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PFAS expert Savitz interviewed by Detroit Public TV

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GREAT LAKES NOW - Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s office declared two townships in Kalamazoo County a state of emergency due to elevated levels of the chemicals called “PFAS.” The amount is 20 times what the EPA says is unsafe. To find out more about PFAS contamination and what it can do to water and to the human body, Great Lakes Now talked with PFAS expert DAVID SAVITZ (EPI '82).  

Haldeman founded Scent with Love, recycles wedding flowers into special deliveries

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THE INCLINE - Scent with Love, the all-volunteer organization takes donated flowers from weddings and other events and brings them to places like the Children’s Home in Bloomfield, Bethlehem Haven in Bluff, and Family House in Oakland and Shadyside. The organization was founded by SHANNON HALDEMAN (HPM '20), who knows that walking in to a new hospital can be intimidating for some patients and families. The flowers are a welcome addition.   

As affordable housing crisis grows, HUD sits on the sidelines

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NEW YORK TIMES - The country is in the grips of an escalating housing affordability crisis. Millions of low-income Americans are paying 70 percent or more of their incomes for shelter, while rents continue to rise and construction of affordable rental apartments lags far behind the need. Ben Carson has privately told aides that he views the shortage of affordable housing as regrettable, but as essentially a local problem.  

Pittsburgh task force takes on issue of landlords turning away renters with convictions

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PUBLIC SOURCE - As housing prices and rents rise in the Pittsburgh region, residents with convictions are often denied housing they can afford. Discrimination against people who have been incarcerated or have any marks on their rap sheet is one of several barriers the region’s fair housing task force is trying to reduce through a series of 12 policy recommendations being introduced this summer for public comment.  

Why Boston Medical Center is investing in housing

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WBUR - "It makes me feel comfortable about myself," says Chuck Gyukeri, "that I'm able to come in and out of my own home. And I’m getting my health issues together. "Gyukeri's apartment is in one of four brownstones on Waldeck Street — 35 units that came close to losing their affordable status.   

The state of the nation's housing 2018

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HOW HOUSING MATTERS - The national homeownership rate rose in 2017 for the first time in 13 years. Other housing trends include enduring constraints on the single-family market, racial disparities in neighborhood poverty levels, lagging household growth, trade-offs between housing, etc.   

Study: 40 percent of Pa. households struggle to make ends meet

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - According to a United Way study, more than 40 percent of Pennsylvania households can’t afford basic household necessities. While 12.3 percent fit the government’s definition of poverty, an additional 29.4 percent fall into the ALICE category: people who clear the poverty line but still struggle to afford expenses like rent, child care, medical expenses, transportation, and a cell phone.  

Why eviction rates in Hampton Roads are among the worst in the United States

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THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT - Hampton Roads is among the worst areas in the nation for evictions of rental tenants according to new data on court-ordered evictions. All of the region’s cities in 2016 saw judges order tenants out of their homes at least three times the average national rate.   

First-ever evictions database shows: 'We're in the middle of a housing crisis'

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NPR - For many poor families in America, eviction is a real and ongoing threat. Sociologist Matthew Desmond, author of this year's One Book, One Community selection, estimates that 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 — a rate of four every minute. "Eviction isn't just a condition of poverty; it's a cause of poverty," Desmond says. "Eviction is a direct cause of homelessness, but it also is a cause of residential instability, sch... 

Pittsburgh's eviction rates are falling, but the data is likely flawed

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WESA-FM - The rate of Pittsburgh renters facing eviction judgments is lower than state and national averages. One in 100 Pittsburgh renters were subject to evictions but Jay Dworin, executive director of Pittsburgh's Fair Housing Partnership, said that’s not the full picture of evictions. Tenants often don’t have enough legal help or don’t understand the eviction process, he said, so they never even appear before a magistrate.  

In 83 million eviction records, a sweeping and intimate new look at housing in America

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NEW YORK TIMES - Nearly one million American households faced eviction in 2016, according to the data complied by a team lead by Matthew Desmond, author of this year's One Book, One Community selection. “An eviction isn’t one problem. It’s like 12 problems," said Amy Woolard, a lawyer and policy coordinator.  

Evicted author Matthew Desmond part of Pittsburgh housing crisis discussion

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NEXT PITTSBURGH - Desmond, a social science professor at Harvard University, co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project, and author of this year's One Book, One Community selection, spoke in front of a crowd of about 50 people at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, where he served as the guest speaker during a SWPA Housing Alliance luncheon. Community organizers, landlords, tenants and private developers concerned with the growing housing cris... 

Roberts on new Trump administration policy that could hurt PA's health insurance marketplace

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WESA-FM - A new health insurance rule from the Trump administration is being criticized by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. The policy would jeopardize those who buy health insurance on the individual market. "If only sick people enter the individual market place, premiums become completely unaffordable," said HPM's ERIC ROBERTS.    

