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Buchanich and Burke on fatal ODs across Pa.

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - “For the first time in Allegheny County, fentanyl was found in more people than heroin,” said Pitt Public Health epidemiologist JEANINE BUCHANICH. There appear to be two distinct epidemics in Pennsylvania, said DONALD BURKE. Southeastern Pennsylvania historically has been a source of extremely pure and cheap heroin, which is now drawing some users whose addictions began with prescription pain pills.  

Alumna Lo-Cignic working to identify individuals at risk of inappropriate prescription opioid use

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KVOA NEWS 4 - New prediction tools to identify patients at risk of inappropriate prescription opioid use, while allowing safe administration of legitimate pain management are being developed by alumna WEI-HSUAN JENNY LO-CIGANIC (BIOST '10, EPI '05), now an assistant professor with the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy. Her newly-funded work builds on research she completed as a postdoctoral associate at Pitt's HEALTH POLICY INSTITUTE. 

King finds 1 in 5 surgical weight-loss patients take preseription opioids

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UPI - Research led by EPI's WENDY KING found that while the number of adults with severe obesity using prescription opioids initially declines in the months after bariatric surgery, it eventually increases to surpass pre-surgery rates. "Almost half of patients reporting opioid use at the time of surgery reported no such use following surgery. However, among the much larger group of patients who did not report opioid use pre-surgery, opioid use gr... 

Trump wants to represent a Pittsburgh that doesn't exist

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 CBS MONEY WATCH - President Donald Trump pointed to Pittsburgh as a reason for pulling out of the Paris climate accord, but some residents in the former steel town are calling him rusty and out-of-date. The one-time industrial center is now a thriving city focused on health care, tech, and clean energy.  

BCHS alumnus Broughton improving regional health services through consistent assessments

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EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY - Alumnus WILL BROUGHTON (BCHS '14) is coordinator for the Office of Health Access in the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University as well as future project coordinator for an apples-to-apples project to standardize the methodology and synchronize the assessment process for regional community health needs assessment in eastern North Carolina. He will be facilitating the day-to-day implementation efforts. He sa... 

Fabisiak and Brink: Air pollution increases regional health risks

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PITTSBURGH TODAY - “PM2.5 is probably the chief concern for the region, mainly because of its contribution from a source as big as the Clairton plant has an effect over a fairly large area,” said EOH associate prof JAMES FABISIAK.... “Everything that’s a risk factor for bad health is showing up high in that area,” said LUANN BRINK, Allegheny County Health Department deputy director and chief epidemiologist (as well as EPI alum and assistant prof)... 

Zimmerman, Nowalk, Hawk, and Ricci receive Adult Immunization Publication Award

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Kudos to (photo front, left to right) alumna PATRICIA NOWALK (EPI '81, ’93) and BCHS faculty MARY HAWK, ED RICCI, and (back) RICHARD ZIMMERMAN, who received the Immunization Publication Excellence Award presented during the National Adult Influenza Immunization Summit, May 10, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia. The award was in recognition of their work on the Four Pillars Practice Transformations Program for adult influenza immunization. 

Toward Curing HIV: Test Finds Hidden Virus

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PITTWIRE - A team of Pitt scientists led by IDM's PHALGUNI GUPTA developed a test to detect "hidden" HIV that is faster, less labor-intensive and less expensive than the current "gold standard" test.  

BCHS student Emma Hosman leads ACHD CPR class

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BCHS student EMMA HOSMAN is working with the Allegheny County Health Department through the Pittsburgh Summer Institute (bit.ly/2rVg2RO). This morning, in collaboration with ACHD's Emergency Preparedness Program, she helped to lead a CPR class for 17 community participants. 

Human genetics research to understand craniofacial birth defects

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A facial shape genetics paper from a research team including HUGEN's JOHN SHAFFER, ELEANOR FEINGOLD, and student EKATERINA ORLOVA, was among the top 50 most downloaded "PLoS Genetics" open-access journal papers in 2016. 

IDM's Gupta team develops improved test to detect hidden HIV virus

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TRIBUNE REVIEW - “This will be extremely useful for clinical trials and people doing the basic science on the latency,” said PHALGUNI GUPTA, senior author and IDM vice-chair. In addition to being more sensitive, the new test is cheaper, easier, faster, and requires less blood than the test commonly used now. This means it can safely be used in babies. 

Van Panhuis explains why gaps in immunization coverage are troubling

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STAR TRIBUNE - “That is the herd immunity,” said WILBERT VAN PANUIS, Pitt Public Health epidemiologist and affiliated faculty of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory. Measles is less likely to turn into an outbreak if at least 95 percent of the population has immunity protection. ldquo;If the number drops below 95, the chance of measles infection is going up,” he said. “Children who can’t be vaccinated will be at an extreme risk.” 

