Epi Department News

Burke uses mobile health to track cardiovascular risk factors

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PITTSBURGH COURIER - Around 75 percent of people in the United States use a smartphone, and apps focusing on mobile health (mHealth) can be used to track key and unique health updates for users. The research of EPI's LORA BURKE (EPI '98), has focused on how to use mHealth for one particular risk factor of cardiovascular disease—being overweight. “Research reinforced that the crux of weight loss... is self-monitoring in real time."  

Byrnes, Niemczyk, Mendez appointed to governor’s maternal mortality review committee

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CAROLYN BYRNES (EPI ‘11), NANCY NIEMCZYK (EPI ‘14), and EPI's DARA MENDEZ are to serve in a new effort to collect information to investigate and disseminate findings related to maternal deaths. “With the alarming rate of maternal deaths in Pennsylvania, establishing this committee will help take immediate action in determining the reasons for this phenomenon,” Governor Wolf said.   

Thurston: sexual harassment and assault take long-term toll on women's health

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - A new study shows that not only are sexual harassment and assault highly prevalent today, but they may also have negative health consequences. "It is widely understood that sexual harassment and assault can impact women's lives and how they function, but this study also evaluates the implications of these experiences for women's health," says EPI's REBECCA THURSTON.   

Air Quality Program MPH students present their work at ACHD

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Masters students FIONA GAO (BCHS) and JINGHUI JU (EPI) spent the summer researching morning surface temperature inversions and their impact on public health with Allegheny County Health Department’s (ACHD) Air Quality Program. They presented their work at the ACHD in August.        

Stephanie Corey analyzes LGBTQ cancer prevention as cancer epidemiology fellow

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STEPHANIE COREY (EPI '19) was a part of the 2018 cohort of the Cancer Epidemiology Education in Special Populations (CEESP) Fellowship, funded by the National Cancer Institute. Stephanie executed an independent project where she analyzed HPV, cervical cancer, and anal cancer preventive measures among LGBTQ individuals in Allegheny County. At the end of the summer she presented her findings at a conference in New York City.  

Emily Fitzpatrick spends practicum conducting hospital visits in Rwanda

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MPH student, EMILY FITZPATRICK (EPI '19), spent a portion of her practicum in Kigali, Rwanda. One component of her work was conducting hospital visits in more rural parts of the country. These visits were for Type I diabetes education, recording HbA1c test results, height, weight, and blood pressure measurements as well as distributing medication.   

Jane Cauley receives ASBMR 2018 Shirley Hohl Service Award

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Congratulations to EPI's JANE CAULEY for receiving the 2018 Shirley Hohl Award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. She received the award after volunteering for numerous positions and projects with the society. “To be awarded the ASBMR 2018 Shirley Hohl Service Award is a great honor and privilege, and I thank our membership for the opportunity to serve," said Cauley.  

Changing dynamics of the drug overdose epidemic in the United States from 1979 through 2016

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SCIENCE - In an effort to understand the epidemic dynamics and perhaps predict its future course, Pitt Public Health researchers analyzed records of nearly 600,000 overdose deaths. Dean DONALD BURKE, HPM's HAWRE JALAL, and colleagues concluded that the U.S. drug overdose epidemic has been inexorably tracking along an exponential growth curve since at least 1979.   

Newman and colleagues' new study uses local participants to look at aspirin use in older adults (video)

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WPXI - TV - We've long heard that an aspirin a day can help lower the risk of heart disease. A new study using participants from Pittsburgh suggests that isn't always the case. The study looked at 19,000 people worldwide, including 178 people from Pittsburgh. "People who took aspirin and people who did not take aspirin had an equal likelihood of having a long healthy life," said EPI's ANNE NEWMAN.  

Kaplan appointed independent director at Quorum Health Corporation

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NASHVILLE LEDGER - Brentwood-based Quorum Health Corporation's board of directors has appointed JON KAPLAN (EPI '80) as an independent, non-employee director. Kaplan has extensive business experience consulting and advising health care companies. Since 2007, he has served as a senior partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group, Inc. Congratulations Jon!  

Schulz comments on whether parents should add kids to the family caregiving team

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US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - A 2005 report from the National Alliance on Caregiving suggested the U.S. has about 1.4 million youth caregivers between the ages of 8 and 18. Most are helping an older adult who has a chronic disease such as dementia, heart disease, or diabetes. “It may be a strategy of having the grandchild help you with activities that make your life easier so you can concentrate on the grandparent,” says EPI and BCHS's RICHARD SCHU... 

Newman and colleagues at the Aging Institute receive grant to establish a Healthy Aging Program

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The Jewish Healthcare Foundation approved a two-year, $300,000 grant to establish a Healthy Aging Program within the Aging Institute of UPMC Senior Services and the University of Pittsburgh. The program aims to modify the aging trajectory for seniors, identifying the key characteristics of aging and developing new interventions that enhance quality of life for older adults. ANNE NEWMAN, EPI professor, is the clinical director.  

Brent among researchers looking to brain images to predict who will attempt suicide

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER - With the help of a $3.8 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, Carnegie Mellon University's Marcel Just and EPI's DAVID BRENT will analyze the differences in brain scans of suicidal and non-suicidal young adults to detect those most at risk and develop personalized therapies. "It could give us a window into the suicidal mind that we don't have now," Brent said.  

Schulz talks taking care of frail, aging parents for older caregivers

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - A new analysis from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found that 10 percent of adults ages 60 to 69 whose parents are alive serve as caregivers, as do 12 percent of adults age 70 and older. “If older caregivers have health problems themselves and become mentally or emotionally stressed, they’re at a higher risk of dying,” said EPI and BCHS's RICHARD SCHULZ.  

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