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Pitt Public Health partners to train and certify health workers for at-risk neighborhoods

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE – Medical outcomes would improve significantly if nonmedical personnel could help patients handle tasks such as booking follow-up appointments and establishing medication schedules. Thanks to a new funding award, Pitt Public Health will partner with the Southwest Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center to provide a 100-hour curriculum to train workers and provide them with state certification to address the need. The pr... 

Hernandez explains why some Americans are forced into bankruptcy to pay for prescriptions

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THE GUARDIAN – A 2019 report published in the journal Health Affairs found drug costs are driven largely by pharmaceutical manufacturers’ year-on-year price hikes on drugs already on the market rather than by innovation, as often claimed by the industry. Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM ’16), lead author of the study, says, “Our results are relevant from a policy perspective because they show that price increases do not necessarily reflect innovation o... 

Braund coauthors American Heart Association's Call to Action on Rural Health

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With this advisory, the American Heart Association is calling for a sustained commitment of health care and other stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels to work together to improve rural health. HPM's Wendy Braund was among the authors stating, "understanding and addressing the unique health needs of people residing in rural America is critical to the American Heart Association's commitment to health equity and its focus on social... 

Meet HPM alum Mina Kabiri

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Mina Kabiri (HPM '17) is the associate director of global health economics and value demonstration at the Health Economics and Market Access division of Johnson and Johnson Medical Devices Companies. In her role, she leads the global efforst of developing health economic modeling tools for orthopedics, bio-surgery, and cardiovascular medical devices.   

Thurston on why your hot flashes may put you at risk for heart disease

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CAPE COD HEALTH NEWS - Women who reported more persistent hot flashes over the course of the menopausal transition were associated with an 80 percent increased risk for cardiovascular disease events. EPI's Rebecca Thurston, lead investigator on a study of more than 3,000 women for 20 years, called the magnitude of the increased risks “substantial.” She says, “The [hot flashes] are telling us something about the health of women’s cardiovascular s... 

Samargandy and El Khoudary find that running can help aging women at increased risk of heart disease

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RUNNER’S WORLD – New research adds to growing evidence that the menopause transition is a critical stage for the acceleration of cardiovascular disease risk, according to lead author and epidemiology doctoral student Saad Samargandy. Senior author and associate epidemiology professor Samar El Khoudary says these shifts may be related to hormonal changes affecting arteries and veins that carry blood throughout the body, but exercise can be crucia... 

Hartman & Mertz serve on global coronavirus panel

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TRIB LIVE –  Experts from multiple disciplines gather to discuss the outbreak of novel coronavirus COVID-19. Panelists include IDM’s Amy Hartman, who studies emerging viruses and diseases transmitted from animals to people and then among people; and ACHD medical epidemiologist Kristen Mertz, who also serves as an adjunct assistant professor at Pitt Public Health. “Information is coming out very quickly and it’s hard to … know the facts,” Hartman... 

Mertz joins Pitt experts to dispel myths about Coronavirus

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KDKA – During the information session, Kristen Mertz, assistant professor of epidemiology and medical epidemiologist at the Allegheny County Health Department, highlighted more aggressive measures currently in place to prevent spreading the disease. “Those are really the travel ban for foreign nationals so they are not coming to the U.S. and restrictions on U.S. citizens and residents who have been overseas,” Mertz said.  

As a Pennsylvanian with a disability, Tomko is forced to choose between higher pay and essential benefits

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PUBLICSOURCE - Until salary caps are removed, Heather Tomko (HPM ’19) must constantly choose between her career and her health. Right now, people with disabilities are barred from positions of power and influence because they can’t afford the accompanying salary. Without people with disabilities in these positions, the needs of people with disabilities aren’t represented in policy.  

Physician-patient communication behaviors in the most popular prime television shows

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JOURNAL OF HEALTH COMMUNICATION - Hoffman BL, Cafferty LA, Shensa A, Jain P, Rosenthal EL, Primack BA, Sidani JE extended Jain and Slater's (2013) research to the most popular primetime television programs of 2016 and 2017. Our analysis suggests that patient–provider interactions on primetime television often feature certain PCC behaviors, with providers on medical programs significantly more likely to exhibit certain PCC behaviors than provider... 

