Alumni Stories

Pitt Public Health graduates are at the center of impressive news stories

7,000 strong and growing, Pitt Public Health alumni have exciting careers across the United States and around the world. Meet some of these award-winning, world-changing alumni.

Hernandez receives 2019 Seema S. Sonnad Emerging Leader in Managed Care Research Award

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VALDOSTA DAILY TIMES - "As an exemplary leader in the field of managed care, Dr. Hernandez sincerely represents the values that the Seema S. Sonnad Emerging Leader in Managed Care Research award was founded on," said Mike Hennessy Jr., president and CEO of MJH Life Sciences, parent company of the presenting body, the American Journal of Managed Care. The award was named in honor of Sonnad, who served as a mentor to many young researchers and was... 

Identical twin kidney transplants warrant gene sequencing, Jorgensen says

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MEDICAL EXPRESS - Researchers including Dana Jorgensen (EPI '14) found that kidney transplants between identical twins have high success rates, but also high rates of immunosuppressant use. About half of patients were on immunosuppresant drugs a year after transplant, but survival rates were about the same regardless. "Once you confirm that the organ donor and recipient are identical, that's really a best-case scenario," said Jorgensen. "It's al... 

Ferrar continues to work with FracTracker, driven by the prioritization of public health

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VOYAGE LA - "We fill a unique role. FracTracker Alliance studies, maps, and communicates the risks of oil and gas development to protect our planet and support the renewable energy transformation. We support groups across the United States, addressing pressing extraction-related concerns with a lens toward health effects and exposure risks on communities from oil and gas development," said Kyle Ferrar (EOH '10) about FracTracker, an organization... 

Arnold named one of Pittsburgh Magazine's 40 under 40

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PITTSBURGH MAGAZINE - The Center for Disease Control estimates that 130 people die in this country every day from opioid-related drug overdoses. As the executive director of Prevention Point Pittsburgh, Aaron Arnold (BCHS '13) is working to change that. In addition to offering a needle exchange program and STI testing, Prevention Point provides opioid users with free naloxone access and training, as well as other services. It is, quite literally... 

Baumann's latest documentary examines transgender identities and reproductive health

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WESA-FM -- A documentary about a local transgender musician’s reproductive health offers a new way to think about public health research: through the visual medium of film. Produced by Pitt Public Health postdoctoral associate Sara Baumann  (BCHS '19), the film focuses on Jude Benedict, who identifies as trans-masculine genderqueer (someone whose gender was assigned female at birth, and often expresses themselves in a masculine way, but does not... 

Christopher talks to ASHG TV about Genetics Education and Engagement Fellowship

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ASHG TV - Dyanna Christopher (HUGEN) talks about helping health care workers respond to patients that have had or want genetic testing as well as working in low income areas and with low-literacy populations on education and reducing the stigma around genetics and genomics. "They are really supportive in helping you find your niche and figure out the things you're passionate about."  

Koesarie, Risser, Totoni instrumental in Pitt providing menstrual products around campus

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THE PITT NEWS - The pad and tampon dispensers in women’s bathrooms across campus have sat empty for years. But check again. Pitt is stocking a number of bathrooms with menstrual products, and there’s no payment required. Kathleen Koesarie (MMPH), said “it’s important that students who need menstrual products have access to them without leaving school. It’s a period equity issue, it’s an equality issue, and it’s a public health issue.”  

Garrison, Abdi, Litam win first place nationally in 2019 Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition

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Erika Garrison (MHA/MBA '20), Ilham Abdi (MHA '20), and Terrance Litam (MHA '20) took top honors in NAHSE's case competition held in Washington, DC. Competing among 29 teams representing the nation's top programs, the Pitt students developed a plan to address the health care needs of San Francisco's homeless population. "The team did an amazing job of preparing a creative and comprehensive solution, delivering their presentation in a very profes... 

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Alumni Profiles

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Peter: 2018 Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award 

Peter: 2018 Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award

BERNADINE PETER (EPI ’88) is population health coordinator and registered dietitian at Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio, Texas. She previously served at Franklin Primary Health Center Inc. in Mobile, Ala., where she educated patients with diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure,... (02/23/2018)
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Farmartino: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award 

Farmartino: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award

In 2012, a year before completing her MPH, CHRISTINA FARMARTINO (IDM ’13) was hired as executive director of The Open Door, which provides supportive housing and representative payee services to individuals living with HIV/AIDS—including active injection drug users—to improve their health and housi... (02/23/2018)
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Talkowski: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award 

Talkowski: 2018 Early Career Excellence Award

MICHAEL TALKOWSKI (HUGEN ’08) is associate professor of neurology (genetics) at Harvard Medical School and the Center for Genomic Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and an associate member of the Broad Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard where he directs the B... (02/23/2018)
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Buchanich: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee 

Buchanich: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

While completing her MPH and PhD degrees, JEANINE BUCHANICH (EPI ’98, ’07) worked full time for the Department of Biostatistics at Pitt Public Health and was appointed research assistant professor and deputy director of the Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology in 2008. She has serv... (02/23/2018)
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Bear: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee 

Bear: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

TODD BEAR (BCHS ’07, ’13) joined the Pitt Public Health faculty as an assistant professor immediately upon earning his PhD in 2013. His primary research interest is the study of adversity, including child maltreatment and exposure to violence, and its effects on health over the lifespan. He utilizes... (02/23/2018)
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