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Some good news from the fight against opiods

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THE ECONOMIST - Prescription medications are likely to have been pushed down by lower availability of those drugs. Official data from the CDC show that prescription rates were nearly 20% lower in 2016 than at their 2012 peak. IQVIA, a health consultancy, reckons that prescriptions fell by another 10% in 2017. DEAN BURKE thinks there is “almost certainly cause and effect” between prescription rates and deaths.   

Flatt's team receives a $75,000 grant for study on affordable LGBTQ age-friendly housing

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A $75,000 Team Science RAP Grant was awarded to alumnus JASON FLATT (BCHS '13) and colleagues on The Role of Affordable LGBTQ Age-Friendly Housing on the Health of LGBTQ Older Adults: A Natural Experiment. The study will be funded jointly by the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and the Academic Senate.  They are partnering with Openhouse, a nonprofit organization in San Francisco.  

Horsely says affordable doula services might lower infant mortality rate

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WESA-FM - Black babies in Allegheny County are nearly three times more likely than white babies to die before their first birthdays. Making doula services in Pennsylvania more affordable could help close the gap, says alumna DEMIA HORSELY (BCHS '18). Black moms especially need the advocacy of a doula because it’s not uncommon for them to be treated poorly in medical settings.  

Catov finds preterm birth linked to heart disease later in life

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WESA-FM - A new study found that women who had preterm births and a pattern of increasing blood pressure were also more likely to have greater calcium buildup in their hearts, putting them at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Associate professor, alumna, and lead author JANET CATOV (EPI ’05) said it’s interesting that women who also had increasing blood pressure but gave birth to full-term babies didn’t have as much plaque... 

Gieraltowski says it's ok to eat romaine lettuce again

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NPR - After weeks of warnings to toss out romaine grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region, the CDC says there are no longer any greens coming from this region. Now that lettuce grown in the Yuma region is likely no longer being sold in supermarkets or served in restaurants, LAURA GIERALTOWSKI (EPI '09) head of the CDC's foodborne outbreak response team says, "We hope people can enjoy their romaine lettuce again."  

Meet Erica Stevens, MMPH candidate '20

Erica Stevens is a pediatric pulmonology fellow at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. Her immediate career goals are to become a skilled and knowledgeable investigator of pulmonary disease through experience and training as a T32 postdoctoral fellow. Through this training period Stevens plan to significantly advance her expertise in her knowledge and understanding of risk factors and management of asthma.  

Wenzel says biologic improves severe asthma outcomes

MEDPAGE - Two trials showed that dupilumab was associated with reduced exacerbations, better lung function and improved asthma control in patients with moderate-to-severe uncontrolled asthma. EOH professor SALLY WENZEL says, “for patients who have a lot of comorbidities, and are missing a lot of work or school, it has the potential to be cost effective.” 

The new 2018 Pittsburgh Summer Institute cohort

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The 2018 Pittsburgh Summer Institute (PSI), a collaborative internship program between the Allegheny County Health Department and Pitt Public Health, welcomed 16 students at orientation yesterday. The students will be addressing real-world public health problems and completing a group project about the tobacco retail environment.  

Williams-Pate represents Pitt Public Health as This is Public Health ambassador

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Thirty-five new ambassadors, including KYANNA WILLIAMS-PATE (BCHS ’19), are joining the program, representing the This Is Public Health brand and 23 ASPPH member institutions. Throughout the year, ambassadors participate in a series of public health outreach events along with professional development activities. 

Inefficient HIV-1 trans infection of CD4+ T cells by macrophages from HIV-1 nonprogressors is associated with altered membrane cholesterol and DC-SIGN

JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY - Delucia, Rinaldo, Rappocciolo demonstrate that the use of SIMV to decrease macrophage-mediated virus transfer should be considered for future HIV therapeutic development.   

Dean Burke to speak at Pitt computer modeling conference

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TRIB LIVE - Computer models direct the health care we receive, the way our country fights wars and the music we listen to. Top military officials, expert computer scientists, doctors and the former head of data at Spotify will be the speakers during Pitt School of Computing and Information's Modeling the World's Systems conference. DEAN BURKE will lead a discussion about modeling the opioid epidemic. 

Goldstein on EPA’s disregard for the science behind the Clean Air Act

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THE HILL - “In the name of ‘cooperative federalism,’ Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt is out to gut one of the finest examples of cooperative federalism in environmental law — that of setting outdoor air pollutant standards,” writes EOH’s BERNARD GOLDSTEIN. “This new approach... should be judged in conjunction with other major decisions about the incorporation of science into EPA.” 

Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-mediated neuroinflammation dysredulates neurogranin and induces synaptodendritic injury

JOURNAL OF NEUROINFLAMMATION - Guha, Wagner, Ayyavoo conduct first study evaluating the potential role of Ng in the context of HIV-1 neropathogens and conclude that synaptic damage in HAND+ patients could be a result of abrogation of Ng through HIV-1 induced inflammation that dysregulates Ng-CaM interaction and downstream signaling cascades associated with synaptodendritic functions.   

