force on the Status of Maternal Mental Health Care Launches Tuesday
June 22, 2015
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- 2020 Mom (formerly the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative) and the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, with funding from The California Endowment and the California HealthCare Foundation, are announcing the formation of the California Task Force on the Status of Maternal Mental Health Care at a press conference this Tuesday, June 23.
Please click here to read press release - "The California Task Force on the Status of Maternal Mental Health Care Launches Tuesday"
State Senate Confirms Appointment of John Capitman to Air Quality Board
March 4, 2015
Dr. John Capitman, executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute and Nickerson Professor of Public Health at Fresno State, received Senate confirmation of his appointment to the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District Governing Board.
Covered California: A First Year Examination
December 1, 2014
The Maddy Report
Dr. John Capitman, executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, provides commentary on the first year of Covered California.
Please click here to view video
Governor Appoints Fresno State Official to Air Quality Board
February 5, 2014
Fresno State News
Dr. John Capitman, executive director for the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District Governing Board.
Capitman brings an extensive background in research and is nationally renowned for his work in health disparities, long-term care, substance abuse and racial and ethnic disparities in cancer care. Capitman was formerly a professor and director of long-term care studies in the Schneider Institute for Health Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
Is The Central Valley's Air Pollution Affecting Our Cells And Genes?
January 28, 2014
Valley Public Radio
Here in the Central Valley – in one of the most polluted air basins in the country – we know that poor air is bad for our health. We feel it in our eyes and throat, and when we struggle to breathe.
But what if air pollution is affecting us at a deeper, cellular level?
Central Valley Town Wants Tap Water Residents Can Drink
November 18, 2013
The California Report
Clean drinking water is supposed to be a right in California but not everybody has it - especially those living in poor, unincorporated towns dealing with language barriers and a lack of political know-how. We look at one town in the Central Valley that has learned that truth the hard way, but keeps on fighting.
Fresno State is part of ‘Next Fresno’
November 3, 2013
Fresno communities were the focus of Dr. John Capitman, director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute at Fresno State, for different reasons: public health and questions about justice.
West Fresno; High Speed Rail, Chinatown & Fresno's Historic Arch; Theodore Kuchar
October 29, 2013
Valley Edition Host Joe Moore explores the issues the community of West Fresno face with Fresno State Professor John Capitman, Mary Curry with Concerned Citizens of West Fresno and Tate Hill with the Fresno Metro Black Chamber.
Study shows central San Joaquin Valley falls short in health funding
October 29, 2013
Central San Joaquin Valley counties get less government funding to keep people healthy, despite having some of the highest poverty and chronic disease rates in California, according to a report released this week.
The lower funding has made it difficult for Valley counties to fight illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease, the report's authors said.
And smaller budgets could be in store in the coming year. The main source of state revenue for public health departments will be reduced under changes brought by the Affordable Care Act.
Capitman is named Nickerson Distinguished Professor
Dr. John Capitman, executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute and a professor of public health at California State University, Fresno, is the inaugural Sister Ruth Marie Nickerson Distinguished Professor in Health Policy.
CVHPI awarded $150,000
The Central Valley Health Policy Institute has been awarded $150,000 from the Community Leadership Project to adapt its successful Health Policy Leadership Program to meet the needs of grassroots leaders. The program will recruit 10 participants from five organizations each year (engaging two leaders from each organization), for a total of 30 leaders over three years. Participants wil April 25, 2012 al development project. Participants will receive strong peer support, academic training, and one-on-one technical assistance from CVHPI staff to develop their organizational problem-solving and policy analysis skills. The application period will open on February 1, 2010.