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HPM alumni gather in Pasadena

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What a lovely evening of connections! On Tuesday, June 13, 2017, HPM alumnus Rob Curry welcomed Pitt Public Health friends DAVID TYE, DAREEN MEYERS, MARK MEYERS, WEN TA CHIU, KRISTIN LAZZARA, KEVIN BROOM, and MARK ROBERTS to his Pasadena home for cocktails and talk about great memories, current issues, and the newest school happenings. 

Facts alone won’t convince people to vaccinate, but FRED can

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ESPN - There was something about showing a movie of your hometown that people relate to,” said DON BURKE, dean of Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health. It was his idea to break the data modeling down by county.The FRED platform allowed researchers to build a simulation of human interaction dynamics, said MARK ROBERTS (Public Health Dynamics Lab director and HPM chair) wherein virtual people in 116 million households across the country live, wo... 

Tucker’s pregnancy-focused startup wins $2500 at Blast Furnace Demo Day

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Congratulations to BCHS student ALYSIA TUCKER, who took home $2,500 for her Best4Baby startup that connects soon-to-be mothers with local, affordable doulas. Tucker said her company will only match expecting mothers with fully-trained doulas who have undergone 30 hours in classes and have completed a certain number of births successfully.  

Buchanich and Burke on fatal ODs across Pa.

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - “For the first time in Allegheny County, fentanyl was found in more people than heroin,” said Pitt Public Health epidemiologist JEANINE BUCHANICH. There appear to be two distinct epidemics in Pennsylvania, said DONALD BURKE. Southeastern Pennsylvania historically has been a source of extremely pure and cheap heroin, which is now drawing some users whose addictions began with prescription pain pills.  

Alumna Lo-Cignic working to identify individuals at risk of inappropriate prescription opioid use

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KVOA NEWS 4 - New prediction tools to identify patients at risk of inappropriate prescription opioid use, while allowing safe administration of legitimate pain management are being developed by alumna WEI-HSUAN JENNY LO-CIGANIC (BIOST '10, EPI '05), now an assistant professor with the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. Her newly-funded work builds on research she completed as a postdoctoral associate at Pitt's HEALTH POLICY INSTITUTE. 

King finds 1 in 5 surgical weight-loss patients take preseription opioids

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UPI - Research led by EPI's WENDY KING found that while the number of adults with severe obesity using prescription opioids initially declines in the months after bariatric surgery, it eventually increases to surpass pre-surgery rates. "Almost half of patients reporting opioid use at the time of surgery reported no such use following surgery. However, among the much larger group of patients who did not report opioid use pre-surgery, opioid use gr... 

Trump wants to represent a Pittsburgh that doesn't exist

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 CBS MONEY WATCH - President Donald Trump pointed to Pittsburgh as a reason for pulling out of the Paris climate accord, but some residents in the former steel town are calling him rusty and out-of-date. The one-time industrial center is now a thriving city focused on health care, tech, and clean energy.  

BCHS alumnus Broughton improving regional health services through consistent assessments

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EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY - Alumnus WILL BROUGHTON (BCHS '14) is coordinator for the Office of Health Access in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University as well as future project coordinator for an apples-to-apples project to standardize the methodology and synchronize the assessment process for regional community health needs assessment in eastern North Carolina. He will be facilitating the day-to-day implementation efforts. He sa... 

Fabisiak and Brink: Air pollution increases regional health risks

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PITTSBURGH TODAY - “PM2.5 is probably the chief concern for the region, mainly because of its contribution from a source as big as the Clairton plant has an effect over a fairly large area,” said EOH associate prof JAMES FABISIAK.... “Everything that’s a risk factor for bad health is showing up high in that area,” said LUANN BRINK, Allegheny County Health Department deputy director and chief epidemiologist (as well as EPI alum and assistant prof)... 

Zimmerman, Nowalk, Hawk, and Ricci receive Adult Immunization Publication Award

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Kudos to (photo front, left to right) alumna PATRICIA NOWALK (EPI '81, ’93) and BCHS faculty MARY HAWK, ED RICCI, and (back) RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, who received the Immunization Publication Excellence Award presented during the National Adult Influenza Immunization Summit, May 10, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia. The award was in recognition of their work on the Four Pillars Practice Transformations Program for adult influenza immunization. 

Toward Curing HIV: Test Finds Hidden Virus

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PITTWIRE - A team of Pitt scientists led by IDM's PHALGUNI GUPTA developed a test to detect "hidden" HIV that is faster, less labor-intensive and less expensive than the current "gold standard" test.  

BCHS student Emma Hosman leads ACHD CPR class

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BCHS student EMMA HOSMAN is working with the Allegheny County Health Department through the Pittsburgh Summer Institute (bit.ly/2rVg2RO). This morning, in collaboration with ACHD's Emergency Preparedness Program, she helped to lead a CPR class for 17 community participants. 

Human genetics research to understand craniofacial birth defects

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A facial shape genetics paper from a research team including HUGEN's JOHN SHAFFER, ELEANOR FEINGOLD, and student EKATERINA ORLOVA, was among the top 50 most downloaded "PLoS Genetics" open-access journal papers in 2016. 

IDM's Gupta team develops improved test to detect hidden HIV virus

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TRIBUNE REVIEW - “This will be extremely useful for clinical trials and people doing the basic science on the latency,” said PHALGUNI GUPTA, senior author and IDM vice-chair. In addition to being more sensitive, the new test is cheaper, easier, faster, and requires less blood than the test commonly used now. This means it can safely be used in babies. 

