News

The road forward: All eyes now on Gainey to begin to address city's larger issues

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - During his campaign, Gainey often focused on task force reports, one of which says that their needs to be a shift in the police bureau. BCHS’s Richard Garland, a member of the task force, said the report showed officers needed more training – particularly in de-escalation techniques – and a better understanding of their communities. He said officers do need to walk the beats and their neighborhoods.  

Ganguli op-ed: Masking still makes sense for vaccinated individuals

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - In a recent Op-Ed from Mary Ganguli (EPI '87) says, "We all know there’s just too much information out there: some of it changing over time, some of it well-intended but misguided and some of it deliberate misinformation. It can be confusing and overwhelming. As a medical doctor and professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, I’d like to try to cut through that confusion."   

Now that your younger children can get a COVID-19 vaccine, here's how to be fully vaccinated by Christmas and Kwanzaa

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CNN - Many doctors, including Diego Chaves-Gnecco (MMPH ‘00), are encouraging their patients' parents to vaccinate as soon as possible in hopes of protecting children and those around them. Chaves-Gnecco, who is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, plans on bringing together his mother and his 7-year-old son this holiday season for the first time since the start of the pandemic -- after the latter gets vaccinated.  

Garland receives $1.5 million grant for Reimagine Reentry project

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PITT WIRE - The Hillman Foundation awarded Reimagine Reentry, a program run by BCHS’ Richard Garland, a $1.5 million grant. The program is committed to reducing recidivism in a state where 63 percent of parolees return to corrections within three years. They provide services including case mentoring and management, workforce training, family reunification education and housing assistance planning.  

Gary-Webb named special assistant to the provost

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UNIVERSITY TIMES – EPI’s Tiffany Gary-Webb, associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, is serving as special assistant to the provost for race and the social determinants of equity, health and well-being. She will lead the Race & Health Collaboratory and will work with the Center on Race and Social Problems to implement the core components of the Race and Social Determinants Initiative.  

Coronavirus questions, answered: Which booster is more effective, long lasting?

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WASHINGTON POST - Studies have not yet been done to determine how long Pfizer’s and Moderna’s boosters offer protection and whether one is more effective than the other. But EPI’s Lee Harrison does not expect to see significant differences between the brands by either measure. “I would feel extremely confident in the increased protection provided by a booster dose of either of the two mRNA vaccines,” he wrote in an email.  

John-Langba appointed regional VP for Africa at the World Federation for Mental Health

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PITTWIRE - Johannes John-Langba (BCHS '04) will serve as regional vice president for Africa of the World Federation for Mental Health organization. Administrative positions in the University of KwaZulu-Natal and his research area is on the psychosocial dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic among university students in five African countries and its impact on careers of persons with mental and neurological disorders.   

This Flu Season is Different. Here's How to Prepare.

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NEW YORK TIMES - In a  study  published on a preprint server in August that has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh used mathematical modeling to predict how severe the upcoming flu season might be based on this increased susceptibility. They reported that if flu and flu vaccination levels are typical of prior years, 102,000 more Americans than average could be hospitalized with influenza — a 20 percent incr... 

To jab or not to jab? Vaccinations still hot topic in sports

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AP - “For athletes in particular, their livelihood is based on their ability to compete,” said EPI’s Wendy King (EPI '04), who took part in a research project on vaccine hesitancy earlier this year. “Even if they thought, ‘Oh, I’m pretty healthy and I wouldn’t get that bad of a case,’ it would still heavily impact their ability to go to work, to play in a game. It could affect their entire team — not just them — so they might feel like they’re l... 

Harrison is confident in both mRNA boosters

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WASHINGTON POST - Studies have not yet been done to determine how long Pfizer’s and Moderna’s boosters offer protection and whether one is more effective than the other. But EPI’s Lee Harrison told The Post that he does not expect to see significant differences between the brands by either measure. “I would feel extremely confident in the increased protection provided by a booster dose of either of the two mRNA vaccines,” he wrote in an email. ... 

