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Gellad on Pfizer's plans to raise drug prices in 2019

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THE FISCAL TIMES - When drug giant Pfizer announced in July that it would roll back price hikes on its drugs, it made clear that the change was temporary. The company said Friday it is planning to raise the list prices on 41 of its drugs effective January 15. “The drug price pledges made earlier this year were just for show — it was obvious at the time, and it's obvious now,” said HPM's Walid Gellad.   

Roberts comments on 'skinny plan' health insurance offered on the ACA individual market

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WESA FM - For the first time since 2013, taxpayers won’t be penalized for not having health insurance. Some people might decide ACA-compliant coverage isn't something they need and instead might select a lower-cost “skinny plan.” HPM's Eric Roberts said it’s important to read the fine print before choosing this type of insurance.  

Singh honored with achievement award for tackling global health problems

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PITTWIRE - Research duo Tushar Singh (EPI '14) and Pitt Medicine's P. S. Reddy accepted the 2018 Sheth International Achievement Award, which is given every year to a Pitt faculty member and alumnus who are increasing Pitt’s global footprint with their work. Singh referred to EPI's Anne Newman as a close friend and mentor. Singh admitted lacking confidence in himself in early years, but said that Newman always encouraged him.  

Mara Hollander shares her research on opioid prescribing and physician relationships with pharmaceutical companies at APHA 2018

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APHA  - Mara Hollander (HPM) presented a poster titled Financial Relationships with Pharmaceutical Companies are Related to Increased Opioid Prescribing at APHA's 2018 annual meeting. Hollander matched Medicare Part D claims from Pennsylvania clinicians with 2014 Open Payments data. The final sample included approximately 12,500 PA providers who had at least 50 opioid prescriptions and 10 beneficiaries.  

Thistle Elias and Yuae Park share their research at APHA 2018 examining barriers preventing participants in the WISEWOMAN program from implementing healthy lifestyle changes

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APHA - Professor Thistle Elias (and alumna, BCHS '12) and doctoral student Yuae Park (BCHS '20) share their research examining the barriers preventing some participants in the WISEWOMAN (WW) program from implementing healthy lifestyle changes at APHA's 2018 annual meeting. The researchers interviewed 9 WW clients that perceived as many as seven barriers to participating in lifestyle programs.   

Student Abigail Cartus shares the results of a study on Pittsburgh household characteristics and birth weights at APHA 2018

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APHA - Doctoral student Abigail Cartus (EPI) presented a poster at APHA's 2018 annual meeting titled Neighborhood-level housing characteristics and birth weight in Pittsburgh, PA, 2009-2013. In this study, Cartus, EPI professor Dara Mendez, and colleagues analyzed data on all singleton births in the city of Pittsburgh, PA from 2009-2013 in relation to neighborhood-level data from the 2010 Census.   

Student Noreen Chatta shares her analysis of endoscope procedures and bacterial cultures at APHA 2018

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APHA - Noreen Chatta (IDM) presented her research on Safety of Gastrointestinal (GI) Endoscopic Procedures at a Large Academic Medical Center during a poster symposium at APHA's 2018 annual meeting. In this study, she assessed and monitored the safety of endoscopic procedures using microbiologic cultures and electronic medical records, evaluating for 30-day microbiologic results after endoscopic procedures.  

Platt included in What's Next: Politics

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THE INCLINE - Julie Platt (BCHS/MSW '19) has been selected as one of 25 Pittsburghers making a difference in the third class of What's Next: Politics. Platt was one of the first to join Emily Skopov’s campaign to challenge Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai for Pa. House District 28. Platt recruited volunteers, organized issue-centric canvasses, knocked on doors, and led the way with new ideas for the campaign, including community roundtable discussi... 

Hoang receives new practitioner of the year award from Kappa Psi Mountain East Province

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Congratulations to Karen Hoang (MMPH '22) for receiving the practitioner of the year award from Kappa Psi Mountain East Province. This award recognizes a member of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Inc. Mountain East Province who has graduated in the past seven years and best balances his/her professional career with involvement in Kappa Psi.  

BCHS team tries new technique to share research with LGBTQ youth (video)

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Post-doctoral researcher Robert Coulter (BCHS '17), BCHS's Jessica Burke, and Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) tried using a video approach to share highlights of Coulter's recent research on how welcoming school environments reduce drinking among both LGBT+ -identified students and their heterosexual counterparts.   

Gary-Webb organizes “Health Equity for African American Populations across the Lifespan" at APHA

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UPMC - When BCHS's Tiffany Gary-Webb helped develop the “Health Equity Now” theme for this year's APHA annual meeting, she realized that Pitt Public Health had something special to contribute. She organized a session titled “Health Equity for African American Populations across the Lifespan" to share the breadth of groundbreaking research and partnerships the school has formed in the past several years.   

Pitt Public Health study finds murder of family, friends takes highest toll on Black teens

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Pitt researchers analyzed the results of a 2014 survey of just over 1,600 teens, aged 14 to 19, in Allegheny County and found that 13 percent said a friend or family member had been murdered. Teens who lose a family member or friend to murder have an increased risk of suicide, and black teens are most likely to face this kind of heartbreak. Authors on the study include BCHS's ELIZABETH MILLER and ALISON CULYBA.   

