Alumni News - All

Praekunatham promoted to chief of Epidemiology and Public Health Emergency Response

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Hirunwut Praekunatham (EOH, '18) was recently promoted to chief of the Epidemiology and Public Health Emergency Response unit under the new Division of Occupational and Environmental Diseases in Thailand. Praekunatham's responsibilities include surveillance of environmental/occupational diseases at the national level and field work in response to emergencies or events related to chemical and radioactive substances.  

A new study reveals how the price of treatments for a devastating disease quadrupled over the past decade

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BUSINESS INSIDER - Alvaro San-Juan Rodriguez (HPM '20) and Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16) published a new study in JAMA Neurology that found that drug prices for individuals with multiple sclerosis quadrupled over a 10-year period. The average price of the the treatments climbed from $18,660 in 2006 to $75,847 in 2016.   

Nowalk authors chapter in upcoming public health guide to opioid epidemic

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Alex Nowalk (BCHS '16), program director at Pitt's Program Evaluation and Research Unit, recently co-authored a chapter in an upcoming book, A Public Health Guide to Ending the Opioid Epidemic. Nowalk's chapter presents screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment as a public health and prevention strategy to address substance use and addiction. The book will be published through Oxford University Press and co-published with the Amer... 

Making Pitt Work: Browne's focus has always been on diversity

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UNIVERSITY TIMES - After spending 2002-09 at Pitt as project director and community health coordinator for the Center for Minority Health (now the Center for Health Equity), Mario Browne (BCHS '05) returned in 2011 as the director of diversity for the Schools of the Health Sciences and now aims to bring diversity to the faculty and staff. “It’s not just about knowing each other, it’s about knowing yourself,” he adds, “the way that we service our... 

Burke and O'Malley help National Domestic Violence Hotline

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Professor Jessica Burke and student Teagan O'Malley (BCHS '12 '19) developed a framework for evaluating and improving the effectiveness of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, which responds to over 1000 calls for help each day. Burke and O'Malley engaged multiple stakeholders including service providers, users, and experts via a content-mapping research methodology to isolate what matters most and to establish metrics for monitoring this vit... 

Henning breaks down the risks associated with ticks

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THE TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT - In the past century, Pennsylvania has become very favorable for the ecology of tick-borne diseases. The region's woodlands, rivers, growing white tailed-deer population, plentiful population of white-footed mouse, and the expansion of human populations into the black-legged tick's habitat create ideal conditions for the transmission of Lyme disease to humans. Jill Henning (IDM '08) breaks down the risks.    

Smith talks in-depth immunotherapy for lung cancer

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HOPE WITH ANSWERS - Discover in-depth information about immunotherapy for lung cancer through this conversation between Kellie Smith (IDM '13) of Johns Hopkins and patient advocate Lysa Buonanno, part of a video series providing the next level of information for patients to understand treatment options, particularly if they've experienced resistances or if their lung cancer has progressed.   

MidAtlantic AIDS Education & Training Center receives $14.2 million to extend efforts into 2024

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INSIDE UPMC - Public health alumnae & RPCVs Marilyn Blasingame (IDM '16) and Ingrid Godfrey (IDM '18), and IDM professor Linda Rose Frank discuss their work on the prevention and treatment  of HIV/AIDS and its co-morbidities through the MidAtlantic AIDS Education & Training Center (MAAETC), which recently was awarded $14.2 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to continue the center’s work for the next five years  

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

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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, rather than days. And time is of the essence:  The sooner we detect airborne disease-causing particles, the better the mines can protect their workers' he... 

Stacy finds correlation between obesity in mothers, childhood cancer risk in children

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SPECIALTY PHARMACY TIMES - A new studying has found a correlation between children born to pre-pregnancy body-mass index (BMI) and the likelihood of developing childhood cancer, even after correcting for known risk factors, such as newborn size and maternal age. "My hope is that this study can be, in a way, empowering and also motivating for weight loss," said lead author Shaina Stacy (EOH '15 '12).   

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.   

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... 

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.   

