BCHS Faculty News

BCHS's Mair says alcohol's health benefits are hard to prove, but harms are easy to document

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LOS ANGELES TIMES / THE CONVERSATION - Alcohol is the most widely used drug in the world. While the rising opioid epidemic has been receiving a lot of attention in the past five years, it is important to remember that alcohol is involved in a greater number of deaths and physical and social problems, says CHRISTINA MAIR. Backed by a strong industry, alcohol's dangers may be underplayed and its benefits exaggerated.   

Robertson and other cancer experts say county needs to ramp up HPV vaccine rates

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - Twelve years after the first vaccine for human papillomavirus (HPV) was licensed for use, many young people still have not had the vaccine that is proven to prevent certain types of cancer. HPV vaccination rates for girls and boys in the Pittsburgh area are still far below the Healthy People 2020 goal of 80 percent, although they are improving, according to BCHS's LINDA ROBERTSON.    

Pitt's opioid task force releases recommendations

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - The task force, which includes officials and students, including BRADY BUSHOVER (EPI '18) and MICHAEL MALLON (BCHS '13), has recommended that the school mobilize its research and treatment resources to fight addiction through initiatives ranging from partnerships with local medical centers to an on-campus space devoted to student recovery.   

Gary-Webb and Mendez talk Project Hunger (Video)

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WTAE - More than 325,000 people in southwestern Pennsylvania are food insecure according to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Rural areas are particularly vulnerable. "If groceries stores are miles away, it'll be very difficult to get to those," says BCHS's TIFFANY GARY-WEBB. "Some do have access to food but it may not be the most helpful food," says EPI's DARA MENDEZ.   

'Invisible workforce' of caregivers is wearing out as boomers age

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STAR TRIBUNE - Growing numbers of Americans face the challenge of caring for an aging parent or other loved one, a burden that will skyrocket as 76 million baby boomers move into their 80s and need help coping with dementia, cancer, heart disease, or just plain frailty and old age. “I don’t think people have really connected all those dots, other than those of us who are doing this work,” said RICHARD SCHULZ, EPI and BCHS professor.  

Miller among panelists at Penn Hills' High School's safety talk

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TRIB LIVE - Penn Hills School District will host a safety discussion for eighth grade and high school students and families. There will be a panel of student athletes and coaches, representatives from the municipal police department, United Way, Pittsburgh Action Against Rape and BCHS's LIZ MILLER. It's a great opportunity to see what resources are available at the high school, everything from social to physical safety.   

Celebrate 70: Burke presents on using collaborative filmmaking to explore menstrual practices in Napal (VIDEO)

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On behalf of BCHS doctoral student, SARA BAUMANN (BCHS '19), JESSICA BURKE presented their work in combining filmmaking with community based participatory research. They developed collaborative filmmaking to study chlaupadi in Napal. “It is a local practice where women are banished to sheds during menstruation.” This technique was an effective way to generate knowledge about the menstrual practices and involve participants in the process.   

Coulter studies the impact of sexual assault on minorities

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ARIZONA SONORA NEWS - Nationwide studies of sexual assault indicate that racial minorities, transgender people, and people with disabilities are targets of sexual violence at greater rates than the general population. Transgender students were three times as likely to be sexually assaulted than non-transgender men, according to a study conducted by BCHS' ROBERT COULTER and colleagues.   

Felter and Baumann receive Pitt's Innovation in Education Award

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Congrats to BCHS's ELIZABETH FELTER and, SARA BAUMANN (BCHS '19), who were awarded a 2018 Pitt Innovation in Education Award for their proposal “Teaching Video for Health Promotion.” They plan on offering a new class, which the funds will support, in the fall of 2018. Students will focus on script writing and and basic video editing techniques through hands-on, interactive in-class activities.   

Pitt Moves! A student-led initiative to eliminate sedentarism for Pitt's students

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The Center for Health Equity (CHE) has created Pitt Moves, which organized brief student-led exercise times during a class break in approximately 10 classes this term. With support from Pitt’s HealthyU initiative, this student-directed and -centered physical activity break project aims to create a culture of non-sedentarism at Pitt Public Health. The project was born in a rather “serendipitous way,” says PATRICIA DOCUMET of BCHS.  

Richard Garland: A few wrong turns

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THE PITT NEWS – Now he's one of the most well-known and respected anti-violence experts in the area, but BCHS’ RICHARD GARLAND is was once just like the at-risk young people he seeks to help. He became involved in gangs while living in Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood, landing him in prison from 1979 to 1991. “I’ve been blessed,” he said. “All those years in the penitentiary preserved me a lot.”  

