Epi Department News

COVID Cases Still Low in Allegheny County, While Opioid Overdoses Continue to Plague Residents

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WESA-FM - "[That's] a big loophole there in terms of potentially not having people covered who are sick," said board chair IDM and EPI's Lee Harrison.   

Nace among those saying we should require COVID-19 vaccination of all health care workers

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - "I'm hopeful that this will help to start improving the vaccine uptake among employees in the long-term care workforce, because we really need to get those numbers up," said David Nace (EPI '95), chief medical officer of UPMC Senior Communities and an expert in long-term care and flu programs.   

Gary-Webb accepts award for impact of data from the Black Equity Coalition

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NATIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD INDICATORS PARTNERSHIP - Harnessing interdisciplinary expertise and perspectives, the Black Equity Coalition in Pittsburgh successfully used data to advocate for programs and policies to decrease racial disparities in COVID-19 response and created a forum to tackle other health inequities. "Seeing something happen right away was extremely different from the past - that we saw a problem, advocated for things to be fixed, and... 

Strotmeyer receives renewal for NIH/NIA T32 in epidemiology of aging

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EPI's Elsa Strotmeyer (EPI '00, '97) along with Anne Newman (department chair), and Jane Cauley, received a renewal on their NIH/NIA T32 in the Epidemiology of Aging. They appreciate the participation of all of their colleauges and their support of the epidemiology of aging at Pitt. "We will be recruiting for the pre-doctoral positions from the epidemiology PhD students and plan to have a wide search for one post-doctoral candidate, with priorit... 

Gary-Webb featured in PHRESH: Communities Thrive When Residents are Involved in Decisions That Affect Their Neighborhoods

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The Hill District and Homewood are similar and different in various ways. They're similar in the sense that they've been relatively stable over time and they have predominantly Black populations but they have very different histories overtime," explains EPI's TIffany Gary-Webb, assocaite dean for diversity and inclusion and associate director of the Center for Health Equity in this video from a RAND Corporation series.   

Burke, Jalal, and Lee Look at the Waves of COVID-19 Washed Across North America

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UPMC - The COVID-19 pandemic "waves" that North Americans experienced over the past year and a half had interconnected patterns that moved through space and time — and they weren't just limited to the U.S. New research from Pitt Public Health shows the waxing and waning COVID-19 case counts traveled across North American county, state and county borders with seemlingly little regard for politics and public health mandates, much like a storm can ... 

Four SWAN studies explore women's brain and heart health during midlife

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING - Meaningful research from our students, alumni, and faculty suggest that midlife health may be an important determinant of cognitive function and heart health later on in life. Featuring work from four SWAN manuscripts, one led by EPI's Emma Barinas-Mitchell for which Emily Duan (EPI '17) performed the analysis, and another led by Saad Samargandy (EPI '20). Franya Hutchins (EPI '20) performed the analyses for a third... 

After contact tracing data breach, PA sidesteps scrutiny on proposed $34M contract

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SPOTLIGHT PA - Keeping a contact tracing program in place could help manage spikes in COVID-19 cases as mitigation measures lift, said EPI's Catherine Haggerty. "Vaccination rates, although they're on the rise and things are looking encouraging, they're certainly not 100%," Haggerty said. "Containment efforts that include quarantine of close contacts, isolation of cases continue to be critically important. This isn't the time to let down our gua... 

Schiff and Fabio Explore Trends in Beer Consumption

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UPMC - Americans are consuming more craft beer with higher alcohol content but are drinking less beer by volume, according to a new analysis from Mary Schiff (EPI) and EPI's Tony Fabio, along with EPi's Dara Mendez and Tiffany Gary-Webb, plus Jeffrey Inman. "We were pleasantly surprised to learn...that Americans seem to be self regulating," said Schiff.   

As Allegheny County COVID Cases Slow, A Look at How We Got Here and What Happens Next

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WESA - Black residents continue to be underrepresented among the county's vaccinated population and part of the solution is making the vaccine more accessible. "When community-[based] events started to happen, we saw vaccination rates in Black populations increase," said EPI's Tiffany Gary-Webb, associate dean for diversity and inclusion and member of Pittsburgh's Black Equity Coalition.  

CHE and Block Chronicles present Poetic Health Justice

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The Center for Health Equity along with co-sponsor Block Chronicles, held a Poetic Health Justice Forum to curate a space where people in public health, scholars, artists, writers, and creatives are in conversation about issues of equity, justice, and health. They invited poets and writers "who inspire us to envision a future, to think beyond our boundaries, and to be in concert with community across our areas and disciplines.”  

The Struggle to Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines for Health Care Workers

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CNN - EPI's Wendy King said people indicated they were receptive to the vaccine if they were familiar with its science. Educators, overall, displayed the least hesitancy; workers in construction, mining and oil/gas extraction showed the greatest. Half of those who were hesitant cited possible side effects—a fear that could be eased by education, King said. A third among the hesitant group gave other reasons: They didn't believe they needed th  

Challenges we face against the next public health crisis? Gary-Webb says preparation is key

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - "Preparation is key. There has been disinvestment in our public health infrastructure over the past decade including systems for data collection and dissemination, workforce development, and coordination which prohibited an efficient or effective response to this COVID-19 crisis," said EPI's TIffany Gary-Webb. "Further, the delays in tracking and mitigating the impact of the pandemic in Black, brown, and other vulnerabl... 

Nachega among experts looking at 'Shocking imbalance' of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, underscoring inequity

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HEALIO - IDM and EPI's Jean Nachega and colleagues published a perspective in The New England Journal of Medicine that said concerns about access to COVID-19 vaccines in Africa resemble concerns regarding access to ART for HIV in the mid-1990s and early 2000s, when it was more accessible in high-income countries than African countries – “a disparity that resulted in many preventable deaths in these high-burden settings,” they wrote.  

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