BCHS Department News

Robertson: 2021 Margaret F. Floninger Service Award

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Lyn Barry Robertson (BCHS '05) awarded Margaret F. Floninger Service Award in recognition of significant contribution to the school or greater community through volunteer service.   

Burke selected to participate in Academic Leaders Network program

BCHS’ Jessica Burke has been selected to participate in the 2021-2022 ACC Academic Leaders Network (ALN) program. This exciting collaborative leadership program is for faculty at ACC institutions who aspire to leadership roles in higher education.  

Meet Kayla Ortiz, Health Justice Scholar

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“At my core, I am a health educator. However, I know that we can’t address health inequities by simply looking at the individual. We must interrogate the structural and historical causes that disproportionately impact the health of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folks,” said Kayla Ortiz (BCHS ’23).  

A conversation with BCHS student Samantha Rosenberg

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MPH student Samantha Rosenberg is currently working for the Department of Psychology's Brain Aging and Cognitive Health Lab at Pitt. The lab is focused on healthy aging and specifically on how regular physical activity relates to changes in cognitive health and overall well-being among older adults. Rosenberg is the lead recruiter for three of the research studies and heavily involved with community-outreach efforts. Recently, the lab’s focus ha... 

A Conversation with BCHS faculty and alum Elizabeth Felter

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Elizabeth Felter joined BCHS as a faculty member in 2010. Her research and practice-based work is focused mainly in the area of health education/communications and evaluation, including supporting health departments, health clinics, and non-profits with their COVID-19 response. She was motivated to join the faculty as a doctoral student. "I remember falling in love with the faculty at Accepted Applicant's Day!"   

Albert on a link between social isolation and increased inflammation

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MNT - BCHS’s Steven Albert who said, “If social isolation truly increases [the] risk of poor health by elevating immune markers, we need to redouble our efforts to reduce social isolation. The strength of the association between [the] level of isolation and IL-6 and CRP differed and only showed a dose response for CRP. This suggests a complex association. The clinical significance of the size of the association also needs further study.”  

Meet Monica Henderson, Health Justice Scholar

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“My focus on public health and equity is rooted in my lived experiences as a Black woman but more importantly, the centering of others’ experiences with oppression to let their narratives drive equity work,” explains Monica Henderson (BCHS ’22). Her interests include child health and racial equity and for her thesis she plans to explore Black hair politics and the impact on the health of Black youth.  

Meet Sarah Scott, Health Justice Scholar

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Sarah Scott (BCHS ’23) is a first year MPH student and Pittsburgh native who returned home after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology at Pepperdine University. “I am most looking forward to learning more about health equity theories and frameworks to better develop my research projects,” said Scott of joining the Health Justice Scholars program.  

The road forward: All eyes now on Gainey to begin to address city's larger issues

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - During his campaign, Gainey often focused on task force reports, one of which says that their needs to be a shift in the police bureau. BCHS’s Richard Garland, a member of the task force, said the report showed officers needed more training – particularly in de-escalation techniques – and a better understanding of their communities. He said officers do need to walk the beats and their neighborhoods.  

Garland receives $1.5 million grant for Reimagine Reentry project

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PITT WIRE - The Hillman Foundation awarded Reimagine Reentry, a program run by BCHS’ Richard Garland, a $1.5 million grant. The program is committed to reducing recidivism in a state where 63 percent of parolees return to corrections within three years. They provide services including case mentoring and management, workforce training, family reunification education and housing assistance planning.  

John-Langba appointed regional VP for Africa at the World Federation for Mental Health

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PITTWIRE - Johannes John-Langba (BCHS '04) will serve as regional vice president for Africa of the World Federation for Mental Health organization. Administrative positions in the University of KwaZulu-Natal and his research area is on the psychosocial dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic among university students in five African countries and its impact on careers of persons with mental and neurological disorders.   

This Flu Season is Different. Here's How to Prepare.

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NEW YORK TIMES - In a  study  published on a preprint server in August that has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh used mathematical modeling to predict how severe the upcoming flu season might be based on this increased susceptibility. They reported that if flu and flu vaccination levels are typical of prior years, 102,000 more Americans than average could be hospitalized with influenza — a 20 percent incr... 

Baumann and Burke Talk Collaborative Filmmaking in Health Promotion Practice Journal's Podcast

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BCHS’s Sara Baumann and Jessica Burke discuss the role of art following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015 in this episode of the HPP Podcast. They explain the origin of "collaborative filmmaking" and their focus on empowering participants and communities and encourage listeners to view their digital gallery and to learn more about collaborative filmmaking.  

Hoffman and Sidani: reducing vaccine hesitancy starts on social media

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WPXI - BCHS's Jamie Sidani and Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '22) published new guidance for pediatricians outlining how to effectively talk to kids and parents about the COVID-19 vaccine that includes monitoring the messages being spread on social media. This guidance is broken down by ABC – be Active on social media, Build trustworthiness, and Capitalize on the strengths of adolescents to help spread accurate information.  

CHE's Violence Prevention Initiative announces outreach project, McKeesport Violence Prevention

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The Violence Prevention Initiative, led by BCHS's Richard Garland, was awarded funds by the RK Mellon Foundation to launch an outreach project called McKeesport Violence Prevention. “We are hiring four outreach workers who will really be violence interrupters,” said Garland. “Their jobs will be to interrupt the transmission of the disease of violence in the McKeesport area. Our work is about changing the narrative. We feel we can stem the tide o... 

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