News

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... 

Using Technology to Provide Clinician Education and Improve HIV Care: The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center

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The MidAtlantic AIDS Education and Training Center, headquartered at Pitt Public Health, was highlighted in the HRSA, Ryan White Biennial Report published in late September 2021. The article highlights the work of IDM's Linda Frank and her staff, Susan Winters and Ingrid Godfrey in the utilization of the Learner Education and Practice Portal (LEAPP) to reach health professionals in Region 3 of the USPHS for education, technical assistance and co... 

Pitt researchers find convalescent plasma "futile' in treating critically ill COVID-19 patients

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PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE - “We speculate that it could be a combination of too few high-quality antibodies in the plasma and these patients being too far along in their illness with a runaway inflammatory immune response for those antibodies to turn the tide,” said co-senior author Derek Angus (BCHS '92), the chief innovation officer at UPMC and chair of Pitt’s Department of Critical Care Medicine and secondary faculty in HPM.   

Why heat waves are a growing risk for pregnant women

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NPR - With extreme heat waves on the rise in a changing climate, doctors are finding that pregnant women are particularly vulnerable. Heat waves increase the chances of going into labor early, having a stillbirth, or having a baby with low birthweight.The risk is even greater for women of color, especially Black mothers. While women are often advised to stay hydrated during pregnancy, many are not warned by their doctors about the risks of heat.... 

We need to talk about your gas stove, your health and climate change

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NPR - Americans love their gas stoves. It's a romance fueled by a decades-old "cooking with gas" campaign from utilities. The details have changed over time, but the message is the same: Using a gas stove makes you a better cook. But the beloved gas stove has become a focal point in a fight over whether gas should even exist in the 35% of U.S. homes that cook with it. Environmental groups are focused on potential health effects.  

Then and now: Pandemic clears the air

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BBC NEWS - In a monthly feature, the BBC reveals some of the ways that planet Earth has been changing against the backdrop of the warming world. Air pollution has long been one of the biggest killers, claiming an estimated seven million victims annually. However, the Covid-19 global pandemic showed how quickly we could clear the air once we cut the number of journeys we made.   

COP26: What is the Glasgow climate conference and why is it important?

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BBC NEWS - The UK is hosting a summit that is seen as crucial if climate change is to be brought under control. The meeting in Glasgow this fall could lead to major changes to our everyday lives. The world is warming because of fossil fuel emissions caused by humans. Extreme weather events linked to climate change - including heatwaves, floods and forest fires - are intensifying.   

Sustainable grains for breaking bread — and fighting climate change

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THE WASHINGTON POST - Most commercial crops are annual. They provide only one harvest and must be replanted every year. Growing these foods on an industrial scale usually takes huge amounts of water, fertilizer and energy, making agriculture a major source of carbon and other pollutants. But Kernza – a domesticated form of wheatgrass developed by scientists at the nonprofit Land Institute – is perennial.  

Hospitals brace for an onslaught this winter, from flu as well as COVID

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NPR - The much-feared "twindemic" of flu and COVID didn't hit last winter. But some experts fear that last year's remarkably mild flu season has now set the stage for a big rebound in the coming months, because fewer people have built up immunity. "It could be really bad, and it could be really bad at a time when there's still quite a bit of COVID-19 filling up our hospitals," says HPM and PHDL’s Mark Roberts.  

Changes in the length of the premenopausal menstrual cycle may predict the risk of heart disease

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FLORIDA NEWS TIMES - As women approach menopause, the length of the menstrual cycle often increases. The timing of these changes may provide clues about the risk of people developing heart disease, according to a new study. "Cardiovascular disease is the number one murderer of women and the risk is significantly increased after middle age, so menopause may contribute to the disease," said EPI's Samar El Khoudary, lead author.   

Does 1918 Pandemic Offer Clues on Emerging from COVID-19?

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Dean Emeritus Donald Burke is an expert at using computer modeling and simulation to guide public health decision-making. He said it's important to consider the death rate and not simply the death total. "Even though the death totals are similar [for COVID-19 and the 1918 flu], the death rates — that is the rate per 100,000 people, or per-unit population — are lower now from covid than it was for influenza by about t... 

Lichtveld on how Huntington Beach Oil Spill Might Affect Human Health

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VERYWELL HEALTH - Breathing crude oil vapors can cause coughing, throat and nose irritation, dizziness, headache, and nausea, according to a 2016 medical study of the DWH clean-up workers. This is particularly worrisome for vulnerable populations like children, older adults and people with lung conditions like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, says Dean Maureen Lichtveld.  

Ford receives Lifetime Achievement Award from Association of Black Women Physicians

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Congratulations to Chandra Ford (CHS '97), professor of community health sciences at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She was recognized for her research examining relationships between racism-related factors and disparities in the health care continuum and advances the conceptual and methodological tools for studying racism's relationship to health disparities, and also for her public service and work as a mentor.   

Curry named Health System Executive of the Year in LA County

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EMANATE HEALTH - In the wake of a global pandemic, Emanate Health CEO Robert H. Curry (HADM '79), who oversees the largest health care system in the San Gabriel Valley, has been named 2021 Health System Executive of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal during its annual Health Care Leadership Panel and Awards. “I’m truly humbled and honored to be selected for this award from such a distinguished group of Los Angeles-area health care lead... 

Clues about how society emerges from COVID-19 can be gleaned by looking back on 1918 Spanish flu, Burke and other experts say

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PITTSBURGH POST GAZETTE - Between Sept. 22 and 24, noses in Beaver County did what they are supposed to do, said EOH’s James Fabisiak, director for the Center for Healthy Environments & Communities. They alarmed. “Your nose is actually designed to inform you if something is wrong,” Fabisiak said. But there’s a catch: “You’re incredibly good at finding things with your nose, but you’re not that good at knowing what it is” or building a risk profi... 

Shell cracker plant confrirms a sweet-smelling odor came from its Beaver County facility

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PITTSBURGH CITY PAPER - "Factual identification of the actual agents responsible for or released in association with the reported smells should be a high priority, in the absence of which assigning any potential health risk becomes very problematic," says EOH's James Fabisiak, Breath Project member. He also pointed the reporter toward CDC facts to help explain that the rumors that the smell was due to ethylene glycol were likely incorrect, keepi... 

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This Pitt researcher is using data to fight the opioid epidemic  

This Pitt researcher is using data to fight the opioid epidemic

PITTWIRE - Jeanine Buchanich, a research associate professor in Biostatistics, is taking a big-picture approach to figuring out what programs will best tackle the problem.Buchanich has evaluated public health interventions as varied as community-level training for first responders on naloxone use a... (07/19/2022)
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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)