News

Sundermann discusses collaborative paper on artificial intelligence and disease prediction

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KDKA RADIO – Alex Sundermann (IDM ‘14, EPI ‘22) explains that one in thirty patients gets at least one health care-associated infection – one acquired while in the hospital. “Typical tests see what type of organism it is but that test doesn’t tell you, was it transmitted from a patient or from somewhere in the environment? [Genome surveillance is] like fingerprinting for that test – who has that same organism and who is transmitting to who when ... 

Lichtveld touts equity in climate change science at NAM annual meeting

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“The absolute bottom line for us in the area of science is that we are responsible for making climate and health science work for those most vulnerable. Across all presentations, every single presenter talked about issues of equity and issues of vulnerability,” Lichtveld said. “A climate focus must include science, resilience, protecting public health, and special emphasis on environmental justice."   

Meet Kayla Ortiz, Health Justice Scholar

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“At my core, I am a health educator. However, I know that we can’t address health inequities by simply looking at the individual. We must interrogate the structural and historical causes that disproportionately impact the health of BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ folks,” said Kayla Ortiz (BCHS ’23).  

Effort to Reframe Climate Change as a Health Crisis Gains Steam

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NEW YORK TIMES - Research has increasingly shown that warming is taking a deadly toll on human health. At the global climate summit in Glasgow, the issue has gained new prominence. For the first time at a major United Nations climate conference, human health is emerging as a leading issue, a reframing that brings climate change's far-reaching and long-lasting effects to the forefront.   

Thompson wins doctoral award for community health planning and policy development

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PITT WIRE - Jessica Thompson (BCHS '21) was honored at this year's American Public Health Association meeting and expo— an annual "public health playground"—where her work "Heart health experiences of rural Appalachian women: A community-engaged study," received this year's award for the group's Community Health Planning & Policy Development section, which aims to shift policy to eliminate disparities by advocating for healthy communities, healt... 

A conversation with BCHS student Samantha Rosenberg

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MPH student Samantha Rosenberg is currently working for the Department of Psychology's Brain Aging and Cognitive Health Lab at Pitt. The lab is focused on healthy aging and specifically on how regular physical activity relates to changes in cognitive health and overall well-being among older adults. Rosenberg is the lead recruiter for three of the research studies and heavily involved with community-outreach efforts. Recently, the lab’s focus ha... 

A Conversation with BCHS faculty and alum Elizabeth Felter

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Elizabeth Felter joined BCHS as a faculty member in 2010. Her research and practice-based work is focused mainly in the area of health education/communications and evaluation, including supporting health departments, health clinics, and non-profits with their COVID-19 response. She was motivated to join the faculty as a doctoral student. "I remember falling in love with the faculty at Accepted Applicant's Day!"   

Meet Aparna Ramani, Health Justice Scholar

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“The most exciting aspect of my work is the continued mentorship, guidance, and community within the health advocacy space. As someone who has gained much insight from experienced researchers and community leaders, I hope to pass on my wisdom as a peer mentor to future public health professionals,” said Aparna Ramani (HPM ’23).  

Albert on a link between social isolation and increased inflammation

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MNT - BCHS’s Steven Albert who said, “If social isolation truly increases [the] risk of poor health by elevating immune markers, we need to redouble our efforts to reduce social isolation. The strength of the association between [the] level of isolation and IL-6 and CRP differed and only showed a dose response for CRP. This suggests a complex association. The clinical significance of the size of the association also needs further study.”  

The U.S. Is Relying On Other Countries' Data To Make Its Booster Shot Decisions

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FIVETHIRTYEIGHT - Misinformation and news overload also contribute to the confusion, said EPI’s Lee Harrison. “For a lot of laypeople, it’s very difficult to know, ‘What source should I be using?’ And it’s even more difficult when you have all this misinformation trying to intentionally misguide people,” he said. State and local officials who undermine national policies — for example, by prohibiting vaccine mandates — don’t help, either.  

A Conversation with BCHS MPH student Michaela Avino

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MPH student Michaela Avino was motivated to choose BCHS because of Pitt’s reputation in the field of public health. She got a good feeling from the BCHS faculty and the broader school faculty, as well as the students who made her feel like everyone really cared about and respected each other as whole people – not just as researchers, academics, and educators. All of the students who she had the opportunity to speak with sounded genuinely very ha... 

