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« January 2010 » September 2010

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MAY 2010

This Issue:



Place Matters imageDr. Donald Berwick to Run Medicare & Medicaid
The White House made an inspired choice to head up Medicare and Medicaid with Dr. Donald Berwick, president of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.  Featured in California Newsreel’s 2009 documentary release Money-Driven Medicine, Berwick has devoted his life to patient-centered care and health systems reform. We await his confirmation by the senate.

For video clips of Dr. Berwick, visit www.moneydrivenmedicine.org.

Check out the commentary at The Atlantic by Money-Driven Medicine producer, Alex Gibney.


  • The Marmot review final report: Fair Society, Healthy Lives
    The Marmot review is now out.  The review was commissioned by the British government to make recommendations that translate the principles elucidated by the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health into concrete strategies for tackling ‘unfair and unjust’ health inequities in the UK post 2010.

  • California’s Health in All Policies Task Force
    In February, California Governor Schwarzenegger signed an executive order establishing a Health in All Policies Task Force to identify programs, policies and strategies to improve the health of Californians.  The Task Force is part of the State’s interagency Strategic Growth Council.

  • Draft National Plan for Action
    The draft plan from the Office of Minority Health at HHS proposes 20 strategies for achieving health equity.

  • Building Economic Security Today (BEST)
    BEST promotes asset development for low income families.  It’s the latest project of the Life-Course Initiative of Contra Costa County Public Health Department, a 15 year plan aimed at closing the black-white gap in birth outcomes.

  • Tracking HIAs
    The Health Impact Project is launching a new web tool that tracks health impact assessments (HIAs) across the U.S. If you are involved with an HIA, contact them.

  • HIA Summer Training Course June 22-25, 2010
    Enrollment is now open for the San Francisco Public Health Department’s annual Health Impact Assessment (HIA) Practitioners Summer Training Course. It aims to provide current and future practitioners of HIA experience using available procedures, regulations, and tools to implement an HIA.


grocery gap man The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why it Matters
A new report from Policy Link and The Food Trust summarizes our knowledge about food deserts, their impact on communities, and efforts to secure access to healthy food.

  • The Social Determinants of Health: The Canadian Facts
    This terrific new handbook draws from both U.S. and Canadian data, and will help change the way its American as well as Canadian readers think about health.  It demonstrates succinctly, supported by simple graphs and charts, how forces beyond health care shape population health and makes specific policy recommendations. Available by free download.

  • Tackling Health Inequities Through Public Health Practice
    The second and much expanded edition of Tackling Health Inequities (Richard Hofrichter and Rajiv Bhatia, eds. Oxford University Press, 2010) contains 29 informative chapters divided into four sections:  Frameworks;  Class, Racism, and Sexism;  Strategies for Change;  Changing Consciousness.  Try promo Code 28147 for a 20% discount from Oxford University Press.

  • The Biology of Disadvantage: Socioeconomic Status and Health
    This instructive volume, edited by Nancy Adler and Judith Stewart, sums up 10 years of research by the MacArthur Research Network on Socio-Economic Status and Health about how socio-economic status gets into the body.  Available as free PDF downloads as well as a book  (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 2010; Volume1186)

  • The Social Determinants of Health and the Role of Local Governments
    These provocative articles from the UK’s Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) describe how local governments throughout Europe can – and are – using their powers to tackle health inequities.

  • The Impact of Economic Inequalities on Sustainable Development in London
    Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (authors of The Spirit Level) have just written a new report on how inequality in London shapes population health.

  • Americans Pay Fewer Taxes Than Europeans – NOT!
    This San Francisco Chronicle op ed was just brought to our attention, particularly apt this month at tax time.


Racism and Stress:  Partial Bibliography
Alan Zaslavsky put out a request for studies on racism and stress on the Spirit of 1848 listserv.  We’ve posted the responses on the Unnatural Causes web site.

The Health of Canada's Children, Parts 1-4
Paediatr Child Health Vol 15 No 1 January 2010; No 2 February 2010;l No 3 March 2010; No 4 April 2010
These four keystone papers by Dennis Raphael highlight the mechanisms and pathways by which child health is shaped by living conditions and the public policies that produce and reproduce those living conditions.  It compares the social determinants of children’s health within different government policy frameworks and why politics and political economy are the critical arenas for transforming the lives of young children.

Paid Sick Days Study
To our knowledge, San Francisco is one of three U.S. cities that mandates paid sick leave. In contrast, every other rich country does.  The business community, especially the restaurant industry, asserts that paid sick leave would cost jobs.  This recent study shows that is not the case here in San Francisco. Paid sick leave bills have also been introduced in Philadelphia and New York City and are pending in some states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Public Universities Short-Changing the Poor and Students of Color
Opportunity Adrift: Our Flagship Universities Are Straying From Their Public Mission, from The Education Trust, makes the case that leading public universities are failing at enrolling and developing students from low-income families and underrepresented minority groups by directing financial aid to wealthy students who can afford the cost of a public school while many high-achieving minority and poor students wind up at lesser institutions or do not attend college at all.


Healthy People / Healthy Places Webinar Series
The Convergence Partnership is launching a 5-part webinar series exploring different activities, strategies and resources aimed at creating healthy and safe environments for all.

Community Organizing and Community Building
Watch a webcast of Robert Fullilove’s keynote address at the University of North Carolina Minority Health Conference on the challenge of building collective efficacy that can transform communties.


UNNATURAL CAUSES was produced by California Newsreel in association with Vital Pictures, Inc. California Newsreel is the oldest non-profit documentary production and distribution center in the country, now celebrating its 42nd anniversary.

For more information on our extensive collections of acclaimed DVDs, click on the links below or visit us at www.newsreel.org.

Unnatural Causes part of Health and Social Justice Banished part of African American Perspectives Ezra part of the Library of African Cinema A Killer Bargain part of The Globalization catalog

health and social justice

african american perspectives

library of african cinema



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