HPM Department News

Roberts comments on research that says fewer psychiatrists take Medicaid patients even as the program has expanded

REUTERS - "The key message here is that expansion doesn't necessarily mean better access," said HPM's Eric Roberts. That's unfortunate since "Medicaid disproportionately insures people with serious mental illness," said Roberts. "This should be a point of concern for policy makers."  

UPMC Children's Hospital names Sevco new president

PITTSBURGH BUSINESS TIMES - UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh named MHA/MBA alumnus Mark Sevco (HPM/Katz '91) as its new president. Sevco, who was most recently COO of UPMC Pinnacle, has been interim president since January. His former classmate, MHA/MBA graduate Christopher Gessner (HPM/Katz '91), served as the hospital's previous president.   

Pittsburgh analysis finds poor broadband penetration in rural communities may limit the potential of telemedicine

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Broadband penetration rates are substantially lower in many rura counties where access to primary care physicians and psychiatrists is inadequate, which limits the potential of telemedicine to mitigate barriers to care say findings from a brief research report led by HPM's Coleman Drake.   

New hope for curing sepsis as researchers discover four strains - a breakthrough that could boost treatment options

UK DAILY MAIL - The findings published in JAMA could explain why several recent trials of treatments for sepsis - an immune response in which the body attacks its own organs - have failed. "The next step is to find therapies that apply to the scientific types of sepsis and then desing clinical trials to test them," said study author Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of Pitt's critical care medicine and an HPM distinguished professor.  

Donohue comments on potential medicaid implications of study that says more Americans are being treated for depression

PSYCHOLOGY TODAY - More Americans receive treatment for depression and pay less out of pocket than they did two decades ago, according to a recent study. "States that haven't expanded Medicaid could look at these estimates and think: There's a way to expand treatment of mental health conditions like depression," says HPM's Julie Donohue.   

Drake finds that rural counties that would most benefit from telemedicine lack broadband access

WESA - Telemedicine has the potential to connect people in rural communities to health care providers who might otherwise take hours to reach by car. But a new study by HPM's Coleman Drake finds that many of these places lack the infrastructure to actually make telemedicine possible.   

Twenty HPM faculty and students presented at AcademyHealth 2019

The Department of Health Policy and Management gave an impressive 20 presentations at the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Washington, D.C. The students and faculty joined an international audience working to improve health and health care.   

As the U.S. measles count surpasses 25-year-old record, Roberts says: vaccinate

WDAM - U.S. health officials have reported 971 measles cases so far this year, the highest tally in 27 years, and experts say it's not clear when the wave of illnesses will stop. "What's causing these outbreaks is lack of vaccination," said HPM Chair Mark Roberts.   

National, county research partnerships use AI to better predict opioid overdose risk

PITTWIRE - HPM's Walid Gellad, head of Pitt's Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing, is using machine-learning algorithms to predict who is at risk of opioid misuse and overdose, teaming up with Allegheny County officials and national health care databanks in two separate studies.   

Big Data Reveals Hidden Subtypes of Sepsis

UPMC - Much like cancer, sepsis isn't simply one condition but rather many conditions that could benefit from different treatments, according to the results of a Pitt study reported in JAMA involving more than 60,000 patients, featuring Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of Pitt's Department of Critical Care Medicine and Pitt Public Health's distinguished professor of health policy and management.  

Deep Sedation and Controlled Paralysis Do Not Improve Survival of Critically Ill Patients with Severe Breathing Difficulty

Reversibly paralyzing and heavily sedating hospitalized patients with severe breathing problems do not improve outcomes in most cases, according to an NIH-funded clinical trial conducted at dozens of North American hospitals and led by clinician-scientists at Pitt -- including Derek Angus (BCHS '92), chair of critical care medicine and distinguished professor of health policy and management -- and the University of Colorado.   

Four public health students chosen as 2019-20 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows

Four Pitt Public Health students have been selected as 2019-20 Pittsburgh Schweitzer Fellows. Inngide Osirus and Dzigbordi Kamasa-Quashie of IDM and Yamira Bell and Ariel Snell of the MMPH program will participate for a full year of experiential learning and direct service addressing the needs of disadvantaged citizens in southwest Pennsylvania. John Cordier (HPM '19) recently graduated from the Fellowship.  

Roberts talks to the LA Times about the measles outbreak

LA TIMES - Los Angeles County officials dealing with a measles outbreak say they expect that more people will be diagnosed with the illness in the coming weeks, while the nation stares down what will like be its worst measles year in decades. As they search for outbreak's start, HPM and PHDL's Mark Roberts reminds us, "What matters is not the case that started it, what matters is how many people that one case infects."   

2019 Celebration of Student Awards

On April 27, 2019, Pitt Public Health celebrated recent graduates with awards given upon the culmination of a degree program. Delta Omega's honor society inductees were announced and outstanding thesis/essay and dissertation awards were conferred. Outstanding Student Awards were also given at both the master's and doctoral level, as well as Dean's Service Awards.   

Angus’ Early Sepsis Indicator Receives 510(k) Clearance from FDA

MANAGED CARE - Pitt Med's Derek Angus (BCHS '92) contributed to a first-of-its-kind, hematology-based cellular biomarker that is designed to help emergency department physicians identify patients with sepsis or who are at increased risk of developing sepsis. Compared to the traditional method of reviewing white blood cell count alone, the Early Sepsis Indicator strengthens a clinician’s suspicion of sepsis by 43 percent.  

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