Mixed wisdom on the first use of purpose-built crematory on U.S. soil

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POST-GAZETTE - An early  motive for promoting cremation — to prevent contamination — appears overstated. Poorly buried corpses of people who died of infectious diseases in the 1800s could contaminate a nearby water supply, but there would have been no general risk of contamination from those who die of trauma or non-contagious diseases, commented EOH's JAMES FABISIAK.  

Alumna Johnson: CDC/CSTE Allplied Epidemiology Fellow

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Alumna STEPHANIE JOHNSON (EPI '16) has been accepted into the CDC/CSTE Applied Epidemiology Fellowship. The mission of this national fellowship-training program is to meet the nation's ongoing need for applied epidemiology workforce capacity in state and local health departments. Johnson will be serving at the Puerto Rico Department of Health and the CDC-Dengue branch in San Juan, starting this summer. 

New walking route, thanks to WalkWorks

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ENDEAVOR NEWS - A walking route in Emporium will be inaugurated as part of National Trails Day on Saturday, June 3. Cameron County Chamber of Commerce has teamed with the Pa. Dept. of Health and Pitt Public Health's WALKWORKS program to create a 1.67-mile walking loop through the county seat marked with green circles featuring an arrow. Learn more about this health initiative directed by CAROL REICHBAUM at bit.ly/2rHofch. 

Epidemiologists' SWAN Study "Change" data

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PITT MED - A team of researchers, including epidemiology's REBECCA THURSTON, SAMAR EL KHOUDARY, and KAREN MATTHEWS, recruited about 400 premenopausal women for a multi-institutional study in 1996. They were asking a lot: an extra doctor’s visit once a year, forever. Yet about 400 from Pittsburgh volunteered, and at last count, 90 percent were still in. Though most women now live at least a third of their lives after menopause, its long-term effec... 

Accelerated approval and expensive drugs — a challenging combination says HPM's Gellad

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NEJM - Despite the uncertain evidence of clinical benefit, drugs receiving accelerated approval enter the market as FDA-approved products, and insurers must decide whether and how to pay for them. Those decisions are becoming increasingly complex in light of the rising prices of new drugs. Read about suggestions by HPM's WALID GELLAD and listen to his interview. 

Sushi doughnuts in the shadow of Pitt Public Health

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POST-GAZETTE - We have two words for you — sushi doughnut. That’s as fair a place to start as any in the discussion of Mount Everest Sushi, a tiny little takeout shop with a few dine-in tables in the shadow of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health building in Oakland. Rest assured that the sushi doughnut is not some sort of a weird bastardization of raw fish, glaze, jelly and jimmies… Rather, it's simply a clever and eye-p... 

Pitt Public Health's Evaluation Institute data informs Allegheny County health survey

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ACTION NEWS 4 - A random telephone survey of 9000 residents conducted by BCHS' EVALUATION INSTITUTE spotlights trends in important public health topics such as obesity, smoking, insurance access, chronic disease status, and the utilization of health care resources. “This is fantastic data to have at our fingertips,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “Having data that not only provides us with information on the health and health concerns o... 

Will the ACHA take away career flexibility, asks HPM's Donahue

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90.5 WESA - “So in effect, the people with preexisting conditions could find coverage so unaffordable that they don't have access to the market even though the guaranteed issue rule is still in place,” said JULIE DONAHUE, professor of health policy and management at the University of Pittsburgh. Donahue said that could lead to a phenomenon called job lock, where people stay in jobs simply for the health insurance. She said the ACA was designed, i... 

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Enigma: Marques worked to pinpoint culprit of mysterious illness in Brazil 

Enigma: Marques worked to pinpoint culprit of mysterious illness in Brazil

PITTWIRE - When a mysterious illness suddenly emerged in his Brazilian hometown, IDM researcher ERNESTO MARQUES mobilized with colleagues to decode its unknowns. The work may help infectious-disease researchers stop or stall new epidemics. His story begins on page 18. (10/24/2017)
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Online Service Aiming to Match Moms-to-Be With Doulas Wins Student Pitch Competition 

Online Service Aiming to Match Moms-to-Be With Doulas Wins Student Pitch Competition

PITTWIRE - Finding a suitable doula — a professional who gives physical and educational support before, during and after childbirth — can be difficult, said Pitt Graduate School of Public Health Student ALYSIA TUCKER of BCHS. Her prize-winning idea could make the process easier. (07/07/2017)
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Toward Curing HIV: Test Finds Hidden Virus 

Toward Curing HIV: Test Finds Hidden Virus

PITTWIRE - A team of Pitt scientists led by IDM's PHALGUNI GUPTA developed a test to detect "hidden" HIV that is faster, less labor-intensive and less expensive than the current "gold standard" test. (05/31/2017)
© 2017 by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health

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