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Gellad on Memorial Sloan Kettering curbing executives' ties to industry after COI scandals

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NEW YORK TIMES - HPM's Walid Gellad calls the policy changes a "watershed moment" and went on to say, "This is highly significant, espeically at such a high-profile academic center. Leadership matters, and the institution has decided that their leaders should not also be concurrently leading for-profit health companies."   

Albert on program that helps seniors continue to live independently

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REUTERS - "You really want to see people be independent and able to manage without help from their families or from paid services," said BCHS's Steve Albert. "Presumably if you can improve function with the activities of daily life, you reduce the risk of nursing home placement."   

Biost joins Hugen in Staff Volunteer and Team Building Day

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HUGEN staff joined BIOST for their Staff Volunteer and Team Building Day, visiting Global Links to sort medical supplies for distribution in resource-poor communities. Afterwards, they switched gears at Lumberjaxes in Mount Lebanon, where they showed off their axe-throwing skills (Joe Germanoski was the winner!). Staff were glad to work together and unwind before the start of a new term.   

Sevco named COO of UPMC Pinnacle

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Congratulations to Mark Sevco (HPM '91) who will be the COO of UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg. Sevco was formerly president of UPMC McKeesport in McKeesport, PA and UPMC East in Monroeville, PA.  Read the announcement from Becker's Hospital Review.    

Garcia-Bates says timing of immunotherapy crucial to outcomes

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MEDICAL RESEARCH - "HIV infection is a manageable disease with the advent and availability of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART). But, when ART is interrupted, the virus quickly rebounds to high levels and again targets the immune system. Therefore, new immunotherapeutic treatments are sought to re-program the immune system to control the virus after ART interruption," said IDM's Tatiana Garcia-Bates.   

Hernandez's research says prescription drug costs driven by manufacturer price hikes, not innovation

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WESA - The skyrocketing cost of many prescription drugs in the U.S. can be blamed primarily on price increases, not expensive new therapies or improvements in existing medications as drug companies frequently claim, says a new study published in Health Affairs by Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16).   

Hartman Researches Virus Even More Dangerous than Zika to Pregnant Women

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - The mosquito-borne virus that causes Rift Valley fever may severely injure human fetuses if contracted by mothers during pregnancy, according to new research by IDM's Amy Hartman. "Zika caught everybody by surprise," said Hartman. "If doctors had known about Zika's birth effects, they could have done a lot more to protect pregnant women and babies. With Rift Valley fever, we're trying to get ahead of the curve."  

EPA recognizes Pitt for efforts to reduce what ends up in landfills

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In a partnership between students, staff, and the administration, a number of small improvements have added up to a significant reduction in food waste over recent years. By 2025 the plan is to expand composting by 50 percent; serve half of to-go meals in reusable containers; and cut the amount of animal-derived products served by 25 percent.  

Hernandez among three Pitt students named to Forbes 30 Under 30

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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.  

Ask FRED for a better opioid response

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PITT MED - The Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics (FRED), is being adapted to a more general tool for modeling population dynamics. "Drugs aren't infectious organisms," says Dean Don Burke. "But they do have transmitting properties to them. If we could take the same simulation methods that we've developed for contagious epidemics and start using them with the opioid epidemic, we might make some headway."  

Dougherty named deputy commissioner of alcohol and drug abuse programs in Vermont

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VERMONT BUSINESS MAGAZINE - "I am eager to join the health department in its work to strengthen prevention efforts and to ensure that every Vermonter has access to effective treatment and recovery services," said Kelly Dougherty (BCHS '00).  

Pitt's Bike-friendly efforts recognized

PITT WIRE - The league of American Bicyclists recognizes colleges and unversities that support bicycling with its Bicycle Friendly University status, scoring across five categories: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation. This year, Pitt earned the status with a bronze distinction, recongizing institutions that have taken notable steps in supporting bicycling for recreation and transportation.   

