News

Ilham Abdi (MHA '20), Kaiser Permanente Administrative Fellow

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Kaiser Permanente’s Administrative Fellowship appealed to me for many reasons. Kaiser Permanente is the largest HMO in the United States and located in 8 states. It’s such a large organization that I have the potential to have multiple career trajectories within one organization. Fellows rotate through both their hospitals and medical group, with an optional 3rd rotation in any area the fellow wants to gain exposure in. I wanted to work within a... 

Ritu Pathak (MHA '20), UPMC Insurance Division Administrative Fellow

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My aspiration to pursue UPMC’s Insurance Administrative Fellowship was due to their unwavering focus on career development. Continuous education and a constant learning environment represent UPMC’s drive towards excellence in every facet. During my search for potential fellowships to apply for, I decided to narrow down my list based on two-year duration, IDFS organization, and rotational experience.  UPMC matched everything I was looking for in ... 

Maira Undavalli (MHA '20), NYU Langone Fellow

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I applied to the NYU Langone Fellowship because I was amazed at how well their hospital services reflected the community needs of their diverse populations. I wanted to build a career with one of the best health systems in the nation that put a significant focus on innovation and strategy with the patient in the heart of every decision they made and the process they implemented. I accepted my offer because of how well I connected with my intervi... 

Mike Whalen (MHA '20), OhioHealth Administrative Fellow

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After graduating, I’ll be starting as an Administrative Fellow with OhioHealth, Central Ohio’s largest health system. I’ll be placed in the OhioHealth Physician Group, which includes providers across over 250 physician offices. OhioHealth has been named to Fortune’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” for 13 consecutive years, and I was really drawn to the emphasis that the organization places upon relationship building.  I’m very excit... 

BIOST students Jia and Liu win national ENAR distinguished paper award

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Congratulations to Yichen Jia (BIOST ’22, front-left) and Peng Liu (BIOST '16 '21, front-right), winners of the national ENAR Distinguished Paper Award. The two doctoral students will present their award-winning work at one of the country's largest professional gatherings of biostatisticians, the ENAR Spring Meeting in Nashville, March 22–25. Pitt Biostatistics students are consistently recognized among these top student researchers.  

El Khoudary discovers women at greater risk of CV disease around menopause

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MEDICAL DIALOGUES - “Midlife is not just a period where women have hot flashes and experience other menopausal symptoms, it’s a time when their cardiovascular disease risk is increasing as we see significant changes in multiple clinical measures of their physical health,” said EPI's Samar R. El Khoudary. “Our study is not able to tell us why we’re seeing these changes … but we can say, right now, that women should be made aware that their cardio... 

Meet Ruishen Lyu, MS student in biostatistics

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Just like with his interest in preventative medicine, Ruishen Lyu (BIOST MS '20) had two main reasons for choosing Pitt from among the other universities to which he was accepted. The first was the great reputation of a large research university like the University of Pittsburgh. The second was the program itself and what it offered. In researching the academic components of the program and hearing from students and alums via online message boar... 

Jarlenski confirms inconsistencies in enforcement of ACA birth control coverage

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VICE - The most recent research found that insurance was inconsistent in guaranteeing full coverage of birth control options. “This is an ongoing issue,” said HPM’s Marian Jarlenski, who researches maternal and child health. “You may be hit by a surprise bill; you may just decide to pay out-of-pocket, not knowing there might be an appeals process; or you could go to a different clinic.”  

Sabik finds Massachusetts’ health reforms helped catch more cancers early

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U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - “Our study is the first to present evidence that Massachusetts' health reform may be associated with a shift to earlier-stage diagnosis for a cancer that has a high cure rate when caught early,” said HPM's Lindsay Sabik. “We expect that early cancer diagnosis will likely be one of the major success stories of national health insurance reform.”  

