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Richard Garland: A few wrong turns

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THE PITT NEWS – Now he's one of the most well-known and respected anti-violence experts in the area, but BCHS’ RICHARD GARLAND is was once just like the at-risk young people he seeks to help. He became involved in gangs while living in Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood, landing him in prison from 1979 to 1991. “I’ve been blessed,” he said. “All those years in the penitentiary preserved me a lot.”  

Human Rights Campaign recognizes UPMC's Children's Hospital and WPIC

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TRIB LIVE - Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC were once again recognized as "Leaders in LGBTQ Healthcare Equality" by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Facilities awarded this title meet four criteria: LGBTQ patient-centered care; LGBTQ patient services and support; employee benefits and policies and LGBTQ patient and community engagement.   

In a collaboration with Yale SPH, Brown finds social cohesion to be marijuana use risk factor

YALE DAILY NEWS  – Researchers from Pitt and Yale found that neighborhood problems, from crime to economic distress, were positively associated with marijuana use. It was also found that social cohesion — the connectedness of the neighborhood — was positively associated with marijuana use. That finding was surprising to the researchers, as social cohesion is generally related to positive health behaviors, said BCHS’s ANDRE BROWN.  

Matthews says having friends during childhood can abate health problems

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ECONOMIC TIMES – Researchers, including BCHS's KAREN MATTHEWS, examined data from the Pittsburgh Youth Study, a longitudinal study following cohorts of boys. Specifically, they examined data from the youngest cohort, most of whom were Black (56%) or White (41%). Analyses revealed that boys who spent more time with their friends in childhood and adolescence, had healthier blood pressure and body mass index at age 32.   

Perkins invited back to present at IDM Seminar Series

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Douglas J. Perkins, a former assistant professor in IDM (2001-2007), was invited back to present at the IDM Seminar Series on March 28. His presentation was on "Genomic Approaches for Uncovering the Pathogenesis of Severe Malarial Anemia in African Children."  

Salerno selected for summer program in Colombia

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JESSICA SALERNO (IDM '20) has been selected to participate in Red Tree Study's Academic Summer Program at the Institute of Public Health at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. In this program, students learn from experts while helping to ensure the health of Colombian citizens as the country transitions towards peace.   

SisterFriend and BCHS host "Periods Gone Public Pittsburgh" discussion (video)

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SisterFriend and the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences hosted an event to encourage discussions about menstrual hygiene in the region and to raise awareness about it as a critical public health issue. Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, the author of Periods Gone Public , gave a talk about her first-hand account in the fight for menstrual equity.  

Pitt announces new director of the Center for Vaccine Research

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W. Paul Duprex, a distinguished molecular virologist and vaccine designer, will lead the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Vaccine Research (CVR). “I’m excited to be joining an institution with such a proud history of vaccine development and a top-notch group of scientists doing incredibly innovative infectious disease research,” said Duprex. He will also hold the Jonas Salk Chair for Vaccine Research at Pitt.   

PA aims to fight drug addiction with data, partnering with Pitt and Aetna

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WITF - The state has partnered with Pitt Public Health and the Aetna Foundation to combat the crisis. Aetna Chief Medical Officer Harold Paz says the goal of the partnership is to make sense of data more quickly so the state can give the right resources to each community. Pitt's role is to help interpret that data, while Aetna is providing a one-million dollar grant.  

State to use PHDL lab for data-driven approach to opioid crisis

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - "This is an area where the approach of data-driven analytics and modeling expertise can make a significant difference," said Dean DONALD BURKE. "The ultimate goal is to allow officials to target the best resources to save as many lives as possible. A lot of data is there already but siloed, hidden, and unused."   

Biostatistic's ZHU wins distinguished student paper award at 2018 ENAR Spring Meeting

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Biostatistics student LI ZHU's paper, entitled “Bayesian indicator variable selection model to incorporate multi-layer overlapping group structure in multi-omits application ,” was recognized with one of the distinguished student paper awards at the spring meeting of the International Biometric Society's Eastern North American Region. One of the US' largest professional gatherings of biostatisticians, the 2018 ENAR Spring Meeting takes place th... 

Pitt Public Health study finds that death rates rise for white, middle-class Virginians

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THE ROANOKE TIMES - A team including Virginia Commonwealth University Pitt Public Health researchers looked at 20 years of deaths for each of Virginia’s cities and counties and found that overall, in the white population, death rates decreased by 16 percent. However, death rates rose dramatically among young and middle-aged whites.  

Traveling to Brazil? Get a yellow fever vaccination first says Marques

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WASHINGTON POST - Travelers headed to Brazil should make an appointment for a yellow fever vaccination. “If you are going for tourism, you should definitely get the vaccine,” said EPI’s ERNESTO MARQUES. The CDC recently raised the level of concern in response to a yellow fever outbreak. The agency expanded its warning to travelers unvaccinated tourists contracted the mosquito-borne virus in newly identified hot spots. 

