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Is there a connection between Pittsburgh's high rates of asthma and autoimmune disorders?

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Environmental Health News - Pittsburgh would be an ideal place for further study on the links between air pollution, asthma, and autoimmune disease, says EOH chair SALLY WENZEL. "There's a lot of evidence now that what you breathe may impact your lungs in many ways, and could actually start an autoimmune process. That's a link we haven't fully explored in this region yet."  

Swayze weighs in on 5 things community paramedics need to know about the opioid epidemic

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EMS1 - Many EMS agencies are reporting record numbers of overdose-related 911 responses and unprecedented amounts of naloxone being administered during resuscitative efforts. Many systems are turning to new mobile integrated health care and community paramedicine approaches to help. DAN SWAYZE (BCHS '09) shares the 5 things community paramedics should know to be effective.   

Rift Valley fever in animals and humans: Current perspectives

ANTIVIRAL RESEARCH - McMillen and Hartman discuss the historical role of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) as a biological weapon and conclude with an outline of the important unanswered questions for ongoing research into this important zoonotic disease.  

Pan on suicide stats from Allegheny Country getting worse

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Suicides in Allegheny County have increased 66 percent over just eight years from 2010 to 2017. The increase is far higher than the 25 percent national increase, or the 30 percent increase in Pennsylvania over 18 years between 1999 and 2016. “This is really upsetting to me because for so long our [suicide] rates were going down,” said HUGEN's LISA PAN.   

Lin receives best poster award at SAGES 2018 conference

BIOS student, HUANG LIN (PhD '21), won the prize for best poster presentation at SAGES 2018, the Symposium on Advances in Genomics, Epidemiology, and Statistics conference. Huang presented his work on developing a novel methodology for analyzing microbiome data. The title of his poster was "Analysis of Differential Abundance of Taxa in Microbiome Studies Using An Off-Set Based Linear Regression."  

Brent on suicide rates climbing across the nation

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NY TIMES - Suicide rates rose steadily in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016, increasing 25 percent nationally. Studies found that slightly more than half of people who had committed suicide did not have any known mental health condition. “The reason most suicide decedents don’t have a known mental disorder is that they were never diagnosed, not that they didn’t have one,” said EPI's DAVID BRENT.   

Belle honored for contributions to clinical trials

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UPMC - EPI's STEVEN BELE has been named a fellow of the Society for Clinical Trials, recognized for outstanding leadership for several multicenter studies of surgical outcomes and other treatment trials across a wide range of conditions and applications. “It’s an honor to be recognized by those who themselves are leaders in the premier international society devoted to clinical trials and other health care research."   

Chernoff plays Belle in "Beauty and the Yeast Infection"

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THE PITT NEWS - This year's play from Pitt Medicine's theater group Scope and Scalpel was a classic tale of "Beauty and the Beast" revamped in a satirical production called "Beauty and the Yeast Infection." EVA CHERNOFF (MMPH '19) starred as Belle.   

New roles for Cauley and Ayyavoo

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JANE CAULEY, who has served as the associate dean for research, will be stepping down from that position to take on additional responsibilities as the executive vice chair of EPI. Cauley is also a distinguished professor of epidemiology. VELPANDI AYYAVOO, currently associate dean for faculty affairs and IDM professor, will become the associate dean for research and faculty affairs. Congratulations!   

Gary-Webb and Mendez talk Project Hunger (Video)

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WTAE - More than 325,000 people in southwestern Pennsylvania are food insecure according to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Rural areas are particularly vulnerable. "If groceries stores are miles away, it'll be very difficult to get to those," says BCHS's TIFFANY GARY-WEBB. "Some do have access to food but it may not be the most helpful food," says EPI's DARA MENDEZ.   

MHA alumna MonaLisa Beckford talks about deciding to go to grad school

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LINKEDIN - Wondering about graduate school? Here are four factors that make graduate school worth the risk.  

'Invisible workforce' of caregivers is wearing out as boomers age

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STAR TRIBUNE - Growing numbers of Americans face the challenge of caring for an aging parent or other loved one, a burden that will skyrocket as 76 million baby boomers move into their 80s and need help coping with dementia, cancer, heart disease, or just plain frailty and old age. “I don’t think people have really connected all those dots, other than those of us who are doing this work,” said RICHARD SCHULZ, EPI and BCHS professor.  

Pittsburgh #15 best big college town in America

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MSN - Schools that boast a great campus environment and also happen to sit in an exceptional college town truly have the best of both worlds. Of 415 cities evaluated including looking at each area’s “wallet friendliness” (cost of living), “social environment” (demographics, entertainment options), and “academic and economic opportunities” (education quality, job opportunities, earning potential), Pittsburgh came in at #15.   

Why aren't we spending more on public health?

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NEW YORK TIMES - Not only have many public health interventions been hugely successful, but they’ve also saved more money than they’ve cost. And yet Americans spend relatively little money in that domain and far more on medical care that returns less value for its costs. Instead of continually complaining about how much is being spent on health care with little to show for it, maybe we should direct more of that money to public health.  

