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Legal marijuana either eases opioid crisis or makes it worse. New research from Drake adds to split evidence.

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NBC NEWS - HPM's Coleman Drake, study author, said some people may have turned to marijuana instead of opioids for pain relief, at least initially. Others may have tried to use marijuana to wean off of opioids but found it didn't work.   

Gary-Webb accepts award for impact of data from the Black Equity Coalition

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NATIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD INDICATORS PARTNERSHIP - Harnessing interdisciplinary expertise and perspectives, the Black Equity Coalition in Pittsburgh successfully used data to advocate for programs and policies to decrease racial disparities in COVID-19 response and created a forum to tackle other health inequities. "Seeing something happen right away was extremely different from the past - that we saw a problem, advocated for things to be fixed, and... 

Meet our Faculty: A Conversation with Sara Baumann

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Sara Baumann is a graduate of BCHS from 2019 and the newest member of the BCHS faculty. Her research focuses on harnessing visual, arts-based, and mixed methods for global health research. She shares a bit about what she's working on, her favorite BCHS memory, and the restaurant she has on speed dial.   

Hartman Selected as Fellow for New Scialog: Mitigating Zoonotic Threats

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RESCORP - Research Corporation for Science Advancement will bring together a multidisciplinary group of early-career researchers to address the global threat to human health from animal-borne infectious diseases as part of its new Scialog initiative, Mitigating Zoonotic Threats. IDM's Amy Hartman with the Center for Vaccine Research has been selecteed as one of the 2021 fellows. Congratulations!   

Gary-Webb featured in PHRESH: Communities Thrive When Residents are Involved in Decisions That Affect Their Neighborhoods

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"The Hill District and Homewood are similar and different in various ways. They're similar in the sense that they've been relatively stable over time and they have predominantly Black populations but they have very different histories overtime," explains EPI's TIffany Gary-Webb, assocaite dean for diversity and inclusion and associate director of the Center for Health Equity in this video from a RAND Corporation series.   

Research hub Pitt+Me works to help scientists answer the worlds big questions

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - PItt developed the free online database Pitt+Me, a centralized hub for those intereested in academic research to find studies for whch they're well-suited so they can dive right into some science.   

Baumann and Burke launch project using film in community health

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A team at Pitt Public Health that is pioneering the use of film in community health research and practice recently received funding to launch a new project with deep emotional implications. Drs. Jessica and Sara Baumann will be working with the Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition and clinicians from Pitt's School of Medicine on teh "End-of-Life and Grief Experiences Among Families: Harnessing the Power of Participatory and Visual Research" proje... 

Garland and Brooks: Young People at Center of Surge in Violent Crime in Allegheny County

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KDKA - "The age group is15-25 - younger and drugs and alcohol...people getting out of lock down now and not being in school and not being in jobs," explained BCHS' Gina Brooks. After a year without school or direction, many of these young people with easy access to guns have turned to drug use and drug sales. street crime often resulting in murder she explained along with BCHS' Richard Garland. They both work on the Violence Prevention Initiativ... 

Drake: How To Improve Consumer Plan Selection in ACA Marketplaces

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HEALTH AFFAIRS  - There is currently an opportunity for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help consumers enroll in better Marketplace coverage in 2022. By adjusting how returning Marketplace enrollees are automatically re-enrolled in coverage, CMS can nudge more enrollees into plans that offer them both lower premiums and reduced cost sharing. HPM's Coleman Drake and colleagues outline steps to improve consumer plan selection tha... 

Baumann blogs about Health Policy and Planning article, asking Is criminalization the answer for ending a harmful practice in Nepal?

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HPP DEBATED - BCHS' Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) talks about a recent article in the journal Health Policy and Planning, Is criminalization the answer? Perspectives of community members and police on menstrual seclusion policy in Far-West Nepal. The study was completed by an interdisiplinary Pitt team including Baumann, BCHS's Jessie Burke, and BCHS students Monica Merante, Chris Wiltrout, and Trevor Cutlip.   

Glynn on the Impact if the Medicare Eligibility Age is Lowered to 60

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HEALTHLINE - The plan is still vague, so it's "hard to tell (yet) who will actually be affected," Alexandra Glynn (HPM '23) told Healthline. She does feel there are ways that it could be beneficial, pointing out that people with high copays and deductibles tend to skip tests and regular physical exams. That means many delay medical care until treatment may be more expensive. Lowering the age could mean access to earlier detection and treatment. ... 

