Epi Faculty News

Fabisiak and Brink: Air pollution increases regional health risks

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PITTSBURGH TODAY - “PM2.5 is probably the chief concern for the region, mainly because of its contribution from a source as big as the Clairton plant has an effect over a fairly large area,” said EOH associate prof JAMES FABISIAK.... “Everything that’s a risk factor for bad health is showing up high in that area,” said LUANN BRINK, Allegheny County Health Department deputy director and chief epidemiologist (as well as EPI alum and assistant prof)... 

Zimmerman, Nowalk, Hawk, and Ricci receive Adult Immunization Publication Award

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Kudos to (photo front, left to right) alumna PATRICIA NOWALK (EPI '81, ’93) and BCHS faculty MARY HAWK, ED RICCI, and (back) RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, who received the Immunization Publication Excellence Award presented during the National Adult Influenza Immunization Summit, May 10, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia. The award was in recognition of their work on the Four Pillars Practice Transformations Program for adult influenza immunization. 

Van Panhuis explains why gaps in immunization coverage are troubling

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STAR TRIBUNE - “That is the herd immunity,” said WILBERT VAN PANUIS, Pitt Public Health epidemiologist and affiliated faculty of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory. Measles is less likely to turn into an outbreak if at least 95 percent of the population has immunity protection. ldquo;If the number drops below 95, the chance of measles infection is going up,” he said. “Children who can’t be vaccinated will be at an extreme risk.” 

2017 faculty and staff Delta Omega initiates

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The following four individuals will be inducted into the Omicron chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society at the Graduate School of Public Health, recognizing merit and encouraging further excellence in, and devotion to, public health work: Nancy W. Glynn (EPI '94), faculty and alumna; Leah M. Lamonte (IDM '06), alumna; Natalie A. Solomon-Brimage (BCHS '06), alumna; Christopher A. Taylor (EPI '10), alumnus. 

EPI's King finds popular weight-loss surgery linked to alcohol problems

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CBS NEWS - "We knew there was an increase in the number of people experiencing problems with alcohol within the first two years of surgery, but we didn't expect the number of affected patients to continue to grow throughout seven years of follow-up," said lead author WENDY KING, associate professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Her team discovered that 20.8 percent of participants developed symptoms of alcohol use disorder within five ye... 

Childhood bullying could mean health risks in adulthood, EPI's Matthews warns

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UPI - "The long term effects of bullying involvement are important to establish," EPI's KAREN MATTHEWS, the lead researcher from the University of Pittsburgh, said in a press release. "Most research on bullying is based on addressing mental health outcomes, but we wished to examine the potential impact of involvement in bullying on physical health and psychosocial risk factors for poor physical health." 

EPI's Brink comments on asthma among us

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POST-GAZETTE - A disturbing topic is the racial disparity in the cases of asthma. EPI's LUANN BRINK has reported rates for African-Americans that are nearly double the rates for whites. Pollution sources are clustered in areas where many African-Americans live, leading to this disparity. 

EPI's Strotmeyer selected as chair-elect of the Gerontological Society of America's Health Sciences Section

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ELSA S. STROTMEYER, associate professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health, was voted chair-elect of the Gerontological Society of America's Health Sciences Section. She will assume her role in November, joining colleagues from around the country in accepting responsibility for matters of governance and strategic planning with GSA. 

Important news about vaccines for children, with EPI's van Panhuis

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CONSUMER REPORTS - Myth #2: It’s Safer to Space Out Kids' Vaccines. That's unwise, says EPI's WILBERT VAN PANHUIS. The CDC bases the schedule on disease risks and vaccine effectiveness at specific ages, and the way vaccines may interact with each other. “To start mixing this up is really complicated and actually can be dangerous,” he says—in part because putting vaccines off can leave kids vulnerable to infectious diseases. 

Zimmerman and Nowalk suggest there may still be a place for the nasal flu vaccine

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CONTAGION LIVE - A research team including senior author RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, BCHS, and alumna MARY PATRICIA NOWALK (EPI '93), notes that despite its lower efficacy rates, eliminating the nasal influenza vaccine has resulted in a reduced overall rate of flu vaccine uptake in the United States. Thus, eliminating this form of vaccination may lead to more flu-related illnesses. The study finds that it would take only relatively small changes to tip th... 

Bodnar receives outstanding alumnus award from UNC Chapel Hill

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Vice-chair for research in the Department of Epidmiology, Lisa Bodnar is to receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The award will be presented at a ceremony on Friday, April 28, 2017. 

EPI's Strotmeyer newly elected officer for the Gerontological Society of America

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The Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the nation’s largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging, announced its newest elected officers, including Elsa S. Strotmeyer, Department of Epidemiology. Officers are chosen by the GSA membership of more than 5,500 researchers, educators, and practitioners, and are responsible for matters of governance and strategic planning, and represent the Society’s four membership section... 

Orchard receives medal as newly inaugurated Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology

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On April 13, 2017, TREVOR ORCHARD shared his inaugural lecture as Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology with Chancellor Patrick Gallegher and a throng of well-wishers during an event sponsored by Patricia Beeson, provost, senior vice chancellor, and chief academic officer of the University of Pittsburgh. Orchard's talk was titled "The Cardiovascular Complications of Type 1 Diabetes: A 30-year Pittsburgh Perspective." 

EPI's Thurston finds early hot flashes are frequently linked with heart risk

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CBS NEWS - Among women between 40 and 53 years of age, frequent hot flashes were linked to poorer function in blood vessels, the study found. This association was independent of other heart disease risk factors, noted the team led by REBECCA THURSTON, EPI faculty, professor of psychiatry and psychology, and director of the Women's Biobehavioral Health Laboratory. 

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