UCLA Center for Health Policy Research Receives Major Grant for Statewide Health Survey

Supporting an essential tool for tracking the health of California's diverse population, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently awarded two grants totaling nearly $1.5 million to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research for the 2007 California Health Interview Survey. The grants will fund key sections of the statewide telephone survey related to childhood obesity and subethnic populations. Moreover, these grants, together with other funding, will bolster the value of this leading health resource that collects essential information from thousands of California households on a wide variety of health topics, such as access to medical care, health insurance, chronic illnesses, children's health, health-related behaviors, housing and demographics. Policymakers, health advocates, providers, researchers and many others look to the survey as the most reliable source of ongoing data on the health status of California adults, adolescents and children. "The California Health Interview Survey will help us identify the many factors contributing to childhood obesity and help us target our solutions so that we can have the greatest impact on behalf of children and adolescents," said Laura Leviton, senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. A grant of more than $1.2 million will support sections of the 2007 survey that collect data related to childhood obesity, information that will help identify trends and examine the effects of factors such as social and environmental conditions, eating habits, and physical activity. This information will be of great use to those working to combat childhood obesity through the development of new policies and environments that promote healthy eating and physical activity. A second grant of more than $220,000 will support a section of the 2007 survey that collects information about how the ongoing acculturation of California's subethnic groups and immigrants affects their quality of care, health status, chronic disease and chronic conditions. With these new grants, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has contributed more than $4.5 million to the survey and the Center for Health Policy Research. The foundation's mission is to improve health and health care for all Americans by assuring access to quality health care at reasonable cost; improving the quality of care and support for people with chronic health conditions; promoting healthy communities and lifestyles; and reducing the personal, economic and social harm caused by substance abuse. "We are pleased that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has recognized that the California Health Interview Survey is a vital resource for people throughout the nation working to improve the health of all children," said E. Richard Brown, director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and a professor in the UCLA School of Public Health. Conducted every two years, California Health Interview Survey is a collaborative effort of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the California Department of Health Services and the Public Health Institute. Initial data and results from this survey will be available beginning in mid-2008. Other supporters of the 2007 survey include the California Department of Health Services, the National Cancer Institute, The California Endowment, the Blue Shield of California Foundation, First 5 California, L.A. Care Health Plan and others. The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research was established in 1994 and is one of the nation's leading health policy research centers. It is also the premier source of key health policy information for California. The center is based in the UCLA School of Public Health and is affiliated with the UCLA School of Public Affairs. -UCLA- GF204