BCHS Department News

Sokol: 2019 Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award

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Jamie Sokol (BCHS ’07) has served as an administrator for workforce development and training at the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) since 2013. 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 hav... 

OjO Latino: A Photovoice Project in Recognition of the Latino Presence in Pittsburgh, PA

CONTEMPORANEITY - Pitt students Héctor Camilo Ruiz Sánchez (BCHS/Anthropology '20), Paulina Pardo Gaviria (history of art & architecture) Rosa De Ferrari (BCHS/GSPIA '18), and faculty advisors Kirk Savage & Patricia Documet (BCHS) published on their recent Photovoice work connecting Latinos from different origins with each other and with the University of Pittsburgh while also taking a step toward creating a Latino presence in Pittsburgh’s pub... 

Albert contributes to the Pennsylvania’s Healthy Steps in Motion falls prevention program receiving evidence-based approval

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PA DEPARTMENT OF AGING - Research conducted by BCHS’s Steven Albert for the commonwealth's Healthy Steps in Motion (HSIM) falls-prevention program has led to evidence-based approval from the National Council on Aging’s National Falls Prevention Resource Center, placing it on the pre-approved list for future federal funding. In multivariate models, HSIM participation reduced falls incidence by approximately 28 percent.   

Albert comments on findings about aid-in-dying drugs

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REUTERS - "This is an important paper, if a state has legislation that allows terminally ill adults to request medication to hasten death, there needs to be a policy from each hospital on how they will respons. This is one of the first studies to address that," said BCHS Chair Steven Albert.   

Pitt Public Health wins at the Health Disparities Poster Competition

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Congratulations to Jessica Thompson (BCHS '21) and Stephanie Lynn Corey (EPI '19) for winning awards at this year's Health Disparities Poster Competition!   

Analyzing a Facebook-fueled anti-vaccination attack: 'It's not all about autism'

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Research led by Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) finds that anti-vaccination arguments on social media aren't all about autism, but instead center on four distinct themes that can appeal to diverse audiences, offering a framework that pediatricians can use to open a conversation with parents who are hesitant to immunize their children.   

Raviotta, Zimmerman, Nowalk on the best time to get a flu shot

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BCHS's Richard Zimmerman and Jonathan Raviotta (BCHS '18) and Patricia Nowalk (EPI '81, '93) are among those who recently published research that says that hundreds of deaths can likely be avoided if older adults wait until October to get their flu immunization. Since the protection offered by the vaccine wanes as the season progresses, waiting until closer to the start of the season ensures greater immunity.   

What drives 'anti-vaxxer' parents? It's a mixed bag, Hoffman shows

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - People who voice their anti-vaccine sentiments online range from conspiracy theorists to parents who have safety worries or interests in alternative medicine. Investigators, including Beth Hoffmann (BCHS '19), came to that conclusion after looking into a viral Facebook attack targeting a Pittsburgh pediatric practice that posted a video encouraging HPV vaccination.   

BCHS's Hawk and Gary-Webb participate in event honoring recently promoted women faculty

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BCHS associate professors Mary Hawk and Tiffany Gary-Webb participated in the provost's recent event, “A Celebration of Newly Promoted Women Faculty.” Sponsored by the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Women’s Concerns (PACWC), the event featured a panel of accomplished women professors offering perspectives and advice for successful academic careers and then introduced the recently promoted women among the faculty. The event was part of Pitt's on... 

BCHS’s Baumann receives 2019 Silverman Scholarship

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Doctoral student Sara Baumann (BCHS ’19) has received the Silverman Scholarship from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. The funds will support her research on chhaupadi in Nepal, a traditional harmful practice where women and girls are isolated during their menstrual cycles. Baumann is conducting a qualitative study in far-west Nepal to understand intentions to change behaviors after criminalization of the practice.  

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.  

Elias receives Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award

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Congrats to professor (and alum) Thistle Elias (BCHS '12) on winning the 2019 award - a major honor recognizing continuing work with Bridging the Gaps, a premier service-learning opportunity for Pitt students. The award "recognizes... efforts [that] far exceed the traditional duties expected of a faculty member and showcases the extraordinary impact that you have had in your own department and in the University."   

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.   

Albert on program that helps seniors continue to live independently

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REUTERS - "You really want to see people be independent and able to manage without help from their families or from paid services," said BCHS's Steve Albert. "Presumably if you can improve function with the activities of daily life, you reduce the risk of nursing home placement."   

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).  

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