Pitt Public Health study cited in article about Pittsburgh-area air pollution

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SIERRA - Ten facilities are responsible for more than 70 percent of all the industrial air pollution in Allegheny County. County-wide reports have found that air throughout the region can be dangerous to breath, with one study from Pitt Public Health finding that the county was in the top 2 percent in the U.S. for cancer risk from air pollution.   

Progovac published in Health Affairs

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HEALTH AFFAIRS - "Identifying Gender Minority Patients' Health and Health Care Needs in Administrative Claims Data" is the title of a recent article by ANA PROGOVAC (HPM '15) appearing in the top-tier health policy journal. Progovac was also invited to speak on her work as part of a press briefing panel focused on advancing health equity.   

Opioid epidemic could spark HIV outbreak, health experts fear

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TRIB LIVE - Public health leaders, including DEAN DONALD BURKE, urged Gov. Tom Wolf to decriminalize syringe and needle exchanges. Evidence has shown that needle exchanges staunched the rapid rise of HIV cases in Pittsburgh. Burke said Wolf has the power to prevent widespread outbreaks of viruses by making clean needles readily available. "If he doesn't, I can guarantee an HIV epidemic in the state of Pennsylvania," Burke said.  

Osteoporosis as serious, but less understood in men than women says Cauley

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HEALIO - In 1998, researchers submitted the initial NIH grant for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men study, designed to examine bone loss and fracture risk factors in older men. Much less is known about fractures and osteoporosis in men than in women. Although osteoporosis is still considered a woman’s disease, a man aged 60 years has a 25% chance of experiencing a fracture in his lifetime, says EPI’s JANE CAULEY. 

Gellad talks about the disconnect between what patients pay out of pocket and the true cost of drugs

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BIOPHARMA DRIVE - Nearly one in four patients picking up their prescription drugs from the pharmacy counter paid a copay which exceeded the price the insurer paid the pharmacy, according to an analysis of sampled reimbursement and insurance claim data published in JAMA. The disconnect between what patients pay out of pocket and the true cost of the drug (including rebates) is the real problem, says HPM’s WALID GELLAD.  

Donny speaks on FDA plan to make cigarettes less addictive

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LA TIMES - The FDA announcement is great news, said BCHS’ ERIC DONNY. He and other researchers found that reducing nicotine substantially leads smokers to be less dependent on cigarettes and smoke fewer of them was found in a study by and other researchers. "If you just reduce it a little, people might smoke more to make up the difference. They need to reduce it a lot." Regulators should consider a 95% to 97% reduction. 

Lycia Neumann - 2017 Center for Global Health Student Travel Scholarship Recipient

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As an international student, LYCIA NEUMANN always had the intention to take the skills she has learned at Pitt Public Health back to her home in Brazil. Because of the scholarship, she was able to study the profile and unmet needs of cancer patients' family caregivers in Brazil. Her experience has taught her important lessons, such as, " Go with a good plan and a contact. Don't wait to develop your project until you get there."  

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YNGBLKPGH. What does Pittsburgh mean to 140 young black professionals? 

YNGBLKPGH. What does Pittsburgh mean to 140 young black professionals?

PITTWIRE -   Pitt alum Brian Burley (BUS ’13G) continues to highlight young black leaders and create community ties through his www.YngBlkPgh.com site. This social enterprise started with his book “YNGBLKPGH” (Young Black Pittsburgh) which features more than 140 African-American professionals und... (07/23/2018)
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BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use 

BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use

PITTWIRE - Doctoral alumna CHELSEA PALLATINO (BCHS ’17) has been awarded the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Award by the University Center for Social and Urban Research to support her pilot research project entitled “Co-occurring Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use: Understanding B... (07/19/2018)
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Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education 

Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

PITTWIRE - The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute was recognized for its commitment to building programs that accelerate innovations from the laboratory and research into commercialization at the recent Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Alumni EVA... (07/02/2018)


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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Buchanich Finds 70K Opioid-Related Deaths Likely Went Unreported 

Buchanich Finds 70K Opioid-Related Deaths Likely Went Unreported

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by Pitt Public Health. “Proper allocation of resources for the opioid e... (07/19/2018)
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Pittsburgh finds overdose risk quintuples with opioid and Benzodiazepine use 

Pittsburgh finds overdose risk quintuples with opioid and Benzodiazepine use

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - In the first 90 days of concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine use, the risk of opioid-related overdose increases five-fold compared to opioid-only use among Medicare recipients. "Having multiple prescribers who are not in communication increases the risk for overdose,” says HPM... (07/02/2018)
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Pitt Public Health finds ‘good cholesterol’ may not always be good for postmenopausal women 

Pitt Public Health finds ‘good cholesterol’ may not always be good for postmenopausal women

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as ‘good cholesterol.' “The results of our study are particularly interesting to both the public and clinicians because total HDL cholesterol is still us... (06/25/2018)
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