Dr. Mezuk and students present posters APPA
VCU doctoral students Elizabeth Do (MPH alumnus from 2012), Arden Moscati, and Monique Brown, along with Dr. Briana Mezuk, presented their posters at the 2013 American Psychopathological Association annual meeting in New York City in March.
For more information on the American Psychopathological Association,
Dr. Mezuk presents to NAUDL
Dr. Briana Mezuk and Susannah Anderson (MPH alumnus 2012 and current doctoral student at Tulane University) with Linda Linstrom, the Executive Director of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL). Dr. Mezuk and Ms. Anderson presented their research on the relationship between high school debate participation and psychosocial development and college attendance to the NAUDL Board of Directors in Washington DC this month.
For more information on the association click here.
Brain Injury has announced that Dr. Juan Lu is the 2012 first place winner of the Henry Stonnington Award for review articles, for her manuscript titled "Randomized Controlled Trials in Adult Traumatic Brain Injury". The awards committee was so impressed with the exceptional quality of her work that their decision was unanimous. As an award winner, Dr. Lu will receive a check for $1,000 and the announcement of her award will be prominently displayed on the Brain Injury web site.
Congratulations to Dr. Lu for her outstanding achievement!
Brain Injury is the official research journal of the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA).
Dr. Masho receives Pfizer awardSaba Masho, M.D., MPH, Dr PH, is co- investigator on a project funded by Pfizer, Inc., titled, “The Virginia Women’s Health Prevention Initiative.” Dr. Masho and her colleagues, Drs. Warren Felton, III and Susan Kornstein will be working to improve primary prevention of stroke in women. The project includes plans to incorporate the use of a validated screening tool into electronic health records (EHR). In addition,the investigators anticipate increasing stroke screening among undeserved women through management of modifiable stroke risk factors using violence-based guidelines and to increase awareness of stroke prevention strategies using web-based teaching modules and educational programs. Congratulations, Dr. Masho!
Dr. Ning's study fundedDr. Yi Ning, ScD, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology, was recently awarded funding for his study, “Genetic Variants, Diabetes and Adverse Late Effects of Radiation Therapy” by the VCU Massey Cancer Center’s collaborative and multidisciplinary pilot project program. The study aims to investigate whether diabetes and common variants of genes involved in inflammation and fibrosis are associated with the risk, severity, and pervasiveness of Adverse Late Effects of Radiation Therapy (ALERT), and to explore sociodemographic and clinical factors in prediction of ALERT. Congratulations, Dr. Ning!
Dr. Jones attends Professional Development SeminarResa M. Jones MPH, PhD was selected to attend the AAMC Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar in Austin, Texas from December 1-4, 2012. Dr. Jones is the Graduate Program Director and an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology, in the VCU school of medicine. She is an expert in behavioral epidemiology, particularly cancer prevention and control. The program goal of the AAMC Mid-Career Women Faculty Professional Development Seminar is to enhance knowledge and skills needed to support progress along the path to leadership in academic medicine.
Dr. Masho receives Gates Grant
Dr. Saba Masho, M.D., MPH, DrPH, will be participating as a co-principal investigator in a study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Dr. Masho is an associate professor of epidemiology and community health in the VCU School of Medicine. She is an expert in health disparities and comprehensive care for underserved pregnant women. Dr. Masho will be working with Drs. Patricia Cummins and Daniel Nixon to pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled “Reducing Harmful Inflammation and Attenuating Immune System Deterioration in HIV-Infected Malian Women.” The grant was funded from a pool of over 3,000 applicants. Congratulations to Dr. Masho! Read the full news article.
Dr. Mezuk's Newsworthy MentorshipDr. Moon Choi, Ph.D. from Lexington, Kentucky credits her mentors with making all the difference in the world for her career. She had three key mentors who have walked with her throughout her journey, including Dr. Briana Mezuk of the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health. Click here to read her member spotlight from the Gerentological Society of America.
