BCHS Faculty News

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.”  

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.  

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NEW YORK TIMES - In a  study  published on a preprint server in August that has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh used mathematical modeling to predict how severe the upcoming flu season might be based on this increased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

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

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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.   

A Conversation with BCHS's Emily Dauria

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"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

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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

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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.   

Chu and Hershey - Collaborative Public Health Strategies to Combat e-Cigarette Regulation Loopholes

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JAMA NETWORK - While the 2020 National Youth Tobacco Survey reported a decline in youth e-cigarette use, the use of disposable e-cigarettes has increased for children. This Viewpoint summarizes recent efforts by the FDA and state lawmakers to address the youth e-cigarette epidemic and offers a framework to further guide these efforts.  

Garland Examines Rise in Young People's Involvement in Local Violence on Hayes-Freeland show (video)

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KDKA - BCHS' Richard Garland spoke with KDKA's Lynne Hayes-Freeland about the factors that are contributing to a rise in violence among youth in Pittsburgh.  

Culyba and Chu on How to Reduce the Risk of Youth Vaping

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UPMC - Adolescents who set goals for their future and those with strong parental support are less likely to use e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. Senior author BCHS' Alison Culyba noted that frameworks already exist to help clinicians use future orientation and encourage parental monitoring when providing health care to young people, which bodes well for developing e-cigarette intervention programs to strengthen these protective factors. ... 

Meet our Faculty: Velpandi Ayyavoo

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Velpandi Ayyavoo would tell any incoming student one of the most remarkable things about Pitt Public Health as a community is its resilience and ingenuity after this past year of pandemic. When viewing her career, it’s very easy to say the same thing about our interim chair for the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences. Following her passion for science at a young age, Ayyavoo has poured over 30 years into her HIV-1 research and... 

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Recent BCHS Publications

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Baumann blogs about Health Policy and Planning article, asking Is criminalization the answer for ending a harmful practice in Nepal? 

Baumann blogs about Health Policy and Planning article, asking Is criminalization the answer for ending a harmful practice in Nepal?

HPP DEBATED - BCHS' Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) talks about a recent article in the journal Health Policy and Planning, Is criminalization the answer? Perspectives of community members and police on menstrual seclusion policy in Far-West Nepal. The study was completed by an interdisiplinary Pitt team i... (07/23/2021)
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Gary-Webb, Baumann featured in new book The Science of Health Disparities Research 

Gary-Webb, Baumann featured in new book The Science of Health Disparities Research

NIMHD - The Science of Health Disparities Research is an in-depth volume for comprehensive information on conducting clinical and translational health disparities studies and features EPI's Tiffany Gary-Webb and BCHS' Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) authored the chapter "Racial/Ethnic, Socioeconomic, and O... (03/25/2021)
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Physician-patient communication behaviors in the most popular prime television shows 

Physician-patient communication behaviors in the most popular prime television shows

JOURNAL OF HEALTH COMMUNICATION - Hoffman BL, Cafferty LA, Shensa A, Jain P, Rosenthal EL, Primack BA, Sidani JE extended Jain and Slater's (2013) research to the most popular primetime television programs of 2016 and 2017. Our analysis suggests that patient–provider interactions on primetime telev... (02/10/2020)

Paid leave and access to telework as work attendance determinants during acute respiratory illness, United States 2017-18 

Paid leave and access to telework as work attendance determinants during acute respiratory illness, United States 2017-18

EMERGING INFECTIOUS DISEASES - Faruque Ahmed, Sara Kim, Mary Patricia Nowalk, Jennifer P. King, Jeffrey J. VanWormer, Manjusha Gaglani, Richard K. Zimmerman, Todd Bear, Michael L. Jackson, Lisa A. Jackson, Emily Martin, Caroline Cheng, Brendan Flannery, Jessie R. Chung, and Amra Uzicanin found that... (02/10/2020)

Rural Access to MAT in Pennsylvania (RAMP): A Hybrid Implementation Study Protocol for Medication Assisted Treatment Adoption among Rural Care Providers 

Rural Access to MAT in Pennsylvania (RAMP): A Hybrid Implementation Study Protocol for Medication Assisted Treatment Adoption among Rural Care Providers

ADDICTION SCIENCE AND CLINICAL PRACTICE - Cochran G, Cole E, Warwick J, Donohue J, Gordon AJ, Gellad W, Bear T, Kelley D, DiDomenico E, Pringle J found that rural areas in the U.S. have been hit particularly hard by the current OUD and overdose epidemic given the paucity of health and human service... (02/10/2020)

Factors Contributing to Domestic Violence Among Hindu Asian Indian Immigrant Women in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: A Feasibility Study 

Factors Contributing to Domestic Violence Among Hindu Asian Indian Immigrant Women in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania: A Feasibility Study

JOURNAL OF HEALTH DISPARITIES RESEARCH AND PRACTICE - Pallatino C, Bear TM, Terry M's study indicated that research within Hindu AIIW is feasible and there were no issues with recruitment or item nonresponse among participants in this study.  (02/10/2020)

An Athletic Coach-Delivered Middle School Gender Violence Prevention Program: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial 

An Athletic Coach-Delivered Middle School Gender Violence Prevention Program: A Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial

Miller, Jones, Ripper, Paglisotti, Mulbah, Abebe found that gender attitudes and intentions to intervene did not differ between study arms. In exploratory intensity-adjusted and per protocol analyses, athletes on teams receiving CBIM were more likely to report positive bystander behaviors and to en... (02/06/2020)
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Intimate partner violence and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP): A rapid review of current evidence for women’s HIV prevention 

Intimate partner violence and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP): A rapid review of current evidence for women’s HIV prevention

AIDS AND BEHAVIOR - O’Malley TL, Hawk ME, Egan JE, Krier SE, and Burke JG's findings indicate a dearth of research on women’s PrEP use and IPV and highlight the urgency for research, public heath practice, and policy attention around the HIV risk context and needs of women who experience IPV. (12/02/2019)