Breastfeeding linked to less belly fat and smaller waist size

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MEDICALRESEARCH.COM  - Work by Gabrielle Snyder (EPI '15) tests the association between breastfeeding duration and maternal waist circumference while controlling for race, socioeconomic status, and behavioral factors like better diet and more physical activity. The study found that women who breastfed more than 6 months had smaller waists and lower body mass index one decade after delivery compared to women who breastfed less than 6 months.  

EPI graduate shares her experience of overcoming polio (video)

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CONSULATE GENERAL OF INDIA IN NEW YORK -- In observance of the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disability, Sunita Dodani (EPI ’06) shares her story of overcoming polio and thriving in life. After experiencing paralysis in all four limbs, Dodani met the challenges of growing up as a woman with a disability to become a two-time Fulbright scholar, completing both her MD and a PhD from Pitt Public Health.  

Maseru co-writes Birth Equity Consensus Statement

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MARCH OF DIMES - BCHS's Noble Maseru co-authored "Birth Equity for Moms and Babies Concensus Statement" to advance social determinants pathways for research, policy, and practice. Among the recommendations: improve maternal death surveillance, expand research, engage in health system reform, empower communities through inclusion, and change social and economic conditions.  

To reduce falls and fracture risk, improve sleep quality and length, Cauley says

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PT PRODUCTS - "Even though falls are caused by a number of factors, our paper focuses on a novel risk factor: sleep. Results suggest that interventions aimed at improving sleep may reduce the risk of falls." says EPI's Jane Cauley.   

Nachega recognized by African Science Institutions

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The African Academy of Sciences elected Jean Nachega (IDM and EPI) fellow in recognition of his efforts to develop patient care, teaching, and research around epidemiology and infectious diseases in Africa. In addition, the Academy of Sciences of South Africa - which aims to provide evidence-based scientific advice on issues of public interest - named him a member-elect.  

Study by Catov and colleagues finds breast-feeding tied to smaller waist size in mother

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NEW YORK TIMES - Breast-feeding for longer than six months may lead to a smaller waist size for the mother. “There are three wins here,” said EPI's Janet Catov. “There are short-term benefits for the mother — weight after pregnancy is something women care about. And there are long-term benefits for the mother’s health. And the third win is that it’s really good for the baby.”  

Fabisiak comments on the region's cancer risk related to air pollution

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS - Around one in three Americans gets a cancer diagnosis during their lifetime. "If someone chooses to smoke, most of the risk will only impact them," said James Fabisiak. "When we think about air pollution, on the other hand, the risk is smaller than smoking but that risk is now distributed over a much wider segment of the population."  

Travis Lear awarded predoctoral fellowship F31 award

Travis Lear (EOH '20) has been awarded an F31 predoctoral fellowship from the NHLBI. His project will focus on the molecular mechanisms of dysregulated inflammation in the lung, which is the cause of several lung diseases and a major cause of morbidity and mortality in critically-ill patients.   

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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)

Pitt's Bike-friendly efforts recognized 

Pitt's Bike-friendly efforts recognized

PITT WIRE - The league of American Bicyclists recognizes colleges and unversities that support bicycling with its Bicycle Friendly University status, scoring across five categories: engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation. This year, Pitt earned the status with a bronze d... (01/07/2019)
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Singh honored with achievement award for tackling global health problems 

Singh honored with achievement award for tackling global health problems

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... (11/26/2018)


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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Pittsburgh analysis: recommendations to reduce recidivism in Allegheny County transgender women 

Pittsburgh analysis: recommendations to reduce recidivism in Allegheny County transgender women

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - As part of her master’s thesis work, Stephanie Creasy (BCHS '17) performed a mixed-methods analysis that involved in-depth interviews with transgender women living in Allegheny County who had been previously incarcerated for nonviolent crimes, coupled with geospatial mapping o... (11/30/2018)
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Dean Burke honored with 2018 John Snow Award at APHA Annual Meeting 

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

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 satisfacti... (11/12/2018)
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Voting is Public Health 

Voting is Public Health

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - You have the power to choose who represents you in the government. Who you vote for on Tuesday can affect your health care and your ability to change policy on issues such as the right to carry firearms, LGBTQ rights, welfare programs. The list is endless.  (11/02/2018)
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