MMPH graduate Eva Chernoff honored with U.S. Public Health Service excellence award

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Pitt Medicine and Pitt Public Health graduate, Eva Chernoff (MMPH '19, MD '19) was honored with the 2019 U.S. Public Health Service Excellence in Public Health Award in recognition of her commitment to advocacy, education, and service for marginalized and underserved populations, and leadership in policy change in public health. The award recognizes visionary medical students who are public health champions advancing the service's mission to “pr... 

UPMC Children's Hospital names Sevco new president

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PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh named MHA/MBA alumnus Mark Sevco (HPM/Katz '91) as its new president. Sevco, who was most recently COO of UPMC Pinnacle, has been interim president since January. His former classmate, MHA/MBA graduate Christopher Gessner (HPM/Katz '91), served as the hospital's previous president.   

Martin-Mack provides health assessments to Pitt Public Health staff

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UPMC Workpartners health coach Carol Martin-Mack (BCHS '12) recently performed health assessments at Pitt Public Health. During the visit, she focused on obtaining - and then explaining - baseline measurements on heart rate, blood pressure, weight BMI, body fat%, as well as cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility for employees. Martin-Mack provides assessments and coaching to numerous clients at the University of Pittsburgh, aiming to educate ... 

Stout appointed trustee of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

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PR NEWSWIRE - The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the leading authority on children's oral health, inducted a new president and other new board officers and trustees including Angela Stout (MMPH '98). Stout is a passionate child advocate in the prevention of child abuse and neglect. She is the former chair of the PA Dental Association's Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness Coalition.   

Chaves-Gnecco Named 2019 Pediatrician of the Year

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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.  

Memory slips may be worrisome, but Ganguli study shows it's often not Alzheimer's

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NJ.COM - New research suggests taht even for adults who develop noticeable cognitive impairments in later life, that doesn't mean they have Alzheimer's or will progress to Alzheimer's anytime soon. Mary Ganguli (EPI '87) says the findings suggest no one should jump to hasty conclusions about people with cognitive loss.   

Gibb: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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Now president of Gibb Epidemiology Consulting, Herman Gibb (EOH ’74) has more than 35 years of experience in health risk assessment and has provided expert consultation to a variety of international and national clients. He chairs the World Health Organization (WHO) Foodborne Epidemiology Reference Group Chemical Task Force and was a member of the Science Advisory Committee of the U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries and Presidential Advisor... 

Kip: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research

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Kevin Kip (EPI ’98) is a Distinguished Health Professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health as well as an epidemiologist with 18 years of research experience on federally funded and industry-sponsored studies. He is a methodologist with expertise in a wide range of health disciplines, including interventional cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, complementary and... 

Songer: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

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Thomas Songer (EPI ’86, ’90) is an assistant professor and the director of doctoral programs in the Department of Epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Consistently one of the most highly rated teachers in the school, he is the primary instructor for graduate courses in injury epidemiology and injury prevention and control as well as the undergraduate Introduction to Research and Introduction to Epidemiology classes. Since 2007, Songer has been th... 

Sokol: 2019 Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award

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Jamie Sokol (BCHS ’07) currently serves as an administrator for workforce development and training at the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD). In this role she is responsible for ensuring quality internships and other experiential learning opportunities for Pitt Public Health students, including through the Pittsburgh Summer Institute, a 12-week structured program that matches students to ACHD projects. Her volunteer contributions have gon... 

Barbour: 2019 Early Career Excellence Award

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Kamil Barbour (BIOST ’11, EPI ’10) is an epidemiologist with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for the CDC, currently serving as team lead of the State Chronic Disease Epidemiology Assignee Program. In this hand-selected role, he supervises four senior-level epidemiologists and leads a prolific research program focused on critical applied epidemiological needs.  

Nagy: 2019 Early Career Excellence Award

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Annie Nagy (IDM ’10) is the maternal and child health program administrator at the Allegheny County Health Department where she uses current public health science and evidence-based practices to manage the weC.A.R.E. and Healthy Families Allegheny programs. Nagy analyzes health information to assist in program implementation and establishes community relationships to promote and support the MCH Program’s strategic plan.  