A conversation with research administrator Missy Evanko

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Missy Evanko accepted a research administrator position with BCHS in October of 2021. Evanko has been at Pitt for over ten years, working in pre-award, post-award, and personnel administration across several departments: General Internal Medicine and Family Medicine in the Department of Medicine, the McGowan Institute, and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). She is excited to join BCHS and is looking forward to connecting with fami... 

Drake on Pennsylvanians buying health insurance having more affordable options

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WITF - Though options may be so abundant that selecting coverage for 2022 might be a bit overwhelming and cause choice overload. “There comes a certain point where … the amount of choices increases so much that it becomes cognitively difficult,” said HPM’s Coleman Drake. “[I’m] not insulting people’s intelligence. It’s just hard to pick between 40 options, and people have time constraints.”  

Meet Monica Henderson, Health Justice Scholar

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“My focus on public health and equity is rooted in my lived experiences as a Black woman but more importantly, the centering of others’ experiences with oppression to let their narratives drive equity work,” explains Monica Henderson (BCHS ’22). Her interests include child health and racial equity and for her thesis she plans to explore Black hair politics and the impact on the health of Black youth.  

Meet Sarah Scott, Health Justice Scholar

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Sarah Scott (BCHS ’23) is a first year MPH student and Pittsburgh native who returned home after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology at Pepperdine University. “I am most looking forward to learning more about health equity theories and frameworks to better develop my research projects,” said Scott of joining the Health Justice Scholars program.  

Meet Amy Raslevich, Health Justice Scholar

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“I am honored to be a part of the Health Justices Scholars program to continue learning racial health equity frameworks and approaches, and to expand my network in the region as we work to break down silos related to the social determinants of health and to improving the health system for those for whom it does not work,” said Amy Raslevich (HPM ‘22).  

A Move to Rein In Cancer-Causing 'Forever Chemicals'

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NEW YORK TIMES - Michael Regan, the EPA administrator, wants to limit a class of chemicals that has been linked to cancer and is found in everything from drinking water to furniture. The Biden administration said it would require chemical manufacturers to test and pubilcly report the amount of a family of chemicals known as PFAS that is contained in household items like tape, nonstick pans and stain-resistant furniture, the first step toward red... 

Diana Bellino, Bob Yee Scholarship Awardee

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A native of Hanover Park, IL, Diana Bellino is pursuing an MPH with a concentration in infectious disease management, intervention, and community practice. She studied public health at the University of Illinois at Chicago and is interested in cooking, painting/crafting, and anything outside.   

Samhita Ravi, Bob Yee Scholarship Awardee

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A native of South Brunswick, NJ, Samhita Ravi is pursuing an MPH with a concentration in infectious disease pathogenesis, eradication, and laboratory practice. She studied microbiology at Pitt and is interested in basketball, running, hanging out with friends, and going on hikes.   

Rebecca Boan, Bob Yee Scholarship Awardee

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A native of Phoenix, AZ, Rebecca Boan is pursuing an MS in infectious diseases and microbiology. She studied biology at Northern Arizona University and is interested in archery, crocheting, and working with animals.   

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Two public health leaders on COVID-19 and what's next 

Two public health leaders on COVID-19 and what's next

PITTWIRE - Dean Lichtveld and Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, sat down to discuss lessons learned from the U.S. response to the pandemic and the future of the nation's health. As the United States settles into a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, mas... (05/10/2022)
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Advocating for affordable health care landed these Pitt people invitations to the White House 

Advocating for affordable health care landed these Pitt people invitations to the White House

PITTWIRE - HPM's Amy Raslevich received an invitation to attend President Joe Biden’s April 5 signing of the Executive Order on Strengthening Access to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid at the White House.  The event also marked President Obama’s first public return to the White House since leav... (04/06/2022)
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New program funds research on climate change and precision public health  

New program funds research on climate change and precision public health

PITTWIRE - Congratulations to the recipients of the CTSI Pitt Public Health Trans-Disciplinary Collaboration Pilot Awards! Five teams of Co-Investigators from Pitt Public Health and School of Medicine begin research on climate change and precision public health. The collaborative pilot investigatio... (03/30/2022)