EOH Department News

Praekunatham promoted to chief of Epidemiology and Public Health Emergency Response

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Hirunwut Praekunatham (EOH, '18) was recently promoted to chief of the Epidemiology and Public Health Emergency Response unit under the new Division of Occupational and Environmental Diseases in Thailand. Praekunatham's responsibilities include surveillance of environmental/occupational diseases at the national level and field work in response to emergencies or events related to chemical and radioactive substances.  

EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe.

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PITT MAGAZINE - Lauren Chubb, DrPH, MPH (EOH ’16, ’13) occasionally dons a hard hat to see the results of her work in the lab. Her team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Mining Program has developed software to analyze respirable dust samples in just a few minutes, rather than days. And time is of the essence:  The sooner we detect airborne disease-causing particles, the better the mines can protect their workers' he... 

Stacy finds correlation between obesity in mothers, childhood cancer risk in children

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SPECIALTY PHARMACY TIMES - A new studying has found a correlation between children born to pre-pregnancy body-mass index (BMI) and the likelihood of developing childhood cancer, even after correcting for known risk factors, such as newborn size and maternal age. "My hope is that this study can be, in a way, empowering and also motivating for weight loss," said lead author Shaina Stacy (EOH '15 '12).   

Hill, Fabisiak talk to KDKA radio about asthma and the Clairton Coke Works

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KDKA RADIO – The Clairton Coke Works is one of the biggest emitters of air pollutants in the area and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence about poor health in that area. EOH’s Jim Fabisiak and Brandy Hill (EOH ‘21) talk about their work and the importance of scientific investigation learning about asthma patients in the county, following hot spots of asthma, and preliminarily finding about the Mon Valley’s lung health.   

Hill on asthma, how residents grapple with life in the shadows of U.S. Steel's Clairton Plant

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PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - A study of asthma patients found those living within 10 miles of the plant also reported experiencing more frequent attacks in the weeks immediately following the fire, along with the need to increase medication use, like an inhaler, said Brandy Hill (EOH '21).   

Fabisiak comments on Clairton air quality, an ongoing concern

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PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE REVIEW - A fire at the U.S. Steel Clairton Plant knocked pollution controls offline and heightened concerns about pollution. Allegheny County ranks in the top 2% for cancer risk from about 200 potentially cancer-causing pollutants identified by the EPA, according to a 2013 Pitt Public Health report. "That risk is going to be much more elevated the closer you are to those point sources," said EOH's Jim Fabisiak.   

Goldstein among experts wary of EPA rush to revise carcinogen testing

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SCIENCE - The EPA plans to quickly revap its guidelines for evaluating whether environmental contaminants can cause cancer or other ailments, a move Trump administration critics fear is part of a broader effort to weaken the basis for regulating a wide range of pollutants. "The problem is, there's no way it can be done in any serious way," said EOH's Bernard Goldstein, dean emeritus. "The danger is you'll just get it wrong and for 15 years, you'... 

Beyond Clairton: Are we ready to really improve Pittsburgh's air? Wenzel comments.

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NEXT PITTSBURGH - While U.S. Steel has recently completed repairs and pledged to spend $1 billion to upgrade facilities, public outrage over violations hasn't been quieted. "I think the economic factors have outweighed the health factors," says EOH's Sally Wenzel. "I think that has been an issue with the Pittsburgh area for a while."   

2019 Celebration of Student Awards

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On April 27, 2019, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.   

Gibb: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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Now president of Gibb Epidemiology Consulting, Herman Gibb (EOH ’74) has more than 35 years of experience in health risk assessment and has provided expert consultation to a variety of international and national clients. He chairs the World Health Organization (WHO) Foodborne Epidemiology Reference Group Chemical Task Force and was a member of the Science Advisory Committee of the U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries and Presidential Advisor... 

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