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Dr. Edwin van Wijngaarden Selected to Serve on the EPA Science Advisory Board

Monday, September 26, 2022

Dr. Edwin van Wijngaarden has been selected to serve on the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Hexavalent Chromium Review Panel. Read more about Serving on the EPA Science Advisory Board.

Congratulations to our first HEAL cohort for starting their graduate studies in public health this semester!

Friday, September 9, 2022

Congratulations to our first HEAL cohort for starting their graduate studies in public health this semester! Charlotte Caldwell, Derek Guo and Olivia Waysack joined the University of Rochester four years ago as first year undergraduate students in our Health and Epidemiology Advanced Learning (HEAL) combined degree program. Charlotte will continue her studies in the Master’s in Public Health (MPH) program, whereas Derek and Olivia are obtaining a Master’s degree in Epidemiology. Welcome, we are excited to have you!

Two Participated in Podcast for the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology Journal

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Wenhan Guo and Helena Temkin-Greener participated in a podcast for the Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology journal, in which they discussed two papers that ICHE published this month. They are:

  • "Trend in disparities in COVID-19 outcomes in nursing homes" (Yue Li – first author)
  • "COVID-19 in Assisted Living Communities: Neighborhood Deprivation and State Social Distancing Policies Matter" (Wenhan Guo – first author)

PHS faculty find sex differences in the link between e-cig/cigarette use and hypertension

Monday, August 1, 2022

A study led by UR CTSI researchers and PHS faculty Deborah Ossip, Ph.D., and Dongmei Li, Ph.D., shows that cigarette smoking increases the risk of hypertension among females, but not males in the U.S. The study, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, also found a trend of a dose-response relationship between e-cig use and hypertension risk among females. Read the full article here

Elaine Hill, PhD, awarded a grant to examine how COVID-19 deepened the opioid crisis

Monday, August 1, 2022

A new $3.5 million grant will help researchers examine how the economic, social, and health care disruptions caused by COVID-19 worsened the nation’s opioid epidemic. Co-led by Elaine Hill, an associate professor of public health sciences, of obstetrics and gynecology, and of economics, the study will seek to determine how the response to the pandemic impacted opioid use disorder in different communities and whether the progress made in recent years can be recovered. Read more here

Dr. Amina Alio is first author on paper, "Structural Racism and Inequities in Access to Medicaid-Funded Quality Cancer Care in the United States"

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Amina P. Alio, Ph.D., Mitchell J. Wharton, Ph.D. and Kevin Fiscella, M.D., M.P.H., recently published an article in JAMA Network Open revealing structural racism and inequity of access to high-quality cancer care for Medicaid patients in the U.S., who are disproportionately Black, Hispanic, low-income or disabled. Using secret shopper methods, they found only 68% of facilities surveyed accepted new Medicaid patient appointments for the treatment of breast, colorectal, kidney or skin cancer. Read the full journal article here.

Edith M. Williams, PhD, named Founding Director for the Office of Health Equity Research with primary appointment in PHS

Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Edith M. Williams, Ph.D., associate professor of Public Health Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina, has been named the founding director of the Office of Health Equity Research, which is housed in the CTSI. The office will research what prevents equitable health care delivery, helping to achieve a key part of our Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan. Williams, a Rochester native with decades of experience in health equity research, leadership and mentorship, will take up the role Sept. 1.

Philip Hopke ranks #111 in the world and #59 in US for's 2022 Ranking of Top 1000 Scientists in the area of Environmental Sciences

Tuesday, June 28, 2022, a prominent academic platform for scientists, has just published the 2022 Edition of their Ranking of Top 1000 Scientists in the area of Environmental Sciences. Philip Hopke, Department of Public Health Sciences, has ranked #111 in the world ranking and is also listed #59 in United States. Their ranking is constructed using the H-index data gathered by Microsoft Academic and includes only prominent scientists with an H-index of at least 30 for scientific papers published in the field of Environmental Sciences.

You can see the full world ranking here:
You can find the entire ranking for United States here:

Francisco Cartujano Barrera, MD, received funding to develop the "American Lung Association Addressing Tobacco Use in Hispanic/Latino Communities Toolkit"

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Francisco Cartujano Barrera, MD, has been funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to develop the "American Lung Association Addressing Tobacco Use in Hispanic/Latino Communities Toolkit". 

José Pérez Ramos, PhD, MPH, selected as a 2022 Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

José Pérez Ramos, PhD, MPH, was selected as a 2022 Health Disparities Research Institute Scholar. The Health Disparities Research Institute is scheduled to be held virtually August 15-19, 2022. They received a large number of applications and the selection process was competitive. Dr. Pérez Ramos was selected based on his interest in and promise to become a health disparities research scholar and his accomplishments to date.

Katherine Rieth, MD, MPH, MA, received Wilmot Physician-Scientist Fellowship Award

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

The Wilmot Foundation has named its 2022 fellowship recipients. Recent alumnus Katherine Rieth, MD, MPH, MA, received a Wilmot Physician-Scientist Fellowship Award to explore mobile smoking cessation program for patients w/head & neck cancers in rural areas around Rochester, NY. Dr. Rieth is mentored on this project by Drs. Cupertino and McIntosh.

