BCHS Department News

Raviotta, Zimmerman, Nowalk on the best time to get a flu shot

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BCHS's Richard Zimmerman and Jonathan Raviotta (BCHS '18) and Patricia Nowalk (EPI '81, '93) are among those who recently published research that says that hundreds of deaths can likely be avoided if older adults wait until October to get their flu immunization. Since the protection offered by the vaccine wanes as the season progresses, waiting until closer to the start of the season ensures greater immunity.   

What drives 'anti-vaxxer' parents? It's a mixed bag, Hoffman shows

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - People who voice their anti-vaccine sentiments online range from conspiracy theorists to parents who have safety worries or interests in alternative medicine. Investigators, including Beth Hoffmann (BCHS '19), came to that conclusion after looking into a viral Facebook attack targeting a Pittsburgh pediatric practice that posted a video encouraging HPV vaccination.   

A Multisite Case Study of Caregive Advise, Record, Enable Act Implementation

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THE GERONTOLOGIST - Leighton C, Fields B, Rodakowski JL, Feiler C, Hawk M, Bellon JE, James AE's results showed that organizational context and electronic health record capability were instrumental to the CARE Act implementation and integration into workflow. This study can help to inform others as they design and improve their compliance and implementation strategies.   

BCHS's Hawk and Gary-Webb participate in event honoring recently promoted women faculty

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BCHS associate professors Mary Hawk and Tiffany Gary-Webb participated in the provost's recent event, “A Celebration of Newly Promoted Women Faculty.” Sponsored by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns (PACWC), the event featured a panel of accomplished women professors offering perspectives and advice for successful academic careers and then introduced the recently promoted women among the faculty. The event was part of Pitt's on... 

Examining the Impact of a Psychosocial Syndemic on Past Six-Month HIV Screening Behavior of Black Men who have Sex with Men in the United States

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AIDS AND BEHAVIOR - Chandler C, Bukowski LA, Egan JE, Hawk M, Matthews D, Markovic N, Stall R revealed that tere were synergies among depression, problematic binge drinking, and poly-drug usebut these pschosocial factors cannot entirely explain testing patterns and excess disease burden among BMSM.   

Multifactorial discrimination, discrimination salience, and prevalent experiences of internalized homophobia in middle-aged and older MSM

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AGING AND MENTAL HEALTH - Meanley SP, Stall RD, Hawk ME, Surkan PJ, Shoptaw SJ, Matthews DD, Teplin LA, Egan JE, Plankey MW's study underscores internalized homophobia as a persisting concern among MSM in midlife and older adulthood. Their findings suggest that saliences, as a characteristic of discrimination experiences, may have a greater impact on internalized homophobia compared with exposure.   

I Don't Want the Tray to Tip: Experiences of Peer Evaluators in a Multi-Site HIV Retention Care Study

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AIDS EDUCATION AND PREVENTION - Dr. Mary Hawk and co-authors found that peers are well-positioned to collect client-level data, best practices, standards, and trainings for peer-based evaluation should be developed.   

BCHS’s Baumann receives 2019 Silverman Scholarship

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Doctoral student Sara Baumann (BCHS ’19) has received the Silverman Scholarship from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. The funds will support her research on chhaupadi in Nepal, a traditional harmful practice where women and girls are isolated during their menstrual cycles. Baumann is conducting a qualitative study in far-west Nepal to understand intentions to change behaviors after criminalization of the practice.  

BCHS alum accepted for Harvard crisis leadership program

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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.  

Elias receives Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award

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Congrats to professor (and alum) Thistle Elias (BCHS '12) on winning the 2019 award - a major honor recognizing continuing work with Bridging the Gaps, a premier service-learning opportunity for Pitt students. The award "recognizes... efforts [that] far exceed the traditional duties expected of a faculty member and showcases the extraordinary impact that you have had in your own department and in the University."   

Global Health at Home: Leff on Products of Pittsburgh podcast

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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.   

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."   

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).  

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.  

Schulz research on life after bereavement is highlighted in 'Starts at 60'

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STARTS AT 60 - EPI and BCHS's Richard Schulz led a 2008 study on life after bereavement and found that 10 to 15% of carers would experience chronic depression after the death of the person they cared for. Interestingly, this percentage doubled for carers of people affected by dementia. The reason for this is because the more stressful the care-giving experience, the more challenging the recovery after bereavement.  

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