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'Good cholesterol' may not always be good for postmenopausal women

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NBC NEWS - Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as ‘good cholesterol.' Higher HDL cholesterol may not always be as protective in postmenopausal women as we once thought, said SAMAR EL KHOUDARY, lead author and EPI professor. "High total HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women could mask a significant heart disease risk that we still need to understand.”  

Buchanich Finds 70K Opioid-Related Deaths Likely Went Unreported

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by Pitt Public Health. “Proper allocation of resources for the opioid epidemic depends on understanding the magnitude of the problem,” said lead author, BIOST's JEANINE BUCHANICH.   

BCHS alum Chelsea Pallatino wins faculty development award supporting work on intimate partner violence & substance use

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PITTWIRE - Doctoral alumna CHELSEA PALLATINO (BCHS ’17) has been awarded the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Award by the University Center for Social and Urban Research to support her pilot research project entitled “Co-occurring Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use: Understanding Barriers to Collocated Integrated Services.” Pallatino is now a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive ... 

The first-ever Health Sciences Network Night

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The first-ever Health Sciences Network Night held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township welcomed Pitt alumni professionals working in fields related to health and health care. Alumni were able to get information on advanced degree and certificate programs in the health sciences, alumni volunteer opportunities, and continuing education.  

IDM’s Rinaldo discusses HIV wonder drugs and curing HIV in 1998 World AIDS Day interview (VIDEO)

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UPMC HEALTH NEWS – In the late 1990s, new and highly potent anti-HIV drugs emerged— including protease and reverse transcriptase inhibitors—which could for the first time control HIV infection. For this 1998 World AIDS Day, Pitt IDM AIDS researcher Charles Rinaldo and the late Bridget Murtagh of the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force address transmission, drug resistance, and the radically prescient question of whether HIV could be cured.   

BCHS's Mair says alcohol's health benefits are hard to prove, but harms are easy to document

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LOS ANGELES TIMES / THE CONVERSATION - Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the world. While the rising opioid epidemic has been receiving a lot of attention in the past five years, it is important to remember that alcohol is involved in a greater number of deaths and physical and social problems, says CHRISTINA MAIR. Backed by a strong industry, alcohol's dangers may be underplayed and its benefits exaggerated.   

Government quit test of pricey cancer treatment amid concerns over industry role

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POLITICO - The payment deal for Kymriah therapy drew internal HHS scrutiny and is the target of current congressional investigations of Swiss drug giant Novartis. The company's pivotal study of the drug's in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia found that at one year, about one out of every three patients the government would be covering would get sick again, said INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16).  

Anthrocon 2018: Pittsburgh welcomes this costumed community for a 13th consecutive summer party

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER - Ever wondered when Pittsburgh — a football town with a drinking problem, a steel town-turned-medical/tech hub, a city of bridges and champions— became the furry-friendliest spot in this American Land? We did, too. So, let’s look back upon Anthrocon becoming as big a part of our summer routine as fireworks.  

Gellad's take on drugmakers defiance to Trump's call to drop prices

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POLITICO - President Donald Trump in May said that drugmakers would soon announce “massive” price cuts, and his administration rolled out a plan to bring down the cost of medicines. But the companies don’t appear to have gotten that message. “The bully pulpit can't make fundamental change — it can provide perhaps a short-term victory... but it can’t do what the administration said it was going to do,” said WALID GELLAD, HPM professor.   

HPM faculty researcher wins the 2018 AcademyHealth Article-of-the Year Award

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A recent study, led by HPM’s ERIC ROBERTS has been named the 2018 Article-of-the-YearAcademyHealth, a leading national research center focused on advancing the fields of health services research and health policy. Entitled "The Value-Based Payment Modifier: Program Outcomes and Implications for Disparities," the work studied a precursor to the merit-based incentive payment system, Medicare’s new pay-for-performance program for physicians.  

Tribal Legal Preparedness Project now available on CDC Web site

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The Tribal Legal Preparedness Project, created by HPM's TINA BATRA HERSHEY and the Center for Public Health Practice, is now available! Check it out and share with anyone who may be interested in emergency preparedness for Tribal Nations.   

Innovation Institute recognized at Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education

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PITTWIRE - The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute was recognized for its commitment to building programs that accelerate innovations from the laboratory and research into commercialization at the recent Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Alumni EVAN FACHER (HUGEN ’97) is interim director for the institute. 

Researchers identify factors that protect youth from violence

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THE CONVERSATION - A new study has found that teens who had a positive outlook on their future were less likely to report threatening someone or injuring someone with a weapon in the past nine months. “Designing youth violence prevention interventions to help teens develop a positive future orientation may be an important part of reducing violence perpetration,” said ALISON CULYBA, lead author of the study and BCHS professor.  

