Research and Practice News

Check out some highlights of research and practice under way at Pitt Public Health:

Hill and colleagues find that coke works fire made asthma worse for sufferers nearby 

Hill and colleagues find that coke works fire made asthma worse for sufferers nearby

WTAE - Brandy Bywra-Hill (EOH '22) was lead author on a recent study in collaboration with ACHD that recounts the impact of the Christmas Eve 2018 fire that destroyed the pollution controls of the U.S. Clairton Coke Works pollution controls. "This is the type of data that helps shape policy about a... (05/06/2021)

Mendez talks Black Maternal Health in Adagio Health's Better Health Outcomes Speakers Series 

Mendez talks Black Maternal Health in Adagio Health's Better Health Outcomes Speakers Series

In observance of Black Maternal Health week, EPI's Dara Mendez presented Black Maternal Health in Pennsylvania and the U.S., presenting data, discussing the implcations of racism and next steps. Open for the full recording.  (05/06/2021)

New research from Roberts shows Medicare and Medicaid fail Americans just above the poverty line 

New research from Roberts shows Medicare and Medicaid fail Americans just above the poverty line

ACADEMIC TIMES - Americans who receive Medicare but make slightly too much money to qualify for supplemental coverage from Medicaid spend thousands more dollars on out-of-pocket medical expenses while receiving fewer outpatient services and prescriptions than people covered by both programs, accord... (04/12/2021)

El Khoudary finds abdominal fat gain tied to heart disease risk in menopause 

El Khoudary finds abdominal fat gain tied to heart disease risk in menopause

UPMC - Women who experience an accelerated accumulation of abdominal fat during menopause are at greater risk of heart disease, even if their weight stays steady, according to research published in the journal Menopause. "We need to shift gears on how we think about heart disease risk in women, par... (03/19/2021)

Costacou - Type 1 diabetes onset before menarche shortens reproductive window 

Costacou - Type 1 diabetes onset before menarche shortens reproductive window

HEALIO - "Studies have provided discrepant findings on the issue of early menopause in women with type 1 diabetes," said EPI's Tina Costacou. "Our results suggest that the discrepancies may relate to whether the type 1 diabetes diagnosis precedes menarche or not, something that previous investigati... (03/04/2021)

Discarded drugs: a wasteful and costly problem that requires whole-of-government approaches 

Discarded drugs: a wasteful and costly problem that requires whole-of-government approaches

STAT FIRST OPINION —  HPM chair Julie Donohue and National Academies colleagues advocate for a “whole of government” approach to reforming the biopharmaceutical supply chain: Drug developers, manufacturers, clinicians, payers, and policymakers should focus on reducing system inefficiencies in drug ... (02/26/2021)

BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials 

BIG STAKES, BIG STATS: Making sense of COVID-19 trials

PITTWIRE — When we hear about clinical trials, we might picture doctors and patients partnering to test new therapies. What we might not think about are the many others who make those studies happen. Take Maria Mori Brooks, professor of epidemiology and biostatistics, who makes sense of the numbers... (02/24/2021)

Sexual violence and adolescent relationship abuse unaffected by gender-based outreach program 

Sexual violence and adolescent relationship abuse unaffected by gender-based outreach program

PSYCHIATRY ADVISOR  – Research by Elizabeth Miller of Pitt Medicine and BCHS showed small, neighborhood classes could significantly reduce sexual violence among teenage boys living in areas of concentrated disadvantage. Adapted from a program in Brazil, Manhood 2.0's core message remains the same: ... (02/22/2021)

Drake: Next year, extend open enrollment of the ACA Marketplaces into January 

Drake: Next year, extend open enrollment of the ACA Marketplaces into January

HEALTH AFFAIRS - HPM's Coleman Drake and Duke University colleague David Anderson say that by offering an extended open enrollment period, the Biden administration can remove a major administrative burden that often stands in the way of families obtaining health insurance.  (02/20/2021)

Alumni Research: Lack of health services and transportation impede access to vaccine in communities of color 

Alumni Research: Lack of health services and transportation impede access to vaccine in communities of color

THE WASHINGTON POST -  Doctoral alumna Inma Hernandez (HPM '16) with researchers at Pitt and West Health Policy Center said not enough attention has been paid to gaps in the health-care system when addressing vaccine uptake in vulnerable populations. The research applauded the decision by the Biden... (02/16/2021)

Low-energy laser treatment study supported by National Eye Institute 

Low-energy laser treatment study supported by National Eye Institute

NOVUS LIGHT TECH TODAY — The NIH National Eye Institute has awarded Pitt and WVU $15.2 million to study how an annual treatment called selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) can be better used to treat glaucoma, lowering hassle, expense, and side effects. “The eye drops only work if you put them in ... (02/11/2021)

New York scrambles to improve vaccination acceptance In Black and Latino communities 

New York scrambles to improve vaccination acceptance In Black and Latino communities

NPR — NYC officials say they're working to overcome resistance to the coronavirus vaccine in the Black and Latino communities, while also trying to make doses more available. New state data showed many Black New Yorkers aren't taking the vaccine even when it's offered free of charge. A study by Inm... (02/08/2021)

The choices of fans have public health implications. 

The choices of fans have public health implications.

