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Mendez on addressing Pittsburgh's public health crisis: racism

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90.5 WESA - The report brought attention to issues that already existed, says EPI's Dara Mendez. She made recommendations to Pittsburgh City Council at a hearing earlier this month about how to frame legislation passed Tuesday. To address these inequalities correctly, Mendez says that the women who are currently working on racism as a public health crisis need to be centered in the reporting of the issues and in finding the solutions. She adds t... 

Washington to speak in Philly

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Raynard Washington (EPI '09, '12) is the chief epidemiologist at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. In this role, Washington is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data that provides actionable information on the health status of Philadelphia residents. He coordinates and provides guidance across the department and works internally and externally to enhance existing and establish new health surveillance systems. He... 

Clemons awarded Commonwealth Equity Scholarship

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Arvon Clemons (BIOST '21) was awarded the Commonwealth Equity Scholarship for academic year 2019-20.   

DiSanto awarded Commonwealth Equity Scholarship

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Dominic DiSanto (BIOST '20) was awarded the Commonwealth Equity Scholarship for the academic year of 2019-20.   

Frank on PrEP: A drug proven to prevent HIV is still slow to catch on

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TRIB LIVE - Physicians also need to be included in education around prescribing and using PrEP, said IDM's Linda Frank. That goes beyond making sure their patients take a pill a day. It includes working with communities to make sure people have the support and counseling to make healthy decisions. She said, “It’s important to have treatments and vaccines, but we still have to work on that other side of the equation: How do you get people to chan... 

Mendez addresses contributing factors to the racial inequalities in pregnancy, birth, and women's health

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NEW PITTSBURGH COURIER - The CDC also found that about 3 out of 5 pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths are preventable. The work of Dara Mendez examines how the environment, policies, and systems affect pregnancy outcomes. "If we’re trying to center the experiences of the most marginalized, then they also need to be at the forefront of research." Practitioners, researchers, community members and organizers need to review the data and understa... 

EPI's Meg Carr awarded Goldstein scholarship for work on Hepatitis C surveillance

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MPH student Margaret Carr (EPI ‘20) has been awarded the 2019 Bernard D. Goldstein Student Award in Environmental Health Disparities and Public Health Practice in recognition of her project, "Hepatitis C Surveillance at Allegheny County Health Department". In the award citation, CPHP Director Wendy Braund cites, “Your work with ACHD is an outstanding example of the actively involved Pitt Public Health student-taking your learning from the classr... 

Meet Ashika Mani, accelerated MS student in statistics and biostatistics

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Ashika Mani (BIOST MS '21) joined Pitt Public Health this year via our Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program. “It was a pretty natural choice as I was looking to jumpstart my graduate studies early,” she said. “I was almost done with my undergraduate requirements.” She felt like she had so much more to learn beyond her undergraduate degree program and felt that grad school was the next step. Mani grew up in Yorktown Heights, NY and then came t... 

Meet Dominic DiSanto, MS student in health data science

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“I’m especially excited about my health data science concentration. It’s a very dynamic skill set and one that translates well to all different kinds of problems," said Dominic DiSanto (BIOST MS '21). "The curriculum in general looks like a very applied curriculum and the idea of having a consulting practicum where you actually work with real researchers and real data is something that I didn’t see in any other program. It seems very focused on ... 

Marsh wins Innovator Award

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BIOST's Gary Marsh received the Innovator Award at the 14th annual Celebration of Innovation. The award is related to sales of the Occupational Cohort Mortality Analysis Program, a software package he developed with the assistance of biostatistics faculty and staff including Ada Youk, Roslyn Stone, and Chuck Alcorn. Years earlier, Harvey Co Chien (BIOST MS '87) completed his master's thesis developing an analytic module for this same software.  ... 

Meet Arvon Clemons, MS student in statistical and computational genomics

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Part of what led Arvon Clemons to Pitt Public Health was the city of Pittsburgh. He felt a connection to a city that was similar to his hometown of St. Louis. His academic background doesn’t feel as congruous with his current study. But ultimately, both the city and the program are turning out to be a good fit. Clemons studied biochemistry and biotechnology at the University of Missouri in a dual degree program that allowed him to graduate with ... 

