Experts from across public health disciplines discuss opioid epidemic research, intervention strategies, challenges, and steps for the future. “What we have to start to ask is what is it as a culture that we think is the most important part of what drives us, and that shouldn’t be bottom line, it should be quality of life, ” says JAN PRINGLE (EPI ’86) about the cultural shift on attitudes towards drug use.
“It’s not about doing the cool work. It’s about doing the work that is necessary for that community,” says RUTH MODZELEWSKI (HUGEN '96) in a discussion featuring faculty and alumni about their impact on local communities, including collaboration between the private and public sector, the value of community based participatory research, empowering communities with early access to data, and acknowledging the “invisible” Latino community in Pittsbu...
Congrats to BCHS's ELIZABETH FELTER and, SARA BAUMANN (BCHS '19), who were awarded a 2018 Pitt Innovation in Education Award for their proposal “Teaching Video for Health Promotion.” They plan on offering a new class, which the funds will support, in the fall of 2018. Students will focus on script writing and and basic video editing techniques through hands-on, interactive in-class activities.
The Center for Health Equity (CHE) has created Pitt Moves, which organized brief student-led exercise times during a class break in approximately 10 classes this term. With support from Pitt’s HealthyU initiative, this student-directed and -centered physical activity break project aims to create a culture of non-sedentarism at Pitt Public Health. The project was born in a rather “serendipitous way,” says PATRICIA DOCUMET of BCHS.
THE PITT NEWS – Now he's one of the most well-known and respected anti-violence experts in the area, but BCHS’ RICHARD GARLAND is was once just like the at-risk young people he seeks to help. He became involved in gangs while living in Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood, landing him in prison from 1979 to 1991. “I’ve been blessed,” he said. “All those years in the penitentiary preserved me a lot.”
YALE DAILY NEWS – Researchers from Pitt and Yale found that neighborhood problems, from crime to economic distress, were positively associated with marijuana use. It was also found that social cohesion — the connectedness of the neighborhood — was positively associated with marijuana use. That finding was surprising to the researchers, as social cohesion is generally related to positive health behaviors, said BCHS’s ANDRE BROWN.
SisterFriend and the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences hosted an event to encourage discussions about menstrual hygiene in the region and to raise awareness about it as a critical public health issue. Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, the author of Periods Gone Public , gave a talk about her first-hand account in the fight for menstrual equity.
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.
As an international student, LYCIA NEUMANN always had the intention to take the skills she has learned at Pitt Public Health back to her home in Brazil. Because of the scholarship, she was able to study the profile and unmet needs of cancer patients' family caregivers in Brazil. Her experience has taught her important lessons, such as, " Go with a good plan and a contact. Don't wait to develop your project until you get there."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.