Donny speaks on FDA plan to make cigarettes less addictive

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LA TIMES - The FDA announcement is great news, said BCHS’ ERIC DONNY. He and other researchers found that reducing nicotine substantially leads smokers to be less dependent on cigarettes and smoke fewer of them was found in a study by and other researchers. "If you just reduce it a little, people might smoke more to make up the difference. They need to reduce it a lot." Regulators should consider a 95% to 97% reduction. 

Hawk, Egan, and Keane caution against study linking increased access of Naloxone to crime

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CNN – A new study has found that after the expansion of access to naloxone, arrests for possession and sales of opioids increased by 17% and 27%, respectively. However, BCHS's MARY HAWK, JAMES EGAN, and CHRIS KEANE had some cautions. Just because both expanded during the same time period does not mean that one caused the other. Even if that was true, they would not propose removing access to a lifesaving drug, they said.  

Stall and his research team show interest in new syndrome, AIDS Survivor Syndrome

THE BODY - Long-term survivors of HIV have experienced relentless trauma over the course of several decades, resulting in a syndrome unique to this population called AIDS Survivor Syndrome. Until now, there has been no scientific research to validate it. BCHS’ RON STALL became interested, noting that "street epidemiology tends to be pretty correct and street wisdom raises questions that are worth looking into very carefully."  

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Recent BCHS Publications

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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)
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A systematic review of health outcomes associated with provision of representative payee services 

A systematic review of health outcomes associated with provision of representative payee services

PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES - Kinsky S, Creasy S, Hawk M find that representative payee services are largely beneficial or neutral in terms of health and behavior outcomes. Negative findings mainly involved the client-payee relationship. Given that more than five million individuals have a representative ... (10/14/2019)
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Prevalence and correlates of prep awareness and use among black men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) in the United States 

Prevalence and correlates of prep awareness and use among black men who have sex with men and women (MSMW) in the United States

AIDS AND BEHAVIOR - Friedman, MR, Sang, JM, Bukowski, LA, Chandler, CJ, Egan, JE, Eaton, LA, Matthews, DD, Ho, K, Raymond, HF, & Stall, R. found that PrEP awareness campaigns tailored for black men who have sex with men and women (MSMW), concomitant with STI-to-PrEP interventions, will facilitate g... (10/14/2019)

Intimate partner violence and depression among black transgender women in the USA: The potential suppressive effect of perceived social support 

Intimate partner violence and depression among black transgender women in the USA: The potential suppressive effect of perceived social support

JOURNAL OF URBAN HEALTH - Bukowski LA, Hampton M, Escobar C, Sang JM, Creasy SL, Chandler CJ, Stall, R. find there was a 20% lower likelihood of increased depressive symptomatology for every 1-unit increase in perceived social support reported by participants. These findings perceived social suppor... (10/14/2019)
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Nowalk authors chapter in upcoming public health guide to opioid epidemic 

Nowalk authors chapter in upcoming public health guide to opioid epidemic

Alex Nowalk (BCHS '16), program director at Pitt's Program Evaluation and Research Unit, recently co-authored a chapter in an upcoming book, A Public Health Guide to Ending the Opioid Epidemic. Nowalk's chapter presents screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment as a public health and... (08/25/2019)
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Latent classes of polysubstance use among adolescents in the United States: Intersections of sexual identity with sex, age, and race/ethnicity 

Latent classes of polysubstance use among adolescents in the United States: Intersections of sexual identity with sex, age, and race/ethnicity

LGBT HEALTH - Coulter RWS, Ware D, Fish JN, and Plankey MW found that compared with their heterosexual peers, gay/lesbian and bisexual adolescents-especially females-are at heightened risk of engaging in multiple types of polysubstance use. Designing, implementing, and evaluating interventions will... (05/17/2019)
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OjO Latino: A Photovoice Project in Recognition of the Latino Presence in Pittsburgh, PA 

OjO Latino: A Photovoice Project in Recognition of the Latino Presence in Pittsburgh, PA

CONTEMPORANEITY - Pitt students Héctor Camilo Ruiz Sánchez (BCHS/Anthropology '20), Paulina Pardo Gaviria (history of art & architecture) Rosa De Ferrari (BCHS/GSPIA '18), and faculty advisors Kirk Savage & Patricia Documet (BCHS) published on their recent Photovoice work connecting Latinos from ... (04/12/2019)