The California Department of Public Health in the 1940s

As CDPH goes through the accreditation process, it is interesting to examine historical efforts at assessing the Department’s efforts.

Per a 1943 American Public Health Association study of the department, “The California State Department of Public Health is the second oldest in the country, having been established on April 15, 1870, only twenty years after the establishment of its State government.” (p. 16) The report made a number of major recommendations to improve the department.

In 1948, another American Public Health Association report was published called “A Study of the California State Department of Public Health: The California Department of Public Health in 1947-1948.”

The 1948 study characterized the 1943 report by saying, “In 1943 … the Department of Public Health could not be considered a good state department of health. The organization was loose and ill adapted to effective administration … Program planning was segmented and specialized and lacked coordination. Salaries of professional personnel were low.”

Regarding the state of affairs in 1948, the study found that, “Today the California Department of Public Health will rank with the best in the nation.” (p. 4) The 89-page report goes on to describe important achievements, as well as major unmet needs. A table of the CDPH budget is presented, with total 1947-48 estimated expenditures of about $8.8 million and $1.9 million for the 1942-43 budget.

If you wish to look at the 1943 or 1948 report, please make a Document Delivery request or request this via your web portal.

1. A study of the California State Department of Public Health; summary and major recommendations. Made by the American Public Health Association, 1943. n.p., 1943.
Call number: RA27.K1 A5 1943

2. A study of the California State Department of Public Health. Made by the American Public Health Association. n.p., 1948.
Call number: RA27.K1 A5 1948

There is also a brief history of the department available:

History of the organizational development of the California State Department of Public Health. Calif. : s.n., between 1977 and 1978.
Call number: RA27 .H57 1977a

Wednesday, August 14 Richmond Instruction: Orientation to Public Health Library Services

Were you aware:

* You can have journal articles, technical reports, standards, book chapters, and more, from nearly any source, delivered to you electronically?

* You can have books from the University of California, Berkeley Library delivered to your office?

* CDPH staff has subscription access to dozens of electronic journals and books from your desktop and from off-campus?

* Librarians at the Public Health Library, who have access to hundreds of databases, indexes, and other resources, will research nearly any work-related topic for you, and post relevant citations to your own web portal?

* The library has a secure web portal where you can request library services, track your document delivery requests, view your literature search results, and more?

If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then please come to the Sheldon Margen Public Health Library’s Orientation to Public Health Library Services class! This orientation session will discuss the library services available to CDPH staff.

Topics covered will include:
1. Summary of Services to CDPH
2. How to Access Public Health Library Services
3. Requesting Articles, Books, etc.
4. An Introduction to Full Text Electronic Journals and Books
5. Public Health Library web pages for CDPH

Class: Orientation to Public Health Library Services class
When: Wednesday, August 14, 2013, 10-11 am
Where: CDPH Richmond Campus, Building C, Room 140

Class Objective:
To introduce CDPH staff to the library and information services available to you. Use of the library services will help you identify and obtain the information needed to complete your work in a timely fashion.

RSVP by Monday, August 12, 2013 to Michael Sholinbeck at or (510) 642-2510.

These training sessions are free to CDPH employees. Please obtain your supervisor’s approval to attend.

* New: A certificate of completion will be available at the end of class for participants.

Thursday, August 29 Sacramento Instruction: PubMed Advanced Hands-On

* Do you currently use PubMed and want to build on your skills?

* Want to learn more about finding and using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)?

* Do you currently use MeSH subject headings, but would like to learn how to use them effectively?

* Want to learn how to use “evidence-based medicine” filters, which are useful for both clinical medicine and epidemiology?

* Want to learn about using PubMed’s Topic-Specific Queries, such as Comparative Effectiveness, Healthy People 2020, Health Disparities, and more?

* Need to know if a specific journal is indexed in PubMed?

* Interested in other advanced features of PubMed?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, then please come to the Sheldon Margen Public Health Library’s PubMed Advanced Hands-On class!

Topics covered will include:

1. More about MeSH
2. Using MeSH Subheadings effectively
3. Clinical Queries
4. Topic-Specific Queries
5. Journals in NCBI Databases
6. Other Advanced PubMed features

Class: PubMed Advanced Hands-On
When: Thursday, August 29, 2013, 10:30-12 pm
Where: CDPH Sacramento Campus, 1500 Capitol Ave,
Enterprise Computer Training Room 72.169
(Turn left as you enter the building, and
proceed through the double doors)

Class Objective:
This class will teach you how to create more focused searches using MeSH and MeSH subheadings and quickly find “evidence-based medicine” utilizing PubMed’s pre-defined “evidence-based” queries.

