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C.C. and Clara Li Scholarship recipients

The C.C. and Clara Li Endowed Scholarship was established in recognition of the late Pitt Public Health faculty member, with support from his wife and two children. The award is offered to the top accepted applicants in each cohort of incoming HUGEN students. The inaugural award winners are NATASHA ROBIN BERMAN and DONGJIN JUI. Congrats!   

Grepo receives the Surma Scholarship

The Surma Scholarship for Long-Term Health Care Administration in Policy and Aging is an endowed fund that provides support to HPM students who are Pennsylvania residents and have demonstrated interest in long-term healthcare administration or policies. This year, HPM's STEPHANIE GREPO received the award. Congratulations!   

Chuan, Sabnis, and Salerno are recipients of 2017 Bob Yee Student Award

Congratulations to IDM students BYRON CHUAN, SANIYA SABNIS, and JESSICA SALERNO for receiving the Bob Yee Student Award, given to incoming students showing previous academic merit.   

De Ferrari and Lancaster receive the Russell Rule Rycheck Award

Professor Russel Rule Rycheck was an epidemiologist who was devoted to teaching and mentoring students. He believed that public health professionals must have a “professional bag” full of tools and skills needed to make an impact on the public’s health. This award enables MPH students to develop further skills and competencies for the professional bag. This year's winners include ROSA DE FERRARI (BCHS) and ASHYLN LANCASTER (IDM).   

Gbaintor receives award from the Thomas and Jody Priselac Endowed Fund For Healthcare Leadership

The Thomas and Jody Priselac Endowed Fund for Healthcare Leadership provides support for MHA students participating in selected professional and leadership development activities nationally, including professional association conferences, academic team competitions, professional networking, and other health management career path opportunities. In 2017, the award recipient is HPM's YEI GBAINTOR.  

Haen, Mendez, Sanders, and Sives win Karen S. Peterson Memorial Research Award for Women’s Health

The Peterson Scholarship Fund was established in memory of Karen S. Peterson, RN, MPH, an alumna and faculty member at the Graduate School of Public Health. This award is intended to assist BCHS students with research or practice leading to improvement in women’s health. Applications are accepted twice a year. The fall 2017 recipients are LISA HAEN, GABRIELLA MENDEZ, SARA SANDERS, and KATELYN SIVES.  

Lancaster and Ma receive Owen's Fellowship

ASHLYN LANCASTER and HENRY MA, both IDM students, received the Owen's Fellowship from the University. A bequest of Samuel T. Owens Jr. makes fellowships available for students who show promise of high academic achievement.    

Burke weighs in on future of opioid epidemic

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PHILADELPHIA ENQUIRER - Modeling by epidemiologist DONALD BURKE suggests that 150,000 to 200,000 people on pain pills transition to injection drugs every year. “The more people using heroin, the greater the probability that more people will use heroin, just like the spread of an infectious disease.” He wonders whether the kind of response used for epidemics might work: Determine key transition points, like when a painkiller addict is likely to tr... 

States with expanded Medicaid had increased early cancer diagnoses, saving lives and costs

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POST-GAZETTE - “Policymakers considering cuts to or restrictions on public insurance such as Medicaid should take into account the access to important screening and diagnostic health care provided by insurance coverage,”says HPM’s LINDSAY SABIK, co-author of a study published in the American Journal of Public Health . “Our findings suggest that Medicaid coverage can improve early detection of cancer, which may have important benefits for individ... 

Do your ears hang low? (Hugen VIDEO)

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UPMC/PITT HEALTH SCIENCES NEWSROOM - Public health and dental medicine geneticists from the University of Pittsburgh found that at least 49 genes underlie earlobe attachment. What does this research mean and why is it important? 

Goldstein advises Dow Chemical on sustainability

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SUSTAINABLE BRANDS - The Dow Chemical Company counts EOH's BERNARD GOLDSTEIN among its 8-member Sustainability External Advisory Council (SEAC),  the first of its kind in the petrochemical industry. The council has a significant influence on Dow’s approach to sustainability and environment, health and safety issues, providing “an independent, outside-in perspective on critical issues related to sustainability and environmental policy that impact ... 

