BCHS Department News

Meet Julia Donnelly, Health Justice Scholar

Julia Donnelly (BCHS MPH '21) is a second-year student who is also pursuing a Certificate in Health Equity. "After taking the Seminar in Health Equity, I developed an interest in studying the incarcerated and reentry populations. I am specifically interested in how racial disparities in policing, sentencing, incarceration, and lack of investment in social services supporting re-entry efforts affect the health of offenders, their families, and th... 

Meet Jamie Martina, Health Justice Scholar

"Over the summer, I conducted my first qualitative research study to gauge the experiences sex workers have had with health care professionals and the barriers to obtaining regular health care," said Jamie Martina (BCHS MPH '23). "Preliminary findings showed that there was a desire to trust health care providers but that trust was not there due to historically being stigmatized in a health setting. So I applied for the Health Justice Scholars pr... 

‘Déjà vu’: HIV-positive Pittsburghers say we have much to learn about COVID by comparing it to our other deadly epidemic

PUBLIC SOURCE — Pittsburghers who have lived with HIV for decades say the COVID pandemic echoed many of the scariest and most dangerous parts of living through the HIV and AIDS epidemic, including confusion about the science, social isolation, a reluctance to adopt public health measures, and a lack of presidential leadership. HIV disease persists, particularly among younger gay Black men living in the South, said Dr.  Mackey Friedman ,  “If yo... 

Sexual violence and adolescent relationship abuse unaffected by gender-based outreach program

PSYCHIATRY ADVISOR  – Research by Elizabeth Miller of Pitt Medicine and BCHS showed small, neighborhood classes could significantly reduce sexual violence among teenage boys living in areas of concentrated disadvantage. Adapted from a program in Brazil, Manhood 2.0's core message remains the same: challenging gender norms that foster violence against women and unhealthy sexual relationships.  

Albert on how to remain independent as you age

MARKETWATCH -  Three-quarters of adults in an AARP survey said they wanted to remain in their homes, but only 59% thought they would be able to do so. If you want to stay in your home as you age, experts recommend paying attention to these 9 things now. BCHS Chair Steve Albert talks about saving money: "Older people who have paid off a mortgage and invested in adaptations to minimize effects of disability are best off."   

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Research on Behavioral Health, Media and Technology. “I think one of the reasons we’ve seen a rise in anti-vaccine sentiment over the years is people are l... 

COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Health Care Workers In Underserved Communities Get Vaccine To Build Trust

WDKA CBS NEWS —  In a multipronged effort to prioritize the biggest impact among Phase 1A groups, UPMC vaccinated community advocates  to fight vaccine hesitancy in vulnerable, often minority, populations, where COVID-19 has had a disproportionately terrible effect.BCHS's Richard Garland got the vaccine. “It was like taking a flu shot for me,” said Garland who is part of the COVID-19 Black Equity Coalition. “The more I look at the numbers in the... 

Vaccinating home-bound seniors a growing concern

ALBANY HERALD — About 1.9 million adults over 65 are mostly homebound and another 5.3 million have health conditions that make leaving home difficult. BSCH's Steven Albert warns it's likely that family or other caregivers will need to arrange for transport to vaccine centers. "For every one person in a nursing home, there are probably five people in their homes with equal levels of disability who rely on... family and community-based services." ... 

In West Virginia’s poorest communities, the state’s vaccine rollout has left vulnerable residents behind

MOUNTAIN STATE SPOTLIGHT / WVPB — Although West Virginia is currently leading the nation in its vaccination rate, the state has primarily aimed for the low-hanging fruit. “When you have to get the vaccine distributed out as widely and as quickly as possible, the inequities that already exist have the potential to be further amplified,” said Elizabeth Miller of Pitt Medicine and BCHS. “Rural communities have been devastated by lack of access to p... 

Albert among 3 Pitt Experts on Reasons for Optimism in 2021

PITTWIRE — Optimism is hardwired in most humans, says public health professor Steve Albert. If you don’t feel like you’re one of them right now, here are three perspectives on why, despite all that 2020 brought us, things are looking brighter.  

BCHS alumnus David Hicks brings teamwork and values to organzing COVID-19 response

ALABAMA NEWSCENTER - Deputy health officer at the Jefferson County Department of Health David Hicks (BCHS '03) plays a key role in organizing COVID-19 testing at Legion Field in Birmingham, which has been commended for how smoothly it has run. Residents drive into the parking lot, remain in their cars to be tested, and receive test results online in 24-48 hours.“So I’ve always had this passion to take care of those who are the most vulnerable,” ... 

Editorial: The commonwealth’s appeal to serious common sense on coronavirus safety

TRIBUNE REVIEW - Most people are capable of understanding personal responsibility and an obligation to their role in keeping other people safe. What is necessary is getting everyone to police their own actions and know what’s best for everyone is to stay in the right lane. “I think there’s this false idea that it’s either lockdown or nothing, lockdown or normal life,” said Steve Albert, BCHS chair.  

Cynthia Salter, BCHS faculty and director of the Center for Global Health

"I chose to pursue a doctoral degree after working for many years with a community-based program focused on improving birth experiences and maternal health outcomes for women in Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.  In my previous work, my staff and the women we served were often invited to participate in maternity care research, yet the reseach questions under investigation did not always align with our interests or our needs."  

Hosman: 2020 Early Career Excellence Award

Emma Hosman is Response Coordintor for the Philadelphia Department of Health's Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness Program, working on the front lines of PA's largest city's COVID-19 emergency response. "This year has really shown that public health is adaptable...[COVID-19] is challenging norms. It's challenging what we have. It's challenging all these systems. And that's great. It's allowing us to be adaptable and change what we're doi... 

Lockdowns aren’t the answer to Pa.'s surging coronavirus cases, experts say

SPOTLIGHT PA / PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER — PA health officials are holding off on implementing new lockdown or business shutdowns, even as daily reported coronavirus cases break records. Instead, they’re urging the public to stick to mitigation protocols already in place—wears, capacity limits, and contact tracing. “I think there’s this false idea that it’s either lockdown or nothing, lockdown or normal life,” said BCHS' Steve Albert. "And that’s no... 

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