Linking Settlement Funds to Community Needs


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Community groups and government agencies working on a range of public health issues have received funding from litigation settlements managed by the Public Health Trust. Most are existing programs that expanded their work with Public Health Trust funds; others were new organizations created by seed money from the Public Health Trust.

Prescriber Education on Drugs and Drug Marketing

PHT developed a grants program focused on improving the prescribing practices of health professionals through evidence-based educational programs. Grants were made to the American Medical Association and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care to develop, implement and evaluate innovative educational programs for medical students, residents and physicians that assist them in evaluating information on the drugs and making evidence-based, cost effective prescribing decisions.

Exercise and Nutrition

PHT directed funds from the settlement of an illegal medical device case focused on "Ab Belt" Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) devices to the diabetes and nutrition programs of Community Clinic Ole. Clinic Ole provides primary and preventive health care to the medically underserved in Napa County.

Lead Poisoning Prevention

Funds from the Lead in Antacid Supplements settlement supported The Western Center on Law & Poverty's Healthy Homes Initiative. This program provides education to families about the importance of screening low-income children for lead poisoning and preventing poisoning from lead-based paint in the home.

Nutritional and Dietary Supplements

In memory of Sheldon Margen, M.D., Professor Emeritus of the School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, a grant was made to provide scholarships for students in the Public Health Nutrition Program to research, prepare and or/promulgate articles for medical, professional and/or consumer publications discussing the role of Probiotics in health maintenance. This grant was made possible by funds from the Probiotics as Nutritional or Dietary Supplements settlement.

Access to Prescription Drugs

Settlement funds from an antitrust case against 25 major pharmaceutical manufacturers initiated the Medicine for People in Need (Medpin) Project to distribute $171 million of free drugs to California clinics and hospitals. By leveraging settlement funds, Medpin has added multiple funding sources to become the leading California advocacy and training program on access to pharmaceuticals.

Tobacco Control

The Tobacco-Free Events Project (TFEP) combined Public Health Trust funds from three cases against smokeless tobacco manufacturers. TFEP coordinates a statewide campaign to eliminate chew tobacco sponsorship at California rodeos and related events. See the Buck Tobacco Sponsorship website for more information.

Asthma Prevention

PHT funded the launch of the Regional Asthma Management and Prevention Initiative (RAMP), which later obtained more than $1.35 million from other sources to provide data, educational materials, grant writing, technical support, policy advocacy, and regional networking services to community-based organizations and local health departments. This grant was made possible by the Carbon Monoxide in Parking Garages settlement.

Read a full summary of settlements managed by the Public Health Trust.

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