May 11, 2001

$2.99 Million Grant From The California Endowment Completes Funding for Unprecedented California Health Interview Survey

A $2,99 million grant from The California Endowment, the state's largest health foundation, completes the funding for the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), an unprecedented assessment of the health needs of the state's ethnically and geographically diverse population.

A collaboration of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the California Department of Health Services and the Public Health Institute, CHIS will survey 55,000 households about their health, their needs for health care and their access to health services. Researchers expect to release the first findings early next year.

The findings will help local health departments, community health centers, hospitals, health plans, providers, state and tribal health agencies, county boards of supervisors, community-based organizations, advocacy groups, and health researchers better meet the state's health-care needs.

CHIS will operate in two-year cycles, with data collected every second year. The estimated cost for the first cycle is approximately $11.6 million, including start-up, sample design, questionnaire development, cultural and linguistic adaptation, data collection by a survey contractor, analysis, and dissemination of data and information.

The new California Endowment grant will support enhanced data collection from samples of rural communities, small counties and some racial/ethnic populations in California. It will also fund a diverse set of dissemination activities for the CHIS data, including special reports, policy briefs and journal articles as well as an online data query system and electronic public-use files. These activities will roll-out in early 2002. The California Endowment also funded preliminary planning for CHIS. The California Department of Health Services, the National Center Institute, the California Children and Families Commission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Indian Health Service have provided the balance of funding needed for the first cycle.

"We are pleased to provide funding for this survey that will provide The Endowment with important feedback to better target our grant-making activities in the areas of health care access and delivery of care for the underserved, multicultural communities of California," said Dr. Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of The California Endowment.

CHIS data can be used to assess and monitor, both statewide and locally, the health of California's adults, adolescents and children; health insurance coverage and access to preventive and other health services; and eligibility for and participation in Medi-Cal and the Healthy Families Program. In addition, data collected from large samples of Latinos, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, and American Indians/Alaska Natives will provide a comprehensive assessment of the health-care needs of California's ethnically diverse population.

"The California Endowment grant will enable us to disseminate the CHIS results to a wide audience and to make CHIS data available to many constituencies in ways that meet their needs for policy development and service planning," said E. Richard Brown, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and a professor in the UCLA School of Public Health.

CHIS is one of the nation's largest health surveys and will generate information about the population's health that has never before been available at the local level or for California's widely diverse ethnic communities.

"CHIS is truly a remarkable effort. The information provided by this survey will allow us to better assess the health needs of California's residents and ultimately provide better services to address the now poorly defined unmet needs," said Dr. Linda Rosenstock, dean of the UCLA School of Public Health.

The Center for Health Policy Research, jointly sponsored by the UCLA School of Public Health and the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research, conducts research on national, state and local health policy issues; provides public service to policymakers and community leaders; and offers educational opportunities for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows.

The UCLA School of Public Health is dedicated to enhancing the public's health by conducting innovative research, educating future leaders and health professionals, translating research into policy and practice, and serving the communities of the nation and the world.

The California Endowment, the state's largest health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment has regional offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment makes grants to organizations and institutions that directly benefit the health and well-being of the people of California.

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