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Coronavirus case increases and risky social behavior worry Newman

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PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER – The uptick may be linked to an increase in young adults not social distancing, so officials suspended the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption at bars and restaurants. The rise in cases suggests people don’t understand what the state’s “green” phase meant, said Anne B. Newman, EPI chair. “I think people took the green to mean that everything was fine and there wasn’t a problem.”  

Mair encourages risk priorities as a surge of coronavirus infections continues in Allegheny County

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90.5 WESA – Social epidemiologist Christina Mair has been thinking for weeks that the county needs to close bars. She acknowledges the economic repercussions but said it might help keep infection rates low enough that kids can return to school in the fall. “It’s the risk-benefit,” she added. “Where are the places where allowing more risk because they're more important?”  

“Children can die.” Elizabeth Miller urges parents to get kids vaccinated after 50 percent drop in visits (video)

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KDKA-TV - BCHS’ Elizabeth Miller, director of population health at UPMC Children’s Hospital, says many kids are behind on their vaccines for preventable and deadly diseases. “We have the potential of a massive public health crisis on top of what is already unprecedented in terms of this global pandemic.”  

Reflection to Action - we respond to "Racism: The Ultimate Underlying Condition

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The Center for Health Equity and Office of Health Sciences Diversity hosted a discussion and reflection to action and engagement in response to the American Public Health Association’s June 9 webinar, “Racism: The Ultimate Underlying Condition”. BCHS' Noble Maseru gave an overview of the  APHA presentation and invited panelists to give their insight and experience to help shine a spotlight on the intersection of men’s health and racism in honor... 


COVID-19: The Effect on Immigrants and Latinos

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BCHS's Patricia Documet, associate professor and director of the doctoral program in the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences and director of Latinx research and outreach in the Center for Health Equity discusses with community leaders the effects of the pandemic on Latinos and immigrants. Panelists include Guillermo Perez, president of the local chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and Monica Ruiz, execu... 

Chaves-Gnecco Co-hosts COVID-19: Lo Que Usted Debe Saber en Pittsburgh

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Program Director and Founder of UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh’s Salud Para Niños Diego Chaves-Gnecco (MMPH ’00) helped to host “COVID-19: What you need to know in Pittsburgh” where he addressed concerns about staying safe during the pandemic for Pittsburgh’s Latino community. “I have been particularly encouraged by the resilience of the Latino community…[and] I am humbled by the fact that I might be able to help others with my work.”  

Williams-Pate discusses COVID-19 safety during interview on The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show

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Kyanna Williams-Pate (BCHS ’19) provided sound public health advice on protecting yourself from COVID-19 during a recent interview on The Lynne Hayes-Freeland Show.  She also shared information about the free COVID testing available at the Federally Qualified Health Care Centers (FQHC) in Allegheny County.  

Mair promoted to associate professor with tenure

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The Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences is pleased to announce the promotion of Christina Mair to Associate Professor with tenure. Dr. Mair joined BCHS in 2013 as an Assistant Professor. Congratulations Stina!  

Garland among those chosen for task force on police reform

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BCHS's Richard Garland is one of 17 civilians named to a Pittsburgh task force that will review policing in Pittsburgh and deliver recommendations by the fall. Garland is director of the Center for Health Equity's Violence Prevention Project where he oversees training, data collection, and outreach efforts aimed at reducing crime and violence. He also works with police departments and community-based organizations throughout PA providing gun vio... 

Albert on recommendations amid the nursing home coronavirus catastrophe

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WHP-TV – BCHS chair and policy expert Steven Albert said that federal deregulation of long-term care facilities left many state facilities in a bad position. Funneling more federal money into facilities is a first step to addressing the issues. “You've got to pay people more," Albert said. "You've got to have more staff, and there shouldn't be these itinerants that go between different nursing homes. That is a catastrophe waiting to happen."  

Maseru Agrees African Americans Much More Likely To Have Friends, Family Die From Coronavirus

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A total of 11 percent of African Americans say someone close to them has died from coronavirus, compared to 4 percent of white Americans, and 5 percent of Americans in general. BCHS' Noble Maseru, director of the Center for Health Equity and associate dean for diversity and inclusion, said “Folks talk about the pre-existing medical conditions, but we should actually go upstream and address the pre-existing social conditions.”  

