Cal-IHEA Newsletter

News, Information, Updates | February 2020

Image credit:
Keegan Houser

Policies & Actions Aiming to Protect & Welcome Immigrant Patients

Altaf Saadi, MD (UCLA)Increased immigration enforcement, deportations, and proposed changes to the public charge rule have led to a decrease in the use of health services and/or enrollment in public benefit programs among immigrant communities. Healthcare facilities have taken proactive actions to protect their immigrant patients and ensure they do not fear accessing healthcare services. These institutional policies and actions have occurred within and independent of “sanctuary” city and state laws. However, these policies and practices have not been systematically studied.

Cal-IHEA granteeDr. Altaf Saadi, has developed thefirst toolkit to analyze the new policies and actions healthcare facilities like hospitals and clinics have applied to both welcome and protect immigrant patients from immigration enforcement in the healthcare setting. Click here to view the toolkit and check out the videos below!

How to Expand Health Care Coverage to Undocumented Immigrants: A policy toolkit for state and local governments

Approximately, 45% of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are uninsured, compared to 23% of documented immigrants and 8% of U.S. citizens. Lack of health insurance coverage among undocumented immigrants is associated with delays seeking health care and underutilization of cost-effective health care services. Improving access to care for undocumented immigrants could contribute to better health outcomes and greater financial security in immigrant households.

Cal-IHEA granteeArturo Vargas Bustamante, PhD, has developed a new resource, How to Expand Health Care Coverage to Undocumented Immigrants, which provides an overview of current policy options and strategies that county, state, and community-based organizations (CBOs) have used to expand access to health care for undocumented immigrants. The resource provides examples showing how collaborations between state, local governments, consular authorities, and community organizations on outreach activities can be impactful for improving enrollment or health promotion to undocumented immigrants.

The toolkit is the first resource available to provide an overview of current policy options and strategies that distinct levels of government and organizations have used to expand access to health care for undocumented immigrants.

Click here to check it out!

Championing Community-Centered Investments

Since implementing the first municipal ‘soda tax’ in the United States in 2015, the City of Berkeley has collected over $5 million in revenue, which is being directly invested into community efforts to increase water consumption and reduce sugary drink consumption in a manner that is community centered. With support from Cal-IHEA, Dr. Kristine Madsen and The Praxis Project launched a statewide series of community forums that use Berkeley’s model to educate residents about the difference between excise and sales taxes, and ways to fund equity-focused health programs with revenue from sugar-sweetened beverage taxes paid by distributors. Click here to learn more about the community programs funded through Measure D, and their education campaign. 

The Berkeley Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Tax Fact Sheet can be found here

Evidence Briefing Recap: Addressing Structural Determinants of Youth Development

Cal-IHEA would like to thank Dr. Danielle DupuyProfessor Victor RiosDr. Erin KerrisonMarc PhilpartPolicyLink, the CA Legislative Black Caucus, the CA Latino Legislative Caucus, the Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color and every participant at our recent evidence briefing on structural determinants to youth development and healthy communities. We hope that the powerful presentations and bold policy ideas invite further conversation and action. For those in attendance, we appreciate you completing a brief survey. We also welcome Quick Strike consultation requests from state agencies, legislative members and committees, and advocacy organizations to consult with faculty researchers on these issues: 

If you were not able to attend the briefing, please check out the presentation slides and review the 2020 Policy Ideas from the Alliance of Boys and Men of Color!

Announcing the Cal-IHEA 2020 Health Equity Scholars!

Each year, the California Initiative for Health Equity & Action (Cal-IHEA) sponsors an undergraduate program for CSU and UC students with the goal of immersing diverse first generation undergraduates across the state in the health policy community. The programs provides mentorship, enrichment webinars, and allows for students across the UC and CSU systems to attend the Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP) Annual Conference from February 24-25th. The two day health policy conference in Sacramento exposes students to up and coming health policy perspectives. Scholars have the opportunity to attend workshops, network with speakers, and attend a reception where they get to network one-on-one with health care experts and professionals.

We invite researchers, health equity advocates, providers, and health care leaders to join our students at a Cal-IHEA reception during the Conference on February 24th from 3:30pm- 5:30pm. Please RSVP here!