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Wang receives RAC graduate student fellowship from Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh

Xinjun (David) Wang (BIOST ’22) has been awarded a graduate student fellowship from UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. He received a perfect review score in the application despite the strong competition this year. The fellowship will provide support for two years for him to work on his thesis “Machine Learning and Statistical Methods for Analyzing Single-cell Multi-omics Data.” Congratulations Xinjun!  

Brown talks about health equity implications of SCOTUS decision on employment protections for SGM

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"The June 15, 2020, decision by the Supreme Court of the United States affirming Federal Civil Rights protections in employment for sexual and gender minorities (SGM) across the country has significant health equity implications...we celebrate this decision as a positive step toward creating more equitable health and social environments for those in our communities who exist across the gender and sexuality spectrum," said BCHS's Andre Brown.   

COVID-19 and Protesting: How to Stay Safe

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COVID-19 can spread in large groups. The Allegheny County Health Department shares some steps you can take to keep each other safe before, during, and after protests.  

EOH's Social Justice Bookshelf

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Encouraged by the activism of MD/PhD candidate Alexander Schuyler, EOH Chair Sally Wenzel employed the technical savvy of EOH IT Manager Adam Orbell to create the digital EOH Social Justice Bookshelf. Many of the titles are available to read online for those in the Pitt community with Pitt Passport access. Check out the recommended readings, as well as another new feature, a spotlight on EOH faculty journal publications.   

What the Allegheny County Health Department is doing to address health disparities. An open letter to the community.

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NEXT PITTSBURGH - Allegheny County, like Minneapolis, has substantial racial disparities that impact all of us. Our communities are starkly divided along racial and ethnic lines. With these lines come distinct differences in access to housing, education, transportation and employment. These differences translate directly to worse health outcomes among our communities of color. In Allegheny County, black people have dramatically higher rates of b... 

‘Desperation science’ slows the hunt for coronavirus drugs, but Angus is speeding it up

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AP NEWS - HPM’s Derek Angus, UPMC’s critical care chief, is using an innovative study using artificial intelligence to help pick treatments. Forty regional hospitals joined more from the United Kingdom to randomly assign patients to one of dozens of possible treatments, adapting treatments based on the results. If a drug looks like a winner, the computer assigns more people to get it. The system “learns on the fly.  

Roberts breaks down 'herd immunity' strategy to combat novel coronavirus (video)

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WTAE NEWS - In the absence of a vaccine, said HPM Chair Mark Roberts, at least 60% of the population must contract and recover from the virus. But 1 percent of COVID-19 cases are fatal. “That’s a huge number of deaths in Allegheny County to achieve herd immunity.” If we continue without vaccine, eventually we will achieve herd immunity, but it comes at a cost of lives lost and overwhelmed hospitals.  

My gym is reopening. Reed isn't sure it’s safe to work out there.

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NPR - If you want to exercise indoors, it’s safer to do it at home, says IDM’s Doug Reed, an immunologist and aerobiologist. If you do go to the gym and you’re breathing heavily, it would be better to double your regular physical distance to 12 feet, because we don’t know exactly how far virus particles travel when people are breathing heavily. The potential for being infected or spreading the infection could be much higher.  

Politics, fear keep some people from disclosing contacts. Maseru talks solutions.

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SPOTLIGHT PA – Contact tracing is crucial to keeping people safe but success relies on cooperation. “The key is building community trust,” said BCHS’s Noble Maseru. “If the people doing this work are known and respected in the community, residents will be more likely to trust that their information is being used for a good purpose.”  

Maseru among experts who say there are lessons to be learned from the coronavirus pandemic

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CBS PITTSBURGH - "We've got to figure out what we can do for [high-poverty communities], education and information wise, so we can at least improve the probability that they can social distance or physical distance within the environment that's challenging for them," said Center for Health Equity Director Noble Maseru. "Let's think about having a much more equity, social justice lens in our decision making that's much more inclusive."   

Allegheny County Health Dept. says new COVID-19 cases were among younger people who were traveling, visiting bars and restaurants

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WTAE - Officials said the new cases ranged in age from four months to 97 years old, with a median age of 31 years old. HPM's Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, says he's concerned about this rise in cases, but at this point doesn't fear a larger spike in cases like other states. "It's not the virus. It's our response to the virus that causes the spike. It's not the virus getting stronger or weaker, it's how we respo... 

Masks and Much More: Public Health in the Time of COVID-19

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PITTSBURGH CURRENT—"Green is associated with 'go,' 'all clear,' 'nothing to worry about'—but during this pandemic, green could not be further from the truth." Doctoral candidate Chantele Mitchell-Miland (EPI '20) and advisor EPI's Dara Mendez explain why we all still need to be vigilant and practice infection prevention precautions. The authors discuss transmission, testing and tracing, disparate impacts, and the mental health toll, calling for ... 

