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Meet Kristen Free (MHA '18), Gideon Scholar

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"I think that Dawn left an incredible legacy. Every time I mention the foundation, I'm running into people who personally knew Dawn and every single person I runinto has a great story about her and had great interactions with her. And through all of these stories, I'm not only learning through the resources that the foundation has given me, but also through Dawn herself," said Free of how she's inspired by Gideon.   

Meet Jordan McBride (MHA/MBA '21), Gideon Scholar

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"Being a Dawn Gideon Scholar helped me feel like HPM was a great fit for me. [At the] annual golf outing...I was surrounded by inspiring women and men in the healthcare field, and I just felt right at home. I was energized by the stories that I heard. It made me excited for what I can learn and contribute to HPM. It was at that time that I knew I had made the right decision about both HPM and Pitt Public Health."  

Meet Emily Joseph (MHA '20), Gideon Scholar

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"The Dawn Gideon Foundation has done a lot of work to expose the scholars to people who knew Dawn Gideon and it's been really wonderful to hear about her impact on their lives, whether they've been people that she's personally mentored or just her close friends...It's been wonderful to get to know them and I feel like her life has really been carried on not only in the award for other motivated women who want to go into health care administratio... 

How Hacker worked to resuscitate the Allegheny County Health Department

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PUBLIC SOURCE - As her tenure comes to an end, a review of the director's efforts to address air quality, opioids and lead while facing political pressure, legal limits and organizational dysfunction.  

Zika and travel: Marques tells you what you need to know

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - The virus has been out of the headlines, but that doesn't mean it is gone. The World Health Organization just updated guideines for travelling to the Zika zone. "Summer in the north is winter in the south and vice versa, so you have to consider that," said IDM's Ernesto Marques. The virus is still circulating, but it's less prevalent in colder months than in the summer.   

Housing remains a major social determinant of health

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While we are wrapping up our year with Matthew Desmond's Evicted as our One Book, One Community selection, housing remains a major social determinant of health. We don't stop studying, researching, or solving the problems highlighted by past programs. For the latest on housing, check out a recent episode of On the Media podcast, The Scarlet E, featuring Matthew Desmond on what he and fellow researchers have learned from data collection.   

As Washington Co. parents want deeper look at fracking and cancer, Talbot calls for study of historical pesticide use

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WESA - Epidemiologists say it is rare to prove an environmental cause for a cancer cluster. EPI's Evelyn Talbot says there's some evidence linking pesticide exposure with Ewing sarcoma and suggests conducting a case control study of historical pesticide use in the areas agricultural fields.   

Pitt Public Health dean steps down at a time when the region is losing other top leaders in the field (video)

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The departure of EPI's Donald S. Burke, dean emeritus, from his position as dean comes at a time when the region is losing two other top public health officials - Arthur Levine, senior vice chancellor of the health sciences, and Karen Hacker, director of the Allegheny County Health Department. "This is a time of transition - of the health department, myself, Dr. Levine - this presents an opportunity for the community an... 

Zeni among Notable Women in Education, Crain's Business News

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CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS - The women selected are dedicated to creating and expanding learning opportunities for Northeast Ohioans of all ages, at all levels, and in a host of fields. Mary Beth Zeni (HPM '93) was chosen for innovative and successful curriculum development strategies as associate dean of graduate nursing at the Breen School of Nursing, Ursuline College.   

UPMC Children's Hospital ranks among top in nation, run by Pitt Public Health alum (video)

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KDKA - President Mark Sevco (HPM/Katz '91) said, "It is an extraordinary achievement to be recognized as one of the best children's hospitals in the country. I am honored to work with all the outstanding and talented health care professionals who are committed to putting children first. The rankings reflect our staff's dedicatio to creating the ultimate patient care experience by providing compassionate and world-renowned care for every single p... 

The Zika virus is still a threat. Here's what Marques, other experts know

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THE NEW YORK TIMES - Remember Zika? With measles and Ebola grabbing headlines, it is easy to forget the health panic of 2016, when Zika was linked to severe birth defects in thousands of Brazilian newborns whose mothers were infected while pregnant, striking fear across the country and much of the Americas. "The next outbreak is not a matter of if, but when," said IDM's Ernesto Marques.   

Hill, Fabisiak talk to KDKA radio about asthma and the Clairton Coke Works

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KDKA RADIO – The Clairton Coke Works is one of the biggest emitters of air pollutants in the area and there is a lot of anecdotal evidence about poor health in that area. EOH’s Jim Fabisiak and Brandy Hill (EOH ‘21) talk about their work and the importance of scientific investigation learning about asthma patients in the county, following hot spots of asthma, and preliminarily finding about the Mon Valley’s lung health.   