Richardson comments on advice against marijuana for pregnant and breastfeeding women

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REUTERS - Even though there are still a lot of unknowns about the effects of marijuana exposure in the womb and from breast milk, research to date still suggests that pregnant and nursing women avoid cannabis. Earlier studies "were conducted when marijuana was not as strong as what is currently available, so we are probably under-estimating the effects of prenatal marijuana use on offspring development,” said EPI's GALE RICHARDSON.  

Merlin comments on the effect of chronic pain on HIV outcomes

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INFECTIOUS DISEASE ADVISOR - Chronic pain is a frequent comorbidity in people living with HIV and may adversely affect antiretroviral therapy adherence and retention in care. A recent study provided useful insights into the complex interaction. When asked about the main takeaways, BCHS's JESSICA MERLIN said "I hope that this means that HIV providers and researchers will pay more attention to this important problem."  

Creasy's study provides recommendations to reduce recidivism in transgender women

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MEDICAL XPRESS - Previously incarcerated transgender women can find themselves caught in a cycle that leads to repeat jail time. A new analysis of Allegheny County identifies potential solutions that could lead to transgender women being more successfully reintegrated into society. "I think we are having a moment right now where the needs of transgender people are more visible," said STEPHANIE CREASY (BCHS '17).   

Albert comments on new report that found most violent injuries seen in ER are not reported to police

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REUTERS - The vast majority of violent injuries seen by doctors in emergency rooms are not reported to police, a new report suggests. “The brilliance of this article is it shows that if we do not link these two kinds of data we’re never going to have a full and accurate account of the level of violence in a community,” said BCHS's STEVE ALBERT.  

Alumna, Kathryn Puskar, inducted into international research hall of fame

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THE ALMANAC - Associate dean for undergraduate nursing education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, KATHRYN PUSKAR (BCHS '78, HPM '81) has been inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, one of 20 inductees for this year. “It’s really humbling. I feel very honored to be part of that cohort,” Puskar said.  

Hernandez is one of Forbes 30 under 30 for 2019

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FORBES - Congratulations to INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16) for being selected as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2019. She will be joining the most exclusive club in the world of young entrepreneurs and game-changers. After graduating from Pitt Public Health with her doctorate, Inma has led work with heavyweight drug pricing researchers and quantified the full cost of recently approved CAR T cancer therapies.  

Dean Burke honored with 2018 John Snow Award at APHA Annual Meeting

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Named in honor of English physician John Snow (1813-1858), considered one of the founders of modern epidemiology, this annual award recognizes outstanding scientists for enduring contributions to public health through epidemiologic methods and practice. Burke said, "I find great personal satisfaction in the knowledge that my life-long research efforts have helped to improve global health and well-being." Congratulations, De... 

The costs of heroin and naloxone offer a tragic snapshot of the opioid crisis

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STAT - The cost of heroin has fallen dramatically over the past few decades, and fentanyl and other illicit opioids can be rapidly mass produced. DEAN DONALD BURKE and Michael Hufford, co-founder of a nonprofit to improve naloxone access, propose a solution: "Make naloxone available over the counter, in much greater quantities, and at lower prices."  

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Hernandez study investigates rising drug prices 

Hernandez study investigates rising drug prices

PITT WIRE - A recent study led by Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16), assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics, found that new drugs entering the market drive up prices, but drug companies are also hiking prices on older drugs.  (01/30/2019)
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Arthur Levine: 20 years of impact 

Arthur Levine: 20 years of impact

PITT WIRE - After more than two decades of transformative service to the University of Pittsburgh, Arthur S. Levine has announced his intent to exit his position as senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean in the School of Medicine. In a message to the ... (01/24/2019)
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Hernandez among three Pitt students named to Forbes 30 Under 30 

Hernandez among three Pitt students named to Forbes 30 Under 30

PITT WIRE - Congratulations to Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16)! The list features 600 business and entrepreneurial leaders from 20 industries, including health care, energy, art and education, among others. (01/09/2019)


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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Padiath and colleagues 'see' dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei 

Padiath and colleagues 'see' dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Our cells sometimes have to squeeze through pretty tight spaces. And when they do, the nuclei inside must go along for the ride. Using super-sensitive microscopic imaging, HUGEN’s Quasar Padiath made a fundamental biological discovery that explains the structure of the nuclear... (03/04/2019)
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Scientists uncover dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei (video) 

Scientists uncover dual-layered scaffolding of cellular nuclei (video)

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES  - Using super-sensitive microscopic imaging, a team of scientists led by HuGen's Quasar Padiath has made a fundamental biological discovery that explains the structure of the nuclear envelope and gives tantalizing clues as to how cells squish throug... (02/19/2019)
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Pitt Public Health study uncovers why Rift Valley fever is catastrophic to developing fetuses  

Pitt Public Health study uncovers why Rift Valley fever is catastrophic to developing fetuses

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Like Zika, infection with Rift Valley fever virus can go unnoticed during pregnancy, all the while doing irreparable - often lethal - harm to the fetus. The results of a new study underscore the importance of disease prevention for pregnant woment and set the stage for vaccine... (01/24/2019)
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