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Pitt Public Health partners with state to destroy leftover prescription opioids

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro hopes that destroying unused pills will help curb the state’s opioid epidemic. The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will be assessing the distribution of 300,000 drug-deactivation pouches in partnership with the state office and the Pennsylvania Medical Society. 

Baric co-founder of public health NGO in Peru

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Alumna KATIE BARIC (BCHS ’17), co-founder of the NGO, Hands on Peru, reports that “in June alone, we hosted 11 international volunteers, 9 health campaigns, and served 140 patients!&drquo; 

BCHS faculty meet with Feeding Ameria about U.S. family hunger

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Last month BCHS faculty TIFFANY GARY-WEBB and ELIZABETH FELTER met in Chicago with staff at Feeding America about evaluating community-based diabetes prevention programs in food banks. 

BCHS alumna begins new position at Pitt School of Medicine

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KRISTINA WINT (BCHS ’17) will begin a new position in the School of Medicine’s Department of Family Medicine with Dr. Lisa Schlar. She will coordinate interconception care for mothers using well baby visits to promote mother’s health. 

Former Cincinnati health commissioner, Noble Maseru appointed associate dean for diversity and CHE director

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Noble A-W Maseru, PhD, MPH, will join Pitt Public Health as director of the Center for Health Equity (CHE), associate dean for diversity, and professor of public health practice in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. Maseru served for more than a decade as health commissioner for the City of Cincinnati Health Department where he oversaw more than 400 employees and an annual budget of $49 million dollars. 

Salk's polio vaccine is biggest scientific discovery in Pennsylvania history

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SCIENCE ALERT - From the invention of the steam-powered boat engine to the sequencing of the human genome, each state can claim its own scientific advancements. Pennsylvania claims Jonas Salk’s polio vaccine, invented while working at the University of Pittsburgh. The vaccine is now used worldwide, and the World Health Organization thinks the disease can be eradicated in the near future. The number of cases is down from 22,000 cases in 1952 in th... 

“If Climate Change Brings an Environmental Health Crisis, How Will Pittsburgh Respond?”

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ALLEGHENY FRONT / 90.5 WESA - Beyond simulating epidemics, PUBLIC HEALTH DYNAMICS LAB models help predict the local impact of a severe air pollution crisis exacerbated by a heat wave. "We can get population-level estimates of how many calls to emergency rooms there would be based on the age and gender and diseases that people in various communities have,” says MARK ROBERTS, PHDL director and HPM chair. In 1948, twenty people died when thick smog ... 

Garland part of new Allecheny County anti-violence trauma team ready to hit the streets

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The Pitt Public Health CENTER FOR HEALTH EQUITY’s Violence Prevention Initiative received funding from the Allegheny County Health Department for community outreach to prevent firearm violence. RICHARD GARLAND, assistant professor of public health practice, will coordinate the effort, joined by a community trauma response team from FOCUS Pittsburgh. 

Kuller on whether new claim that heartburn meds raise dementia risk

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ALZFORUM - Last year, a widely reported epidemiology study came to the troubling conclusion that elderly people who regularly took proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were at increased risk of dementia. Now, a study published in the June 7 Journal of the American Geriatrics Society challenges this association.  Which study is correct? Both Lewis Kuller, University of Pittsburgh, and John Breitner, McGill University, Montreal, said it’s impossible to t... 

Chancellor Gallagher weighs in on the "Pittsburgh myth, Paris reality"

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SCIENCE - "If the president truly wants to represent the interests of Americans, he would learn from the real histories of these regions and promote economic and environmental progress through research, education, and innovation," advises Pitt's Chancellor Patrick Gallegher, responding to the tired trope that Pittsburgh is a rusty urban relic—a manufacturing city of steel that has fallen on hard times, held back by unfair global competition, and... 

EOH’s Di exploring alternative for antibiotic-resistant infections

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NIH RESEARCH PORTFOLIO - In the face of antibiotic-resistant infections, the National Institutes of Health have awarded EOH’s Y. PETER DI a five year R01 support grant to research a new class of antibiotics, testing the efficacy of a set of novel antimicrobial peptides with potent bactericidal activity against most drug-resistant bacteria. 

Pittsburgh ranked among nation’s “Top 10 downtowns”

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LIVABILITY - In 2016 rankings, Pittsburgh maintains its status among the nation’s best downtowns, after topping the list in 2015. Factors considered include the city’s growing population, high walk score, amenities, lively entertainment options and dynamic arts and cultural attractions for residents and visitors. Today’s young professionals ages 22–34 are especially drawn downtown to congregate, shop, dine, walk, bike, and live! 

