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Sally E. Wenzel appointed chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health

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SALLY E. WENZEL will take over as chair of the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health starting May 1, 2018. As chair, Wenzel will extend her work on airway disease to build a research program that spans clinical, bench, and environmental exposure science, amplifying the exceptional strengths already present in the department.  

Celebrate 70: The Salk legacy (video)

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“[Jonas Salk] had no idea what was going to come out of this experiment. He was just terrified that it wasn’t going to turn out to work, but it did,” said Peter Salk of his father's early tests of the first polio vaccines. Jonas Salk developed the first successful polio vaccine while working at Pitt. PETER SALK give his personal account of the polio vaccine development and talked about his father's other research and the 21st century work to mov... 

Celebrate 70: Global health impact (video)

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Faculty and alumni spoke on a panel to highlight the public health impact on global communities, including immigration crises, planetary health, climate change, and the importance of health systems. KELLY SALDANA (BCHS ’01) talked about creating resiliency and figuring out what that means both at the individual level and the systems level to help lessen negative effects of climate change.  

Celebrate 70: The opioid crisis (video)

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Experts from across public health disciplines discuss opioid epidemic research, intervention strategies, challenges, and steps for the future. “What we have to start to ask is what is it as a culture that we think is the most important part of what drives us, and that shouldn’t be bottom line, it should be quality of life, ” says JAN PRINGLE (EPI ’86) about the cultural shift on attitudes towards drug use.   

70th Anniversary celebration keynote (video)

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Dean DONALD BURKE talks about the history of Pitt Public Health and looks to a future full of continued success of our alumni and faculty. DAVID SATCHER (HON '01), 16th United States Surgeon General, presents the keynote, "Informing and Influencing Public Health Policy and Practice." Satcher is also the founding director and senior advisor for the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine.   

HuGen alumna's creation aims to reduce radiation exposure from stress tests

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PITTWIRE - Doctoral alumna MALIHA ZAHID ( HUGEN  '09) aims to reduce the amount of radiation that patients are exposed to when undergoing diagnostic imaging. Her creation, to be used during cardiac stress tests, was a previous Pitt PInCh winner.  

Origins of Pitt Public Health's iconic "Cantini Man" sculpture, according to King Friday (VIDEO)

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In charming footage from an early episode of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," famed Pittsburgh muralist and sculptor, Virgil Cantini shares the maquette for his scientific "Man" sculpture and explains his vision for the work. The angular, larger-than-life metallic figure has adorned the Fifth Avenue facade of the school for the last half century, showing Man ever-reaching for the expansion of knowledge. (Excerpt courtesy of The Fred Rogers Company... 

Celebrate 70: Local impact panel (Video)

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“It’s not about doing the cool work. It’s about doing the work that is necessary for that community,” says RUTH MODZELEWSKI (HUGEN '96) in a discussion featuring faculty and alumni about their impact on local communities, including collaboration between the private and public sector, the value of community based participatory research, empowering communities with early access to data, and acknowledging the “invisible” Latino community in Pittsbu... 

Felter and Baumann receive Pitt's Innovation in Education Award

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Congrats to BCHS's ELIZABETH FELTER and, SARA BAUMANN (BCHS '19), who were awarded a 2018 Pitt Innovation in Education Award for their proposal “Teaching Video for Health Promotion.” They plan on offering a new class, which the funds will support, in the fall of 2018. Students will focus on script writing and and basic video editing techniques through hands-on, interactive in-class activities.   

Pitt Moves! A student-led initiative to eliminate sedentarism for Pitt's students

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The Center for Health Equity (CHE) has created Pitt Moves, which organized brief student-led exercise times during a class break in approximately 10 classes this term. With support from Pitt’s HealthyU initiative, this student-directed and -centered physical activity break project aims to create a culture of non-sedentarism at Pitt Public Health. The project was born in a rather “serendipitous way,” says PATRICIA DOCUMET of BCHS.  

Iron lung used to treat polio patients displayed at Pitt Public Health

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PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW - An iron lung machine will be on display at Pitt Public Health to honor polio pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk, who created the polio vaccine in 1955. The vaccine, tested in Pittsburgh school children, is considered one of medicine's most significant medical breakthroughs. “It's a reminder of the advances we have made in public health,” said Dr. Donald Burke, dean of Pitt's graduate school of public health.  

Pitt's 'new' iron lung is the symbol of the Salk achievement there

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The tubular yellow artifact placed on display in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health lobby Tuesday was an unfamiliar oddity to the many millennials walking by it, but 73-year-old Jael Greenleaf of Squirrel Hill knows it well. “I am claustrophobic to this day,” said Ms. Greenleaf, who spent months as a 5-year-old in one of the life-saving iron lungs used to assist the breathing of polio victims ... 

Celedon tells working parents, take a deep breath: preschool, daycare do not raise asthma risk

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UCSF NEWS - A study that involved combing through more than 50 years of data to assess the link between asthma and daycare and preschool attendance may provide welcome reassurance to working parents. Early child care does not boost children’s risk for developing this common respiratory disease, according to the study led by researchers including JUAN CELEDON, EPI and HUGEN professor.   

Nimgaonkar's research sheds light on the risks and causes of schizophrenia

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WKSU-FM - No one knows what causes schizophrenia. It’s a devastating mental disorder that affects more than 3 million Americans. And while most people with schizophrenia can be treated, many don’t respond to medications. New research may find ways to help them. HUGEN’s VISHWAJIT NIMGAONKAR heads a team of researchers that’s looking at the genetic underpinnings of schizophrenia. 

Would Americans accept putting health care on a budget?

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NEW YORK TIMES - The intuitive appeal of such a system is growing, and it’s getting a test in Maryland. However, capping hospital spending raises concerns about harming quality and access. Hospital executives and patient advocates might strongly resist spending constraints. A study by HPM's ERIC ROBERTS found inconsistent evidence that changes in hospital use in Maryland could be attributed to global budgeting.  

Goldstein on memories of the EPA’s most tumultuous era. But there’s a key difference now

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THE WASHINGTON POST - Observers of both the Reagan administration and the current one say there are several reasons to think Pruitt may not share Gorsuch’s fate. Reagan appears to have made a calculation that he needed to tack to the political center on the environment later in his first term, and so replaced Gorsuch. But Trump seems more inclined to double down on deregulation, said EOH's BERNARD GOLDSTEIN.  

Parker praises Personal Genetics Education Project

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GENOME - "The project [tries to] present that there's a blending of genetics and environmental factors responsible for most anything we care about," HUGEN'S LISA PARKER says of the fact that the project aims to see a broader picture of how genes and environment can interact.   

Pitt Public Health hosts symposium on mixed legacy of founding dean Thomas Parran

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In late March the school hosted a symposium examining Parran's mixed legacy from multiple perspectives. The panel discussion sought to compliment to the official review committee which is considering whether the name "Parran Hall" is consistent with the University's mission.  

Catov among scientists researching heart disease link to pre-eclampsia

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - While her baby is still a toddler, a woman who had pre-eclampsia during her pregnancy might already be on the path to heart disease and not getting the care she needs. EPI's Janet Catov is among those researchers examining what pregnancy-related signals identify women at the highest risk of future cardiovascular disease. Helping a woman at that early point, with interventions that can reverse or treat risk factors, shou... 

Pitt Public Health partners with PA and the Aetna Foundation on Opioid Data Dashboard

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - "In as near-real time as possible, this dashboard will give health officials, policymakers, law enforcement and the public a more complete, dynamic picture of the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania," Dean Burke said. "This should allow us to maximize limited resources to stem this epidemic, which is disproportionately impacting our state."   

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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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