Hernandez: 2019 Delta Omega Inductee

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Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM ’16) is assistant professor in the Pitt School of Pharmacy. She earned her PharmD degree and a master's in health economics in Spain and completed her PhD at Pitt Public Health in three years. She has earned multiple academic awards as she continues her career in the health services of pharmaceutical polices, culminating in being named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 in Healthcare in 2019.  

King: 2019 Delta Omega Inductee

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Wendy King (EPI ’04) is associate professor of epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Her work is focused on the design, coordination, and analysis of multicenter cohort studies and randomized clinical trials. She is currently the principal investigator of the data coordinating center for three prospective cohort studies.   

Rosano: 2019 Delta Omega Inductee

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Caterina Rosano (EPI ’03) is a physician-scientist and neuroepidemiologist at the forefront internationally of investigating the mechanisms underlying physical and cognitive independence in older adults. Her publication record includes more than 100 peer-reviewed research papers that trace a logical and scientifically solid link between long-term exposure to cardiometabolic/lifestyle factors, integrity of selected brain networks, and maintenance... 

Dean's Day 2019 EOH Keleti Award

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This year, EOH awarded the Keleti Award to Brandy Hill (PhD '21).  

Dean's Day 2019 EPI departmental award recipients

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Meg Carr (MPH '22) won the master's level award and Jessica Graves (PhD '22) won the doctoral level award.   

Ganguli wins AAGP Distinguished Scientist Award

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Mary Ganguli (EPI '81) was honored by the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry in recognition of her many years of significant contributions to the field and her mentorship of successful junior researchers in the field of geriatric psychiatry. Ganguli is professor of psychiatry, epidemiology, and neurology at Pitt and said she's excited about the direction of epidemiological research focusing on disorders of the brain.   

Manzi named 2019 John E. McGrady Award Winner

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Congratulations to Susan Manzi (EPI '92) for being honored with the Catholic Youth Association's 2019 John E. McGrady Award. She was honored at the 45th Annual Art Rooney Dinner and Auction on April 29, 2019. Manzi is chair of Allegheny Health Network Medicine Institute and is an international leader in lupus patient care and research. The award recognizes individuals who are dedicated to community service.   

Scott is new president of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital

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SSM Health has named Steven M. Scott (HADM '85) as president after he's served as interim president since January. In this role, he is responsible for leading the 356-bed academic medical center that specializes in organ transplant, advanced cancer therapies, and trauma services.   

Stacy wins Scholar-in-Training Award

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Shaina Stacy (EOH '15), a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Epidemiology, received the Scholar-in-Training Award from the American Association for Cancer Research for her work Early Life Risk Factors and Childhood Cancer Risk. The award supports travel to the AACR annual meeting in Atlanta.   

Hernandez comments on new poll: Americans Support Government Action to Curb Prescription Drug Prices

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NPR - "With the current awareness and the bipartisan agreement in the recognition of drug prices as a major concern, we are in an optimal environment for the design and implementation of policies targeted at controlling prices, and assuring the affordability of medications to the U.S. public,” states Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16). "Financial barriers for medication…are having a detrimental effect on our fellow citizens' health."  

MMPH alumna honored with Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award

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Tammy Haley (MMPH '13) was honored with the 2019 Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award at Pitt's Honors Convocation ceremony.  The annual award recognizes teaching excellence and includes both a cash prize of $2,000 and a grant of $3,000 to support the faculty member's teaching activities.   

BCHS alum accepted for Harvard crisis leadership program

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Nicolle Nestler (BCHS ‘11) was recently accepted to Harvard’s Emerging Leaders in Crisis Program. Currently, a hospital preparedness program administrator at the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Nestler seeks to further develop her leadership, communication, and collaboration skills in public health emergency management and how to effectively lead during times of catastrophic crisis.  

Rister opens book store, continues making the public healthier

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - On the surface, Adriene Rister (IDM) may seem to have made a dramatic career change, from dealing with infectious diseases for the state of Maine to running a children's book store. She sees the mission of both as bettering the community. "In a way, I like to think of this as part of public health...A bookstore should be a community hub, a place to gather around literacy and education, and a place to teach our kids abou... 