Indiana steel mill emits 18,000 pounds of lead a year, Fabisiak comments

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CHICAGO TRIBUNE - The ArcelorMittal steel mill at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor emitted 173,000 pounds of benzene during 2016, making it the nation’s largest industrial source of a volatile chemical known to cause leukemia. More could be on the way but regulators can't explain where the steel mill's pollution ends up. “It’s a constant fight,” said EOH's JAMES FABISIAK.   

Dara Mendez, Social Context and Pregnancy Outcomes

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With research interests that explore the role of social context in determining outcomes related to pregnancy, birth, and women's health, EPI's MENDEZ applies frameworks and approaches focused on the social determinants of health equity and health disparities. She employs novel methods to measure and understand neighborhood environments, various forms of racism, and social stress.   

Mary Hawk, Co-Founder of Open Door Pittsburgh

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HAWK (BCHS '12) is a founding member of this local housing program that uses harm reduction and housing-first approaches to engage marginalized people living with HIV/AIDS in clinical care. Hawk published the first study to use HIV viral load to measure the impact of the housing-first model of care on homeless people living with HIV/AIDS and she was awarded the Catherine Cartier Ulrich Memorial Award for Public Health Service to the Undeserved w... 

Robin Leaf and Marnie Bertolet complete the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program

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Congratulations to Student Affairs' ROBIN LEAF and EPI's MARNIE BERTOLET, EPI professor, for completing the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program (DICP) and for being recognized at the recent Graduation Ceremony. DICP is designed to reinforce the University’s core values of diversity and inclusion through a series of six workshops open to all faculty and staff.   

New Vice Chancellor named as Pitt marks another record-breaking year in innovation

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PITTWIRE - Under the leadership of EVAN FACHER (HUGEN '97), Pitt innovators started a record 23 new companies in FY18. Facher now moves into the new position of vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship. “Pitt faculty and students are constantly pushing the boundaries of discovery across multiple disciplines," says Facher. “I am grateful for the opportunity to build on the positive momentum that has been established."  

Gellad comments on potential conflicts of interests on Medicaid drug committees

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NPR - The governor of Arizona removed a doctor from the state's Medicaid drug committee and issued an executive order requiring disclosure of financial conflicts in response to a joint investigation by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity Investigation. Walid Gellad, HPM professor, says disclosing financial ties should be standard practice, especially for people serving on decision-making boards. "At least they can be out in the open."   

Brent comments on the potential affect of suicide details reported by the media

REUTERS - How the media reports on suicides may impact whether others decide to kill themselves in the days following the original death, a study suggests. Stories can have a positive effect if they shed light on the role of mental health issues, according to EPI's DAVID BRENT.   

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YNGBLKPGH. What does Pittsburgh mean to 140 young black professionals? 

YNGBLKPGH. What does Pittsburgh mean to 140 young black professionals?

PITTWIRE -   Pitt alum Brian Burley (BUS ’13G) continues to highlight young black leaders and create community ties through his www.YngBlkPgh.com site. This social enterprise started with his book “YNGBLKPGH” (Young Black Pittsburgh) which features more than 140 African-American professionals und... (07/23/2018)
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BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use 

BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use

PITTWIRE - Doctoral alumna CHELSEA PALLATINO (BCHS ’17) has been awarded the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Award by the University Center for Social and Urban Research to support her pilot research project entitled “Co-occurring Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use: Understanding B... (07/19/2018)
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Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education 

Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

PITTWIRE - The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute was recognized for its commitment to building programs that accelerate innovations from the laboratory and research into commercialization at the recent Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Alumni EVA... (07/02/2018)


Featuring the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Review theFriday Letter submission guidelines then share your story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 
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Buchanich Finds 70K Opioid-Related Deaths Likely Went Unreported 

Buchanich Finds 70K Opioid-Related Deaths Likely Went Unreported

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by Pitt Public Health. “Proper allocation of resources for the opioid e... (07/19/2018)
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Pittsburgh finds overdose risk quintuples with opioid and Benzodiazepine use 

Pittsburgh finds overdose risk quintuples with opioid and Benzodiazepine use

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - In the first 90 days of concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine use, the risk of opioid-related overdose increases five-fold compared to opioid-only use among Medicare recipients. "Having multiple prescribers who are not in communication increases the risk for overdose,” says HPM... (07/02/2018)
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Pitt Public Health finds ‘good cholesterol’ may not always be good for postmenopausal women 

Pitt Public Health finds ‘good cholesterol’ may not always be good for postmenopausal women

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as ‘good cholesterol.' “The results of our study are particularly interesting to both the public and clinicians because total HDL cholesterol is still us... (06/25/2018)
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