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Oakmont developing WalkWorks plan to make life better for pedestrians

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TRIB LIVE - Oakmont officials want to promote safe walking through a plan developed from Pitt Public Health’s WALKWORKS program. A contracted proposal will identify where and when most people walk, what areas need sidewalks, and which intersections most need safety improvements. 

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... 

GeekWire reporters look forward to Pittsburgh as second headquarters.

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TRIB LIVE - In case you missed it, GeekWire hosted a national search for a second headquarters. Pittsburgh won. Duh! “Let’s hear it for Pittsburgh,” GeekWire co-founder John Cook said as he toasted the selection with an Iron City beer during a Facebook live stream Tuesday with co-founder Todd Bishop and reporters. What do they look forward to covering? Read about and rejoice! 

Pitt Public Health launches life sciences business accelerator

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POST-GAZETTE - Serial entrepreneur and human genetics chair DIETRICH STEPHAN will serve as CEO of Pitt's new business accelerator, backing a push to leverage Western PA’s strengths in the life sciences with private investors. The 10-year goal is to tackle prevalent and intractable global diseases. The initial focus will be on cancer, Alzheimer’s, multidrug-resistant bacterial infections, obesity, diabetes, and rare genetic diseases.  

Gellad on proposed CVS-Aetna merger (video)

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C-SPAN - Doctor and HPM professor WALID GELLAD discussed the potential impact of the proposed CVS-Aetna merger with Washington Journal host Kimberly Atkins. He says it might mean a fundamental transformation of how health care is delivered... and the transition has been happening for decades. 

HPM’s Ware awarded Goldstein Award for work on Emergency Law Inventory (ELI)

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JD/MPH student ALIX WARE (HPM ’19) was awarded the 2017 Bernard D. Goldstein Award in Environmental Health Disparities and in Public Health Practice for her work on the development of the Emergency Law Inventory (ELI). Created to help individuals navigate through 1,500 law summaries impacting volunteer participation in disaster scenarios, ELI provides emergency volunteers with easy access to the laws most relevant to become better prepared for e... 

Large Pitt-led study uncovers complex genetics behind earlobe attachment

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PITTWIRE - New research led by Pitt Public Health affiliates and published in the  American Journal of Human Genetics  reveals that an interplay of at least 49 genes contributes to earlobe attachment inheritance. “Sometimes the genetics of a fairly simple trait are actually quite complex,” said lead author JOHN SHAFFER. “By understanding that complexity, we can work toward treatments for genetic conditions, several of which have distinct fa... 

Adibi confirms chemical in soft plastics causes key changes in human placentas

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POST-GAZETTE - Odds are you have phthalates inside you. And recent research by EPI’s JENNIFER ADIBI confirms previous findings that the plastic-softening chemicals are linked to changes in the placenta that seem to affect development of the fetus. Because of “ubiquitous exposure”, 99 percent of women of child-bearing age have measurable exposure levels. 

Roberts finds that top five commercial insurers increasingly rely on public programs

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MEDSCAPE - People who haven’t had insurance recently need help understanding their options, help that the ACA’s health care navigator program provided, says HPM’s ERIC ROBERTS. But the federal government has made steep cuts to that program’s funding. “This is a complex market to enter A well-informed individual guiding someone through the process is often the best solution, but that requires investment from the federal government and states.” 

Shaffer: Everything your biology teacher told you about earlobes is wrong

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POPULAR SCIENCE - Geneticists often don’t like to perform population studies at such scale because they are too large to zoom in on any specific details. But that means that we might not be getting the full picture. Research by JOHN SHAFFER, ELEANOR FEINGOLD, and SETH WEINBERG tells us that there’s power in numbers. Just as seemingly simple traits reveal their true complexity, diseases that currently puzzle us will soon become easier to understan... 

Buchanich,Woolley, and Lann assist with study of opioid trends in other states

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CENTRAL VALLEY BUSINESS TIMES - The analysis of California death rates was conducted at the county level using data from the Mortality and Population Data System (MPDS) at Pitt Public Health. Data from biostatisticians JEANINE BUCHANICH, SHANNON WOOLLEY, and MICHAEL LANN include ICD codes for underlying causes of death for nearly all U.S. deaths since 1950. 

