BCHS Department News

Meet Sarah Scott, Health Justice Scholar

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

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

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

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.

NEW YORK TIMES - In a  study  published on a preprint server in August that has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh used mathematical modeling to predict how severe the upcoming flu season might be based on this increased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

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

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

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... 

Pitt researchers find convalescent plasma "futile' in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients

PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - “We speculate that it could be a combination of too few high-quality antibodies in the plasma and these patients being too far along in their illness with a runaway inflammatory immune response for those antibodies to turn the tide,” said co-senior author Derek Angus (BCHS '92), the chief innovation officer at UPMC and chair of Pitt’s Department of Critical Care Medicine and secondary faculty in HPM.   

Ford receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Association of Black Women Physicians

Congratulations to Chandra Ford (CHS '97), professor of community health sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She was recognized for her research examining relationships between racism-related factors and disparities in the health care continuum and advances the conceptual and methodological tools for studying racism's relationship to health disparities, and also for her public service and work as a mentor.   

A Conversation with BCHS MPH student Monica Henderson

Monica Henderson's current research interests center on the decades-long policing and discrimination of afro-textured hair and how the politics of beauty standards and care have influenced the physical activity levels of Black girls and women.   

A Conversation with BCHS's Emily Dauria

"I am so excited to join the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences because of the department's focus on engaging community-based organizations and using a multilevel lens to best understand and address health and health care challenges. I am also incredibly excited about rejoining a school of public health where I will have the opportunity to collaborate with and support students to find their public health passions as they make... 

Meet our Faculty: Thistle Elias

Thistle Elias was motivated to join the faculty of BCHS once she had the opportunity, as a staff member from another department, to work alongside BCHS faculty on Bridging the Gaps. After seeing their commitment to respectful, thoughtful community-engaged and partnered work, she   wanted to study and work alongside them, getting her PhD from the department in 2012 and joining the faculty soon after.  

People Living with HIV the focus of two NIH awards to Pitt Public Health researchers

From social stigma to the high prevalence of concurrent chronic diseases, people living with HIV (PLWH) are faced with a multitude of challenges.  Two National Institute of Health grants recently awarded to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health will provide valuable data to better intervene on their behalf.   

Hoffman says look to influencers to fight vaccine misinformation

CODA - Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, ‘22) said public health institutions should be thinking more about how to harness local influencers. She pointed to a June 2021 study by researchers with the Public Good Projects, a U.S.-based public health nonprofit, analyzing the success of a micro-influencer campaign promoting the flu shot flor Black and Latino U.S. residents during influenza seasons.   

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