Colon cancer risk depends on polyp type found during colonoscopy

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HEALIO - The risk for colorectal cancer is about 2.5 times higher in patients who have advanced adenomatous polyps detected during colonoscopy vs. those with no adenomas, but the risk does not appear to be increased among patients with non-advanced adenomas. These findings suggest that repeat colonoscopy may not be required as frequently for patients with non-advanced adenomas, according to EPI professor, ROBERT SCHOEN.    

Proposal could take SNAP away from 70,000 Pennsylvania households - Roberts responds

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WESA-FM - Two major proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, could cause 70,000 Pennsylvania households to lose eligibility. “I think there’s concern that with this new policy, we might be erring more on the side of being punitive and too restrictive,” says HPM’s ERIC ROBERTS. “And I think that might come at a cost of helping people who deserve it and benefit from these programs.” 

In Harm’s Way: Women, HIV, Hep C, and Substance Use, hosted by MAAETC

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The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center hosted a conference that brought together regional experts to explore ways to increase awareness of the opioid and Hepatitis C epidemics affecting women and infants in Southwestern Pennsylvania. One outcome of note: they identified solutions to improve the current care model of clinical and behavioral health care for women of childbearing age who are opioid users.  

Bowling selected as grand award judge

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The 2018 grand award judge for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair for the microbiology category is JENNIFER BOWLING (IDM ’21). The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, is a Society for Science and the Public and is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Thousands of volunteers and judges are recruited for an education outreach day serving over 3,000 middle and high school students. 

Meet Sangki Oak, MMPH candidate

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SANGKI OAK (MMPH ’19) is a fourth year medical student who is taking a year off to pursue his MPH. During his service in the military, particularly while providing care to the Afghan locals during his two deployments, he developed a passion for medicine and a desire to provide health care to low-resource populations overseas. He plans to specialize in trauma surgery and so hopes to focus on global surgery during his public health studies. 

Sloan’s Connections4Health organization celebrates five years

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Connections4Health (formerly Birmingham HealthLinks) was developed by JENNIFER SLOAN (BCHS ’14) while she was a Pitt Public Health student. The program works to address the social health needs of underserved people by focusing on issues such as housing, food security, job training, and utility assistance. The program is celebrating its five year anniversary with a fundraising event on May 23, 2018.  

Maryland's plan to control health costs gets federal approval, Roberts among analysts

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THE BALTIMORE SUN - The federal government has approved a plan Maryland has been testing for the past four years to control health costs by shifting more care out of hospitals and better coordinating care with doctors, nursing homes and community groups. HPM's ERIC T. ROBERTS, was among those to analyze the system.  

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Baumann receives Boren Fellowship to study Nepali language 

Baumann receives Boren Fellowship to study Nepali language

PITT WIRE - The National Security Education Program has recognized 8 Pitt students with Boren Awards. Doctoral student, SARA BAUMANN (BCHS '19), received a Boren Fellowship for study of the Nepali language at Cornell University for summer 2018 to support her work in community-based participator... (06/20/2018)
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Lara Siminerio Lemon delivers student address at Pitt's Commencement 2018 Graduate Ceremony 

Lara Siminerio Lemon delivers student address at Pitt's Commencement 2018 Graduate Ceremony

PITT WIRE - In Pitt's graduate student address, EPI doctoral graduate LARA  SIMINERIO LEMON told the audience: "You only have one life. So do what you choose with it but remember: it's the only chance you'll get ... Please do not lose the momentum that Pitt has provided to each one of us ... g... (04/26/2018)
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The HIV Prevention and Care Project turns 25 

The HIV Prevention and Care Project turns 25

PITT WIRE - Led by IDM's TONY SILVESTRE, the Pitt Public Health project serves as the facilitator of the HIV prevention and care community planning process in Pennsylvania. With initiatives like Acceptance Journeys and Project SILK, the work has received recognition from multiple federal health bod... (04/26/2018)

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submission guidelines then share your story or story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 

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Pitt Public Health surpasses 7,000 alumni with 2018 Convocation ceremony 

Pitt Public Health surpasses 7,000 alumni with 2018 Convocation ceremony

On Sunday, April 29, Pitt Public Health welcomed over 200 graduates into the school's alumni community at our annual Convocation. “Our alumni cohort is now 7,000 people deep, since the school’s founding 70 years ago. Our impressive alumni give the school an international network of influence and th... (06/13/2018)
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Williams-Pate represents Pitt Public Health as This is Public Health ambassador  

Williams-Pate represents Pitt Public Health as This is Public Health ambassador

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Thirty-five new ambassadors, including KYANNA WILLIAMS-PATE (BCHS ’19), are joining the program, representing the This Is Public Health brand and 23 ASPPH member institutions. Throughout the year, ambassadors participate in a series of public health outreach events along with p... (05/21/2018)

Racial disparity in premature deaths has narrowed since 1990 

Racial disparity in premature deaths has narrowed since 1990

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The past quarter century has brought a striking decline in earlier-than-expected deaths among blacks in the U.S. “We were surprised by these findings because they demonstrated such dramatic improvement,” said DEAN DONALD BURKE. “Our study shows that racial disparity in health ... (05/07/2018)
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