Executive Health Administration

USC Policy Experts Address the Future of Healthcare

[fa icon="calendar'] May 2, 2017 5:31:00 PM / by EMHA Blog posted in Health Policy, Health Economics, Population Health

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As the debate over the future of healthcare in the U.S. continues to unfold in legislative corridors, the national media and street corner coffee shops across America, the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy hosted a timely and informative discussion featuring four faculty members of the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics: Dana Goldman, Neeraj Sood, Julie Zissimopoulos and Erin Trish.

The panelists said the complex issue, including the potential repeal or reform of the Affordable Care Act, will require difficult conversations involving economic and social concerns, and perhaps a fundamental change in defining health care.

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Air Pollution Worsens Diseases and Cognitive Function

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 21, 2016 9:15:00 AM / by Emily Gersema posted in Health Policy, Population Health

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Air pollution and neighborhood stress appear to harm the aging brain. A combination of stressors could mean more cognitive impairment for vulnerable older adults, USC researcher says.

A USC study will examine the relationship between social stressors and environmental pollution on cognition in older adults. (Photo/Shutterstock)

Even with key steps taken to decrease air pollution in recent decades, there are serious health effects connected to auto exhaust and other pollutants in the air we breathe, especially for older adults. Air pollution can worsen existing heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and more in older people, according to Jennifer Ailshire, assistant professor at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology. Her latest research, published online Nov. 14 in the journal Social Science and Medicine, indicates that living in a high-pollution environment can also contribute to an increased risk of cognitive problems.

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Increasing Inclusiveness in Healthcare Leadership

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 1, 2016 7:30:00 AM / by Anna Montgomery, MPA posted in Population Health, Inclusiveness

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Access and equity for minorities in healthcare higher education are necessary to provide the industry with qualified, diverse healthcare professionals. Strong access and equity programs in higher education healthcare administration programs provide a pipeline of diverse healthcare leaders.

Recent studies, including one conducted in 2016 by CAHME, show that graduation rates for racial/ethnic minority groups in graduate health administration programs are representative at 39 percent.

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Exploring Why Alzheimer’s Disease Affects Women More

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 21, 2016 6:30:00 PM / by Beth Newcomb posted in Population Health

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Why does Alzheimer’s disease affect more women than men? Supported by a new grant from the Alzheimer’s Association, a USC researcher explores a key Alzheimer’s gene and how it disproportionately impacts women.  Among the 5 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, nearly two-thirds are women. While the reason for this striking discrepancy isn’t yet known, proposed theories range from differences in health care usage and lifestyle factors to life span and other biological variations. USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Professor Christian Pike studies this disparity at the deepest level, examining key genes involved in Alzheimer’s and how their effects differ in males and females.

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Majority of Cancer in Los Angeles is Preventable

[fa icon="calendar'] Aug 19, 2016 7:30:20 AM / by Zen Vuong posted in Population Health

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USC’s latest cancer report card charts trends using data from 1.3 million diagnosed cases in Los Angeles

Prostate and lung cancer have been the No. 1 and 2 cancers among men. Stomach cancer, the third leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, has been on a steady decline among Koreans and Japanese. Black men had the highest overall rates of cancer. Thyroid cancer — which is relatively treatable — has been on the rise, and women are about three times more likely to contract it than men.

These are a few of the notable nuggets in the most recent Cancer in Los Angeles County: Trends by Race/Ethnicity 1976-2012, a book released on Aug. 15. The report card includes every cancer diagnosis in the region over the past 37 years — more than 1.3 million. With easy-to-read charts, the book divides L.A.’s population into 11 ethnic and racial groups to highlight the fact that cancer risk is a result of genetics, environment and behavior.

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Gains in Longevity Versus Quality of Life

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 22, 2016 9:00:05 AM / by Anna Montgomery, MPA posted in Health Policy, Population Health

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The demographics of the US are shifting. Columbia University’s Health and Aging Policy Fellows state: “In many ways, gerontology represents the future of health care . . . By 2030, 71 million Americans will be 65 and older. These individuals are at high risk for complex health problems, chronic illness, and disability, and they are, and will continue to be, the heaviest users of health care. Although estimates vary, today, older adults account for a substantial proportion of hospital days, ambulatory adult primary care visits, home care visits, and nursing home residents. Over the next 30 years, as the number of older Americans doubles, almost every medical specialty will have an increasingly older patient base. As a result, society is facing critical challenges regarding health and social services.” Aging populations raise specific concerns about the prevalence of disability, quality of life, public policy, and impact on healthcare.

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The Realities of Health Disparities

[fa icon="calendar'] Feb 26, 2016 12:32:12 PM / by Anna Montgomery, MPA posted in Health Policy, Population Health, Clinical Research

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“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane” Martin Luther King Jr., 1966.

While five decades have passed since Dr. King highlighted the need to address health disparities, many differences in outcomes have continued to grow. Dana Goldman, director of the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California has studied disparities. In a recent New York Times article he provided his expertise on the issue: 

Many researchers believe the gap in life spans from lower- to upper-income Americans started widening about 40 years ago, when income inequality began to grow. The broad adoption of medication for high blood pressure in the 1950s led to a major improvement for black men, erasing a big part of the gap with whites. . . Earlier in the 20th century, trends in life spans were of declining disparities, some experts say, because improvements in public health, such as the invention of the polio vaccine and improved sanitation, benefited rich and poor alike.

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Healthcare Stereotypes Can Make Patients Avoid Care

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 31, 2015 7:30:00 AM / by Beth Newcomb posted in Population Health

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A USC-led study indicates that health care professionals and hospitals should be sensitive to stereotypes that could otherwise lead some patients to avoid care.

Healthcare stereotype threats stem from common stereotypes about unhealthy lifestyle choices. (Photo/Carol Von Canon)

Warning: Stereotypes may be harmful to patients’ health.

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Cultural Context Imperative for Global Health Solutions

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 22, 2015 7:30:00 AM / by Susan Bell posted in Health Policy, Population Health

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                                                                                                                                                                   (Illustration by Richard Mia)

After a catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripped through Haiti in 2010, crews posted signs warning against drinking contaminated river water. But since most of the population could not read, the caution went largely unheeded. The well-intended crews lacked cultural understanding — a mistake that resulted in a devastating outbreak of cholera.

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