THE INCLINE - Julie Platt has been selected as one of 25 Pittsburghers making a difference in the third class of What's Next: Politics. Platt was one of the first to join Emily Skopov’s campaign to challenge Pa. House Speaker Mike Turzai for Pa. House District 28. Platt recruited volunteers, organized issue-centric canvasses, knocked on doors, and led the way with new ideas for the campaign, including community roundtable discussions.
Congratulations to Karen Hoang (MMPH '22) for receiving the practitioner of the year award from Kappa Psi Mountain East Province. This award recognizes a member of Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity, Inc. Mountain East Province who has graduated in the past seven years and best balances his/her professional career with involvement in Kappa Psi.
Post-doctoral researcher Robert Coulter (BCHS '17), BCHS's Jessica Burke, and Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) tried using a video approach to share highlights of Coulter's recent research on how welcoming school environments reduce drinking among both LGBT+ -identified students and their heterosexual counterparts.
UPMC - When BCHS's Tiffany Gary-Webb helped develop the “Health Equity Now” theme for this year's APHA annual meeting, she realized that Pitt Public Health had something special to contribute. She organized a session titled “Health Equity for African American Populations across the Lifespan" to share the breadth of groundbreaking research and partnerships the school has formed in the past several years.
U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Pitt researchers analyzed the results of a 2014 survey of just over 1,600 teens, aged 14 to 19, in Allegheny County and found that 13 percent said a friend or family member had been murdered. Teens who lose a family member or friend to murder have an increased risk of suicide, and black teens are most likely to face this kind of heartbreak. Authors on the study include BCHS's ELIZABETH MILLER and ALISON CULYBA.
REUTERS - Even though there are still a lot of unknowns about the effects of marijuana exposure in the womb and from breast milk, research to date still suggests that pregnant and nursing women avoid cannabis. Earlier studies "were conducted when marijuana was not as strong as what is currently available, so we are probably under-estimating the effects of prenatal marijuana use on offspring development,” said EPI's GALE RICHARDSON.
INFECTIOUS DISEASE ADVISOR - Chronic pain is a frequent comorbidity in people living with HIV and may adversely affect antiretroviral therapy adherence and retention in care. A recent study provided useful insights into the complex interaction. When asked about the main takeaways, BCHS's JESSICA MERLIN said "I hope that this means that HIV providers and researchers will pay more attention to this important problem."
MEDICAL XPRESS - Previously incarcerated transgender women can find themselves caught in a cycle that leads to repeat jail time. A new analysis of Allegheny County identifies potential solutions that could lead to transgender women being more successfully reintegrated into society. "I think we are having a moment right now where the needs of transgender people are more visible," said STEPHANIE CREASY (BCHS '17).
REUTERS - The vast majority of violent injuries seen by doctors in emergency rooms are not reported to police, a new report suggests. “The brilliance of this article is it shows that if we do not link these two kinds of data we’re never going to have a full and accurate account of the level of violence in a community,” said BCHS's STEVE ALBERT.
THE ALMANAC - Associate dean for undergraduate nursing education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, KATHRYN PUSKAR (BCHS '78, HPM '81) has been inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, one of 20 inductees for this year. “It’s really humbling. I feel very honored to be part of that cohort,” Puskar said.
FORBES - Congratulations to INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16) for being selected as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2019. She will be joining the
most exclusive club in the world of young entrepreneurs and game-changers. After graduating from Pitt Public Health with her doctorate, Inma has led work with heavyweight drug pricing researchers and quantified the full cost of recently approved CAR T cancer therapies.
Named in honor of English physician John Snow (1813-1858), considered one of the founders of modern epidemiology, this annual award recognizes outstanding scientists for enduring contributions to public health through epidemiologic methods and practice. Burke said, "I find great personal satisfaction in the knowledge that my life-long research efforts have helped to improve global health and well-being." Congratulations, Dean Burke!
STAT - The cost of heroin has fallen dramatically over the past few decades, and fentanyl and other illicit opioids can be rapidly mass produced. DEAN DONALD BURKE and Michael Hufford, co-founder of a nonprofit to improve naloxone access, propose a solution: "Make naloxone available over the counter, in much greater quantities, and at lower prices."
PITTWIRE - The Dick Thornburgh Forum Disability Service Award goes to HEATHER TOMKO (HPM '19) for service that has made a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities. Her work in activism includes taking part in the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Jonas Salk Health Activist Fellowship, blogging on “The Heather Report” and creating the advocacy organization, Accessible YOUniverse.
REUTERS - Health care providers and parents should begin talking to adolescents in middle school about healthy romantic and sexual relationships and mutual respect for others, a doctors’ group urges. “Without intentionally talking to them about respectful, equitable relationships, we’re leaving them to fend for themselves,” said BCHS's ELIZABETH MILLER.
At this year's Code4PA event, two teams of Pitt Public Health students won prizes in the regional competition and advanced to the final round. A team of four, including HUANG LIN (BIOS '20), QING YIN (BIOS '21), AND LINGYUN LYU (BIOS '22), won best use of a case/visualization. The other team, including GARRY SMYDA (BIOS '22), won best use of Esri Technology.
PITT WIRE - Drawing strength and inspiration from each other, thousands congregated at the Cathedral of Learning to honor those killed on October 27 in Squirrel Hill.
Congratulations to HUGEN's SUSANNE GOLLIN for being invited to join the Jewish Healthcare Foundation Board of Trustees next year. They are meeting next month to explore the question: "What are the appropriate roles, the responsible mandates and interventions, of healthcare governing boards in guaranteeing the safety of the hospitals and systems that they oversee?"
JENNA CARLSON (BIOST '17) is a familiar face to the Department of Biostatistics since receiving her PhD with us a few years ago. After finishing her PhD, she worked as a post-doctoral associate in the Department of Human Genetics for a year before joining Biostats as an assistant professor in August. Carlson is an outstanding educator and researcher with expertise in both statistical education and in population genetics.
ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - You have the power to choose who represents you in the government. Who you vote for on Tuesday can affect your health care and your ability to change policy on issues such as the right to carry firearms, LGBTQ rights, welfare programs. The list is endless.