As a young professional who wants to change health care for the better, Tomko is named Jonas Salk Activist (video)

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PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Last night the Health Activist Network named HPM student and research assistant HEATHER TOMKO as a Jonas Salk Health Activist fellow for tackling the problems and effecting change in the health care field. The expo event was held at the August Wilson Center, and brought together health professionals who accelerate health policy and care delivery improvements. 

Epi students honored with 2017 Iris Marion Young Award for Social Justice

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Congratulations to Pitt Public Health students ABIGAIL R. CARTUS and C. ELIZABETH SHAABAN, given the awards on November 15, 2017, by the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at Pitt. The Young Award honors faculty, staff, and students who work to promote social justice, and recognizes that social activism takes many forms.  

Garland calls for action after several local children killed by gun violence

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WTAE - “We as adults are always trying to make programs or projects that we think that the kids need,” said BCHS’s RICHARD GARLAND. “But my strategy has always been going to the source, so I’d like to talk to the kids and see what they really need and what’s really on their mind.” 

Roberts says Medicare pay-for-performance didn’t deliver

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HEALTH LEADERS MEDIA - “As long as these programs do not account adequately for patient differences, which is very difficult to do, they will further deprive practices serving low-income populations of important resources,” said ERIC ROBERTS, assistant professor of health policy and management at Pitt Public Health and lead author of the study. 

Roberts’ study says when parents are on Medicaid, kids get better health care, too

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91.5 WESA - When a parent has health insurance through Medicaid, their child is 29 percent more likely to receive an annual physical exam. That’s according to a new study designed by HPM researcher ERIC T. ROBERTS, who calls this correlation between pediatric care and parental health insurance a spill-over effect. “We can’t look at individuals in isolation,” he explained. “When we help parents, we can help their kids.” 

Chaves-Gnecco receives CATCH Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics

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Alumnus DIEGO CHAVES-GNECCO (MMPH ’00), now associate professor at Pitt’s School of Medicine and founding director of the program SALUD Para Niños at UPMC’s Children’s Hospital, received the F. Edwards Rushton CATCH Award at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition. Named in honor of F. Edwards Rushton Sr., this award honors pediatricians who collaborate within their communities to increase children’s access to ... 

Van Panhuis on the myth of spacing out kids’s vaccines

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CONSUMER REPORTS - It’s unwise to delay or spread out vaccines, says EPI’s WILBERT VAN PANHUIS. The CDC bases the schedule on disease risks, vaccine effectiveness at specific ages, and the way vaccines may interact with each other. “To start mixing this up is really complicated and actually can be dangerous.” The MMR vaccine, for instance, is timed so that children receive it just as they’ve lost residual immunity from their mothers. And measles,... 

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Thurston finds link between traumatic events and future heart disease risk in women 

Thurston finds link between traumatic events and future heart disease risk in women

PITT WIRE - When we consider the determinants of women’s cardiovascular health, we need to think beyond biology alone,” said epidemiologist Rebecca Thurston. She recently led a study that demonstrates how traumatic experiences in life are linked to later vascular health issues that place women at ri... (12/12/2017)
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Large Pitt-led study uncovers complex genetics behind earlobe attachment 

Large Pitt-led study uncovers complex genetics behind earlobe attachment

PITTWIRE - New research led by Pitt Public Health affiliates and published in the  American Journal of Human Genetics  reveals that an interplay of at least 49 genes contributes to earlobe attachment inheritance. “Sometimes the genetics of a fairly simple trait are actually quite complex,” said ... (12/06/2017)
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Enigma: Marques worked to pinpoint culprit of mysterious illness in Brazil 

Enigma: Marques worked to pinpoint culprit of mysterious illness in Brazil

PITTWIRE - When a mysterious illness suddenly emerged in his Brazilian hometown, IDM researcher ERNESTO MARQUES mobilized with colleagues to decode its unknowns. The work may help infectious-disease researchers stop or stall new epidemics. His story begins on page 18. (10/24/2017)
© 2017 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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