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Saluting the service of faculty and staff retirees

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The start of a new year gives us a chance to reflect on the many Pitt Public Health faculty and staff who retired in the last year, many after decades of service to the school. Thanks and best wishes to all!  

Life Before Childhood Vaccines

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PITT MEDCAST - In this episode, hear from people who grew up in the shadow of a crippling disease - amog them "polio pioneers," schoolkids from the clinical trials of Jonas Salk's killed-virus vaccine. Their accounts tell the stor of how ordinary people helped win the struggle against one of the most crippling diseases in history.   

Busko awarded NRHA 2020 Rural Health Fellowship

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Jonnathan Busko (CHS '98) was selected as one of the NRHA's 2020 Rural Health Fellows. This year-long, intensive program is aimed at developing leaders who can articulate a clear and compelling vision for rural America. Since 2018 he's been working with the Jackman, Maine region to develop a locally controlled and community-supported urgent and emergency health care access plan based on Informed Community Self Determination principles using Expa... 

Gellad on how availability of biosimilars may impact drug pricing

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MANAGED HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVE –  With prices estimated to be 15-16% lower than originator products, biosimilars hold promise for reducing spending, but it is unclear how list prices, discounts, and net prices for the originator products change with such competition. HPM’s Walid Gellad is co-author on this JAMA Network Open publication. Results show that some prices increased annually by up to 6.1% until the introduction of a biosimilar after whic... 

Rinaldo remembers unsung heroes: Pittsburgh men, decades-long study impact HIV/AIDS research

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U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT - For more than three decades, Pitt Men’s Study leaders have gathered with Pittsburgh men and women to remember those who have died and give thanks for the 1,743 men who have participated in the nation’s longest-running HIV/AIDS research project. IDM's Charles Rinaldo has led the effort since the virus surfaced here in 1981. “We are still searching for a true vaccine to prevent HIV,” Rinaldo says. “But we are dedicated t... 

Newman on why Ruth Bader Ginsburg Maintains Busy Public Life

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U.S. NEWS - It's reasonable for Ginsburg's fans to wonder if she should be taking it easy if her goal is to outlast the current administration? EPI's Anne Newman says, "She's definitely from the use-it-or-lose-it school," adding that research evidence suggests that “periods of rest, stopping, or temporarily slowing down make it a lot harder to gear up. So it's a lot better to keep going."  

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’... 

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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)