Clark retires after 49 years, other recent retirements

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After 49 years and three months, Lynette Clark retired on March 31. As a life member of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, Lynette has worked extensively with the African American Alumni Council (AAAC) and other campus and community organizations. Read more about Lynette and our other recent retirees.  

Worthington interns with Hawaii Department of Health for COVID-19 project

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MPH student Ke’alohi Worthington (EPI ’21) has been performing data analyses for her internship with the Department of Health in Hawaii, which examines how COVID-19 has affected indigenous and other populations.   

University draws on own experts to guide health and safety decisions

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PITTWIRE - The new Healthcare Advisory Group, headed by Anantha Shekhar, new senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean of Pitt Med, will monitor the health status of the campus and ensure compliance with legal regulations. Members, including HPM’s Mark Roberts, EPI’s Anne Newman, EOH’s Sally Wenzel, will develop recommendations for the Pitt community.  

Brent on how brief interventions are tied to lower repeat suicide attempts

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The fewer who attempt suicide, the fewer that die by suicide. These results have "important clinical implications" that should motivate healthcare systems to implement brief interventions, commented epidemiologist David Brent (’87 Hyg) and Nadine M. Melhem. “We need to be prepared with brief suicide preventive interventions that every clinician could deliver face to face or through telemedicine.”  

James reimagines the nursing home industry after COVID-19

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NEWMAN TIMES-HERALD – As COVID-19 ravages the U.S., many of the nation’s 15,600 nursing homes are among the most dangerous places to be. Interim Dean Everette James says fixing the situation would require federal law changes that support a “functioning long-term care insurance market,” so more Americans can afford the type of care the wish for in their final years.  

Health Department Responses

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EPI's Catherine Haggerty and HPM's Wendy Braund lead a conversation about the health department response to COVID-19 at the local and state levels. Haggerty starts the conversation with a discussion of the approaches, impact, and challenges of containment and mitigation efforts at the county level. Braund continues the conversation by comparing and contrasting the response at the state level.   

Biostatistical Modeling and COVID-19

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Biostatistical modeling, estimation, and decision-making support have been playing an important role in responses to COVID-19 challenges. Lu Tang and Andriy Bandos will discuss statistical considerations involved in modeling the epidemic progression and in the use of COVID-19 related tests for estimation and decision making support.   

Jarlenski revisits "Arguments, Evidence, and Abortion Policy" on public health podcast

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PUBLIC HEALTH POST - HPM’s Marian Jarlenski discusses her article "Arguments, Evidence, and Abortion Policy" during the Public Health Post's podcast hosted by Boston University's School of Public Health. 

Wu wins ASA biopharmaceutical scholarship

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Liwen Wu (BIOST '21) has been selected as a scholarship recipient for the 2020 ASA Biopharmaceutical Section's Student Scholarship Award. She will receive an award certificate and a check in the amount of $1,000. Congratulations Liwen!  

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Mendez receives national recognition for maternal and child health research 

Mendez receives national recognition for maternal and child health research

PITTWIRE - The Coalition for Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Epidemiology and 15 national health organizations selected EPI's Dara Mendez as the recipient of the 2020 Award for Effective Practice at the Community Level. Mendez specializes in understanding and addressing racial and socioecon... (09/07/2020)
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University draws on own experts to guide health and safety decisions 

University draws on own experts to guide health and safety decisions

PITTWIRE - The new Healthcare Advisory Group, headed by Anantha Shekhar, new senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean of Pitt Med, will monitor the health status of the campus and ensure compliance with legal regulations. Members, including HPM’s Mark Roberts, EPI’s Anne Newman, EOH’... (06/17/2020)
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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)


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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Bacterial metabolism of dietary soy may lower risk factor for dementia 

Bacterial metabolism of dietary soy may lower risk factor for dementia

NEUROSCIENCE NEWS - A metabolite produced following consumption of dietary soy may decrease a key risk factor for dementia--with the help of the right bacteria.  According to a discovery by EPI's  Akira Sekikaw a , elderly Japanese men and women who produce equol--a metabolite of dietary soy create... (10/26/2020)