APA Planning for Public Health #2

August 20, 2013 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Mercado La Paloma
Community Meeting Room
3655 S. Grand Avenue 
Los Angeles, CA 90007

Free to the Public
CM Credits Available
RSVP to: planningforph@gmail.com

Do ‘food deserts’ actually exist? Is there a connection between areas lacking ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food and negative health outcomes?
The prevalence of so-called food deserts - the USDA estimates that 23.5 million people live in such areas - and their suggested link to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease have driven public policy, land use decisions, and grant-giving initiatives throughout the country, and quite prominently here in Los Angeles.
However, recent research has called into question the connection between fresh food access and obesity rates, and the very existence of food deserts themselves.
A panel of experts including Dr. Paul Simon, Director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Roland Sturm, Senior Economist at RAND, and Lark Galloway-Gilliam, Executive Director of Community Health Councils, will discuss L.A.’s diet-related health challenges, the latest research on food deserts, and the tools that planners and public health professionals are using to improve diets and health outcomes in the region’s lower-income communities .

The discussion will be moderated by Jonathan Nettler, Managing Editor at Planetizen.com
Dr. Paul Simon is the Director of the Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LAC DPH) and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the UCLA School of Public Health.  Dr. Simon received his MD from the University of Michigan School of Medicine and his MPH in Epidemiology from the UCLA School of Public Health.  He is board certified in pediatrics and preventive medicine. 
In his current position, he oversees the Tobacco Control and Prevention Program, Nutrition and Physical Activity Program, Cardiovascular and School Health Program, Policies for Livable Active Communities and Environments (PLACE) Program, Injury and Violence Prevention Program, and Office of Senior Health.  He also oversees a First 5 LA-funded early childhood obesity prevention project and a CDC-funded Community Transformation Grant addressing obesity, tobacco use, and chronic disease prevention.

Roland Sturm (Ph.D., Economics, Stanford University, 1991) is a Senior Economist at RAND and Professor of Policy Analysis at the Pardee Graduate School. He is the author of 150 scientific publications and has regularly testified on health and health care policy in Congress and state legislatures. Previous projects have studied how neighborhood characteristics affect lifestyles and health and their role in health disparities. His current research analyzes the costs and benefits of economic and regulatory approaches to prevent obesity, increase physical activity, and improve diets. Two projects evaluate how patient reward programs change the use of preventive services and whether providing a 25% discount program on healthy food purchases (involving 800 participating supermarkets and 200,000 families in South Africa) leads to a meaningful change in diets.
Lark Galloway-Gilliam is the Executive Director of Community Health Councils, a consumer-oriented health promotion and advocacy organization that focuses on increasing access to quality healthcare and improving the health of under-resourced communities.  Ms. Galloway-Gilliam has played an active role in the policy debate around expansion of healthcare coverage for children and families; national healthcare reform; health equity and healthcare quality improvement; environmental justice; and improving the built environment in under-served communities.  Her work challenges consumers and policymakers alike to examine their assumptions, value and learn from each other, and explore alternative models for eliminating disparities and the chronic conditions confronting communities.
Ms. Galloway-Gilliam received her undergraduate education at UCLA and a Masters in Public Administration at USC. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications including the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of General Internal Medicine.  She has co-authored over a dozen professional reports on transforming the urban food desert, bridging the health divide for under-served communities, and improving California’s Medi-Cal system.  Lark serves on a number of national and statewide coalitions and boards including the Kaiser Arbitration Board and the California Budget Project.