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Dean Burke gives six precepts for success in 2019 Convocation Address

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As the 2019 Convocation speaker, outgoing dean Donald S. Burke explained that the world would be looking to the class of 2019 for answers to things like the opioid epidemic, gun violence, and other challenges to the public's health. Dean Burke dispensed wisdom personally gathered during his career, encouraging graduates to use six "90 percent precepts" to help make the most of their incredible potential.  

Four public health students chosen as 2019-20 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows

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Four Pitt Public Health students have been selected as 2019-20 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows. Inngide Osirus and Dzigbordi Kamasa-Quashie of IDM and Yamira Bell and Ariel Snell of the MMPH program will participate for a full year of experiential learning and direct service addressing the needs of disadvantaged citizens in southwest Pennsylvania. John Cordier (HPM '19) recently graduated from the Fellowship.  

Meet joint-degree student Laurenia Mangum (BCHS/SocWk), Coverdell Fellow

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Laurenia Mangum worked within the children, youth, and family sector in the Philippines while in the Peace Corps. “The BCHS program compliments my social work background and serves as a great transition from the Peace Corps. It meets my needs without compartmentalizing the studies into one particular focus…but rather provides the opportunity for the student to customize his or her own studies.”  

Garland to participate as lawmakers review clean slate law

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WESA - BCHS's Richard Garland said that by expanding access to jobs, the clean slate law plays a crucial role in preventing low-level ex-convicts from committing future crimes. Before the law, he said, those individuals too often were defined by their criminal records when seeking work.   

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Public Health Training Center strengthens the current and future public health workforce

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The Center for Public Health Practice's latest training center works to strengthen the public health workforce through collaboration with schools and agencies across a five-state region. The center meets workforce training needs on topics from project management and data analytics to the opioid epidemic. "Our ultimate goal is to improve the public's health by working even better   together," says Center Director Elizabeth Van Nostrand.   

Roberts talks to the LA Times about the measles outbreak

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LA TIMES - Los Angeles County officials dealing with a measles outbreak say they expect that more people will be diagnosed with the illness in the coming weeks, while the nation stares down what will like be its worst measles year in decades. As they search for outbreak's start, HPM and PHDL's Mark Roberts reminds us, "What matters is not the case that started it, what matters is how many people that one case infects."   

2019 Celebration of Student Awards

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On April 27, 2019, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.   

Hoffman led research into anti-vaxxers on social media (video)

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WPXI - Antivaxxers left negative business reviews for Kids First Pediatrics after they posted a social media video encouraging HPV vaccination. So, they teamed up with researchers at Pitt including Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '23) who found that we have to "...start thinking about how to deliver tailored messages that really get at all of these concerns we're seeing."   

Pitt Medicine shows plans for their part of health sciences expansion

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PITT MED - the education addition and renovation is part of the University's master plan that includes many improvements throughout the health sciences and includes a rennovation of the Falk Library of the Health Sciences, a cafe, and common areas accommodating a variety of study styles.   

Finegold talks about the importance of handling WES properly

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MD ALERT via REUTERS - Whole exome sequencing (WES) may identify genetic causes of idiopathic liver disease after an unrevealing conventional workup, researchers say. "WES is now broadly available in a wide range of genomics laboratories, both hospital-based and commercial. The interpretation of this data is profoundly challenging and absolutely requires special expertise within the laboratory."   

Yuan comments; State says no cancer cluster in Washington County school district

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THE ALLEGHENY FRONT - The Pennsylvania department of health has determined that there is no cancer cluster in a Washington County school district. The agency conducted the study after several cases of a rare bone cancer were reported there. EPI's Jian-Min Yuan told the Allegheny Front agreed that the state used appropriate methods.   

Albert’s research leads to evidence-based approval for Pennsylvania's Healthy Steps in Motion Falls Prevention Program

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Research by BCHS's Steven Albert put the HSIM falls-prevention program on the pre-approved list for future federal funding.  The study showed a significantly lower incidence of falls in older adults who completed program workshops than in a comparison group at the same sites. HSIM participation reduced falls by about 28 percent.  

Online simulation FRED developed by Pitt researchers used to simulate measles outbreak in Florida

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - FRED Measles Florida is just the latest simulator to shows how quickly measles can spread when vaccination rates dip too low. It models the state’s actual population and considers how people move about the region and interact. Beginning with a single case, it shows how the virus would spread over a nine month period.  