Stephan leads Oakland startup to battle the invasion of superbugs

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POST-GAZETTE - “We think we have the cure for the looming superbug epidemic,” DIETRICH STEPHAN recalled the 41-year-old entrepreneur saying. “I said, ‘Oh, really. Send us all your stuff.’” The introduction paid off. Steckbeck’s company, Oakland-based Peptilogics Inc., recently closed on a $5.5 million Series A financing round led by Facebook Inc.’s first major investor Peter Thiel. Stephan, a serial entrepreneur and chair of Pitt Public Health’s ... 

Burke’s angry response to the CDC’s seven-word ban

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POST-GAZETTE - Controversy is brewing over the Trump Administration’s reported advisory to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention against using words or terms commonly used to describe health issues and policies. They include: entitlement, science-based, evidence-based, transgender, fetus, diversity and vulnerable. “We were all surprised that these would be words that should be omitted from correspondence with budget documents and th... 

Moore on the infection connection for some skin cancers

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CURE - “New technology is allowing us to find cancers that may have a (previously unknown) infectious origin,” says PATRICK MOORE, professor of infectious diseases, microbiology, molecular genetics, and biochemistry. He is credited with co-discovering viral links to two types of skin cancer: Kaposi sarcoma and Merkel cell carcinoma. 

Kagan helps find mechanism of dendritic cell needed for antitumor immune response

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DRUG TARGET REVIEW - A team including EOH researcher VALERIAN KAGAN has revealed the mechanism causing defective function of tumour-associated dendritic cells, explaining why they’re ineffective in inducing antitumor immune responses and effective cancer treatment. The findings could lead to new strategies for improving the response to immunotherapy. 

BIOS's Pyne publishes "Handbook of Statistics: Disease Modelling and Public Health"

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Biostatistics faculty member and scientific director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, SAUMYADIPTA PYNE, and co-editors A.S. Rao and C.R. Rao have recently published a 2-volume title, "Handbook of Statistics: Disease Modelling and Public Health" which will serve as a vital resource for statisticians who need to access a number of different methods for assessing epidemic spread in populations, or in formulating public health policy.   

Pittsburgh employs FRED for disease modeling as part of DASH grant

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HEALTHCARE INFORMATICS - Pittsburgh is 1of 4 city grantees of Data Across Sectors for Health (DASH). At their 12/14 meeting, KAREN HACKER, ACHD director and HPM faculty, reported on use of the Framework for Reconstructing Epidemic Dynamics (FRED) to predictively model infectious disease outbreaks.  

Oakmont developing WalkWorks plan to make life better for pedestrians

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TRIB LIVE - Oakmont officials are taking advantage of a $11,000 Pitt Public Health WALKWORKS program grant to encourage and improve walking safety in the borough. A consulting firm will study pedestrian traffic and develop a specific plan for sidewalk and intersection modifications. Oakmont is one of four communities, and the only one in Allegheny County, to receive WalkWorks funding. 

As Zika babies become toddlers, some can’t see, walk, or talk

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NEW YORK TIMES - Infectious disease researcher ERNESTO MARQUES says about 3 percent of 1,000 pregnant Brazilian women in a recent sample were infected with Zika. “The problem’s not going away. We are still having cases. And the future of Zika babies already born is complicated by poverty and strained resources. “Most of these babies are from low socioeconomic status and rely on the public health system to provide care. It’s very difficult to mana... 

Goldstein comments on new study findings: Low birth weights linked to fracking sites

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STATE IMPACT - Infants born to mothers who live very close to natural gas fracking sites have a higher risk of low birth weight, according to a new peer-reviewed study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances . In response to the findings, EOH professor emeritus BERNARD GOLDSTEIN noted that children born with low birth weight have a greater risk of infant mortality, asthma, lower test scores, and lower lifetime earnings. He said, to m... 

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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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