COVID19 and the Future of Public Health

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How does the current pandemic compare with other public health crises like the polio outbreaks in the 1940s and 50s? This final seminar will provide an opportunity to collectively reflect on what we can do to extend the reach of the field and to improve population health and well-being. IDM's Peter Salk and Mehran S. Massoudi (EPI '92, '93) share thoughts about how the current pandemic connects to Jonas Salk's work and reflect on what we can do ... 

Q&A: Healthcare Advisory Group members weigh in on COVID-19 questions

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EPI Chair Anne Newman and EOH Chair Sally Wenzel join additional members of the Healthcare Advisory Group for a Q&A focusing on COVID-19. The group, which includes a multifaceted panel of experts in health care, law, medicine, public health, occupational health and safety, infectious diseases and epidemiological modeling and emergency preparedness, is meeting regularly to apply their collective knowledge to the very practical questions that need... 

Coronavirus case increases and risky social behavior worry Newman

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER – The uptick may be linked to an increase in young adults not social distancing, so officials suspended the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption at bars and restaurants. The rise in cases suggests people don’t understand what the state’s “green” phase meant, said Anne B. Newman, EPI chair. “I think people took the green to mean that everything was fine and there wasn’t a problem.”  

Mair encourages risk priorities as a surge of coronavirus infections continues in Allegheny County

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90.5 WESA – Social epidemiologist Christina Mair has been thinking for weeks that the county needs to close bars. She acknowledges the economic repercussions but said it might help keep infection rates low enough that kids can return to school in the fall. “It’s the risk-benefit,” she added. “Where are the places where allowing more risk because they're more important?”  

“Children can die.” Elizabeth Miller urges parents to get kids vaccinated after 50 percent drop in visits (video)

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KDKA-TV - BCHS’ Elizabeth Miller, director of population health at UPMC Children’s Hospital, says many kids are behind on their vaccines for preventable and deadly diseases. “We have the potential of a massive public health crisis on top of what is already unprecedented in terms of this global pandemic.”  

Reflection to Action - we respond to "Racism: The Ultimate Underlying Condition

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The Center for Health Equity and Office of Health Sciences Diversity hosted a discussion and reflection to action and engagement in response to the American Public Health Association’s June 9 webinar, “Racism: The Ultimate Underlying Condition”. BCHS' Noble Maseru gave an overview of the  APHA presentation and invited panelists to give their insight and experience to help shine a spotlight on the intersection of men’s health and racism in honor... 


COVID-19: The Effect on Immigrants and Latinos

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BCHS's Patricia Documet, associate professor and director of the doctoral program in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and director of Latinx research and outreach in the Center for Health Equity discusses with community leaders the effects of the pandemic on Latinos and immigrants. Panelists include Guillermo Perez, president of the local chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and Monica Ruiz, execu... 

Chaves-Gnecco Co-hosts COVID-19: Lo Que Usted Debe Saber en Pittsburgh

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Program Director and Founder of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Salud Para Niños Diego Chaves-Gnecco (MMPH ’00) helped to host “COVID-19: What you need to know in Pittsburgh” where he addressed concerns about staying safe during the pandemic for Pittsburgh’s Latino community. “I have been particularly encouraged by the resilience of the Latino community…[and] I am humbled by the fact that I might be able to help others with my work.”  

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University draws on own experts to guide health and safety decisions 

University draws on own experts to guide health and safety decisions

PITTWIRE - The new Healthcare Advisory Group, headed by Anantha Shekhar, new senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean of Pitt Med, will monitor the health status of the campus and ensure compliance with legal regulations. Members, including HPM’s Mark Roberts, EPI’s Anne Newman, EOH’... (06/17/2020)
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O'Neal Summons Satan for Starring Role 

O'Neal Summons Satan for Starring Role

PITTWIRE - Pitt Public Health staff member Scott O'Neal recently took center stage to sing the title role in the world premiere of "Satan's Fall," composed by Steward Copeland, founder of the iconic New Wave band The Police. The metal opera, based on "Paradise Lost", was co-commissioned by the Mend... (02/24/2020)
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Parker elected Hastings Center fellow 

Parker elected Hastings Center fellow

PITTWIRE - HUGEN's Lisa Parker was recently elected fellow to The Hastings Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of research scholars studying ethical questions in medicine, science and technology that help inform policy, practice and public understanding. Parker, along with Robert Arnold o... (02/05/2020)


Featuring the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Review theFriday Letter submission guidelines then share your story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 
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Masks and Much More: Public Health in the Time of COVID-19 

Masks and Much More: Public Health in the Time of COVID-19

PITTSBURGH CURRENT—"Green is associated with 'go,' 'all clear,' 'nothing to worry about'—but during this pandemic, green could not be further from the truth." Doctoral candidate Chantele Mitchell-Miland (EPI '20) and advisor EPI's Dara Mendez explain why we all still need to be vigilant and practic... (07/01/2020)