Dr. Kuzel named Interim Chair06/13/12 - From the Dean's Office:
I am pleased to announce that Dr. Anton (Tony) Kuzel will assume the role of Interim Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health effective July 1, 2012. He will also retain his role as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Kuzel brings a record of strong academic leadership and a commitment to developing research programs that address both population and community health issues. The research programs of the two departments are fundamentally aligned in this mission. The combined expertise of faculty in the two departments will create a powerful research enterprise that will bring great benefit to the Center for Clinical and Translational Research, particularly in the area of community engaged research, as well as the School of Medicine more broadly because of the closer ties between creative researchers and expert clinicians. Dr. Kate Lapane, who has led the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health for the last 4 years, is enthusiastic about the integration, which will take place during the next year, and strongly endorses it based on her prior experience at Brown. Please join me in thanking Dr. Kuzel for assuming this role, and in thanking Dr. Lapane for her outstanding contributions to the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health and School of Medicine during her tenure as Chair.
WBUR, Boston's NPR news station published an article entitle "Urban Debate Teams Motivate At-Risk Students to Succeed" highlighting the research of Dr. Brian Mezuk on the impact of participating in a policy debate program on academic achievement in the Greater Chicago area.
CHICAGO — Although cancer recurrence may be the overriding fear for many survivors, nearly half of survivors from a recently presented study died from other conditions.
These results indicate survivors could potentially benefit from a more comprehensive, less cancer-focused approach to their health, according to lead researcher Yi Ning, M.D., Sc.D., assistant professor in the department of epidemiology and community health at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and associate research member at VCU Massey Cancer Center in Richmond, Va. Ning presented the results at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012, held here March 31- April 4.
“We realized that the mortality rates for some types of cancer, such as breast cancer, had declined,” said Ning. “Cancer survivors live much longer than they did several decades ago. So with this large group of cancer survivors, we need to pay more attention to cancer survivors’ overall health.”
Ning and colleagues evaluated 1,807 cancer survivors who had participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) study. The most common forms of cancer among the study group were breast, prostate, cervical, lung and colorectal.
When originally surveyed through NHANES, a large percentage of the study group suffered from conditions other than cancer, including cardiovascular conditions, hypertension and diabetes.
Researchers followed patients for more than 18 years. During the course of the study, 776 cancer survivors died. Fifty-one percent died from cancer and 49 percent died from other causes. Cardiovascular disease was the primary cause of noncancer deaths.
Researchers found that the longer patients survived after their initial cancer diagnosis, the more likely they were to die from another disease: 32.8 percent died from another condition within five years of diagnosis compared with 62.7 percent after 20 years.
With nearly half of cancer survivors dying from other causes, Ning said that physicians and patients must improve efforts to manage those risks.
“After the detection of cancer, clinicians and cancer survivors pay less attention to the prevention and treatment of other diseases and complications,” said Ning. “We shouldn’t neglect other aspects of health because we are focused on cancer and overlook other chronic conditions.”
The article has been included in many prestigious websites including: MSNBC, CBS News, WebMD, MSN Health, Medline Plus, NASDAQ, Healthfinder, Healthcare Int., Health24, Nurse.com, Science Daily, and WSOCTV among hundreds of others.newspaper's site, or downloaded as a pdf here.
GREMAP to present in Boston November 18-22
The Department of Epidemiology and Community Health Group of Research on the Epidemiology of Aging, Mobility, and Psychiatry (GREMAP), led by Dr. Briana Mezuk, will be presenting several papers at the Gerontological Society of America's 64th Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston from November 18 - 22, 2011 (www.geron.org). Matt Lohman, PhD candidate, will be presenting on the Effect of depression on memory and a memory training intervention among older adults. Dr. Mezuk is organizing and presenting in a symposium focused on Methodological Innovations in the Study of Medical and Psychiatric Comorbidity over the Lifespan. Dr. Moon Choi is organizing and presenting in a symposium focused on Examining the Source of Social Disparities in Mobility in Later Life.
