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BCHS Department News

Donny speaks on FDA plan to make cigarettes less addictive

LA TIMES - The FDA announcement is great news, said BCHS’ ERIC DONNY. He and other researchers found that reducing nicotine substantially leads smokers to be less dependent on cigarettes and smoke fewer of them was found in a study by and other researchers. "If you just reduce it a little, people might smoke more to make up the difference. They need to reduce it a lot." Regulators should consider a 95% to 97% reduction. 

Hawk, Egan, and Keane caution against study linking increased access of Naloxone to crime

CNN – A new study has found that after the expansion of access to naloxone, arrests for possession and sales of opioids increased by 17% and 27%, respectively. However, BCHS's MARY HAWK, JAMES EGAN, and CHRIS KEANE had some cautions. Just because both expanded during the same time period does not mean that one caused the other. Even if that was true, they would not propose removing access to a lifesaving drug, they said.  

BCHS alumna Kavanaugh shares her passion for reproductive health (video)

MEGAN KAVANAUGH (BCHS ’08) became a principal research scientist at the Guttmacher Institute in 2017. Her research portfolio has focused on contraceptive use and service delivery, unintended pregnancy and abortion. In her most recent studies, she has been tracking national trends in contraceptive use, examining the consequences of unintended pregnancy and understanding the impact of travel on women seeking abortions.  

BCHS alumna Ncube shares her educational journey (video)

COLLETTE NCUBE (BCHS ’14) is a future faculty fellow in the Department of Health Sciences and the Institute of Urban Health Research and Practice at Northeastern University. Ncube’s research focuses on determinants of racial/ethnic disparities in adverse birth and pregnancy outcomes and later life cardiovascular/metabolic disorders, with particular focus on lifecourse and intergenerational factors.   

BCHS alumnus Wei shares interest in HIV research (video)

CHONGYI WEI (BCHS '09) recently moved from the University of California, San Francisco to join the faculty at the Rutgers School of Public Health. His primary research focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of HIV/AIDS among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Asia and in the U.S. He is interested in creating innovative strategies to increase HIV testing uptake among MSM and improve access to care and treatment among HIV-infected MSM.  

BCHS alumna Wilds shares her experiences working at the Highmark Foundation (video)

CHRISTINA WILDS (BCHS '06) serves as senior program officer of the Highmark Foundation. Prior to joining Highmark, Wilds served as program evaluator in Highmark Inc.'s division of community affairs, where she was responsible for all phases of program evaluation. Before joining Highmark, she worked for a world-class medical center where she served in various fundraising positions.   

BCHS alumna Bhargava discusses the issues with current standards of student success (video)

Kent State College of Public Health faculty member, TINA BHARGAVA (BCHS, '12) is the coordinator for the Prevention and Control of Diseases course, which is taught online. She is interested in improving online teaching methods. Her research interests include health behavior change and the cognitive limitations that may affect success with behavior change. Her current work focuses on re-envisioning the standard for student success.  

Hulsey, Hacker say data offers hope for opioid intervention

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE – Health department officials like ERIC HULSEY (BCHS '08) are diving deep into the data in order to predict where and when an opioid overdose is going to occur. The trick will be getting the information, and its implications, out to the broader community. “This is not just the responsibility of the government,” says BCHS’ KAREN HACKER, director, Allegheny County Health Department. “We can hopefully influence the health ca... 

Elizabeth Felter: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

Elizabeth Felter joined the faculty as assistant professor in 2010. She has been a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) since 2001 and leads the department’s health communication/health risk communication curriculum. Her teaching portfolio has expanded to include development of infographics, preparation of public service announcements, and use of video for public health communication.   

Todd Bear: 2018 Delta Omega Inductee

Todd Bear 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 a life-course perspective to study the behavioral and psychosocial pathways by which childhood adversity affects adolescent and adult health.   

Miller to present webinar on using brief interventions to prevent teen dating violence

HSTODAY - NIJ and the Federal Interagency Workgroup on Teen Dating Violence are hosting a moderated webinar on Monday, February 26, at 1:00 PM to discuss interventions to reduce TDV across multiple settings with potentially high-risk populations, including within adolescent health care settings. BCHS’ LIZ MILLER will talk about universal screening, warm transfers, and reasons patients do not seek or accept assistance.   

Albert and Agimi find in-person license renewal, not physician reporting, associated with fewer crash hospitalizations among drivers with dementia

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Health data scientist Yll Agimi, and BCHS’s Steven Albert interprets interesting link, or lack thereof, between mandated licensing procedures and motor vehicle accidents by those afflicted with dementia. “Laws requiring physicians to report dementia patients to licensing authorities not necessarily mean fewer hospitalizations.”  

Public Health Dynamics Lab on Opioid Crisis

THE PITT NEWS – Nearly 3,000 Pennsylvanians died of opioid overdoses in 2015, according to the Public Health Dynamic's Laboratory. But researchers like MICHAEL MALLON (BCHS '13), the project coordinator for Pitt Public Health's Opioid Initiatives, are working to change that statistic. "Pennsylvania is one state that is being hit harder than others. the number of overdoses almost doubles every eight or nine years," Mallon said.   

Albert and Agimi find in-person license renewal helps reduce dementia-related motor vehicle crashes

TRIB LIVE - Analyzing motor-vehicle-related hospital admissions, in-person license renewal laws and vision testing were found to dramatically reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents by drivers with dementia, according to BCHS' STEVEN ALBERT and YLL AGIMI (EPI '12) as published in Neurology.   

Pitt Public Health partner SisterFriend featured for #LetsMakeASEEN

Menstruation is a suppressed topic in our society, it is usually a subject whispered about in school hallways, complained about in the bathroom or completely ignored in the workplace. Tamara Whiting has set out to normalize it with SisterFriend Inc., dedicated specifically to menstrual advocacy and product distribution. "Pitt Public Health has been an outstanding partner to SisterFriend" says Whiting, and will host a SisterFriend author presenta... 

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