Burke, Jalal, and Lee Look at the Waves of COVID-19 Washed Across North America

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UPMC - The COVID-19 pandemic "waves" that North Americans experienced over the past year and a half had interconnected patterns that moved through space and time — and they weren't just limited to the U.S. New research from Pitt Public Health shows the waxing and waning COVID-19 case counts traveled across North American county, state and county borders with seemlingly little regard for politics and public health mandates, much like a storm can ... 

Cen named to Pitt's Board of Trustees

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PITTWIRE - Among the latest to be added to Pitt's Board of Trustees is alumna Hui (Debra) Cen (IDM '91). Cen is a biologist, biotech entrepreneur, Rotarian and social entrepreneur who did biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, the University of California, San Francisco and Chiron. Her latest initiative is a program to match successful Chinese immigrant volunteers and mentors with educational and financial literacy programs se... 

Wenzel on the Impact of Code Orange Alert On Our Bodies (video)

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KDKA - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel, director of Pitt's Asthma Institute at UPMC, explained that recent weather creates conditions where particulates in our atmosphere can't escape. "These are plumes in the air that damage the lungs and the blood vessels of people, especially vulnerable people," said Wenzel. She recommends staying inside in the air conditioning as much as you can, visiting public spaces with air conditioning if you don’t have it in yo... 

Four SWAN studies explore women's brain and heart health during midlife

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING - Meaningful research from our students, alumni, and faculty suggest that midlife health may be an important determinant of cognitive function and heart health later on in life. Featuring work from four SWAN manuscripts, one led by EPI's Emma Barinas-Mitchell (EPI '98) for which Emily Duan (EPI '17) performed the analysis, and another led by Saad Samargandy (EPI '20). Franya Hutchins (EPI '20) performed the analyses f... 

These Black Moms Gave Birth Early. They Don't Want Their Experiences to Be Normal

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NPR - Like many Black women, Shantay Davies-Balch and Sabrina Beavers delivered their babies earlier than they'd hoped. The two friends went to StoryCorps in 2019 to speak about the challenges they each faced during pregnancy.  

Meet our Faculty: Jong Jeong

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While Jong Jeong’s mother wanted him to be a government official, as a kid he was open to exploring his options. Eventually he pursued statistics and came to Pitt Public Health as a faculty member and administrator who is also a fellow of the American Statistical Association. Jeong is proud of the work of his fellow faculty as well as his students and is excited to get back to in-person teaching and working. Meet our Interim Chair of BIOST.    ... 

After contact tracing data breach, PA sidesteps scrutiny on proposed $34M contract

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SPOTLIGHT PA - Keeping a contact tracing program in place could help manage spikes in COVID-19 cases as mitigation measures lift, said EPI's Catherine Haggerty. "Vaccination rates, although they're on the rise and things are looking encouraging, they're certainly not 100%," Haggerty said. "Containment efforts that include quarantine of close contacts, isolation of cases continue to be critically important. This isn't the time to let down our gua... 

Meet our Faculty: Eleanor Feingold

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Eleanor Feingold has been a faculty member holding various administrative roles at Pitt Public Health for over 20 years, currently serving as both the chair of the  Department of Human Genetics  and Vice Dean. She counts mentoring each of her students among the highlights of her career and she works tirelessly to ensure that Pitt Public Health is operating at it’s best. Spending the 2021-22 academic year as an American Council on Education Fello... 

Meet our Faculty: Jessie Burke

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Jessie Burke wears many hats at Pitt Public Health, one being the interim chair for the Department of  Infectious Diseases and Microbiology . Her passion for scholarship and public health is only matched by her appetite for her homemade chili (which she got pretty good at making courtesy of COVID-19).  

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Cen named to Pitt's Board of Trustees 

Cen named to Pitt's Board of Trustees

PITTWIRE - Among the latest to be added to Pitt's Board of Trustees is alumna Hui (Debra) Cen (IDM '91). Cen is a biologist, biotech entrepreneur, Rotarian and social entrepreneur who did biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, the University of California, San Francisco and Chiro... (07/12/2021)
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BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials 

BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials

PITTWIRE — When we hear about clinical trials, we might picture doctors and patients partnering to test new therapies. What we might not think about are the many others who make those studies happen. Take Maria Mori Brooks, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, who makes sense of the numbers... (02/24/2021)
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Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study 

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Resea... (02/01/2021)