News

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 '21) and EPI's Tony Fabio (EPI '99, '94) "We were pleasantly surprised to learn...that Americans seem to be self regulating," said Schiff. Additional Pitt Pubilc Health colleagues involved in the work were EPI's Dara Mendez and Tiffany Gary-Webb.  

Baumann's Research Project Explores Mental Health of Teenagers

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KDKA - The mental health of kids and teenagers has been a big concern, especially during the pandemic. Work from BCHS' Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) led eight local teenagers to create short films focusing on the stressors and supports for their mental health. The research project used Collaborative Filmmaking, giving teenagers equipment to create, film, and edit on their own.   

After Weeks of Declining Vaccination Rates in the U.S., They Went Back Up in June. Will the Momentum Last?

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TIME - The daily vaccine rate in the U.S. had dropped to 850,000 a day by early June, down from the peak of 4.3 million on April 8, but now it's starting to creep back up. HPM's Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory, agrees that childhood vaccinations are part of the explanation, but not all. It may have something to do with recent incentive programs.  

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.  

5 COVID-19 Takeaways. Roberts: Masks Work. Really.

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DISCOVER MAGAZINE - Fierce debate raged in the pandemic's early months about whether wearing face masks curbed viral transmission. There was never much science that said masks didn't work, says HPM's Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory. Pre-2020 research already showed masks' effectiveness, and COVID-era studies cemented that verdict, setting the stage for more widespread, ongoing mask use.  

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  

Juneteenth Statement from the Center for Health Equity

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CHE wishes you a Happy Juneteenth 2021, the first as a federally recognized holiday. In addition to acknowledging and uplifting Juneteenth, it is critical that we acknowledge systemic racism and oppression affecting Black communities as well as Indigenous, Latinx, and other historically oppressed communities, and uplift the efforts to undo these systems of oppression.   

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... 

A 'space race' level attack on future public health crises will involve Pittsburgh

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Maureen Lichtveld's nearly 40 years in environmental public health has focused on a central principle: how to prepare for the next big crisis. "The COVID-19 pandemic, as the limited coverage for childhood vaccinations [in the past], is a public health problem, requiring public health strategies of preparedness, vaccination and control," said Lichtveld, who is aiming to position Pitt at the forefront of this deeper bu... 

Hernandez wins Alice S. Hersh Emerging Leader Award

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Congratulations to Inma Hernandez (HPM '16), the 2021 recipient of the Alice S. Hersh Emerging Leader Award from AcademyHealth! This prestigious award recognizes professionals early in their career who show exceptional promise for future contributions to the field of health services research. Hernandez earned her PhD in Health Services Research and Policy and is an associate professor of clinical pharmacy at the University of California San Dieg... 

Gellad says antibody eligibility criteria leaves a lot of latitude

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Last week, the FDA broadened the criteria that doctors can use to determine eligibility for antibody treatments, the Times reported. That opens the door for more young people with certain medical conditions and members of high-risk racial or ethnic groups to get the treatments. "Ultimately, it gives prescribers a lot of latitude in what they can give this for," said HPM's Walid Gellad, director of the Center for Phar... 

Jalal's 2018 work backs impending "fourth wave" of overdose deaths

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BUZZFEED NEWS - The resumption of an upward trend in overdose deaths matches projections that HPM's Hawre Jalal and colleagues made in a 2018 study. "The trend has been rising for 30 years, and it has only been accelerating in the pandemic," Jalal said, adding that more recent analysis suggests the trend may date back as far as 1959.  

Schuyler and Wenzel find residence in redlined neighborhoods linked with lower lung function

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HEALIO - Adults with asthma living in neighborhoods that were deprioritized for mortgage investments in the 1930s, or redlined, had worse lung function than those living in non-redlined areas, Alexander Schuyler (EOH '23) and EOH Chair Sally Wenzel found in a cross-sectional study. "Black communities were mostly completely demarked in red or redlined as a result of this racist practice," said Schuyler.   

What is it like to study public health genetics? Pitt Public Health students present during Public Health Genetics Week 2021

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As part of National Public Health Genetics Week HUGEN's Andrea Durst moderated a panel of four Pitt Public Health students offering their perspectives on what interested them in getting into public health and why they chose to focus on public health genetics. "Public health genetics has the potential to shift public health as we know it," said Courtney Kasturiarachi. "It means increased access to genetic testing and screening as well as the forc... 

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.  

What activities can unvaccinated children do? Mair among advice from 828 experts.

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NEW YORK TIMES - "With my unvaccinated children, we will not be socializing maskless indoors with other families with kids. My kids go to school and day care, and I am not willing to risk introducing Covid in those settings due to our family's socialization activities," said BCHS's Stina Mair.   

Documet receives Pitt 2021 Momentum Funds, research grant from CLAS

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Teaming grants through the University's Momentum Funds are utilized for early-stage planning of large multidisciplinary projects. BCHS' Patricia Documet (BCHS '95, '02) along with a group of Pitt researchers for a project entitled "Developing a Latinx Youth Research Advisory Board to Address and Dismante Structural Inequities in Emerging Latinx communities."   

Robinson and Schiff win at Health Disparities and Social Justice Poster Competition

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Taylor Robinson won the master's prize at this year's poster competition from the Office of Health Sciences Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for her poster Examining Role of Environmental Pollution, Healthcare Access, and Social Vulnerability in Asthma Emergency Department Visits in Allegheny County. Mary Schiff won the doctoral award with her work The Differential Impact of Residential Segregation on Gestational Hypertension Development Among M... 

Real-World Results Confirm Vaccine Effectiveness in Older Adults

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PITTWIRE - A multisite study for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirms that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines being distributed to fight COVID-19 are highly effective in preventing hospitalizations among older adults, the most at-risk group for serious complications from the disease. Clinicians and researchers from Pitt Medicine and Pitt Public Health helped determine the results of the CDC led study.   

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Cen named to Pitt's Board of Trustees 

Cen named to Pitt's Board of Trustees

PITTWIRE - Among the latest to be added to Pitt's Board of Trustees is alumna Hui (Debra) Cen (IDM '91). Cen is a biologist, biotech entrepreneur, Rotarian and social entrepreneur who did biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, the University of California, San Francisco and Chiro... (07/12/2021)
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BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials 

BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials

PITTWIRE — When we hear about clinical trials, we might picture doctors and patients partnering to test new therapies. What we might not think about are the many others who make those studies happen. Take Maria Mori Brooks, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, who makes sense of the numbers... (02/24/2021)
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Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study 

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Resea... (02/01/2021)