Carter to be contestant on TV show Survivor

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CBS.COM - Julia Carter (EPI '17) will be on the upcoming season of Survivor, debuting on February 20. According to her cast bio, while the idea of winning a million dollars factors in, her motivation for competing in the show is to prove to herself that she can do it. Carter says she'll be successful by being a team player and an excellent communicator. "I have charm and wits and I am not afraid to make risky moves." Good luck!  

Global Health at Home: Leff on Products of Pittsburgh podcast

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PRODUCTS OF PITTSBURGH - In 2013, Mara Leff (BCHS '16), now director of innovation at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, moved from Washington, D.C., back to her hometown of Pittsburgh to study global health at Pitt Public Health. Her research took her across the world, although after graduating, Leff would find herself leading programs to help solve global health problems right in her own backyard.   

Marsh, Buchanich, multiple alums publish first study of workers involved in aerospace materials manufacturing

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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL MEDICINE - This is the first ever epidemiological study of workers involved in aerospace materials manufacturing. Authored by BIOST's Gary Marsh and Jeanine Buchanich and featuring work from Jessica Graves (BIOST '18, EPID '22), Yimeng (Alice) Lu (BIOST '17), and Sarah Zimmerman (BIOST '13).   

Adams-Campbell named among 2018 Washingtonians of the Year

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WASHINGTONIAN – Lucille Adams-Campbell (EPI ’83) works to increase mammograms, reduce cancer risks, and guarantee minorities’ access to clinical trials as a researcher and professor at Georgetown University. Her work has long focused on equity, uncovering disparities in women and minorities when “nobody else was.” Adams-Campbell received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and was named Pitt's Legacy Laureate in 2010.  

Hernandez study investigates rising drug prices

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PITT WIRE - A recent study led by Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16), assistant professor of pharmacy and therapeutics, found that new drugs entering the market drive up prices, but drug companies are also hiking prices on older drugs.   

Obituary: Robert B. Yee, 'godfather' of Pitt Public Health

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - Robert Yee was as brilliant as he was modest. "One of the godfathers" of Pitt Public Health, Yee mentored hundreds of students and played a pivotal role as a researcher who made several "breakthrough" discoveries about bacteria.   

Hernandez's research adds to pharmaceutical industry's growing pressure over high price of drugs

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FOX NEWS - "It's not about innovation, it's about inflation in existing products," explains Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16). "They are the same companies that operate in other countries and they don't show this behavior and that's because in other countries they are lucky to have this regulatory environment that prevents them from doing this."   

Sevco named COO of UPMC Pinnacle

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Congratulations to Mark Sevco (HPM '91) who will be the COO of UPMC Pinnacle in Harrisburg. Sevco was formerly president of UPMC McKeesport in McKeesport, PA and UPMC East in Monroeville, PA.  Read the announcement from Becker's Hospital Review.    

Hernandez's research says prescription drug costs driven by manufacturer price hikes, not innovation

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WESA - The skyrocketing cost of many prescription drugs in the U.S. can be blamed primarily on price increases, not expensive new therapies or improvements in existing medications as drug companies frequently claim, says a new study published in Health Affairs by Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM '16).   

Dougherty named deputy commissioner of alcohol and drug abuse programs in Vermont

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VERMONT BUSINESS MAGAZINE - "I am eager to join the health department in its work to strengthen prevention efforts and to ensure that every Vermonter has access to effective treatment and recovery services," said Kelly Dougherty (BCHS '00).  

Breastfeeding linked to less belly fat and smaller waist size

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MEDICALRESEARCH.COM  - Work by Gabrielle Snyder (EPI '15) tests the association between breastfeeding duration and maternal waist circumference while controlling for race, socioeconomic status, and behavioral factors like better diet and more physical activity. The study found that women who breastfed more than 6 months had smaller waists and lower body mass index one decade after delivery compared to women who breastfed less than 6 months.  

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