CBS PITTSBURGH - Congratulations to HEATHER TOMKO (HPM '19), who was crowned Miss Wheelchair USA on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Born with spinal muscular atrophy, a genetic neuromuscular disease, she graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a bachelor of science in mechanical and biomedical engineering. She also won the Invacare People’s Choice Award and the Dr. Georgi Hudson Smith Quest for Knowledge Award.
STAT NEWS - As political pressure on the pharmaceutical industry builds, Merck has become the latest big drug maker to commit to halting price hikes. In a brief statement, the company agreed not to increase the average net prices of its medicines by more than inflation annually. “We’re now seeing an effort to address pricing that we haven’t seen before,” said HPM's Walid Gellad.
NBC NEWS - Postmenopausal factors may have an impact on the heart-protective qualities of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) – also known as ‘good cholesterol.' Higher HDL cholesterol may not always be as protective in postmenopausal women as we once thought, said SAMAR EL KHOUDARY, lead author and EPI professor. "High total HDL cholesterol in postmenopausal women could mask a significant heart disease risk that we still need to understand.”
ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Several states are likely dramatically underestimating the effect of opioid-related deaths because of incomplete death certificate reporting, with Pennsylvania leading the pack, according to a new analysis by Pitt Public Health. “Proper allocation of resources for the opioid epidemic depends on understanding the magnitude of the problem,” said lead author, BIOST's JEANINE BUCHANICH.
PITTWIRE - Doctoral alumna CHELSEA PALLATINO (BCHS ’17) has been awarded the Steven D. Manners Faculty Development Award by the University Center for Social and Urban Research to support her pilot research project entitled “Co-occurring Intimate Partner Violence and Substance Use: Understanding Barriers to Collocated Integrated Services.” Pallatino is now a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive ...
The first-ever Health Sciences Network Night held at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry Township welcomed Pitt alumni professionals working in fields related to health and health care. Alumni were able to get information on advanced degree and certificate programs in the health sciences, alumni volunteer opportunities, and continuing education.
UPMC HEALTH NEWS – In the late 1990s, new and highly potent anti-HIV drugs emerged— including protease and reverse transcriptase inhibitors—which could for the first time control HIV infection. For this 1998 World AIDS Day, Pitt IDM AIDS researcher Charles Rinaldo and the late Bridget Murtagh of the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force address transmission, drug resistance, and the radically prescient question of whether HIV could be cured.
LOS ANGELES TIMES / THE CONVERSATION - Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the world. While the rising opioid epidemic has been receiving a lot of attention in the past five years, it is important to remember that alcohol is involved in a greater number of deaths and physical and social problems, says CHRISTINA MAIR. Backed by a strong industry, alcohol's dangers may be underplayed and its benefits exaggerated.
POLITICO - The payment deal for Kymriah therapy drew internal HHS scrutiny and is the target of current congressional investigations of Swiss drug giant Novartis. The company's pivotal study of the drug's in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia found that at one year, about one out of every three patients the government would be covering would get sick again, said INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16).
PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER - Ever wondered when Pittsburgh — a football town with a drinking problem, a steel town-turned-medical/tech hub, a city of bridges and champions— became the furry-friendliest spot in this American Land? We did, too. So, let’s look back upon Anthrocon becoming as big a part of our summer routine as fireworks.
POLITICO - President Donald Trump in May said that drugmakers would soon announce “massive” price cuts, and his administration rolled out a plan to bring down the cost of medicines. But the companies don’t appear to have gotten that message. “The bully pulpit can't make fundamental change — it can provide perhaps a short-term victory... but it can’t do what the administration said it was going to do,” said WALID GELLAD, HPM professor.
A recent study, led by HPM’s ERIC ROBERTS has been named the 2018 Article-of-the-YearAcademyHealth, a leading national research center focused on advancing the fields of health services research and health policy. Entitled "The Value-Based Payment Modifier: Program Outcomes and Implications for Disparities," the work studied a precursor to the merit-based incentive payment system, Medicare’s new pay-for-performance program for physicians.
The Tribal Legal Preparedness Project, created by HPM's TINA BATRA HERSHEY and the Center for Public Health Practice, is now available! Check it out and share with anyone who may be interested in emergency preparedness for Tribal Nations.
PITTWIRE - The University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute was recognized for its commitment to building programs that accelerate innovations from the laboratory and research into commercialization at the recent Deshpande Symposium on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education. Alumni EVAN FACHER (HUGEN ’97) is interim director for the institute.
THE CONVERSATION - A new study has found that teens who had a positive outlook on their future were less likely to report threatening someone or injuring someone with a weapon in the past nine months. “Designing youth violence prevention interventions to help teens develop a positive future orientation may be an important part of reducing violence perpetration,” said ALISON CULYBA, lead author of the study and BCHS professor.
YARA ELBESHIBISHI (HPM '16) was nominated for 1st Quarter of the Superstar Award through UPMC Health Plan. UPMC celebrates and honors individuals for their dedication to UPMC Insurance Services Division PRIIDES values. Yara is recognized as a valuable contributor and quickly becoming a subject matter expert for multiple channels within the Exchange Operations Department.
ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - In the first 90 days of concurrent opioid and benzodiazepine use, the risk of opioid-related overdose increases five-fold compared to opioid-only use among Medicare recipients. "Having multiple prescribers who are not in communication increases the risk for overdose,” says HPM's YUTING ZHANG. "Policy interventions should focus on preventing concurrent exposure,” says INMACULADA HERNANDEZ (HPM '16).
PITTWIRE - Pitt’s new provost and senior vice chancellor, ANN E. CUDD (A&S ’84G, ’86G, ’88G) has explored topics including capitalism, feminism, inequality and oppression in more than 50 books, articles and chapters. “Ann has a rare capacity to move among the roles of scholar, leader, collaborator and teacher with exceptional ease and remarkable impact. But, what has impressed me most about Ann, so far, is her vision for Pitt. It is bold, bright,...
INSIDE HIGHER ED - After an extensive and thoughtful review process, the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees moved unanimously on June 29 to end a racially painful chapter on its campus, voting to remove Thomas Parran Jr.’s name from the main building housing the Graduate School of Public Health.
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - The emphasis on screening women for osteoporosis has fostered a sexist view of the bone-weakening disease. That’s harmful to men, whose bones also weaken with age. Men are twice as likely to die within a year of breaking a hip. In a journal editorial accompanying the guidelines, EPI's JANE CAULEY, said screening men is justified and should target those 70 and older “who have a high probability of fracture.”