Monique Brown, MPH will present at APPADoctoral student Monique Brown, MPH, has had an abstract accepted for the 103rd Annual American Psychopathological Meeting on March 7, 2013. Monique will present a poster titled “Suicidality among Racial/Ethnic Minority Immigrants in the US” and co-authored by Epidemiology and Community Health faculty members Steven A. Cohen, DrPH, MPH and Briana Mezuk, PhD. Monique’s research examines the association between time residing in the US and suicidal ideation/suicide attempts among Afro-Caribbean, Asian and Latino immigrants in the United States. “My research stems from a project in one of my Fall 2012 courses, 'Epidemiology of Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders', which was taught by Dr. Briana Mezuk, said Monique. I would like to thank Dr. Mezuk and Dr. Steven A. Cohen for their guidance on this project.” The APPA was founded in 1910 by leaders in American psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience and continues to be at the forefront of integrative scientific thinking about psychopathology. Please visit http://www.appassn.org/ for more information on the organization.
Susan Cha to present at Women's health, March, 2013
PhD student Susan Cha, MPH, recently had an abstract accepted for Women's Health 2013: The 21st Annual Conference in Washington, DC.
The title is "Intimate Partner Violence and Counseling during Prenatal Care in the U.S., 2004-2008", and co-author is Saba W. Masho, MD, MPH, DrPH, Department of Epidemiology and Community Health, Virginia Commonwealth University.
“I am so excited for the opportunity to share my research on intimate partner violence at the Women's Health Congress. The conference is an excellent forum for giving interesting and innovative updates on a plethora of women's health issues. I learned a lot at last year's conference and look forward to gaining more perspective on enhancing my research capabilities. I am grateful to my mentor Dr. Masho and the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health for their continual support and encouragement for students to take advantage of all career development opportunities.”
Susan’s research assesses whether women who have suffered from partner violence received intimate partner violence education or counseling from their health care providers during prenatal care visits. The conference will be held in Washington, DC from March 22nd to 24th. For more information on the conferences, click here.
Graduate of MPH Program Publishes manuscriptA manuscript titled "Physician Knowledge of Nuclear Medicine Radiation Exposure" written by Paul Riley, MPH, has been accepted for publication in Radiologic Technology, American Society of Radiologic Technologists (ASRT). Paul graduated from the MPH program in May, 2012, and is currently the Clinical Coordinator of Nuclear Medicine at VCU. Congratulations Paul!
PhD Student wins poster award
Congratulations to first year doctoral student Monique Brown for her first-place Outstanding Student Poster award at the 2012 National Conference on Health Statistics in Washington, D.C. Her poster, titled ”Beyond Battering: Intimate Partner Violence and Preventive Screening among Women” was co-authored with Dr. Kate L. Lapane and Dr. Sherry Weitzen. For the competition, Monique presented a 3-5 minute overview of her research and participated in a 3-5 minute period of questions and answers from the judges. At the end of the conference, the top three outstanding student posters were announced, and Monique received first place.
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Poster presentations >>
Dr. Moon Choi's Aging-Mobility film has been selected for the APHA Film Festival. The APHA is the largest conference in public health, and the selection process for the film festival was competitive. We are very excited that her film will be shown to health professionals from around the world!
The film is entitled "Meaning of Driving in Later Life" and will be shown during the 140th APHA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. This year's meeting will take place from October 27th to the 31st. Dr. Choi's work can be viewed on the Aging-Mobility Network website: http://agingmobility.org/
Congratulations to our first-year doctoral students, Monique J. Brown and Susan Cha, on their presentations in the 40th Annual John C. Forbes Colloquium. Monique gave a presentation on "Association between Intimate Partner Violence and Preventive Screening among Women." Susan presented on "Prenatal Contraceptive Counseling and Birth Control Use after Delivery in Virginia, 2007."