Nicholls one of many new citizens that makes Pitt great

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - In the Heinz History Center’s Great Hall, Senior Judge D. Michael Fisher recently administered the oath of allegiance to immigrants as they stood before a U.S. flag. Human genetics researcher ROBERT NICHOLLS was there. “I grew up in Australia and finished my undergraduate work in Melbourne,” he said. After earning a doctorate in England, he lived in Boston, Florida, Cleveland and Philadelphia before coming to Pittsburgh.... 

Rosso finds slower walking may signal mental decline

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - “For a while we weren’t really sure if it was just a parallel decline with age or a truly linked decline,” said EPI’S lead author ANDREA ROSSO. Finding a brain region tied to both provides strong evidence that gait and cognitive change are not just correlated but linked, she said. Measuring gait could allow for earlier dementia detection because individuals often slow their walking speeds before any signs of cognitive im... 

HPM's Jennie Laeng receives NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship to begin MPH

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ABC KLKN-TV - Entering MPH student JENNIE LAENG (HPM '19) carried a 3.967 undergraduate GPA while excelling as an intercollegiate gymnast at the University of Nebraska. She won a total of 22 gymnastics titles and was named a three-time NACGC/W Scholastic All-American, a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, and a two-time Big Ten Distinguished Scholar. “Her genuineness and propensity to put others above herself have made her the unquestionab... 

Opioids could kill nearly 5000,000 Americans in the next decade

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STAT NEWS - Pitt Public Health Dean DONALD S. BURKE was asked to weigh in on the problem of projected opioid deaths. “Are we doing enough of what we think works — prescription drug monitoring programs, medication-assisted treatment, naloxone? And are we matching the societal costs with a like expenditure in prevention?” 

Sabik finds Medicaid cuts linked to delayed breast cancer diagnosis

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CBS NEWS - As the Senate takes aim at replacing Obamacare, a new study says Medicaid cuts could boost the number of women diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. “When women lose access to health insurance, they may be less likely to receive recommended mammograms and have access to regular primary care services that would facilitate an early diagnosis of cancer,” said HPM’s LINDSAY SABIK, senior author of the study published Monday in the journ... 

Acceptance Journeys Pittsburgh and Project Silk take anti-stigma photo exhibit to Harrisburg

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ACCEPTANCE JOURNEYS PITTSBURGH and PROJECT SILK have created a photo exhibit to end Pride Month, illustrating stigma about people with disabilities, communities of color, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people using a community based, macro-level approach. The display is on view within the Harrisburg State Capitol from Monday 6/26 through Friday 6/30. 

View Burke’s comments to Congress during Opioid Briefing (Video)

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Watch a short video of highlights from Dean Burke’s address at the ASPPH Opioid Briefing to Congress last Monday. He was one of five public health deans invited by the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health to present expert testimony about the drastic need for more research data in confronting the abuse epidemic. 

Dorman receives nursing Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award

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It was announced today that alumna JANICE SCULLY DORMAN (HUGEN ’81, EPI ’83) is the recipient of the Pitt School of Nursing 2017 Dean’s Distinguished Teaching Award for tenured faculty. Dorman has taught classes at that school (and at Pitt Public Health) for 30 years, focusing primarily on molecular epidemiology and genetics. 

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Thurston finds link between traumatic events and future heart disease risk in women 

Thurston finds link between traumatic events and future heart disease risk in women

PITT WIRE - When we consider the determinants of women’s cardiovascular health, we need to think beyond biology alone,” said epidemiologist Rebecca Thurston. She recently led a study that demonstrates how traumatic experiences in life are linked to later vascular health issues that place women at ri... (12/12/2017)
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Large Pitt-led study uncovers complex genetics behind earlobe attachment 

Large Pitt-led study uncovers complex genetics behind earlobe attachment

PITTWIRE - New research led by Pitt Public Health affiliates and published in the  American Journal of Human Genetics  reveals that an interplay of at least 49 genes contributes to earlobe attachment inheritance. “Sometimes the genetics of a fairly simple trait are actually quite complex,” said ... (12/06/2017)
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Enigma: Marques worked to pinpoint culprit of mysterious illness in Brazil 

Enigma: Marques worked to pinpoint culprit of mysterious illness in Brazil

PITTWIRE - When a mysterious illness suddenly emerged in his Brazilian hometown, IDM researcher ERNESTO MARQUES mobilized with colleagues to decode its unknowns. The work may help infectious-disease researchers stop or stall new epidemics. His story begins on page 18. (10/24/2017)
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