Epi Department News

New covid subvariants highly contagious, immune evasive, experts say

TRIB LIVE -  A rapidly spreading covid variant is highly contagious and can cause breakthrough infections, but it’s not more severe or dangerous than prior strains, local experts say. The omicron subvariant — known as BA.5 — has “really taken off, nationally and locally,” said Dr. Lee Harrison, professor of infectious disease and epidemiology.   “It is very, very infectious,” Harrison said. “There’s no doubt about it. In terms of immun... 

EPI's Andrea Rosso receives Steven D. Manners Research Development Award

UNIVERSITY TIMES - The University Center for Social and Urban Research (UCSUR) has selected three projects from five Pitt faculty members to receive the Steven D. Manners Research Development Awards. Rosso was awarded for her work on Neighborhood Environment and Risk of Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults across Southwestern Pennsylvania. The awards, which were established in 2001, are for promising research projects in the social, behavioral, ... 

Postpartum Mothers Mobility Study co-hosts summer solstice yoga for wellness of black mothers and people who birth

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Alecia Dawn, a yoga instructor and owner of YOGAMOTIF, guided a small group in a yoga and meditation class Monday at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination in Garfield. The Summer Solstice Yoga event was co-hosted by YOGAMOTIF, Healthy Start Pittsburgh and the university of Pittsburgh Postpartum Mothers Mobility Study, or PMOMS.  PMOMS is research focused on understanding factors associated with racial disparities ... 

Allegheny County Health Department prizes alliance with Pitt Public Health alumni

You don’t have to look far to find a School of Public Health (SPH) graduate among the people working within the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) to ensure the well-being of western Pennsylvanians. "The school really is a feeder institution," says LuAnn Brink (EPI '99), PhD, a 12-year ACHD veteran and chief epidemiologist since 2014. Brink supervises the county's Bureau of Data Reporting and Disease Control and oversees surveillance... 

Gun owners, onlookers split on what gun control proposals could accomplish

TRIB LIVE - Reaction to proposed gun control laws shows that even some local gun owners appear just as divided about the effectiveness of such measures as the politicians debating them. Although many people seem to agree the country has to find a way to stem gun violence on American streets and in schools, there is little agreement on how best to do that. "Much of the gun regulation debate is based on speculation," says EPI's Anthony Fabio. "The... 

COVID-19 deadlier during pregnancy, African study says

VOICE OF AMERICA - Pregnancy puts women at higher risk of severe medical complications or death from COVID-19, according to a new study of more than 1,300 women in sub-Saharan Africa. "Africa is not Europe, is not the U.S.A.," said IDM and EPI's Jean Nachega, lead author of the new study. "We should not just rely on data coming from the U.S., Europe or China to try to understand COVID on the continent."   In the study , published in the jou... 

Gary-Webb participates in White House listening session on health equity issues

On May 25, Tiffany Gary-Webb, associate professor of Epidemiology, participated in a White House listening session on health equity issues across the Commonwealth.  Experts from a range of disciplines – medicine, nursing, public health and social work – participated in the session.  Attendees were asked to share their views on health equity and its impact on clinical care.  “While our clinical advancements have been amazing and pivotal, pre... 

What women can do to protect their hearts at every age

NHLBI News - EPI's Samar El Khoudary shares what healthcare providers and the public should know about reproductive events, such as pregnancy complications or early menopause, that can influence women's cardiovascular disease risks. "We want to make sure that women are aware that heart disease is their number one killer," she says. Knowing about the risks can be the first step to prevention.   

Real-time genomic surveillance quickly detects hospital outbreaks

HEALIO - Alexander Sundermann (IDM '14, EPI '22) and colleagues find real-time genomic surveillance is able to detect hospital outbreaks using an approach they call Enhanced Detection System for Healthcare-Associated Transmission, which would allow hospitals to detect outbreaks early and intervene quickly. Sundermann says, "We believe that this will substantially improve patient safety" and that "sequencing surveillance will eventually become ro... 

Diabetes in the offspring of exceptional survivors

FRONTIERS SCIENCE NEWS - New study within the US Long Life Family Study identifies biomarkers characteristic for people born in – or married into – families with exceptionally long-lived members. Both groups also have a reduced risk of developing type II diabetes. Sharing the household and lifestyle of children of long-lived parents might lead to these marked health benefits for spouses, but it’s also possible that people tend to pick their part... 

Doctors devise safer alternative to opioids during, after surgeries

U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - EPI's Wendy King weighs in on opioid use during and after bariatric surgery care. States that many weight-loss centers are indeed developing their own opioid-sparing protocols. The majority of patients seem to be on board with these protocols.   

Dean’s Day 2022 DEI Award, Master’s Category: Emily Arthur

EPI student Emily Arthur won the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award, Masters Level for the project, “Maternal Health in Rural Virginia”.  

Christian Garcia-Calavaro (EPI '19) appointed head of Department of Epidemiology Chilean Ministry of Health

With a warm and inviting smile – and a colorful tattoo of the Andy Warhol bridge on his forearm – Epidemiology alum Christian Garcia-Calavaro is eager to share his public health journey from his native Chile to Pittsburgh and back again. As he reflects on his experiences at Pitt Public Health he shares, “Through knowledge and example, I learned what made me the public health professional I am today and the foundations of the virtuous person who ... 

Black Equity Coalition and Tiffany Gary-Webb use data driven approach to addressing health disparities in the COVID-19 pandemic

PITT MED - Concerned about the COVID-19 death rate for Black Pittsburghers, Tiffany Gary-Webb and a group of scholars in her sphere reached out to public health officials. When they asked about the rates in the Pittsburgh area, the data were not available to the public at the time. In the ensuing weeks and months, Gary-Webb was part of a collegial huddle working together to put pressure on public health officials. Ultimately, that pressure resul... 

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