For her project, Monique used data from eight states/territories that collected intimate partner violence data in the 2006 or 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. IPV and preventive screening for HIV, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, cholesterol, and breast cancer were determined by self-report. Results showed that approximately one in four women reported a history of IPV, with 1.9% reporting IPV in the past year. Relative to those who did not report a history of IPV, IPV victims were twice as likely to have had an HIV test (aOR: 2.34; 95% CI: 2.06 to 2.66), a cervical cytology test (aOR: 2.05; 95% CI: 1.26 to 3.31) or a breast exam (aOR: 1.76; 95% CI: 1.37 to 2.27), but less likely to ever have had a mammogram (aOR: 0.86; 95% CI: 0.70-1.05). In conclusion, although IPV victims are vigilant about screening practices, steps should be taken to reduce IPV and the impact of IPV.
Susan based her study on data from the 2007 Virginia Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). This population-based data set is representative of all Virginia women who have had a live birth recently and included 1,236 female participants. Approximately 20% of participants reported not receiving education on birth control methods during any of their prenatal care visits (PNC) from health providers. Overall, 84% of women reported using a contraceptive method following birth. Compared to women who did not receive prenatal contraceptive counseling, those who reported discussions on birth control methods during any PNC visits had 1.9 times the odds of reporting postpartum contraceptive use (COR = 1.9, 95% CI = 0.96-3.78); however, results were not statistically significant. Adjusted estimates yielded similar results. Despite the lack of statistically significant results, there are important clinical implications. Health care professionals should be aware of the importance of prenatal contraceptive counseling and are encouraged to provide family planning education. The “Forbes Day” Colloquium consists of presentations of student research in a “short talk” format. Students participating in the Colloquium are selected on the basis of the quality and clarity of a written description of the research project evaluated by members of the faculty. The presentations are also evaluated on the basis of the effectiveness in communicating the research described.
Post Doc Takes Faculty PositionFollowing a two-year post-doctoral training at VCU, Dr. Moon Choi will join the faculty as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky College of Social Work this Summer. She will continue to do her research on life-space mobility over the life course and also teach courses in the community and social development concentration and the area of gerontology.
MPH candidate (May 2012) Jessica Phelan presented a research poster based on her MPH capstone project at the 2012 National STD Prevention Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, earlier this semester. Jessica’s presentation was titled, “Using Sentinel Surveillance Data as Added Value to Traditional STD Prevention Strategies.” She used two different databases containing data from individuals who had been interviewed about a recent diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease (STD). The objective was to identify potential variation across demographic strata to determine large-scale differences between the two interview methods. While the assessment did not reveal any large-scale differences, Jessica used the findings to produce detailed population assessments for disease intervention specialists to use in their continuing efforts to improve the prevention of STDs and collection of accurate information. Congratulations, Jessica, on your fine work!
PhD Student Jennifer Nield is the recipient of a scholarship granted by AIDS 2012 to attend and present a scientiic poster. The 19th International Aids Conference will take place in Washington, DC, from July 22nd to the 27th. Jennifer's abstract is one of 4 that will be presented by department researchers at the upcoming conference. Congratulations Jennifer!
This event is the largest international conference on HIV/AIDS.
PREP student, Joseph Engada, has been offered a Graduate Opportunity Program (GOP) fellowship for the University of California Berkeley's MPH program. The fellowship awards a stipend for the entire MPH program as well as paying tuition. Joe has been hosted by the Department of Epidemiology and Community Health for the 2011-2012 academic year.
More information on the PREP program at VCU can be found here
PREP student Brittany Cox has been accepted into the Master of Public Health Program in Epidemiology at Virginia Commonwealth University for the upcoming academic year. The Post-baccalaureate Research Experience Program is a one-year biomedical research training program for recent college graduates from underrepresented groups considering graduate-level training in the biomedical sciences. The program provides scholars with a year-long, paid, mentored research experience and the opportunity to develop technical and critical-thinking skills. Brittany has been working with Dr. Saba Masho in our department for the past year. More information on the PREP program at VCU can be found here