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Weight Management and Bariatric Surgery
Stephen M. Albert
Professor and chair of the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Albert’s research centers on the assessment of health outcomes in aging and chronic disease. He examines physical and cognitive function, health service use and the cost of care, quality of life and clinical decision making. He is leading a statewide examination of ways to prevent falls in the elderly for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Current studies also include looking at worksite health promotion, modeling of vaccine refusal across the lifespan and public health surveillance at the end of life.
Recent work includes an investigation of mental health and clinical decisions at the end of life for the National Institute of Mental Health. Albert also has studied the cognitive and physical basis of independence in older people for the National Institute on Aging.
Albert has completed research on attitudes toward health promotion in culturally insular communities, challenges in assessing quality of life in people with cognitive impairment, and cognitive factors in medication adherence.
Albert has served in leadership positions and on boards at the Gerontological Society of America, Journal of American Medical Directors Association, and Internet Journal of Mental Health.
Anne B. Newman
Professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health; director of Pitt’s Center for Aging and Population Health
Newman’s research centers on the relationships between aging, longevity and disability. She is leading several long-term studies involving these topics and directs a National Institute on Aging (NIA) training grant in the epidemiology of aging.Her research interests also include sleep apnea and aging, sarcopenia and disability, and atherosclerosis as it relates to disability, aging and frailty. Currently she leads several multiple-year investigations funded by the NIA, including Lifestyle and Independence for the Elderly (LIFE) and ASPirin to Reduce Events in the Elderly (ASPREE).
Newman holds many leadership positions and serves as the core director for the Pittsburgh Older Americans Independence Center. She received her medical degree and master’s degree in public health from the University of Pittsburgh. She did her residency and a fellowship in geriatric medicine at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital (formerly Presbyterian University Hospital).
Andrea M. Kriska
Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, with a secondary appointment in the Department of Health and Physical Activity at Pitt’s School of Education
Kriska is a physical activity epidemiologist actively involved in diabetes and other chronic disease research. She has extensive experience with many National Institute of Health single and multi-site efforts in the areas of behavioral lifestyle intervention and physical activity assessment. These clinical trials focus on women and health outcomes; lifestyle and vascular stiffness in young adults; and diabetes risk factors, including intervention efforts in minority populations and developing countries.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) currently funds Kriska’s work translating the successful behavioral intervention of the Diabetes Prevention Program into diverse community settings. She also conducts studies through the Diabetes Prevention Support Center of the University of Pittsburgh.
Kriska is the executive director of the Physical Activity Resource Center for Public Health and also directs the Department of Epidemiology’s Prevention/Lifestyle Intervention concentration.
Kriska received her undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Dayton and her Masters of Science in exercise physiology from the University of Pittsburgh. Kriska also earned her doctorate in epidemiology from Pitt and completed her post-doctoral studies in cardiovascular epidemiology for the NIDDK in Phoenix, Arizona.
Jeanine M. Buchanich
Assistant professor of biostatistics and deputy director of the Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Buchanich’s research is in occupational and environmental epidemiology, and she has expertise in coal mining communities. She also uses historical data to extract information about infectious diseases and industrial accidents.
Other areas of research include vital statistics tracing, cancer incidence, and head injuries.
Buchanich is completing an investigation into whether cases of polycythemia vera, a rare blood disorder, are clustered near an area in Eastern Pennsylvania that is home to several brownfields.
She received her doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh.
Evelyn O. Talbott
Professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Talbott has more than 25 years of experience in environmental epidemiology and is the primary advisor for over 70 masters and doctoral students. Her primary research interests include environmental epidemiology and cardiovascular risk factors in women.
Recently, Talbott has been working in the area of environmental public health, tracking and linking health outcomes to measurable environmental risk factors, which include childhood lead poisoning, cardiopulmonary outcomes and the study of cancer clusters. Talbott worked with the Pennsylvania Health Department to conduct health studies about environmental exposures.
One of the founding members of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology, Talbott served as the society’s secretary-treasurer for four years. She is a fellow of the American Heart Association and the Council on Epidemiology and Prevention.
She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Bethany College and her master's and doctorate degrees in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh.
Jessica G. Burke
Associate professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at theUniversity of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Burke is a public health social scientist with a focus on the interpersonal and neighborhood contexts of urban health disparities. Particularly central to her work are the communities of low-income women and children and other important women’s health problems, such as HIV/AIDS. She explores problems such as intimate partner violence, youth violence, low birth weight and preterm delivery. The ultimate goal of her work is to move the field of public health social science toward implementing programs that improve population health and reduce disparities.
She has experience teaching graduate-level courses that explore health determinants and stress the importance of partnering with communities to assess needs and implement social health programs.
Burke is a member of the American Public Health Association, the International Society for Urban Health, the Society for Public Health Education, and the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health. She reviews articles for medical journals, including the American Journal of Health Behavior, Journal of Urban Health, Journal of General Internal Medicine, and the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Patricia I. Document
Assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and scientific director of the Center for Health Equity at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Documet’s main research focus is on Latino health and the relevancy of social relationships, both in the U.S. and internationally. Other areas of research include cancer, breastfeeding, racial and ethnic disparities, and global health. She currently is testing group-visit cancer screenings among Latinas, and led the Latino Engagement Group for Salud, a group comprised of community members working with Latinos to develop community-based initiatives. Documét is the project director for the Allegheny County Health Survey, which featured more than 5,000 telephone interviews with county residents.
She teaches a course designed to expose students to the fundamentals of epistemology, quantitative and qualitative research. Due to her affiliation with the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Documét works closely with students who have an interest in Latino research.
