Faculty Profiles & Research News

Meet our Faculty: Anne Newman

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We certainly have a lot of certified multitaskers amongst our faculty here at Pitt Public Health, and Dr. Anne Newman is no exception. While she didn't become a cake decorator as she thought in childhood, she is the chair of the Department of Epidemiology and works with several organizations outside of Pitt, including serving as the editor in chief of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Science. "I'm excited to take a fresh look at the world pos... 

Baumann's talk during TEDxUniversity: Leaders, Innovators, and Neighbors (video)

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BCHS' Sara Baumann is a mixed-methods researcher harnessing participatory, arts-based tools to study mental health and reproductive health issues. She was living in Nepal in 2015 when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck, killing close to 9,000 people and displacing half a million. Watch the recording, where Sara talks about the community art that rose from the aftermath of the tragic and traumatic event.   

COVID Cases Still Low in Allegheny County, While Opioid Overdoses Continue to Plague Residents

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WESA-FM - "[That's] a big loophole there in terms of potentially not having people covered who are sick," said board chair IDM and EPI's Lee Harrison.   

Mellors: COVID-19 Immune Response Could be Long Lasting, but Variants Present Risks

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THE WALL STREET JOURNAL - Studies show that variants including Delta can partially evade immune response from infection and vaccination. "Give the virus time and opportunity, we don't know what will arise," said IDM's John Mellors chief of infectious diseases at UPMC.   

Donohue finds more Americans are receiving addiction treatment, but race matters

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U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT - Opioid use disorder can be treated, just like any other disease, but treatment is most successful when the patient has regular, unimpeded access to trained clinicians who can not only treat the disorder, but also oversee the rest of their health care," said HPM Chair Julie Donohue, study co-author.   

Donohue study says Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Rises in Medicaid Recipients

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MEDPAGE TODAY - The proportion of people with opioid use disorder who received buprenorphine (Buprenex), methadone, or naltrexone (Revia) increased from 47.8% to 57.1% in an exploratory serial cross-sectional study by HPM Chair Julie Donohue and colleagues.   

Gellad on Whether America's Drug-Approval System is Unsustainable

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THE ATLANTIC - "The FDA specifically does not really worry about those larger societal issues and doesn't really worry about cost," HPM's Wallid Gellad said. Instead, the agency is judged by how many drugs it can approve.   

Miller comments on paper that says less than a third of teens report talking to doctors about sex

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TODAY - "This is such an important paper," said BCHS' Elizabeth Miller, chief of the division of adolescent and young adult health at the UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. "The real take home message is, if you are counting on pediatricians to have this conversation, it's not happening."   

Legal marijuana either eases opioid crisis or makes it worse. New research from Drake adds to split evidence.

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NBC NEWS - HPM's Coleman Drake, study author, said some people may have turned to marijuana instead of opioids for pain relief, at least initially. Others may have tried to use marijuana to wean off of opioids but found it didn't work.   

Gary-Webb accepts award for impact of data from the Black Equity Coalition

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NATIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD INDICATORS PARTNERSHIP - Harnessing interdisciplinary expertise and perspectives, the Black Equity Coalition in Pittsburgh successfully used data to advocate for programs and policies to decrease racial disparities in COVID-19 response and created a forum to tackle other health inequities. "Seeing something happen right away was extremely different from the past - that we saw a problem, advocated for things to be fixed, and... 

Meet our Faculty: A Conversation with Sara Baumann

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Sara Baumann is a graduate of BCHS from 2019 and the newest member of the BCHS faculty. Her research focuses on harnessing visual, arts-based, and mixed methods for global health research. She shares a bit about what she's working on, her favorite BCHS memory, and the restaurant she has on speed dial.   

Hartman Selected as Fellow for New Scialog: Mitigating Zoonotic Threats

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RESCORP - Research Corporation for Science Advancement will bring together a multidisciplinary group of early-career researchers to address the global threat to human health from animal-borne infectious diseases as part of its new Scialog initiative, Mitigating Zoonotic Threats. IDM's Amy Hartman with the Center for Vaccine Research has been selecteed as one of the 2021 fellows. Congratulations!   

Gary-Webb featured in PHRESH: Communities Thrive When Residents are Involved in Decisions That Affect Their Neighborhoods

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"The Hill District and Homewood are similar and different in various ways. They're similar in the sense that they've been relatively stable over time and they have predominantly Black populations but they have very different histories overtime," explains EPI's TIffany Gary-Webb, assocaite dean for diversity and inclusion and associate director of the Center for Health Equity in this video from a RAND Corporation series.   

