NPR - "With the current awareness and the bipartisan agreement in the recognition of drug prices as a major concern, we are in an optimal environment for the design and implementation of policies targeted at controlling prices, and assuring the affordability of medications to the U.S. public,” states Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16). "Financial barriers for medication…are having a detrimental effect on our fellow citizens' health."
Tammy Haley (MMPH '13) was honored with the 2019 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at Pitt's Honors Convocation ceremony. The annual award recognizes teaching excellence and includes both a cash prize of $2,000 and a grant of $3,000 to support the faculty member's teaching activities.
Nicolle Nestler (BCHS ‘11) was recently accepted to Harvard’s Emerging Leaders in Crisis Program. Currently, a hospital preparedness program administrator at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Nestler seeks to further develop her leadership, communication, and collaboration skills in public health emergency management and how to effectively lead during times of catastrophic crisis.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - On the surface, Adriene Rister (IDM) may seem to have made a dramatic career change, from dealing with infectious diseases for the state of Maine to running a children's book store. She sees the mission of both as bettering the community. "In a way, I like to think of this as part of public health...A bookstore should be a community hub, a place to gather around literacy and education, and a place to teach our kids abou...
CBS.COM - Julia Carter (EPI '17) will be on the upcoming season of Survivor, debuting on February 20. According to her cast bio, while the idea of winning a million dollars factors in, her motivation for competing in the show is to prove to herself that she can do it. Carter says she'll be successful by being a team player and an excellent communicator. "I have charm and wits and I am not afraid to make risky moves." Good luck!
PRODUCTS OF PITTSBURGH - In 2013, Mara Leff (BCHS '16), now director of innovation at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, moved from Washington, D.C., back to her hometown of Pittsburgh to study global health at Pitt Public Health. Her research took her across the world, although after graduating, Leff would find herself leading programs to help solve global health problems right in her own backyard.
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE - This is the first ever epidemiological study of workers involved in aerospace materials manufacturing. Authored by BIOST's Gary Marsh and Jeanine Buchanich and featuring work from Jessica Graves (BIOST '18, EPID '22), Yimeng (Alice) Lu (BIOST '17), and Sarah Zimmerman (BIOST '13).
WASHINGTONIAN – Lucille Adams-Campbell (EPI ’83) works to increase mammograms, reduce cancer risks, and guarantee minorities’ access to clinical trials as a researcher and professor at Georgetown University. Her work has long focused on equity, uncovering disparities in women and minorities when “nobody else was.” Adams-Campbell received our Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and was named Pitt's Legacy Laureate in 2010.
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.
PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - Robert Yee was as brilliant as he was modest. "One of the godfathers" of Pitt Public Health, Yee mentored hundreds of students and played a pivotal role as a researcher who made several "breakthrough" discoveries about bacteria.
FOX NEWS - "It's not about innovation, it's about inflation in existing products," explains Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16). "They are the same companies that operate in other countries and they don't show this behavior and that's because in other countries they are lucky to have this regulatory environment that prevents them from doing this."
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
KDKA RADIO - The University of Colorado Hospital announced Christopher A. Gessner (HPM '91), the current president of UPMC Children's Hospital and UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, will be their next president and CEO, overseeing the Anschuntz Medical Campus, Broomfield Hospital, Highlands Ranch Hospital, and other outpatient locations in the Denver area.
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 of the county’s trans-inclusive resources, public transportation, probation offices, and mental health services.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Congratulations to YARA ELBESHBISHI (HPM '16) for receiving the 2018 Ivan and Mary Novick Award for Young Alumni Leadership. This is a highly competitive award that was established by the Novick family to recognize and honor young alumni who have enriched the life of the University of Pittsburgh though their volunteer leadership efforts. The award will be presented at the Alumni Association's 2018 Homecoming Awards Luncheon in October.
JOHN SCOTT (BIOST '08) was recently appointed as the director of the Division of Biostatistics at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. In this role, Scott leads a group of 35 biostatisticians responsible for statistical aspects of the regulatory evaluation and oversight of vaccines, allergenic extracts, blood components, cellular therapies, gene therapies, etc.
GREATER GREATER WASHINGTON - For Advisory Neighborhood Commission GGW endorses MICHAEL SHANKLE (CHS '96). Shankle writes, “as a resident adjacent to Gallery Place, I understand and sympathize with the frustrations of my neighbors [about amplified noise].” However he feels that the proposed legislation is “vindictive against street performers, which have a rich history in the neighborhood” and wants “a more sensible and holistic approach.”
PITTSBURGH COURIER - Around 75 percent of people in the United States use a smartphone, and apps focusing on mobile health (mHealth) can be used to track key and unique health updates for users. The research of EPI's LORA BURKE (EPI '98), has focused on how to use mHealth for one particular risk factor of cardiovascular disease—being overweight. “Research reinforced that the crux of weight loss... is self-monitoring in real time."
CAROLYN BYRNES (EPI ‘11), NANCY NIEMCZYK (EPI ‘14), and EPI's DARA MENDEZ are to serve in a new effort to collect information to investigate and disseminate findings related to maternal deaths. “With the alarming rate of maternal deaths in Pennsylvania, establishing this committee will help take immediate action in determining the reasons for this phenomenon,” Governor Wolf said.
BCHS's ELIZABETH FELTER and JASON FLATT (BCHS '13) recently published a study guide for the Certified Health Education Exam. The 200-page book serves as the primary resource for any student taking the CHES exam and is now available through Springer Publishing Company.