As scientific director of the Center for Health Equity, Documét serves the community by helping improve the way public health workers tackle health disparities, while broadening her research into the issues these communities face.
She has served as a medical reviewer for journals including Health Education and Behavior, the Journal of General Internal Medicine, the Journal of the National Medical Association, and the Journal for Health Care for the Poor and Underserved. She also is active in the Latino caucus of the American Public Health Association, previously serving as the scientific program organizer and treasurer.
Julie M. Donohue
Associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Donohue conducts research in the areas of pharmaceutical policy and mental health. She currently is conducting research on the impact of pharmacy insurance benefits on prescription drug utilization and expenditures. A major focus of this work is evaluating the impact of the new Medicare drug benefit (Part D) on medication access among elderly and disabled Medicare beneficiaries.
Other areas of expertise include doctor-patient communication on prescription drugs, the cost-effectiveness of mental health interventions, efforts to provide information on comparative effectiveness and prices of prescription drugs to consumers, direct-to-consumer advertising and other forms of pharmaceutical promotion.
Donohue received her PhD in health policy from Harvard University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pharmaceutical policy research at Harvard Medical School
A. Everette James
Professor of Health Policy and Management at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, director of Pitt’s Health Policy Institute, and associate vice chancellor for health policy and planning at Pitt’s schools of the health sciences
As director of the Health Policy Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, James’ primary research interests include health law and policy, malpractice reform, comparative effectiveness and delivery systems research.
He served as the 25th Pennsylvania secretary of health and oversaw the regulation of all of the hospitals, nursing homes and managed care plans in the state. He managed 1700 employees of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and a nearly $1 billion dollar annual budget for the implementation of disease surveillance and prevention programs. In his role, James was responsible for successfully implementing the statewide smoking ban, as well as the most comprehensive law in the country to eliminate health care-acquired infections and new regulations ensuring independent, timely hearing of insurance appeals.
Before his role as secretary of health, James was a partner in the office of Dewey & Leboeuf law firm in Washington, D.C. His firm focused on insurance and health care corporate law and regulatory matters. James has served as deputy assistant secretary for service industries and finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce
He advises the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC on health reform implementation and leads the collaborative comparative effectiveness research program that evaluates clinical effectiveness of treatments and services in terms of health outcomes.
He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for his undergraduate studies, and obtained a law degree from Illinois Institute of Technology-Chicago Kent College of Law. James earned his MBA from Illinois Institute of Technology’s Stuart School of Business.
Assistant professor of health economics and director of the Pharmaceutical Economics Research Group in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Zhang is an expert in using large private and public insurance claims data to evaluate the effects of pharmaceutical policies and interventions on health outcomes. She has been awarded a $1 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to compare the most cost-effective, or even cost-saving, methods to cover psychiatric medications among Medicare beneficiaries. She also is evaluating the racial and ethnic differences in medication use. In addition, she is evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the Medicare prescription drug program, especially its effects for vulnerable Americans, such as underserved minorities and patients with severe mental health issues and chronic physical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. Deep-discounted generic drugs are one of the creative solutions Zhang is evaluating to encourage the use of more cost-effective medication treatments. Zhang received her PhD in health policy from Harvard University.
Charles R. Rinaldo
Chair and professor of Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology in the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health; professor of pathology at Pitt’s School of Medicine; assistant director of the clinical microbiology laboratory at UPMC
Rinaldo’s research interests include cellular immunity to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpes virus (KSHV), hepatitis C virus, dengue virus, epidemiology of AIDS and clinical virology. He established a multicenter AIDS cohort study (MACS) site in Pittsburgh that investigates the natural history of AIDS in a sample of 3,000 homosexual men in Pittsburgh, called the Pitt Men’s Study.
As assistant director of clinical microbiology, Rinaldo’s primary job is to develop new tests that are important for diagnosing viral infections in organ transplant recipients and other patients.
His alternate research focuses primarily on the relationship of disease progression to dendritic cell function; and reactivity of killer T cells to HIV and human herpes virus.
A mentor to over thirty graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, Rinaldo has employed and prepared students to pursue higher science positions in academia, government and industry. He has had continuous research grant funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1979.
He has received awards from the Pittsburgh LGBT community and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for more than thirty years of excellence in AIDS research. Rinaldo has served nationally on the NIH AIDS Research Advisory Committee and the NIH AIDS-related Study Section.
Professor in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
Stall’s primary areas of research include HIV prevention and behavioral epidemiology in the United States and abroad. He has conducted numerous research projects dealing with substance abuse epidemiology, smoking, aging, mental health, and housing as health care. He works with high-risk HIV populations.
Stall received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida and his master’s degree from the University of Kentucky. He earned his master’s in public health from the University of California Berkeley in 1984, the same year he obtained his doctorate from the University of California San Francisco.
Weight Management and BaRiatric Surgery
Wendy C. King
Research assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health
King’s primary areas of research interest include bariatric surgery, physical activity and dietary interventions to prevent obesity, and objective assessment of physical activity. She studies the effect of physical activity on weight loss and resolution of co-morbidities post-surgery, supplemental behavioral interventions to improve outcomes, and the effects of bariatric surgery on women’s health in areas such as fertility, pregnancies, birth outcomes, urinary incontinence and sexual function.
King served as the principal investigator in two studies funded by the National Institutes of Health: Adapting Pediatric Obesity Treatment to Health Disparities, and Psychosocial Issues and Bariatric Surgery. Further, she serves as the co-investigator to three long-term studies looking into the longitudinal assessment of bariatric surgery and method of enhanced behavioral intervention for weight loss in young adults.
King attended the University of California San Diego to obtain her bachelor of science degree in biology and later obtained her doctorate in epidemiology from the University of Pittsburgh.