GREAT LAKES NOW - Last week, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s office declared two townships in Kalamazoo County a state of emergency due to elevated levels of the chemicals called “PFAS.” The amount is 20 times what the EPA says is unsafe. To find out more about PFAS contamination and what it can do to water and to the human body, Great Lakes Now talked with PFAS expert DAVID SAVITZ (EPI '82).
THE INCLINE - Scent with Love, the all-volunteer organization takes donated flowers from weddings and other events and brings them to places like the Children’s Home in Bloomfield, Bethlehem Haven in Bluff, and Family House in Oakland and Shadyside. The organization was founded by SHANNON HALDEMAN (HPM '20), who knows that walking in to a new hospital can be intimidating for some patients and families. The flowers are a welcome addition.
NEW YORK TIMES - The country is in the grips of an escalating housing affordability crisis. Millions of low-income Americans are paying 70 percent or more of their incomes for shelter, while rents continue to rise and construction of affordable rental apartments lags far behind the need. Ben Carson has privately told aides that he views the shortage of affordable housing as regrettable, but as essentially a local problem.
PUBLIC SOURCE - As housing prices and rents rise in the Pittsburgh region, residents with convictions are often denied housing they can afford. Discrimination against people who have been incarcerated or have any marks on their rap sheet is one of several barriers the region’s fair housing task force is trying to reduce through a series of 12 policy recommendations being introduced this summer for public comment.
WBUR - "It makes me feel comfortable about myself," says Chuck Gyukeri, "that I'm able to come in and out of my own home. And I’m getting my health issues together. "Gyukeri's apartment is in one of four brownstones on Waldeck Street — 35 units that came close to losing their affordable status.
HOW HOUSING MATTERS - The national homeownership rate rose in 2017 for the first time in 13 years. Other housing trends include enduring constraints on the single-family market, racial disparities in neighborhood poverty levels, lagging household growth, trade-offs between housing, etc.
PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - According to a United Way study, more than 40 percent of Pennsylvania households can’t afford basic household necessities. While 12.3 percent fit the government’s definition of poverty, an additional 29.4 percent fall into the ALICE category: people who clear the poverty line but still struggle to afford expenses like rent, child care, medical expenses, transportation, and a cell phone.
THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT - Hampton Roads is among the worst areas in the nation for evictions of rental tenants according to new data on court-ordered evictions. All of the region’s cities in 2016 saw judges order tenants out of their homes at least three times the average national rate.
NPR - For many poor families in America, eviction is a real and ongoing threat. Sociologist Matthew Desmond, author of this year's One Book, One Community selection, estimates that 2.3 million evictions were filed in the U.S. in 2016 — a rate of four every minute. "Eviction isn't just a condition of poverty; it's a cause of poverty," Desmond says. "Eviction is a direct cause of homelessness, but it also is a cause of residential instability, sch...
WESA-FM - The rate of Pittsburgh renters facing eviction judgments is lower than state and national averages. One in 100 Pittsburgh renters were subject to evictions but Jay Dworin, executive director of Pittsburgh's Fair Housing Partnership, said that’s not the full picture of evictions. Tenants often don’t have enough legal help or don’t understand the eviction process, he said, so they never even appear before a magistrate.
NEW YORK TIMES - Nearly one million American households faced eviction in 2016, according to the data complied by a team lead by Matthew Desmond, author of this year's One Book, One Community selection. “An eviction isn’t one problem. It’s like 12 problems," said Amy Woolard, a lawyer and policy coordinator.
NEXT PITTSBURGH - Desmond, a social science professor at Harvard University, co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project, and author of this year's One Book, One Community selection, spoke in front of a crowd of about 50 people at East Liberty Presbyterian Church, where he served as the guest speaker during a SWPA Housing Alliance luncheon. Community organizers, landlords, tenants and private developers concerned with the growing housing cris...
WESA-FM - A new health insurance rule from the Trump administration is being criticized by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. The policy would jeopardize those who buy health insurance on the individual market. "If only sick people enter the individual market place, premiums become completely unaffordable," said HPM's ERIC ROBERTS.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE - The ArcelorMittal steel mill at the Port of Indiana in Burns Harbor emitted 173,000 pounds of benzene during 2016, making it the nation’s largest industrial source of a volatile chemical known to cause leukemia. More could be on the way but regulators can't explain where the steel mill's pollution ends up. “It’s a constant fight,” said EOH's JAMES FABISIAK.
With research interests that explore the role of social context in determining outcomes related to pregnancy, birth, and women's health, EPI's MENDEZ applies frameworks and approaches focused on the social determinants of health equity and health disparities. She employs novel methods to measure and understand neighborhood environments, various forms of racism, and social stress.
HAWK (BCHS '12) is a founding member of this local housing program that uses harm reduction and housing-first approaches to engage marginalized people living with HIV/AIDS in clinical care. Hawk published the first study to use HIV viral load to measure the impact of the housing-first model of care on homeless people living with HIV/AIDS and she was awarded the Catherine Cartier Ulrich Memorial Award for Public Health Service to the Undeserved w...
THE WINDOW - Sustaining a quality journey within a health care organization is a complex, multifaceted process. As a 2018 Patient Safety Fellow, ABISOLA OLANIYAN (BCHS '21) delved into the emerging field of health implementation science, by studying teams that have been recognized for sustaining and spreading quality within and beyond their organizations.
Congratulations to Student Affairs' ROBIN LEAF and EPI's MARNIE BERTOLET, EPI professor, for completing the Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program (DICP) and for being recognized at the recent Graduation Ceremony. DICP is designed to reinforce the University’s core values of diversity and inclusion through a series of six workshops open to all faculty and staff.
PITTWIRE - Under the leadership of EVAN FACHER (HUGEN '97), Pitt innovators started a record 23 new companies in FY18. Facher now moves into the new position of vice chancellor for innovation and entrepreneurship. “Pitt faculty and students are constantly pushing the boundaries of discovery across multiple disciplines," says Facher. “I am grateful for the opportunity to build on the positive momentum that has been established."
NPR - The governor of Arizona removed a doctor from the state's Medicaid drug committee and issued an executive order requiring disclosure of financial conflicts in response to a joint investigation by NPR and the Center for Public Integrity Investigation. Walid Gellad, HPM professor, says disclosing financial ties should be standard practice, especially for people serving on decision-making boards. "At least they can be out in the open."