WESA-FM - Pennsylvania is asking coders and designers to look at its data on the opioid crisis as part of a month-long hackathon to find new strategies to fight the epidemic. Teams are encouraged to focus on 1 of 3 tracks dealing with the opioid epidemic: preventing opioid use disorder, saving lives and ensuring access to treatment. Pitt Public Health will participate this year and in total some 260 Pennsylvanians are taking part.
NATIONAL LAW REVIEW - Alumna MELISSA FAN (HPM '12) is hired as an associate at Dinsmore Law Firm. Melissa focuses her practice on health care law, corporate law, regulatory and compliance issues and food and drug law. She received her JD from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Before joining the firm, Melissa interned with Judge Michael Wojcik of the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court.
HEALIO - During a shortage, drug prices increase two times as quickly as they would have in the absence of a shortage, according to findings published in Annals of Internal Medicine. “Prescription drug shortages may result in substitution of less effective drugs, delays in necessary treatments, and omission of or reductions in doses,” INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16) and colleagues wrote.
TIME - Omega-3 is easily the most popular supplement in America. “We have a lot of evidence that omega-3’s may have favorable effects on the brain, but the evidence on dietary intakes and supplements is inconclusive,” says Aron Barbey at the University of Illinois. MATTHEW MULDOON (EPI '94), says “the high numbers of people taking supplements would probably be better off spending money on getting fish into their diets.”
NASHVILLE LEDGER - Brentwood-based Quorum Health Corporation's board of directors has appointed JON KAPLAN (EPI '80) as an independent, non-employee director. Kaplan has extensive business experience consulting and advising health care companies. Since 2007, he has served as a senior partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Congratulations Jon!
PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - The winners of Pittsburgh Business Times’ 30 Under 30 awards program represent a diverse group of young professionals who are being recognized as up-and-coming executives, innovators, and thought leaders who will shape the future of Pittsburgh. ABBY MILES (HPM '13), manager of business analytics at Jewish Association on Aging is among the 2018 class.
THE INCLINE - Out of dozens of nominations, SARAH PAPPERMAN (BCHS '15) was selected among 17 individuals for the What's Next: Transit class of 2018 for impacting how Pittsburghers get around. Papperman co-facilitates the Age-Friendly Greater Pittsburgh transportation working group and is redefining transportation for people with mobility challenges in Allegheny County.
GREAT LAKES NOW - Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s office declared two townships in Kalamazoo County a state of emergency due to elevated levels of the chemicals called “PFAS.” The amount is 20 times what the EPA says is unsafe. To find out more about PFAS contamination and what it can do to water and to the human body, Great Lakes Now talked with PFAS expert DAVID SAVITZ (EPI '82).
PITTWIRE - Under the leadership of EVAN FACHER (HUGEN '97), Pitt innovators started a record 23 new companies in FY18. Facher now moves into the new position of vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship. “Pitt faculty and students are constantly pushing the boundaries of discovery across multiple disciplines," says Facher. “I am grateful for the opportunity to build on the positive momentum that has been established."
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 Barriers to Collocated Integrated Services.” Pallatino is now a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive ...
POLITICO - The payment deal for Kymriah therapy drew internal HHS scrutiny and is the target of current congressional investigations of Swiss drug giant Novartis. The company's pivotal study of the drug's in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia found that at one year, about one out of every three patients the government would be covering would get sick again, said INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16).
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 EVAN FACHER (HUGEN ’97) is interim director for the institute.
YARA ELBESHIBISHI (HPM '16) was nominated for 1st Quarter of the Superstar Award through UPMC Health Plan. UPMC celebrates and honors individuals for their dedication to UPMC Insurance Services Division PRIIDES values. Yara is recognized as a valuable contributor and quickly becoming a subject matter expert for multiple channels within the Exchange Operations Department.
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's YUTING ZHANG. "Policy interventions should focus on preventing concurrent exposure,” says INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16).
US NEWS - Death certificates that did not specify the drugs involved in fatal overdoses may have masked more than 70K opioid-related deaths across the U.S. from 1999 to 2015. "Coroners... do not necessarily have medical training useful for completing drug information for death certificates based on toxicology reports," says BIOS' JEANINE BUCHANICH . DEAN BURKE and LAURAN BALMERT (BIOS ’17) coauthored the study.
PITTWIRE - Pitt is taking a leading role in tackling the public health crisis by strengthening its prevention, treatment and recovery programs to bring meaningful change to the lives of students. "While opioid abuse is lower on university campuses, we can't be complacent," said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. Pitt Public Health was represented on the task by BRADY BUSHOVER (EPI '18) and project coordinator MICHAEL MALLON (BCHS '13).
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 used to predict cardiovascular disease risk,” said lead author and EPI's, SAMAR EL KHOUDARY (EPI '08).
EMS1 - Many EMS agencies are reporting record numbers of overdose-related 911 responses and unprecedented amounts of naloxone being administered during resuscitative efforts. Many systems are turning to new mobile integrated health care and community paramedicine approaches to help. DAN SWAYZE (BCHS '09) shares the 5 things community paramedics should know to be effective.
A $75,000 Team Science RAP Grant was awarded to alumnus JASON FLATT (BCHS '13) and colleagues on The Role of Affordable LGBTQ Age-Friendly Housing on the Health of LGBTQ Older Adults: A Natural Experiment. The study will be funded jointly by the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and the Academic Senate. They are partnering with Openhouse, a nonprofit organization in San Francisco.
More Pitt Public Health News
WESA-FM - Black babies in Allegheny County are nearly three times more likely than white babies to die before their first birthdays. Making doula services in Pennsylvania more affordable could help close the gap, says alumna DEMIA HORSELY (BCHS '18). Black moms especially need the advocacy of a doula because it’s not uncommon for them to be treated poorly in medical settings.