HPM Faculty News

New hope for curing sepsis as researchers discover four strains - a breakthrough that could boost treatment options

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UK DAILY MAIL - The findings published in JAMA could explain why several recent trials of treatments for sepsis - an immune response in which the body attacks its own organs - have failed. "The next step is to find therapies that apply to the scientific types of sepsis and then desing clinical trials to test them," said study author Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of Pitt's critical care medicine and an HPM distinguished professor.  

Donohue comments on potential medicaid implications of study that says more Americans are being treated for depression

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PSYCHOLOGY TODAY - More Americans receive treatment for depression and pay less out of pocket than they did two decades ago, according to a recent study. "States that haven't expanded Medicaid could look at these estimates and think: There's a way to expand treatment of mental health conditions like depression," says HPM's Julie Donohue.   

Drake finds that rural counties that would most benefit from telemedicine lack broadband access

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WESA - Telemedicine has the potential to connect people in rural communities to health care providers who might otherwise take hours to reach by car. But a new study by HPM's Coleman Drake finds that many of these places lack the infrastructure to actually make telemedicine possible.   

Twenty HPM faculty and students presented at AcademyHealth 2019

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The Department of Health Policy and Management gave an impressive 20 presentations at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Washington, D.C. The students and faculty joined an international audience working to improve health and health care.   

As the U.S. measles count surpasses 25-year-old record, Roberts says: vaccinate

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WDAM - U.S. health officials have reported 971 measles cases so far this year, the highest tally in 27 years, and experts say it's not clear when the wave of illnesses will stop. "What's causing these outbreaks is lack of vaccination," said HPM Chair Mark Roberts.   

National, county research partnerships use AI to better predict opioid overdose risk

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PITTWIRE - HPM's Walid Gellad, head of Pitt's Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, is using machine-learning algorithms to predict who is at risk of opioid misuse and overdose, teaming up with Allegheny County officials and national health care databanks in two separate studies.   

Big Data Reveals Hidden Subtypes of Sepsis

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UPMC - Much like cancer, sepsis isn't simply one condition but rather many conditions that could benefit from different treatments, according to the results of a Pitt study reported in JAMA involving more than 60,000 patients, featuring Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of Pitt's Department of Critical Care Medicine and Pitt Public Health's distinguished professor of health policy and management.  

Deep Sedation and Controlled Paralysis Do Not Improve Survival of Critically Ill Patients with Severe Breathing Difficulty

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Reversibly paralyzing and heavily sedating hospitalized patients with severe breathing problems do not improve outcomes in most cases, according to an NIH-funded clinical trial conducted at dozens of North American hospitals and led by clinician-scientists at Pitt -- including Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of critical care medicine and distinguished professor of health policy and management -- and the University of Colorado.   

Roberts talks to the LA Times about the measles outbreak

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LA TIMES - Los Angeles County officials dealing with a measles outbreak say they expect that more people will be diagnosed with the illness in the coming weeks, while the nation stares down what will like be its worst measles year in decades. As they search for outbreak's start, HPM and PHDL's Mark Roberts reminds us, "What matters is not the case that started it, what matters is how many people that one case infects."   

Angus’ Early Sepsis Indicator Receives 510(k) Clearance from FDA

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MANAGED CARE - Pitt Med's Derek Angus (BCHS '92) contributed to a first-of-its-kind, hematology-based cellular biomarker that is designed to help emergency department physicians identify patients with sepsis or who are at increased risk of developing sepsis. Compared to the traditional method of reviewing white blood cell count alone, the Early Sepsis Indicator strengthens a clinician’s suspicion of sepsis by 43 percent.  

New measles outbreak simulator demonstrates the importance of vaccines

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WGCU NEWS - With measles outbreaks on the rise and vaccination rates falling in some places, HPM and PHDL's Mark Roberts discusses our latest simluator, FRED Measles Florida shows how quickly this preventable disease could spread if vaccination rates were to drop by 15%, highlighting the importance of herd immunity.   

Gellad talks about rising cost of prescription drugs

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MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO - Americans spend more on prescription drugs than anyone else in the world, a fact attributed to the ever rising costs of pharmaceuticals. HPM's Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, discusses a recent Congressional hearing, in which pharmaceutical executives claim that their hands are tied by the current health care system, and that they need profits to fund new research.  

Gellad on Memorial Sloan Kettering curbing executives' ties to industry after COI scandals

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NEW YORK TIMES - HPM's Walid Gellad, director of Pitt's Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, calls the policy changes a "watershed moment" and went on to say, "This is highly significant, especially at such a high-profile academic center. Leadership matters, and the institution has decided that their leaders should not also be concurrently leading for-profit health companies."   

Braund on why Allegheny County physicians need to embrace harm reduction

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ALLEGHENY COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY BULLETIN - In a perspective piece, HPM's Wendy Braund writes "Something has to change, because what we’re currently doing to stop the opioid epidemic clearly isn’t enough. It’s time for physicians in Allegheny County to embrace harm reduction." She mentions Naloxone, syringe service programs, opioid substitution therapies, and safe injection facilities as options to help end the opioid epidemic.   

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