NEW YORK TIMES - Common sense dictates that bringing together 25,000 people during a pandemic could lead to more coronavirus infections, and the Super Bowl in Tampa, Fla., is no exception. EPI's  Donald Burke  is trying to develop a way to estimate the potential spread using cellphone tracking data... (02/08/2021)

Where Black Americans will travel farther than Whites for COVID-19 vaccination 

Where Black Americans will travel farther than Whites for COVID-19 vaccination

UPMC - Researchers found that in 69 counties, home to 26 million people, Black residents are significantly more likely than Whites to live more than a mile from the closest vaccination facility. “It’s important to adopt a data-driven approach to make sure we get vaccine distribution that’s equitabl... (02/04/2021)

Secrets to a healthy heart | New research on women and heart disease  

Secrets to a healthy heart | New research on women and heart disease

AARP —  New research shows that the hormonal shifts that occur during perimenopause—the years preceding menopause—set the stage for heart disease. “As women transition, they experience many changes that, when taken together, increase their risk of cardiovascular disease,” says lead researcher EPI's... (02/03/2021)

Pitt study shows restaurant advertisements linked to weight gain 

Pitt study shows restaurant advertisements linked to weight gain

INSIDE LIFE CHANGING MEDICINE - HPM's Marian Jarlenski and fellow researchers looked at the medical records of patients with various socio-economic statuses and compared them to how much money fast food and casual dining chains spent on marketing per capita in the county where each of the patients ... (02/01/2021)

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study 

Covid vaccine misinformation target of Pitt study

KDKA CBS NEWS — Fueled by a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, Pitt researchers are studying and combating false online information about vaccines. “Vaccines are often the victim of their own success,” said BCHS doctoral student Beth Hoffman, a research assistant at the Center for Resea... (02/01/2021)

COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Health Care Workers In Underserved Communities Get Vaccine To Build Trust 

COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Health Care Workers In Underserved Communities Get Vaccine To Build Trust

WDKA CBS NEWS —  In a multipronged effort to prioritize the biggest impact among Phase 1A groups, UPMC vaccinated community advocates  to fight vaccine hesitancy in vulnerable, often minority, populations, where COVID-19 has had a disproportionately terrible effect.BCHS's Richard Garland got the va... (02/01/2021)

Public comments on RGGI move Pa. closer to slashing power plant carbon pollution 

Public comments on RGGI move Pa. closer to slashing power plant carbon pollution

EDF — Virtual public hearings show support for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a proven cap-and-invest program that curbs climate pollution from the power sector. EOH's Bernard Goldstein testified, “Pollution trading actually began with acid rain, and would not have occurred without ... (01/27/2021)

In West Virginia’s poorest communities, the state’s vaccine rollout has left vulnerable residents behind 

In West Virginia’s poorest communities, the state’s vaccine rollout has left vulnerable residents behind

MOUNTAIN STATE SPOTLIGHT / WVPB — Although West Virginia is currently leading the nation in its vaccination rate, the state has primarily aimed for the low-hanging fruit. “When you have to get the vaccine distributed out as widely and as quickly as possible, the inequities that already exist have t... (01/22/2021)

Community Engagement Updates & News

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum Blood Drive 

Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum Blood Drive

Vitalant is hosting a Blood Drive on 2/24, 3/4, 3/9, 3/16. 3/25, and 3/31 from 9 am- 2 pm. Appointments recommended. (02/22/2021)
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Pitt's community engagement programs, fortifying the interface of the University with the broader community 

Pitt's community engagement programs, fortifying the interface of the University with the broader community

Visit www.cec.pitt.edu to learn about collaborative possibilities with other Pitt schools and local neighborhoods, community leaders, residents around health - as part of Pitt's 15-year committment to strengthen and support communities and Pitt!  (12/11/2020)

Research Videos

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Hill and colleagues find that coke works fire made asthma worse for sufferers nearby 

Hill and colleagues find that coke works fire made asthma worse for sufferers nearby

WTAE - Brandy Bywra-Hill (EOH '22) was lead author on a recent study in collaboration with ACHD that recounts the impact of the Christmas Eve 2018 fire that destroyed the pollution controls of the U.S. Clairton Coke Works pollution controls. "This is the type of data that helps shape policy about a... (05/06/2021)
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Mendez talks Black Maternal Health in Adagio Health's Better Health Outcomes Speakers Series 

Mendez talks Black Maternal Health in Adagio Health's Better Health Outcomes Speakers Series

In observance of Black Maternal Health week, EPI's Dara Mendez presented Black Maternal Health in Pennsylvania and the U.S., presenting data, discussing the implcations of racism and next steps. Open for the full recording.  (05/06/2021)
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COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Health Care Workers In Underserved Communities Get Vaccine To Build Trust 

COVID-19 In Pennsylvania: Health Care Workers In Underserved Communities Get Vaccine To Build Trust

WDKA CBS NEWS —  In a multipronged effort to prioritize the biggest impact among Phase 1A groups, UPMC vaccinated community advocates  to fight vaccine hesitancy in vulnerable, often minority, populations, where COVID-19 has had a disproportionately terrible effect.BCHS's Richard Garland got the va... (02/01/2021)
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Revisiting Freedom House Ambulance: A Call for a Modern and Inclusive Public Health Initiative (video) 

Revisiting Freedom House Ambulance: A Call for a Modern and Inclusive Public Health Initiative (video)

Freedom House Enterprises ambulance services was a pioneering program designed to be representative of the community it served (Pittsburgh's Hill District), provide a pathway for upward mobility, and address a severe disparity in pre-hospital care. The collaboration between Phil Hallen, Peter Saf... (09/30/2020)
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