Roberts on one way people who inject drugs can avoid HIV and Hepatitis C infections

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US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Tens of thousands of people (if not more) who inject heroin, fentanyl and other opioids are at risk of contracting HIV or hepatitis C from a contaminated syringe. Research shows that programs in which people who inject drugs turn in their used needles in exchange for clean ones are effective in preventing the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, says HPM chair MARK ROBERTS.  

Some good news from the fight against opiods

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THE ECONOMIST - Prescription medications are likely to have been pushed down by lower availability of those drugs. Official data from the CDC show that prescription rates were nearly 20% lower in 2016 than at their 2012 peak. IQVIA, a health consultancy, reckons that prescriptions fell by another 10% in 2017. DEAN BURKE thinks there is “almost certainly cause and effect” between prescription rates and deaths.   

Flatt's team receives a $75,000 grant for study on affordable LGBTQ age-friendly housing

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A $75,000 Team Science RAP Grant was awarded to alumnus JASON FLATT (BCHS '13) and colleagues on The Role of Affordable LGBTQ Age-Friendly Housing on the Health of LGBTQ Older Adults: A Natural Experiment. The study will be funded jointly by the UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health and the Academic Senate.  They are partnering with Openhouse, a nonprofit organization in San Francisco.  

Horsely says affordable doula services might lower infant mortality rate

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WESA-FM - Black babies in Allegheny County are nearly three times more likely than white babies to die before their first birthdays. Making doula services in Pennsylvania more affordable could help close the gap, says alumna DEMIA HORSELY (BCHS '18). Black moms especially need the advocacy of a doula because it’s not uncommon for them to be treated poorly in medical settings.  

Catov finds preterm birth linked to heart disease later in life

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WESA-FM - A new study found that women who had preterm births and a pattern of increasing blood pressure were also more likely to have greater calcium buildup in their hearts, putting them at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Associate professor, alumna, and lead author JANET CATOV (EPI ’05) said it’s interesting that women who also had increasing blood pressure but gave birth to full-term babies didn’t have as much plaque... 

Gieraltowski says it's ok to eat romaine lettuce again

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NPR - After weeks of warnings to toss out romaine grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region, the CDC says there are no longer any greens coming from this region. Now that lettuce grown in the Yuma region is likely no longer being sold in supermarkets or served in restaurants, LAURA GIERALTOWSKI (EPI '09) head of the CDC's foodborne outbreak response team says, "We hope people can enjoy their romaine lettuce again."  

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Lara Siminerio Lemon delivers student address at Pitt's Commencement 2018 Graduate Ceremony 

Lara Siminerio Lemon delivers student address at Pitt's Commencement 2018 Graduate Ceremony

PITT WIRE - In Pitt's graduate student address, EPI doctoral graduate LARA  SIMINERIO LEMON told the audience: "You only have one life. So do what you choose with it but remember: it's the only chance you'll get ... Please do not lose the momentum that Pitt has provided to each one of us ... g... (04/26/2018)
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The HIV Prevention and Care Project turns 25 

The HIV Prevention and Care Project turns 25

PITT WIRE - Led by IDM's TONY SILVESTRE, the Pitt Public Health project serves as the facilitator of the HIV prevention and care community planning process in Pennsylvania. With initiatives like Acceptance Journeys and Project SILK, the work has received recognition from multiple federal health bod... (04/26/2018)
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HuGen alumna's creation aims to reduce radiation exposure from stress tests 

HuGen alumna's creation aims to reduce radiation exposure from stress tests

PITTWIRE - Doctoral alumna MALIHA ZAHID ( HUGEN  '09) aims to reduce the amount of radiation that patients are exposed to when undergoing diagnostic imaging. Her creation, to be used during cardiac stress tests, was a previous Pitt PInCh winner. (04/17/2018)

The ASPPH Friday Letter features the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. 
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submission guidelines then share your story or story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 

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Williams-Pate represents Pitt Public Health as This is Public Health ambassador  

Williams-Pate represents Pitt Public Health as This is Public Health ambassador

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Thirty-five new ambassadors, including KYANNA WILLIAMS-PATE (BCHS ’19), are joining the program, representing the This Is Public Health brand and 23 ASPPH member institutions. Throughout the year, ambassadors participate in a series of public health outreach events along with p... (05/21/2018)

Racial disparity in premature deaths has narrowed since 1990 

Racial disparity in premature deaths has narrowed since 1990

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The past quarter century has brought a striking decline in earlier-than-expected deaths among blacks in the U.S. “We were surprised by these findings because they demonstrated such dramatic improvement,” said DEAN DONALD BURKE. “Our study shows that racial disparity in health ... (05/07/2018)

ASPPH data center visits Pittsburgh 

ASPPH data center visits Pittsburgh

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Last Thursday, ASPPH Data Center staff visited Pitt Public Health, meeting with administrators, staff, and the university-wide Tableau business intelligence user group. The consultation focused on upcoming ASPPH Annual Data Reporting, ASPPH resources for diversity studies, usi... (04/23/2018)
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