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Alumna profile: Diane Peterson

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PITT PUBLIC HEALTH MAGAZINE — Looking back, Diane Peterson (HPM ’75) says her unconventional academic journey ended up being the perfect foundation for a career that has taken her all over the world and to the height of her profession. “I’m very proud to be a Pitt grad,” she says. “Even with the circuitous approach I took, I think the program did a marvelous job of providing me a well-rounded education.” Hear reflections on her highly successful... 

Angus on the evaluation of machine learning in medical practice

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MEDPAGE TODAY – In a recent JAMA editorial, Derek C. Angus, HPM distinguished professor and chair of Pitt Medical School’s department of critical care medicine, commented on the need for more studies to fully evaluate the importance of machine learning in medical practice. But he also cited a long list of limitations. "Just as computer scientists wrestle with the curse of dimensionality when generating an AI algorithm, clinical investigators wil... 

Pitt Public Health partners to train and certify health workers for at-risk neighborhoods

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE – Medical outcomes would improve significantly if nonmedical personnel could help patients handle tasks such as booking follow-up appointments and establishing medication schedules. Thanks to a new funding award, Pitt Public Health will partner with the Southwest Pennsylvania Area Health Education Center to provide a 100-hour curriculum to train workers and provide them with state certification to address the need. The pr... 

Hernandez explains why some Americans are forced into bankruptcy to pay for prescriptions

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THE GUARDIAN – A 2019 report published in the journal Health Affairs found drug costs are driven largely by pharmaceutical manufacturers’ year-on-year price hikes on drugs already on the market rather than by innovation, as often claimed by the industry. Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM ’16), lead author of the study, says, “Our results are relevant from a policy perspective because they show that price increases do not necessarily reflect innovation o... 

Braund coauthors American Heart Association's Call to Action on Rural Health

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With this advisory, the American Heart Association is calling for a sustained commitment of health care and other stakeholders at the local, state, and national levels to work together to improve rural health. HPM's Wendy Braund was among the authors stating, "understanding and addressing the unique health needs of people residing in rural America is critical to the American Heart Association's commitment to health equity and its focus on social... 

Meet HPM alum Mina Kabiri

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Mina Kabiri (HPM '17) is the associate director of global health economics and value demonstration at the Health Economics and Market Access division of Johnson and Johnson Medical Devices Companies. In her role, she leads the global efforst of developing health economic modeling tools for orthopedics, bio-surgery, and cardiovascular medical devices.   

Thurston on why your hot flashes may put you at risk for heart disease

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CAPE COD HEALTH NEWS - Women who reported more persistent hot flashes over the course of the menopausal transition were associated with an 80 percent increased risk for cardiovascular disease events. EPI's Rebecca Thurston, lead investigator on a study of more than 3,000 women for 20 years, called the magnitude of the increased risks “substantial.” She says, “The [hot flashes] are telling us something about the health of women’s cardiovascular s... 

Samargandy and El Khoudary find that running can help aging women at increased risk of heart disease

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RUNNER’S WORLD – New research adds to growing evidence that the menopause transition is a critical stage for the acceleration of cardiovascular disease risk, according to lead author and epidemiology doctoral student Saad Samargandy. Senior author and associate epidemiology professor Samar El Khoudary says these shifts may be related to hormonal changes affecting arteries and veins that carry blood throughout the body, but exercise can be crucia... 

Hartman & Mertz serve on global coronavirus panel

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TRIB LIVE –  Experts from multiple disciplines gather to discuss the outbreak of novel coronavirus COVID-19. Panelists include IDM’s Amy Hartman, who studies emerging viruses and diseases transmitted from animals to people and then among people; and ACHD medical epidemiologist Kristen Mertz, who also serves as an adjunct assistant professor at Pitt Public Health. “Information is coming out very quickly and it’s hard to … know the facts,” Hartman... 

Mertz joins Pitt experts to dispel myths about Coronavirus

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KDKA – During the information session, Kristen Mertz, assistant professor of epidemiology and medical epidemiologist at the Allegheny County Health Department, highlighted more aggressive measures currently in place to prevent spreading the disease. “Those are really the travel ban for foreign nationals so they are not coming to the U.S. and restrictions on U.S. citizens and residents who have been overseas,” Mertz said.  

As a Pennsylvanian with a disability, Tomko is forced to choose between higher pay and essential benefits

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PUBLICSOURCE - Until salary caps are removed, Heather Tomko (HPM ’19) must constantly choose between her career and her health. Right now, people with disabilities are barred from positions of power and influence because they can’t afford the accompanying salary. Without people with disabilities in these positions, the needs of people with disabilities aren’t represented in policy.  