Boyd selected for JSM Diversity Workshop and Mentoring Program

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Kristina Boyd (BIOST '19) has been selected to participate in the JSM Diversity Workshop and mentoring program at this year's Joint Statistical Meetings taking place in Denver July 28-31. She was also granted a travel award to attend. Those selected will participate in daily sessions, career enhancement activities, group and individual mentoring, and will have the opportunity to develop a peer network among other participants.   

Personalities of Pittsburgh: Dr. Donald Burke becomes dean emeritus, continues as professor (subscriber content)

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PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - Donald Burke is retiring from his role as dean but he’ll remain active with the University. He reflected on his career, including time in the military and international work in two dozen countries and shared concerns about scientific denialism. "As a scientific community, it's our job to continue to point out that the best decisions are based on evidence, and that without science, you can't make policies."   

Braund says public health research and practice should coexist in ASHTO blog post

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ASTHOEXPERTS BLOG - HPM's Wendy Braund, director of the Center for Public Health Practice, wrote a blog for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials that says that both practice-based research and implementation science are vital but that neither receives adequate effort and gives us ideas to address this challenge.   

Chiu elected to Pitt Board of Trustees

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Wen-Ta Chiu (EPI '87, '89) is among the five new trustees elected during the annual meeting on Friday, June 28. Chiu is an accomplished traumatic brain injury researcher who currently serves as co-CEO of California-based AHMC Healthcare Inc., a hospital and health system committed to improving access to health care services for the most vulnerable members of the San Gabriel, California community.   

Drake analyzes unintended consequences of pulling health policy levers

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UPMC - A move by the White House in 2017 - decried by many as an attempt to undercut the ACA - improved the affordability of health insurance for Marketplace enrollees. "...In terms of affordability, monopoly insurance markets are resulting in low- to no-cost premiums for Marketplace enrollees. On the other hand, this is a really inefficient way to spend federal tax dollars to create affordable health insurance," said HPM's Coleman Drake.   

Does the overdose plunge mean the epidemic is over? Burke says no.

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - "What I'm worried about is that, if in fact it is a statistical aberration or an epidemic anomaly, that we psychologically, in public health, take credit for it and presume that we're doing enough," said Dean Donald Burke. "The response still has not been proportionate to the problem."   

Gopalakrishna finds breastmilk antibody protects infants from deadly disease

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UPMC - Kathyayini Gopalakrishna (HUGEN '20) is first author on a study showing that an antibody in breastmilk is necessary to prevent necrotizing enterocolitis - an often deadly bacterial disease of the intestine - in preterm infants. The findings suggest that the antibody content of donor milk shoudl be tested so that the most protective milk can be targeted to the most at-risk infants.   

Pitt Public Health finds weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The death rate from drug- and alcohol-related causes in people who've had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is nearly triple that of the general public, according to research led by EPI's Wendy King. The study also found that fewer than half of those who died had triggered a safety protocol for problematic substance use.   

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Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award 

Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award

Congratulations to HPM's Walid Gellad, who was recently named a winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers — the highest honor awarded by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exc... (08/12/2019)
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EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe. 

EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe.

PITT MAGAZINE - Lauren Chubb, DrPH, MPH (EOH ’16, ’13) occasionally dons a hard hat to see the results of her work in the lab. Her team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Mining Program has developed software to analyze respirable dust samples in just a few minutes, rath... (08/05/2019)
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Chaves-Gnecco Named 2019 Pediatrician of the Year 

Chaves-Gnecco Named 2019 Pediatrician of the Year

PITTWIRE - Diego Chaves-Gnecco (MMPH '00) has been named 2019 Pediatrician of the Year by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Pennsylvania Chapter. The award recognizes a chapter member who exemplifies excellence in the profession. (05/29/2019)


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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Coulter Research Review Finds Scarcity of Scientific Studies on Interventions to Reduce Health Inequities in LGBTQ Youth 

Coulter Research Review Finds Scarcity of Scientific Studies on Interventions to Reduce Health Inequities in LGBTQ Youth

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - There is a dearth of scientifically investigated, evidence-based interventions to address substance use, mental health conditions and violence victimization in sexual and gender minority youth, according to a research review led by BCHS's Robert Coulter (BCHS '17) published in... (08/25/2019)
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El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries 

El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for menopause-related symptoms, and new research from EPI's Samar El Khoudary reinforces the importance of tailoring hormone therapy to each patient, based on her individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In a study p... (08/25/2019)

Pitt Public Health finds weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders 

Pitt Public Health finds weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The death rate from drug- and alcohol-related causes in people who've had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is nearly triple that of the general public, according to research led by EPI's Wendy King. The study also found that fewer than half of those who died had triggered a sa... (06/27/2019)