Paid leave and access to telework as work attendance determinants during acute respiratory illness, United States 2017-18

EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES - Faruque Ahmed, Sara Kim, Mary Patricia Nowalk, Jennifer P. King, Jeffrey J. VanWormer, Manjusha Gaglani, Richard K. Zimmerman, Todd Bear, Michael L. Jackson, Lisa A. Jackson, Emily Martin, Caroline Cheng, Brendan Flannery, Jessie R. Chung, and Amra Uzicanin found that among working adults who sought medical care for an ARI from 5 sites across the country, 79% had access to paid leave and 15% were able to telework. ... 

Rural Access to MAT in Pennsylvania (RAMP): A Hybrid Implementation Study Protocol for Medication Assisted Treatment Adoption among Rural Care Providers

ADDICTION SCIENCE AND CLINICAL PRACTICE - Cochran G, Cole E, Warwick J, Donohue J, Gordon AJ, Gellad W, Bear T, Kelley D, DiDomenico E, Pringle J found that rural areas in the U.S. have been hit particularly hard by the current OUD and overdose epidemic given the paucity of health and human services resources available.   

Factors Contributing to Domestic Violence Among Hindu Asian Indian Immigrant Women in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: A Feasibility Study

JOURNAL OF HEALTH DISPARITIES RESEARCH AND PRACTICE - Pallatino C, Bear TM, Terry M's study indicated that research within Hindu AIIW is feasible and there were no issues with recruitment or item nonresponse among participants in this study.   

El Khoudary finds heart disease risk grows as women move through menopause

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - A marker for heart disease risk considerably worsens as women transition through menopause. Black women experience this accelerated decline earlier in menopause than their white counterparts. According EPI's Samar El Khoudary, the findings add to growing evidence that menopause is a critical time for changes in cardiovascular health and underscore the importance of women and their doctors focusing on heart health during the... 

Gellad concerned that delayed generics increase surprise medical bills

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AXIOS – Big pharma is often successful in securing additional years of monopoly pricing, creating a higher baseline price for when generics finally come out. "Every year that goes by when a generic is delayed is another 6+ percent increase in the price the generic will cost when it finally hits the market," tweeted HPM’s Walid Gellad last week.  

Megan Crilly

Megan Crilly is a senior CMC regulatory affairs specialist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. She develops regulatory strategies for the chemistry, manufacturing, and controls (CMC) section of clinical applications to regulatory agencies around the world. Her responsibilities also include reviewing clinical trial applications and managing submission approvals and timelines to support supply of clinical trials.  

Ecological momentary assessment of stress, racism and other forms of discrimination during pregnancy using smartphone technology

WILEY - Dara D. Mendez, Sarah A. Sanders, Yu‐Hsuan Lai , Meredith L. Wallace , Stephen L. Rathbun, Tiffany L. Gary‐Webb, Esa M. Davis, Lora E. Burke found methods applied in PMOMS provide real‐time data regarding how participants' daily experiences of stress and discrimination influence their lives. Future work will include understanding if and how these EMA measures may relate to already established measures of racism, sexism, and stress; and u... 

An Athletic Coach-Delivered Middle School Gender Violence Prevention Program: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial

Miller, Jones, Ripper, Paglisotti, Mulbah, Abebe found that gender attitudes and intentions to intervene did not differ between study arms. In exploratory intensity-adjusted and per protocol analyses, athletes on teams receiving CBIM were more likely to report positive bystander behaviors and to endorse equitable gender attitudes and less likely to report ARA and sexual harassment perpetration 1 year later.  

Zhijie Ding

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Zhijie Ding is the manager of real world value & evidence, immunology for The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson. In this role he demonstrates the value of STELARA® in Crohn’s disease by generating and communicating high quality real-world evidence through collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. Ding contributes to the U.S. market access scientific strategy for STELARA® by providing insights from real-world evid... 

Sally Caine Leathers

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Sally Caine Leathers is currently serving as a health insurance specialist at the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) where she is leading the development of a rural health model. While at CMMI, she has led the Hospital Payment Program under the Maryland Total Cost of Care Model, where all MD hospitals operate under a global budget, and helped implement the Million Hearts Cardiovascular Disease Risk Reduction Model, which aims to re... 

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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)


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

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

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... (06/29/2020)