Physician-patient communication behaviors in the most popular prime television shows

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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 television often feature certain PCC behaviors, with providers on medical programs significantly more likely to exhibit certain PCC behaviors than provider... 

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 among working adults who sought medical care for an ARI from 5 sites across the country, 79% had access to paid leave and 15% were able to telework. ... 

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 services resources available.   

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.   

El Khoudary finds heart disease risk grows as women move through menopause

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ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - A marker for heart disease risk considerably worsens as women transition through menopause. Black women experience this accelerated decline earlier in menopause than their white counterparts. According EPI's Samar El Khoudary, the findings add to growing evidence that menopause is a critical time for changes in cardiovascular health and underscore the importance of women and their doctors focusing on heart health during the... 

Gellad concerned that delayed generics increase surprise medical bills

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AXIOS – Big pharma is often successful in securing additional years of monopoly pricing, creating a higher baseline price for when generics finally come out. "Every year that goes by when a generic is delayed is another 6+ percent increase in the price the generic will cost when it finally hits the market," tweeted HPM’s Walid Gellad last week.  

Ecological momentary assessment of stress, racism and other forms of discrimination during pregnancy using smartphone technology

WILEY - Dara D. Mendez, Sarah A. Sanders, Yu‐Hsuan Lai , Meredith L. Wallace , Stephen L. Rathbun, Tiffany L. Gary‐Webb, Esa M. Davis, Lora E. Burke found methods applied in PMOMS provide real‐time data regarding how participants' daily experiences of stress and discrimination influence their lives. Future work will include understanding if and how these EMA measures may relate to already established measures of racism, sexism, and stress; and u... 

Wahed to serve on prestigious COPSS Award Committee

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BIOST's Abdus S. Wahed has been selected to be a member of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) award committee for academic years 2019-22 to represent the International Biometric Society Eastern North American Region (ENAR). COPSS brings the leadership of five distinguished statistical societies to work on shared problems and improve intersociety communication.   

Meet HPM alum Ray Van Cleve

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Ray Van Cleve (HPM '19) is working at the PRIME Center, a collaboration between Yale School of Medicine and The West Haven VA Hospital. He is working on the Pain and Opioids Consortium of Research (CORE) serving as the group's statistician and helping manage some of the group's day to day projects of the group.   

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Parker elected Hastings Center fellow 

Parker elected Hastings Center fellow

PITTWIRE - HUGEN's Lisa Parker was recently elected fellow to The Hastings Center, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of research scholars studying ethical questions in medicine, science and technology that help inform policy, practice and public understanding. Parker, along with Robert Arnold o... (02/05/2020)
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Sabik sees decline in late stage cancer diagnoses after health reform law 

Sabik sees decline in late stage cancer diagnoses after health reform law

PITT WIRE - Advanced stage cancer diagnoses declined following health insurance expansion in Massachusetts, likely due to increased access to screening and diagnostic services that identified cancers earlier, according to new research led by health economists including HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “Colorec... (01/28/2020)
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Pittsburgh named one of the world’s smartest cities 

Pittsburgh named one of the world’s smartest cities

NEWSWEEK - Pittsburgh has been named one of the world’s smartest cities, as part of Newsweek’s 2019 Momentum Awards. Pittsburgh has undergone a dramatic environmental and technological transformation over recent years, earning its reputation as one of America's "most livable" cities, ranks among th... (01/08/2020)


Featuring the latest research, opportunities, and groundbreaking developments from CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health. Review theFriday Letter submission guidelines then share your story ideas via publichealth.pitt.edu/share-news or contact phcomm@pitt.edu. 
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El Khoudary finds heart disease risk grows as women move through menopause 

El Khoudary finds heart disease risk grows as women move through menopause

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - A marker for heart disease risk considerably worsens as women transition through menopause. Black women experience this accelerated decline earlier in menopause than their white counterparts. According EPI's Samar El Khoudary, the findings add to growing evidence that menopaus... (02/10/2020)
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Sabik finds decline in advanced stage cancer diagnoses following health reform law 

Sabik finds decline in advanced stage cancer diagnoses following health reform law

ASPPH FRIDAY LETTER - Advanced stage cancer diagnoses declined following health insurance expansion in Massachusetts, likely due to increased access to screening and diagnostic services that identified cancers earlier, according to new research led by health economists including HPM's Lindsay Sabik... (02/04/2020)
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Miller's research proves program effective in preventing dating violence with middle school students 

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

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- ... (01/28/2020)