BCHS Faculty News

Albert on how Pittsburgh’s paid sick leave policy might help slow the spread of coronavirus

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90.5 WESA - A 2013 Pitt study simulating flu transmissions found that universal access to paid sick leave reduced workplace flu infections by 6 percent. BCHS’ Steven Albert estimated that about 12 percent of flu transmissions occur in the workplace, largely when people come to work feeling sick. He said the coronavirus pandemic highlights the importance of having stronger public health policies that include paid sick leave.  

Totoni and Fabisiak examine lead contamination in hunted meat

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS - MPH student Samantha Totoni (EOH '21), associate professor James Fabisiak, and BCHS's Martha Ann Terry look into lead contamination in hunted meat. Despite the mounting concerns over lead exposure from wild game, lead ammunition use continues as hunters and their families remain unaware or deeply mistrustful of the dangers. Who’s warning hunters and their families?  

Hulsey weighs in on concerns about bias in county’s automated decision-making tools

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WESA - Local residents voiced trepidation at a meeting in Homewood about the use of algorithms to guide criminal justice, law enforcement, and child welfare decisions. But left to their own devices, judges could be more arbitrary, countered University of Pittsburgh Public Health Professor Eric Hulsey (BCHS ’08). “On the flip side, you could use [algorithms] to take away that power from them and say, ‘No, you don’t get full discretion.’”  

Roberts and Hoffman featured in Hulu documentary on anti-vaccine movement

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HULU - Available now on the streaming service, Vice Investigates “Anti-Vaxx Fever” explores the growing anti-vaccine movement. The documentary features in-depth looks at the varied work of professor Mark Roberts and of student Beth Hoffman (BCHS ’19 ’23). Each uses system science methods to investigate the dangers of this movement, generating compelling images that are powerful tools for communicating science to the public.  

Felter and Baumann receive Best Paper of the Year Award

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Congrats to BCHS's Elizabeth Felter and Sara Baumann (BCHS '19). Their article "Development of a Community-Engaged Classroom for Teaching Health Communications: Lessons Learned from Nine Semesters of Implementation," has been selected as a Pedagogy in Health Promotion's 2019 Best Paper of the Year Award. This is a great honor!   

Miller's research proves program effective in preventing dating violence with middle school students

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Coaching Boys Into Men, a program that seeks to prevent dating violence and sexual assault, reduces abusive behaviors among middle school male athletes toward their female peers, according to clinical trial results published in JAMA Pediatrics. The trial, examining the short- and long-term effectiveness of the program, was led by BCHS's Elizabeth Miller.   

Hand-offs, not handcuffs: Hawk favors a Pittsburgh program for nonviolent criminals

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - It makes sense to pitch LEAD to the medical community [as well as law enforcement and neighborhood associations], said BCHS’s Mary Hawk. Medical professionals, after all, see a lot of people with substance abuse problems, and don’t always know how to get them help. “These are people we love, right?” she said. “We all want the people we love to have opportunities to thrive.”  

Miller finds coaches can help prevent dating violence in young men

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KDKA  -  Imagine locker room talk about respect and stopping violence against women. Studies by BCHS’s Elizabeth Miller, who also directs adolescent and young adult medicine at UPMC Children’s Hospital, found that coaches can reduce abusive behavior toward girls among male athletes, even at the middle school level. Earlier studies had shown that high school coaches could have a significant impact. Pittsburgh Action Against Rape runs the Coaching... 

Maseru and Mendez agree that racism as a public health crisis should be focus of city council meetings

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Noble A-W Maseru of BCHS and director of the Center for Health Equity, noted the life expectancy difference between mostly white Highland Park (84 years) and nearby, mostly black Larimer (62 years). Dara D. Mendez, EPI, added that racism weathers the body, accelerating aging, and sapping the strength of society through a waste of community resources. Likely coming later this month: votes on a trio of bills that would de... 

Baumann and Burke receive Hewlett Award from UCIS

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BCHS’s Jessie Burke and Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) received a Hewlett Award from the University Center for International Studies for their project entitled, “Painting a way forward: Investigating the role of community art on mental health outcomes in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal.”  The work extends ongoing research efforts in Nepal.  

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

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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.  

Mair tackles the problems researchers must address

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NEWS MEDICAL LIFE SCIENCES – BCHS’s Christina Mair said, “Careful analyses of the 'social ecologies' of drinking will lead to the development of more effective environmental prevention interventions.” In Mair’s recent study they tackle the problems researchers must address to fully understand the effects of physical and social environments on drinking patterns and problems.  

Koesarie, Risser, Totoni instrumental in Pitt providing menstrual products around campus

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THE PITT NEWS - The pad and tampon dispensers in women’s bathrooms across campus have sat empty for years. But check again. Pitt is stocking a number of bathrooms with menstrual products, and there’s no payment required. Kathleen Koesarie (MMPH '21), said “it’s important that students who need menstrual products have access to them without leaving school. It’s a period equity issue, it’s an equality issue, and it’s a public health issue.”  

Faculty speak out on “Inequality Across Gender and Race” report

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Faculty members Dara Mendez (EPI) and Tiffany Gary-Webb (EPI/BCHS) shared some thoughtful criticisms of the “Inequality Across Gender and Race ” report recently issued by the city.  These two Pitt Public Health faculty members were co-signers of a letter responding to the report and challenging city leadership to take this issue seriously. Find out more...  

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Recent BCHS Publications

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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)
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Cancer-related beliefs and perceptions in Appalachia: findings from 3 states 

Cancer-related beliefs and perceptions in Appalachia: findings from 3 states

JOURNAL OF RURAL HEALTH - Vanderpool RC, Huang B, Deng Y, Bear TM, Chen Q, Johnson MF, Paskett ED, Robertson LB, Young GS, Lachan R found variations in cancer beliefs were observed across the 3 states’ Appalachian populations. Interventions should be tailored to specific communities to improve canc... (10/14/2019)
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The role of accountability in batterers intervention programs and community response to intimate partner violence 

The role of accountability in batterers intervention programs and community response to intimate partner violence

JOURNAL OF FAMILY VIOLENCE - Pallatino C, Morrison P, Miller E, Burke J, Cluss P, Fleming R, Hawker L, George D, Bicehouse T, Chang J. found that in order to have a sustainable impact on IPV perpetration, stakeholders across the Social Ecological Model will need to utilize crucial intervention peri... (10/14/2019)