Van Panhuis explains why gaps in immunization coverage are troubling

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STAR TRIBUNE - “That is the herd immunity,” said WILBERT VAN PANUIS, Pitt Public Health epidemiologist and affiliated faculty of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory. Measles is less likely to turn into an outbreak if at least 95 percent of the population has immunity protection. ldquo;If the number drops below 95, the chance of measles infection is going up,” he said. “Children who can’t be vaccinated will be at an extreme risk.” 

Mixed wisdom on the first use of purpose-built crematory on U.S. soil

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POST-GAZETTE - An early  motive for promoting cremation — to prevent contamination — appears overstated. Poorly buried corpses of people who died of infectious diseases in the 1800s could contaminate a nearby water supply, but there would have been no general risk of contamination from those who die of trauma or non-contagious diseases, commented EOH's JAMES FABISIAK.  

Alumna Johnson: CDC/CSTE Allplied Epidemiology Fellow

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Alumna STEPHANIE JOHNSON (EPI '16) has been accepted into the CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship. The mission of this national fellowship-training program is to meet the nation's ongoing need for applied epidemiology workforce capacity in state and local health departments. Johnson will be serving at the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the CDC-Dengue branch in San Juan, starting this summer. 

New walking route, thanks to WalkWorks

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ENDEAVOR NEWS - A walking route in Emporium will be inaugurated as part of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 3. Cameron County Chamber of Commerce has teamed with the Pa. Dept. of Health and Pitt Public Health's WALKWORKS program to create a 1.67-mile walking loop through the county seat marked with green circles featuring an arrow. Learn more about this health initiative directed by CAROL REICHBAUM at bit.ly/2rHofch. 

Epidemiologists' SWAN Study "Change" data

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PITT MED - A team of researchers, including epidemiology's REBECCA THURSTON, SAMAR EL KHOUDARY, and KAREN MATTHEWS, recruited about 400 premenopausal women for a multi-institutional study in 1996. They were asking a lot: an extra doctor’s visit once a year, forever. Yet about 400 from Pittsburgh volunteered, and at last count, 90 percent were still in. Though most women now live at least a third of their lives after menopause, its long-term effec... 

Accelerated approval and expensive drugs — a challenging combination says HPM's Gellad

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NEJM - Despite the uncertain evidence of clinical benefit, drugs receiving accelerated approval enter the market as FDA-approved products, and insurers must decide whether and how to pay for them. Those decisions are becoming increasingly complex in light of the rising prices of new drugs. Read about suggestions by HPM's WALID GELLAD and listen to his interview. 

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Baumann receives Boren Fellowship to study Nepali language 

Baumann receives Boren Fellowship to study Nepali language

PITT WIRE - The National Security Education Program has recognized 8 Pitt students with Boren Awards. Doctoral student, SARA BAUMANN (BCHS 19'), received a Boren Fellowship for study of the Nepali language at Cornell University for summer 2018 to support her work in community-based participator... (06/20/2018)
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Lara Siminerio Lemon delivers student address at Pitt's Commencement 2018 Graduate Ceremony 

Lara Siminerio Lemon delivers student address at Pitt's Commencement 2018 Graduate Ceremony

PITT WIRE - In Pitt's graduate student address, EPI doctoral graduate LARA  SIMINERIO LEMON told the audience: "You only have one life. So do what you choose with it but remember: it's the only chance you'll get ... Please do not lose the momentum that Pitt has provided to each one of us ... g... (04/26/2018)
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The HIV Prevention and Care Project turns 25 

The HIV Prevention and Care Project turns 25

PITT WIRE - Led by IDM's TONY SILVESTRE, the Pitt Public Health project serves as the facilitator of the HIV prevention and care community planning process in Pennsylvania. With initiatives like Acceptance Journeys and Project SILK, the work has received recognition from multiple federal health bod... (04/26/2018)

The ASPPH Friday Letter features the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. 
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submission guidelines then share your story or story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 

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Pitt Public Health surpasses 7,000 alumni with 2018 Convocation ceremony 

Pitt Public Health surpasses 7,000 alumni with 2018 Convocation ceremony

On Sunday, April 29, Pitt Public Health welcomed over 200 graduates into the school's alumni community at our annual Convocation. “Our alumni cohort is now 7,000 people deep, since the school’s founding 70 years ago. Our impressive alumni give the school an international network of influence and th... (06/13/2018)
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Williams-Pate represents Pitt Public Health as This is Public Health ambassador  

Williams-Pate represents Pitt Public Health as This is Public Health ambassador

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Thirty-five new ambassadors, including KYANNA WILLIAMS-PATE (BCHS ’19), are joining the program, representing the This Is Public Health brand and 23 ASPPH member institutions. Throughout the year, ambassadors participate in a series of public health outreach events along with p... (05/21/2018)

Racial disparity in premature deaths has narrowed since 1990 

Racial disparity in premature deaths has narrowed since 1990

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The past quarter century has brought a striking decline in earlier-than-expected deaths among blacks in the U.S. “We were surprised by these findings because they demonstrated such dramatic improvement,” said DEAN DONALD BURKE. “Our study shows that racial disparity in health ... (05/07/2018)
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