Angus’ Early Sepsis Indicator Receives 510(k) Clearance from FDA

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MANAGED CARE - HPM's Derek Angus contributed to a first-of-its-kind, hematology-based cellular biomarker that is designed to help emergency department physicians identify patients with sepsis or who are at increased risk of developing sepsis. Compared to the traditional method of reviewing white blood cell count alone, the Early Sepsis Indicator strengthens a clinician’s suspicion of sepsis by 43%.  

Walkshop Explores Urban Campus Instruction

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@Pitt - Two Pitt faculty have collaborated on an educational experience meant to move participants beyond the traditional formats of lectures and slides in a classroom: a walkshop, which is "a walking workshop where we talk about the space that you can see around you."   

Gibb: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Practice

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Now president of Gibb Epidemiology Consulting, Herman Gibb (EOH ’74) has more than 35 years of experience in health risk assessment and has provided expert consultation to a variety of international and national clients. He chairs the World Health Organization (WHO) Foodborne Epidemiology Reference Group Chemical Task Force and was a member of the Science Advisory Committee of the U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries and Presidential Advisor... 

Kip: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Research

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Kevin Kip (EPI ’98) is a Distinguished Health Professor at the University of South Florida College of Public Health as well as an epidemiologist with 18 years of research experience on federally funded and industry-sponsored studies. He is a methodologist with expertise in a wide range of health disciplines, including interventional cardiology, endocrinology, oncology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, obstetrics and gynecology, complementary and... 

Songer: 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award for Teaching and Dissemination

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Thomas Songer (EPI ’86, ’90) is an assistant professor and the director of doctoral programs in the Department of Epidemiology at Pitt Public Health. Consistently one of the most highly rated teachers in the school, he is the primary instructor for graduate courses in injury epidemiology and injury prevention and control as well as the undergraduate Introduction to Research and Introduction to Epidemiology classes. Since 2007, Songer has been th... 

Sokol: 2019 Margaret F. Gloninger Service Award

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Jamie Sokol (BCHS ’07) currently serves as an administrator for workforce development and training at the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD). In this role she is responsible for ensuring quality internships and other experiential learning opportunities for Pitt Public Health students, including through the Pittsburgh Summer Institute, a 12-week structured program that matches students to ACHD projects. Her volunteer contributions have gon... 

Barbour: 2019 Early Career Excellence Award

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Kamil Barbour (BIOST ’11, EPI ’10) is an epidemiologist with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion for the CDC, currently serving as team lead of the State Chronic Disease Epidemiology Assignee Program. In this hand-selected role, he supervises four senior-level epidemiologists and leads a prolific research program focused on critical applied epidemiological needs.  

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Taylor baked his way to first place and a book deal 

Taylor baked his way to first place and a book deal

PITT WIRE -  Chris Taylor (SHRS ’04, EPI ’10) originally started baking as a way to relax while studying at Pitt Public Health. After entering, and winning, their first competition on a whim, Taylor and husband Paul Arguin, who are both epidemiologists at the CDC, continued baking and competing as ... (09/11/2019)
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Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award 

Gellad receives PECASE Presidential Award

Congratulations to HPM's Walid Gellad, who was recently named a winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers — the highest honor awarded by the U.S. government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exc... (08/12/2019)
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EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe. 

EOH alumna Lauren Chubb is looking beyond what the eye can see to keep miners safe.

PITT MAGAZINE - Lauren Chubb, DrPH, MPH (EOH ’16, ’13) occasionally dons a hard hat to see the results of her work in the lab. Her team at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health's Mining Program has developed software to analyze respirable dust samples in just a few minutes, rath... (08/05/2019)


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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Coulter Research Review Finds Scarcity of Scientific Studies on Interventions to Reduce Health Inequities in LGBTQ Youth 

Coulter Research Review Finds Scarcity of Scientific Studies on Interventions to Reduce Health Inequities in LGBTQ Youth

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - There is a dearth of scientifically investigated, evidence-based interventions to address substance use, mental health conditions and violence victimization in sexual and gender minority youth, according to a research review led by BCHS's Robert Coulter (BCHS '17) published in... (08/25/2019)
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El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries 

El Khoudary finds hormone therapy linked to heart fat, hard arteries

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Hormone replacement therapy is a common treatment for menopause-related symptoms, and new research from EPI's Samar El Khoudary reinforces the importance of tailoring hormone therapy to each patient, based on her individual risk factors for cardiovascular disease. In a study p... (08/25/2019)

Pitt Public Health finds weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders 

Pitt Public Health finds weight-loss patients at higher risk of death from substance use disorders

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - The death rate from drug- and alcohol-related causes in people who've had Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is nearly triple that of the general public, according to research led by EPI's Wendy King. The study also found that fewer than half of those who died had triggered a sa... (06/27/2019)