HPM Department News

Kelly Lavin Delmore named one of The Hill’s top lobbyists of 2021

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On December 1, 2021, The Hill released their annual list of Top Lobbyists, including 2004 HPM graduate Kelly Lavin Delmore (HPM ’04). Ms. Delmore is a Principal in the Government Relations and Public Policy Practice at the health law firm, Hooper Lundy & Bookman, P.C., where she lobbies for an array of health care clients on a bi-partisan level. With close to two decades of experience on Capitol Hill, much of her work in the past year focused on... 

Flu making a comeback, could strain hospitals filled with Covid patients

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NBC NEWS – HPM’s Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, said he’s concerned that regions of the country that currently don’t have mitigation measures for Covid will see a large increase in flu cases in the coming weeks. “What I think is worrisome now is that there are many states where they’re not doing much to try to prevent Covid,” Roberts said. “They’re getting rid of mask mandates, they’re letting people come indoor... 

Roberts: A poorly matched flu shot could mean a bad flu season on top of a Covid surge

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NBC – HPM’s Mark Roberts, said the data in the new preprint "is certainly consistent with what I know from the rest of the world right now.” The potential, he said, for a “really large influenza season this year is real. So much of the immunity that you get in a population comes from the people who had influenza the year before. There could be substantially bigger epidemics this year, especially if the strain that appears is different than the s... 

COVID-19 could eventually be seasonal, scientists say

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CNN - "We need more research to disentangle all the factors that may link seasonality to COVID-19 cases," HPM’s Hawre Jalal said. "Since it has been doing it twice so predictably, it's highly likely that a winter wave will happen again. That doesn't mean that we should give up and say, 'It's seasonal, we just have to go with that.' I think a very important distinction to make is that we have some predictable pattern to it, so we can prepare for ... 

Here's how you can benefit from the Affordable Care Act marketplace this year (and how it works)

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NEXT PITTSBURGH - Individuals enrolled in the newly subsidized, free Silver plans, in particular, could see a considerable rise in costs if the subsidies expire and they don’t go into the marketplace to change their plans, according to HPM’s Coleman Drake. “They’re going to have to actively log into their accounts and attach their credit card to their accounts so they can start making payments,” Drake said. “And I would be very worried that that... 

Another wave of COVID is sweeping through Allegheny County, but this time it's different

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WESA - Part of the reason for the continued rise in cases is due to what's called seasonal forcing, or seasonal variation. "The weather is getting colder and that allows the [viral] droplets to hang around in the air longer. So what used to be safe is no longer safe," said HPM's Mark Roberts of the Public Health Dynamics Lab.   

Aparna Ramani: Social justice warrior and award winner

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In recognition of her dedication to promoting social justice across the University of Pittsburgh and the broader community, Aparna Ramani (HPM ’23), has been awarded this year’s Iris Marion Young Award for Political Engagement. The award, created in memory of philosopher and social theorist Iris Young, recognizes that social activism takes many forms and can be pursued in many ways. Aparna is the embodiment of this philosophy.  

Roberts: reduced natural immunity could mean flu more common

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THE WEATHER CHANNEL - Getting your flu vaccine can help improve your immunity to the flu significantly. But HPM’s Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, worries that since natural immunity from exposure is where the bulk of population immunity comes from, the US may be in for a particularly virulent flu season.  

Meet Aparna Ramani, Health Justice Scholar

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“The most exciting aspect of my work is the continued mentorship, guidance, and community within the health advocacy space. As someone who has gained much insight from experienced researchers and community leaders, I hope to pass on my wisdom as a peer mentor to future public health professionals,” said Aparna Ramani (HPM ’23).  

Drake on Pennsylvanians buying health insurance having more affordable options

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WITF - Though options may be so abundant that selecting coverage for 2022 might be a bit overwhelming and cause choice overload. “There comes a certain point where … the amount of choices increases so much that it becomes cognitively difficult,” said HPM’s Coleman Drake. “[I’m] not insulting people’s intelligence. It’s just hard to pick between 40 options, and people have time constraints.”  

Meet Amy Raslevich, Health Justice Scholar

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“I am honored to be a part of the Health Justices Scholars program to continue learning racial health equity frameworks and approaches, and to expand my network in the region as we work to break down silos related to the social determinants of health and to improving the health system for those for whom it does not work,” said Amy Raslevich (HPM ‘22).  

This Flu Season is Different. Here's How to Prepare.

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NEW YORK TIMES - In a  study  published on a preprint server in August that has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh used mathematical modeling to predict how severe the upcoming flu season might be based on this increased susceptibility. They reported that if flu and flu vaccination levels are typical of prior years, 102,000 more Americans than average could be hospitalized with influenza — a 20 percent incr... 

Drake: How the Trump administration accidentally insured over 200,000 through Obamacare

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THE CONVERSATION - Changes stemming from Trump’s discontinuation of cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments to health insurers participating in the ACA marketplaces made HPM’s Coleman Drake and a colleague wonder: Did President Trump’s effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act backfire?  

Kids Should Get the Flu Shot This Season

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MEDSCAPE - Children in particular could be at high risk this year because of a lack of herd immunity, which usually comes from a combination of vaccinations and people who were exposed to related strains of the virus, says PHDL’s Mark Roberts. In a normal year, around 180-200 children die from the flu. But last year, only one death was recorded. "Very few kids got influenza last year, so young kids have almost no natural immunity."  

Controversial Brand CrossFit Now Wants to Be Your Doctor, Cole Responds

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TIME - The success of these businesses demonstrates that people are willing to pay to skip the line and receive individualized attention, says HPM’s Evan Cole. But improving access for the wealthy isn’t the same as fixing primary care. “My big concern, at a system level, with membership fees is you’re going to systematically exclude individuals with limited income,” Cole says. “Right there, you’ve got an issue with health equity.”  

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