Golya receives Benjamin Eskin Memorial Award, inducted into PA honor society

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Congratulations to Kara Goyla (BCHS ') who graduated from Drexel's PA program on December 14 and passed her boards! She was inducted into Pi Alpha, the National Physician Assistant Honor Society and received the Benjamin Eskin Memorial Award "for the PA student who demonstrated exceptional effort and demonstrated qualities of personal dedication and integrity." Golya sends her gratitude and states she could not have made it through this arduous ... 

Felter and Baumann receive Best Paper of the Year Award

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Congrats to BCHS's Elizabeth Felter and Sara Baumann (BCHS '19). Their article "Development of a Community-Engaged Classroom for Teaching Health Communications: Lessons Learned from Nine Semesters of Implementation," has been selected as a Pedagogy in Health Promotion's 2019 Best Paper of the Year Award. This is a great honor!   

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

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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- and long-term effectiveness of the program, was led by BCHS's Elizabeth Miller.   

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

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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. “Colorectal cancer frequently occurs in adults under 65 who are not yet eligible for Medicare. And we know from previous research that people who do not have ... 

Three new junior faculty join the department

Over the last year we are lucky to have recruited three outstanding junior faculty members: Lu Tang, Jenna Carlson (BIOST '17), and Jiebiao Wang. The newest addition to the department, Wang received his PhD from the University of Chicago and was previously a post-doctoral fellow at CMU. His areas of expertise and research interests include high dimensional data, genomics, and causal inference. Wang is currently teaching BIOST 2025: Biostatistics... 

Biostats at ENAR and JSM

Last year, the department hosted its first alumni breakfast at the ENAR Spring Meeting in Philadelphia. Pitt Breakfast @ ENAR was a huge success, and our alumni and students had the chance to connect prior to the day's activities. We look forward to having a presence again this year at both ENAR Nashville and JSM Philadelphia 2020. Stay tuned for more details!   

Alumnus launches effort to help the next generation of biostatisticians!

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Harvey Co Chien (BIOST MS '87) recently established a scholarship fund to support students pursuing master's degrees in biostatistics. You too can support students and the department, providing resources, supporting educational programs, aiding travel costs, and allowing us to remain accessible and affordable to the next generation of biostatisticians. Find out more.  

Hand-offs, not handcuffs: Hawk favors a Pittsburgh program for nonviolent criminals

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - It makes sense to pitch LEAD to the medical community [as well as law enforcement and neighborhood associations], said BCHS’s Mary Hawk. Medical professionals, after all, see a lot of people with substance abuse problems, and don’t always know how to get them help. “These are people we love, right?” she said. “We all want the people we love to have opportunities to thrive.”  

Announcing new HDS and SCG concentrations

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We are excited to introduce two new concentrations for the Master's of Science in Biostatistics: Health Data Science (HDS) and Statistical and Computational Genetics (SCG). Find out more in AMSTATNews, on our website , or by contacting Ada Youk (ayouk@pitt.edu) or Renee Valenti (renee.valenti@pitt.edu).  

Hernandez on how the high price of MS drugs affects lives

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EVERYDAY HEALTH - “Even when patients have insurance, these price increases result in very high out-of-pocket costs for them,” says study coauthor Inmaculada Hernandez (HPM ’16). Twelve percent said they had to stop taking their medication for a time due to cost, and 8 percent have taken less than prescribed to stretch their drugs to last longer.  

Meet this year's biostatistics master's program ambassadors

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Two students were selected to be the master's program ambassadors. Kayleigh Adamson (BIOST MS '20, pictured) and Ruishen Lyu (BIOST MS '20) will use this opportunity to share information with applicants, spread the news about our new concentrations, and to act as sounding boards for their peers.   

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O'Neal Summons Satan for Starring Role 

O'Neal Summons Satan for Starring Role

PITTWIRE - Pitt Public Health staff member Scott O'Neal recently took center stage to sing the title role in the world premiere of "Satan's Fall," composed by Steward Copeland, founder of the iconic New Wave band The Police. The metal opera, based on "Paradise Lost", was co-commissioned by the Mend... (02/24/2020)
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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)


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)