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Merlin interviewed on the role of palliative care in the current HIV treatment era

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INFECTIOUS DISEASE ADVISOR - "Depending on whether they've been diagnosed and treated, people with HIV now have a higher life expectancy, but they still live with pain — especially chronic pain — and other symptoms," says BCHS's JESSICA MERLIN. These issues underscore the need for palliative care in this population at various stages, including end of life.    

Brent among researchers looking to brain images to predict who will attempt suicide

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - With the help of a $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Carnegie Mellon University's Marcel Just and EPI's DAVID BRENT will analyze the differences in brain scans of suicidal and non-suicidal young adults to detect those most at risk and develop personalized therapies. "It could give us a window into the suicidal mind that we don't have now," Brent said.  

Elbeshbishi receives 2018 Ivan and Mary Novick Award for Young Alumni Leadership

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Congratulations to YARA ELBESHBISHI (HPM '16) for receiving the 2018 Ivan and Mary Novick Award for Young Alumni Leadership. This is a highly competitive award that was established by the Novick family to recognize and honor young alumni who have enriched the life of the University of Pittsburgh though their volunteer leadership efforts. The award will be presented at the Alumni Association's 2018 Homecoming Awards Luncheon in October.  

Does formaldehyde cause leukemia? Goldstein speaks on a report linking the two

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PBS - After controlling for certain lifestyle factors, a 2010 investigation found that workers exposed to 0.6 to 2.5 parts per million of formaldehyde had fewer red and white blood cells and a higher prevalence of DNA mutations in the blood stem cells. BERNARD GOLDSTEIN, EOH professor said the mutations found in these studies resemble ones made by benzene, a known leukemia-causing agent that also lowers blood counts.  

Gellad on Scott Gottlieb's upending FDA communication

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BIOPHARMA DRIVE - Scott Gotlieb, FDA commissioner, has been very vocal on twitter as a way to communicate the FDA's goals and to invite public comment and scrutiny. Stakeholders both inside and outside the agency have given Gottlieb credit for both transparency and effort. However, there are risks to the volume and pace of Gottlieb's methods, says HPM's WALID GELLAD.   

Kahn speaks on the one percent solution that could help tame health care spending

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NEW YORK TIMES - A group of economists is suggesting that many small tweaks, such as reigning in long-term care hospitals, could tame health care spending. HPM's JEREMY KAHN said there are some patients with particular ailments who benefit from the setting, but agreed with the economists that the hospitals are a historical accident, defined more by payment rules than patient needs.  

Schulz talks taking care of frail, aging parents for older caregivers

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - A new analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 10 percent of adults ages 60 to 69 whose parents are alive serve as caregivers, as do 12 percent of adults age 70 and older. “If older caregivers have health problems themselves and become mentally or emotionally stressed, they’re at a higher risk of dying,” said EPI and BCHS's RICHARD SCHULZ.  

Faculty Spotlight: Lu Tang

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LU TANG joined the Department of BIOSTATISTICS as an assistant professor on August 1. He received his PhD in biostatistics from the University of Michigan. He is developing an outstanding research program in statistical machine learning and methods for modern high dimensional data. These are extremely important areas for the department as we build for the future.   

Pittsburgh ranked as the most livable city in the US

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WPXI - The annual “Livability Survey,” which ranks 140 cities on factors like stability, health care, culture, education and infrastructure on a scale of 1-100, was released this week. Pittsburgh came in at number 32 overall, the top city in the continental United States and only behind Honolulu for the entire country.  

Pitt Public Health building is no longer Parran Hall – now what?

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THE PITT NEWS - After encountering pressure throughout the 2018 spring term from the Pitt community, Pitt’s Board of Trustees unanimously agreed to rename Parran Hall in July. With another school year starting, the question of what the building’s new name should be remains. One potential candidate would be Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy in football players.   

Pittsburgh, the hippest city in PA

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THE DAILY MEAL - A hardcore sports town, Pittsburgh’s healthy economy has resulted in a lot happening here, from great food to extensive entertainment. Home to many colleges and universities, Pittsburgh is a bastion for arts and culture, as well as academia, and in addition to the many events on campuses, the city has music venues of every kind, as well as art galleries, museums, and casinos.  

PFAS expert Savitz interviewed by Detroit Public TV

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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).  

Haldeman founded Scent with Love, recycles wedding flowers into special deliveries

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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.   

As affordable housing crisis grows, HUD sits on the sidelines

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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.  

Pittsburgh task force takes on issue of landlords turning away renters with convictions

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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.  

Why Boston Medical Center is investing in housing

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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.   

The state of the nation's housing 2018

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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.   

Study: 40 percent of Pa. households struggle to make ends meet

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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.  

Why eviction rates in Hampton Roads are among the worst in the United States

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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.   

First-ever evictions database shows: 'We're in the middle of a housing crisis'

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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... 

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Singh honored with achievement award for tackling global health problems 

Singh honored with achievement award for tackling global health problems

PITTWIRE - Research duo Tushar Singh (EPI '14) and Pitt Medicine's P. S. Reddy accepted the 2018 Sheth International Achievement Award, which is given every year to a Pitt faculty member and alumnus who are increasing Pitt’s global footprint with their work. Singh referred to EPI's Anne Newman as a... (11/26/2018)
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Pitt Community Gathers to Grieve, Heal, and Serve in Honor of Tree of Life Synagogue 

Pitt Community Gathers to Grieve, Heal, and Serve in Honor of Tree of Life Synagogue

PITT WIRE - Drawing strength and inspiration from each other, thousands congregated at the Cathedral of Learning to honor those killed on October 27 in Squirrel Hill.  (11/06/2018)
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Cauley wins prestigious service award 

Cauley wins prestigious service award

PITT WIRE - The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research has awarded JANE CAULEY, vice-chair of EPI, with the 2018 Shirley Hohl Service Award. Cauley received the award after volunteering for numerous positions and projects with the society.  (11/01/2018)


Featuring the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Review theFriday Letter submission guidelines then share your story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 
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Pittsburgh analysis: recommendations to reduce recidivism in Allegheny County transgender women 

Pittsburgh analysis: recommendations to reduce recidivism in Allegheny County transgender women

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - As part of her master’s thesis work, Stephanie Creasy (BCHS '17) performed a mixed-methods analysis that involved in-depth interviews with transgender women living in Allegheny County who had been previously incarcerated for nonviolent crimes, coupled with geospatial mapping o... (11/30/2018)
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Dean Burke honored with 2018 John Snow Award at APHA Annual Meeting 

Dean Burke honored with 2018 John Snow Award at APHA Annual Meeting

Named in honor of English physician John Snow (1813-1858), considered one of the founders of modern epidemiology, this annual award recognizes outstanding scientists for enduring contributions to public health through epidemiologic methods and practice. Burke said, "I find great personal satisfacti... (11/12/2018)
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Voting is Public Health 

Voting is Public Health

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - You have the power to choose who represents you in the government. Who you vote for on Tuesday can affect your health care and your ability to change policy on issues such as the right to carry firearms, LGBTQ rights, welfare programs. The list is endless.  (11/02/2018)
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