Alumna Elbeshbishi receives the Superstar Award from UMPC Health Plan

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YARA ELBESHIBISHI (HPM '16) was nominated for 1st Quarter of the Superstar Award through UPMC Health Plan. UPMC celebrates and honors individuals for their dedication to UPMC Insurance Services Division PRIIDES values. Yara is recognized as a valuable contributor and quickly becoming a subject matter expert for multiple channels within the Exchange Operations Department. 

Pittsburgh finds overdose risk quintuples with opioid and Benzodiazepine use

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - In the first 90 days of concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine use, the risk of opioid-related overdose increases five-fold compared to opioid-only use among Medicare recipients. "Having multiple prescribers who are not in communication increases the risk for overdose,” says HPM's YUTING ZHANG. "Policy interventions should focus on preventing concurrent exposure,” says INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16).  

Pitt names social and political philosopher Ann Cudd as new provost

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PITTWIRE - Pitt’s new provost and senior vice chancellor, ANN E. CUDD (A&S ’84G, ’86G, ’88G) has explored topics including capitalism, feminism, inequality and oppression in more than 50 books, articles and chapters. “Ann has a rare capacity to move among the roles of scholar, leader, collaborator and teacher with exceptional ease and remarkable impact. But, what has impressed me most about Ann, so far, is her vision for Pitt. It is bold, bright,... 

Pitt Trustees vote unanimously to remove Parran name from public health building

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INSIDE HIGHER ED  -   After an extensive and thoughtful review process, the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees moved unanimously on June 29 to end a racially painful chapter on its campus, voting to remove Thomas Parran Jr.’s name from the main building housing the Graduate School of Public Health.  

Updated osteoporosis screening guidelines cover only women. That could hurt men, says Cauley

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - The emphasis on screening women for osteoporosis has fostered a sexist view of the bone-weakening disease. That’s harmful to men, whose bones also weaken with age. Men are twice as likely to die within a year of breaking a hip. In a journal editorial accompanying the guidelines, EPI's JANE CAULEY, said screening men is justified and should target those 70 and older “who have a high probability of fracture.”  

Pitt Public Health study suggests there are thousands more opioid deaths than are being reported

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US NEWS - Death certificates that did not specify the drugs involved in fatal overdoses may have masked more than 70K opioid-related deaths across the U.S. from 1999 to 2015. "Coroners... do not necessarily have medical training useful for completing drug information for death certificates based on toxicology reports," says BIOS' JEANINE BUCHANICH . DEAN BURKE and LAURAN BALMERT (BIOS ’17) coauthored the study.  

Urban weighs in on discovery of molecule that gives living tissues their flexibility

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MIT NEWS - The stretchiness that allows living tissues to expand, contract, stretch, and bend throughout a lifetime is the result of a protein molecule called tropoelastin. HUGEN's ZSOLT URBAN, says “elastin is necessary for the proper working of stretchy organs such as blood vessels, heart valves, and lungs. However, the full structure of tropoelastin was unknown until now."  

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Singh honored with achievement award for tackling global health problems 

Singh honored with achievement award for tackling global health problems

PITTWIRE - Research duo Tushar Singh (EPI '14) and Pitt Medicine's P. S. Reddy accepted the 2018 Sheth International Achievement Award, which is given every year to a Pitt faculty member and alumnus who are increasing Pitt’s global footprint with their work. Singh referred to EPI's Anne Newman as a... (11/26/2018)
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Pitt Community Gathers to Grieve, Heal, and Serve in Honor of Tree of Life Synagogue 

Pitt Community Gathers to Grieve, Heal, and Serve in Honor of Tree of Life Synagogue

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.  (11/06/2018)
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Cauley wins prestigious service award 

Cauley wins prestigious service award

PITT WIRE - The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research has awarded JANE CAULEY, vice-chair of EPI, with the 2018 Shirley Hohl Service Award. Cauley received the award after volunteering for numerous positions and projects with the society.  (11/01/2018)


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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Pittsburgh analysis: recommendations to reduce recidivism in Allegheny County transgender women 

Pittsburgh analysis: recommendations to reduce recidivism in Allegheny County transgender women

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - As part of her master’s thesis work, Stephanie Creasy (BCHS '17) performed a mixed-methods analysis that involved in-depth interviews with transgender women living in Allegheny County who had been previously incarcerated for nonviolent crimes, coupled with geospatial mapping o... (11/30/2018)
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Dean Burke honored with 2018 John Snow Award at APHA Annual Meeting 

Dean Burke honored with 2018 John Snow Award at APHA Annual Meeting

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 satisfacti... (11/12/2018)
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Voting is Public Health 

Voting is Public Health

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.  (11/02/2018)
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