Baumann and Burke launch project using film in community health

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A team at Pitt Public Health that is pioneering the use of film in community health research and practice recently received funding to launch a new project with deep emotional implications. Drs. Jessica and Sara Baumann will be working with the Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition and clinicians from Pitt's School of Medicine on teh "End-of-Life and Grief Experiences Among Families: Harnessing the Power of Participatory and Visual Research" proje... 

Garland and Brooks: Young People at Center of Surge in Violent Crime in Allegheny County

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KDKA - "The age group is15-25 - younger and drugs and alcohol...people getting out of lock down now and not being in school and not being in jobs," explained BCHS' Gina Brooks. After a year without school or direction, many of these young people with easy access to guns have turned to drug use and drug sales. street crime often resulting in murder she explained along with BCHS' Richard Garland. They both work on the Violence Prevention Initiativ... 

Drake: How To Improve Consumer Plan Selection in ACA Marketplaces

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HEALTH AFFAIRS  - There is currently an opportunity for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help consumers enroll in better Marketplace coverage in 2022. By adjusting how returning Marketplace enrollees are automatically re-enrolled in coverage, CMS can nudge more enrollees into plans that offer them both lower premiums and reduced cost sharing. HPM's Coleman Drake and colleagues outline steps to improve consumer plan selection tha... 

Baumann blogs about Health Policy and Planning article, asking Is criminalization the answer for ending a harmful practice in Nepal?

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HPP DEBATED - BCHS' Sara Baumann (BCHS '19) talks about a recent article in the journal Health Policy and Planning, Is criminalization the answer? Perspectives of community members and police on menstrual seclusion policy in Far-West Nepal. The study was completed by an interdisiplinary Pitt team including Baumann, BCHS's Jessie Burke, and BCHS students Monica Merante, Chris Wiltrout, and Trevor Cutlip.   

Burke, Jalal, and Lee Look at the Waves of COVID-19 Washed Across North America

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UPMC - The COVID-19 pandemic "waves" that North Americans experienced over the past year and a half had interconnected patterns that moved through space and time — and they weren't just limited to the U.S. New research from Pitt Public Health shows the waxing and waning COVID-19 case counts traveled across North American county, state and county borders with seemlingly little regard for politics and public health mandates, much like a storm can ... 

Wenzel on the Impact of Code Orange Alert On Our Bodies (video)

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KDKA - EOH Chair Sally Wenzel, director of Pitt's Asthma Institute at UPMC, explained that recent weather creates conditions where particulates in our atmosphere can't escape. "These are plumes in the air that damage the lungs and the blood vessels of people, especially vulnerable people," said Wenzel. She recommends staying inside in the air conditioning as much as you can, visiting public spaces with air conditioning if you don’t have it in yo... 

Four SWAN studies explore women's brain and heart health during midlife

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING - Meaningful research from our students, alumni, and faculty suggest that midlife health may be an important determinant of cognitive function and heart health later on in life. Featuring work from four SWAN manuscripts, one led by EPI's Emma Barinas-Mitchell for which Emily Duan (EPI '17) performed the analysis, and another led by Saad Samargandy (EPI '20). Franya Hutchins (EPI '20) performed the analyses for a third... 

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Research Videos

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Baumann's talk during TEDxUniversity: Leaders, Innovators, and Neighbors (video) 

Baumann's talk during TEDxUniversity: Leaders, Innovators, and Neighbors (video)

BCHS' Sara Baumann is a mixed-methods researcher harnessing participatory, arts-based tools to study mental health and reproductive health issues. She was living in Nepal in 2015 when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck, killing close to 9,000 people and displacing half a million. Watch the recording... (07/26/2021)
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Gary-Webb featured in PHRESH: Communities Thrive When Residents are Involved in Decisions That Affect Their Neighborhoods 

Gary-Webb featured in PHRESH: Communities Thrive When Residents are Involved in Decisions That Affect Their Neighborhoods

"The Hill District and Homewood are similar and different in various ways. They're similar in the sense that they've been relatively stable over time and they have predominantly Black populations but they have very different histories overtime," explains EPI's TIffany Gary-Webb, assocaite dean for ... (07/23/2021)
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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. "This is the type of data that helps shape policy about air emissions, facto... (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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