US NEWS & WORLD REPORT- In the 2020 rankings of best graduate schools, Pitt's Master of Health Administration (MHA) program surged from 29th to 17th nationally among programs in health care management. The move was one of the largest in the country, positioning the Pitt MHA as the highest-ranked program in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO - Americans spend more on prescription drugs than anyone else in the world, a fact attributed to the ever rising costs of pharmaceuticals. HPM's Walid Gellad discusses a recent Congressional hearing, in which pharmaceutical executives claim that their hands are tied by the current health care system, and that they need profits to fund new research.
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."
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.
NEW YORK TIMES - HPM's Walid Gellad calls the policy changes a "watershed moment" and went on to say, "This is highly significant, espeically at such a high-profile academic center. Leadership matters, and the institution has decided that their leaders should not also be concurrently leading for-profit health companies."
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.
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).
KDKA RADIO - The University of Colorado Hospital announced Christopher A. Gessner (HPM '91), the current president of UPMC Children's Hospital and UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital, will be their next president and CEO, overseeing the Anschuntz Medical Campus, Broomfield Hospital, Highlands Ranch Hospital, and other outpatient locations in the Denver area.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY MEDICAL SOCIETY BULLETIN - In a perspective piece, HPM's Wendy Braund writes "Something has to change, because what we’re currently doing to stop the opioid epidemic clearly isn’t enough. It’s time for physicians in Allegheny County to embrace harm reduction." She mentions Naloxone, syringe service programs, opioid substitution therapies, and safe injection facilities as options to help end the opioid epidemic.
THE FISCAL TIMES - When drug giant Pfizer announced in July that it would roll back price hikes on its drugs, it made clear that the change was temporary. The company said Friday it is planning to raise the list prices on 41 of its drugs effective January 15. “The drug price pledges made earlier this year were just for show — it was obvious at the time, and it's obvious now,” said HPM's Walid Gellad.
WESA FM - For the first time since 2013, taxpayers won’t be penalized for not having health insurance. Some people might decide ACA-compliant coverage isn't something they need and instead might select a lower-cost “skinny plan.” HPM's Eric Roberts said it’s important to read the fine print before choosing this type of insurance.
APHA - Mara Hollander (HPM) presented a poster titled Financial Relationships with Pharmaceutical Companies are Related to Increased Opioid Prescribing at APHA's 2018 annual meeting. Hollander matched Medicare Part D claims from Pennsylvania clinicians with 2014 Open Payments data. The final sample included approximately 12,500 PA providers who had at least 50 opioid prescriptions and 10 beneficiaries.
THE ALMANAC - Associate dean for undergraduate nursing education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, KATHRYN PUSKAR (BCHS '78, HPM '81) has been inducted into the Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, one of 20 inductees for this year. “It’s really humbling. I feel very honored to be part of that cohort,” Puskar said.
FORBES - Congratulations to INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16) for being selected as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2019. She will be joining the
most exclusive club in the world of young entrepreneurs and game-changers. After graduating from Pitt Public Health with her doctorate, Inma has led work with heavyweight drug pricing researchers and quantified the full cost of recently approved CAR T cancer therapies.
PITTWIRE - The Dick Thornburgh Forum Disability Service Award goes to HEATHER TOMKO (HPM '19) for service that has made a difference in the lives of children and adults with disabilities. Her work in activism includes taking part in the Jewish Healthcare Foundation’s Jonas Salk Health Activist Fellowship, blogging on “The Heather Report” and creating the advocacy organization, Accessible YOUniverse.