It is highly recommended, but not required, that you have already taken the PubMed Basics class, or already have a basic understanding of and ability to search PubMed. This class will not cover what was covered in the PubMed Basics class.

If you wish to attend, please RSVP by Monday, Aug. 26th to Michael Sholinbeck at or (510) 642-2510.

Please note: This class is limited to 12 participants. A waiting list will be created, if necessary, for an additional class.

Supervisors: Please encourage your staff to attend if appropriate.

* New: A certificate of completion will be available at the end of class for participants.

New Books!

The Public Health Library has the following new books available:

1. Writing health communication : an evidence-based guide. By Charles Abraham and Marieke Kools.
London: SAGE, 2012.
Call number: R119 .W78 2012.

2. Governing health: the politics of health policy, 4th ed.
By William G Weissert and Carol S Weissert. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins
University Press, 2012.
Call number: RA395.A3 W45 2012.

3. Environmental health ethics. By David B Resnik. Cambridge; New York:
Cambridge University Press, 2012.
Call number: RA566 .R47 2012.

4. Global health: an introduction to current and future trends.
By Kevin McCracken and David R Phillips. Abingdon, Oxon; New York:
Routledge, 2012.
Call number: RA441 .M425 2012.

5. Oppression: a social determinant of health. By Elizabeth Anne McGibbon.
Winnipeg: Fernwood, 2012.
Call number: RA418 .O677 2012.

6. Caring for our children: national health and safety performance
standards: guidelines for early care and education programs.
By American Public Health Association; American Academy of Pediatrics;
National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care (U.S.);
Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Elk Grove Village, IL:
American Academy of Pediatrics, 2011.
Call number: HQ778.63 .C3 2011.

Please note that these books are only a small selection of
what is newly available. If you are interested in checking
out any book(s), submit a request using our online form
and we will mail the book(s) to you.

You may also log into your web portal account
to request book(s).

If you do not currently possess a UC Berkeley library card,
you will need to apply for one before we can check out a book to you.

Free Webinars from the APHA

The APHA, as a part of its advocacy and policy efforts, is hosting a series of free webinars on topics such as environmental public health tracking, the Affordable Care Act implementation, beating the heat, and climate change, among others. Most past webinars have slides and a recording available.

Want to learn how state and local agencies can monitor and provide safe community water? Need to learn more about how the most common contaminants affect different areas? Then you might want to attend: Tracking Webinar Series- Part III: How Environmental Public Health Tracking Assists in Providing Safe Community Water to be held Thursday, August 8, 1:00-2:15 p.m. EDT.

This is the third of a three-part series of Environmental Public Health Tracking Program webinars co-sponsored by the American Public Health Association, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and the National Association of County and City Health Officials. CDC funds health departments in 23 states and 1 city to build and implement local tracking networks. These state and local data systems feed into the national Tracking Network. CDPH’s Environmental Health Tracking Program is funded by this program.

Register for this webinar or get more information here.

Berkeley Lab Confirms Thirdhand Smoke Causes DNA Damage

The first study to demonstrate that thirdhand smoke causes significant genetic damage in human cells has just been released. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers’ paper titled “Thirdhand smoke causes DNA damage in human cells” was published in the journal Mutagenesis.

Thirdhand smoke is the residue that lingers on virtually all surfaces long after the cigarette has been extinguished. This study found that chronic exposure is more toxic than short-term exposure. It also found that residual nicotine can react with ozone and nitrous acid to form carcinogenic tobacco-specific nitrosamines and ultrafine particles which can carry harmful chemicals and pass through human tissue. Exposure can occur through inhalation, ingestion or skin contact.

It is the first major study of disease-related mechanisms to come out of the California Consortium on the Health Effects of Thirdhand Smoke, established two years ago.

Read more about it online here.

Or request the study through our Document Delivery Service.

CDC Public Health Law News

Trying to keep up with changes in public health law? If so, you might want to explore this free online newsletter. The CDC Public Health Law News is published the third Thursday of each month except holidays, with special issues posted when needed.

The July 2013 edition includes a story on the health insuranc marketplace, a domestic and sexual violence screening toolkit, an interview with Ellen Lawton, Co-Principal Investigator, National Center for Medical-Legal Partnerships at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, and The Fifty Nifty United States?Public health law news from every state.

You can subscribe to have it delivered right to your email account.