Drake: How the Trump administration accidentally insured over 200,000 through Obamacare

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THE CONVERSATION - Changes stemming from Trump’s discontinuation of cost-sharing reduction subsidy payments to health insurers participating in the ACA marketplaces made HPM’s Coleman Drake and a colleague wonder: Did President Trump’s effort to sabotage the Affordable Care Act backfire?  

Finegold: How to use precision medicine to personalize COVID-19 treatment according to the patient's genes

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THE CONVERSATION - HUGEN’s David Finegold and colleague “began a discussion about the promise and potential pitfalls of precision medicine before the arrival of COVID-19. If precision medicine is the future of medicine, then its application to pandemics generally, and COVID-19 in particular, may yet prove to be highly significant. But its role so far has been limited. Precision medicine must consider more than just genetics."  

During WWII, Getting the Flu Vaccine was Patriotic

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US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT – IDM’s Peter Salk struggles to make sense of COVID denialism. “It’s not mind-blowing — it’s mind-bending and heartbreaking to see this,” he says. “How many people are dying, and how many are suffering loss in their families, because of not being tuned in to the reality of what’s taking place?” When Salk’s father encountered people who had misgivings about his polio vaccine, he patiently reasoned with them.  

Kids Should Get the Flu Shot This Season

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MEDSCAPE - Children in particular could be at high risk this year because of a lack of herd immunity, which usually comes from a combination of vaccinations and people who were exposed to related strains of the virus, says PHDL’s Mark Roberts. In a normal year, around 180-200 children die from the flu. But last year, only one death was recorded. "Very few kids got influenza last year, so young kids have almost no natural immunity."  

Baumann and Burke Talk Collaborative Filmmaking in Health Promotion Practice Journal's Podcast

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BCHS’s Sara Baumann and Jessica Burke discuss the role of art following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal in April 2015 in this episode of the HPP Podcast. They explain the origin of "collaborative filmmaking" and their focus on empowering participants and communities and encourage listeners to view their digital gallery and to learn more about collaborative filmmaking.  

Controversial Brand CrossFit Now Wants to Be Your Doctor, Cole Responds

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TIME - The success of these businesses demonstrates that people are willing to pay to skip the line and receive individualized attention, says HPM’s Evan Cole. But improving access for the wealthy isn’t the same as fixing primary care. “My big concern, at a system level, with membership fees is you’re going to systematically exclude individuals with limited income,” Cole says. “Right there, you’ve got an issue with health equity.”  

Gellad on report that booster shot showed high efficacy in large study

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REUTERS - HPM’s Walid Gellad, a Pitt Medicine professor with a secondary appointment at Pitt Public Health, said there seems to be a benefit of having the third dose to prevent symptomatic COVID-19, but questioned if the booster was helping younger people as well as older people. "I'm just still very curious if this is primarily in people who are much, much older." Gellad said.  

Hoffman and Sidani: reducing vaccine hesitancy starts on social media

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WPXI - BCHS's Jamie Sidani and Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19, '22) published new guidance for pediatricians outlining how to effectively talk to kids and parents about the COVID-19 vaccine that includes monitoring the messages being spread on social media. This guidance is broken down by ABC – be Active on social media, Build trustworthiness, and Capitalize on the strengths of adolescents to help spread accurate information.  

Harrison: Get COVID-19 booster shot as soon as you're eligible

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WPXI - With the options for COVID-19 booster shots expanding, it's estimated tens of millions of people will be eligible to roll up their sleeves once again. "So that's great news," said EPI's Lee Harrison. "I do think the infections and the number of breakthroughs that we're seeing with the delta variant argue in favor of if you are eligible to go ahead and get your booster."   

CHE's Violence Prevention Initiative announces outreach project, McKeesport Violence Prevention

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The Violence Prevention Initiative, led by BCHS's Richard Garland, was awarded funds by the RK Mellon Foundation to launch an outreach project called McKeesport Violence Prevention. “We are hiring four outreach workers who will really be violence interrupters,” said Garland. “Their jobs will be to interrupt the transmission of the disease of violence in the McKeesport area. Our work is about changing the narrative. We feel we can stem the tide o... 

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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)