Meet Lingyun Lyu, Pitt Biostats MS graduate and PhD candidate

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Lingyun Lyu (BIOST PhD '22) is a second-year Ph.D. student in Biostatistics at Pitt Public Health. She came to Pitt in 2016 and earned her M.S. in Biostatistics in 2018. She loved the master’s program and thinks that it’s really well-designed. In addition to many essential statistical theory and applied courses, this program also includes a research-based thesis project. That’s what really made her time in the master’s program worthwhile and one... 

Brent using MRI scans to reveal the physical makeup of thoughts and feelings

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CBS - Who among us hasn't wished we could read someone else's mind, know exactly what they're thinking? Well that's impossible, or at least that's what we've always, well, thought. EPI’s David Brent runs a clinic for suicidal adolescents. He happened to attend a talk Marcel Just was giving about his autism findings and immediately wondered about his own patients. Just and Brent began planning a pilot study to see if the scanner might reveal what... 

Zeni publishes epidemiology for advanced nursing textbook

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Congratulations to Mary Beth Zeni (HSADM ’93) on the publishing of her textbook, Principles of Epidemiology for Advanced Nursing Practice: A Population Health Perspective. Zeni is an associate professor of nursing at Ursuline College in Cleveland, OH. Additionally, Zeni uses her decades of experience in analyzing population health data as a member of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health Opioid Taskforce and the Ohio Injury Prevention Partnership’... 

Meet Kayleigh Adamson, MS student in biostatistics

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Kayleigh Adamson (BIOST MS '20) is from Crawford County in Northwestern Pennsylvania. With about 60 people in her graduating class, she grew up a self-described rural country girl. She started college at Penn State Behrend in Erie, PA, transferring to main campus for her junior and senior years. At Penn State, she studied neuropsychology while minoring in both biology and sexuality and gender studies. Plus getting a certificate in crime psycholo... 

Leckenby wins big in November

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UTIMES – EPI’s Nicole Leckenby was elected to her first political office on the Pleasant Hills Borough board and released her first children’s book - in the same month. Of her decision to run, Leckenby said, “Part of it is my children, this world is crazy. I want to be involved in the community we live in. I want to make sure it’s a safer place. Our main issues were pedestrian safety, better communication between the borough and community, and r... 

Pitt honored in Healthiest Employers of Pittsburgh Awards

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@PITT - Employers are assessed on their health and wellness programs using six fundamental areas of health programming: culture and leadership commitment, foundational components, strategic planning, communication and marketing, programming and interventions, reporting and analytics. "This honor helps create an awareness of the University's wellness efforts. It also further supports our designation as a Live Well Allegheny Workplace by the Alleg... 

Boyd wins Lingzi Lu Memorial Award

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Kristina Boyd (BIOST '19) will receive the 2020 award, created in 2013 by the American Statistical Association in partnership with the International Chinese Statistical Association in rememberance of Lingzi Lu, the first-year student in the statistics master's program at Boston University who lost her life in the bombing at the Boston Marathon in April of that year. Since the award's inception, the Pitt Public Health Department of Biostatistics ... 

Finegold awarded grant to review sustainability and public health

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@PITT - HuGen's David Finegold has been named one of eight faculty awardees for the 2020 John C. Mascaro Faculty Program in Sustainability. Created to enhance interdisciplinary excellence in sustainability research and education, the award will support Finegold's comprehensive review of sustainability in the curriculum at Pitt Public Health.   

Kathyayini wins ICMI travel award from Society of Mucosal Immunology

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Kathyayini Gopalakrishna (HUGEN '20) won a travel award from the Society of Mucosal Immunology to give an oral presentation at the 19th International Congress of Mucosal Immunology 2019, held at Brisbane, Australia. Gopalakrishna was first author on a stoudy that found that maternal IgA protects against the development of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants.   

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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)