Wyatte Hall, PhD, speaks about decision to offer bilingual education (ASL and English) as default early education program offering for deaf students in LA

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Wyatte Hall, PhD, was in the national news regarding the decision to offer bilingual education (ASL and English) as the default early education program offering for deaf students in LA Unified School District. To read more, follow this link:

Elaine Hill, PhD, appointed faculty research fellow in the NBER's program on Health Economics and Children

Monday, May 23, 2022

Elaine Hill, an associate professor of public health sciences, of economics, and of obstetrics and gynecology, was recently appointed as a faculty research fellow in the National Bureau of Economic Research’s program on Health Economics and Children.

Mostafa Mohamed, Epidemiology PhD student, awarded Wilmot pre-doctoral fellowship

Monday, May 23, 2022

Mostafa Mohamed,  Epidemiology PhD student, was awarded the Wilmot pre-doctoral fellowship for his work with mentor, Supriya Mohile, on his project, "Understanding Chemotherapy Dosing in older adults with advanced Cancer." The Wilmot Cancer Institute Research Fellowship Program at the University of Rochester Medical Center is supported by the Wilmot Foundation, named in honor of Rochester businessman and philanthropist James P. Wilmot. The program provides support for cancer research training for emerging scientists, with the goal of enabling them to build an independent career in the investigation of the causes, diagnosis, treatment, prevention or management of cancer or its side effects. Wilmot predoctoral fellowships, open to PhD or MD/PhD candidates under the mentorship of a Wilmot Cancer Institute member, provide two years of support.

Helena Temkin-Greener's research finds that more state oversight is needed to improve end-of-life care for assisted living residents

Friday, May 13, 2022

Increasingly favored by patients, families, and policymakers, assisted living communities have been little studied and—depending upon the state—lightly regulated. Research by the Helena Temkin-Greener, Professor of Public Health Sciences, shows that poorer assisted living residents in states with looser oversight are less likely to die at home under hospice care, an important indicator of the quality of care and services provided by long-term care facilities. Read more here

Krystalyn Bates interviewed by WHEC about the possible menthol cigarette ban

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

One of our PHS residents, Krystalyn Bates, who is a medical consultant with the Center for Tobacco-Free Finger Lakes, spoke with WHEC about the possible menthol cigarette ban. Follow this link to read more. 

Study by Elaine Hill, PhD, links fracking, drinking water pollution, and infant health

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

New research from Elaine Hill, Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences and Obstetrics & Gynecology, links shale gas development in Pennsylvania to pollution of public water supplies and negative impacts on infant health. These findings call for closer regulation of the industry. To read more, click here

Wyatte Hall, PhD, publishes first paper as part of the PHS faculty

Monday, April 11, 2022

Wyatte Hall, PhD, who joined the PHS department at the start of 2022 recently published a paper discussing the "deaf tax." Minority faculty and trainees experience unique factors that can hinder their success in academic medicine—collectively referred to as “minority tax.” The authors argue that a similar “deaf tax” of unique barriers, experiences, and responsibilities disproportionately burdens deaf trainees and faculty. To read more, please follow the link here.

UR Public Health undergrads involved in White Paper addressing the need for system-wide change in Rochester's substance use disorder treatment structure

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The white paper is titled "La Avenida and Latinos in Recovery: Programmatic Requirements for Success, in the Words of La Gente." Spearheaded by the Father Tracy Advocacy Center and Dr. Nancy Chin at the University of Rochester, it addresses the need for system-wide change in Rochester's substance use disorder treatment structure. The white paper utilized an ethnographic approach to identify recommendations for the treatment community to incorporate in order to serve marginalized members of the Rochester community, as these vulnerable people are currently not adequately served by the treatment system. This White paper is the result of in-depth interviews with men and women from the North Clinton neighborhood, most of them Latinx, who are or have been suffering from substance use disorders. The document uses the voice of those community members to advocate for changes needed in Rochester's system of substance use treatment. Many students of the undergraduate public health program were deeply involved in the work. Diana Fernandez, MD, PhD, MPH, was tangentially involved in the planning of the study, the analyses of the interviews, and the editorial revisions of the paper. She is also involved with these initiatives as a member of the Common Ground's Heroin/Opioid Work Group and the co-chair of the Latino Health Coalition. 

For more details and to read the full white paper, click here.

José G. Pérez Ramos, PhD, MPH, publishes article about the impact of colonialism as a socio-structural determinant of health in Puerto Rico

Friday, April 1, 2022

José G. Pérez Ramos, PhD, MPH, along with collaborators from George Washinton University and Kalamazoo College, have published their article, "How Is Colonialism a Sociostructural Determinant of Health in Puerto Rico?" in the AMA Journal of Ethics. To read the full article, click here

Francisco Cartujano-Barrera wins best abstract award at 2022 SRNT conference

Friday, March 18, 2022

Congratulations to Francisco Cartujano-Barrera, MD, PhD(c), for winning best abstract at this year’s meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT)

Dr. Yue Li's recently published paper was featured in the White House briefing on nursing home quality

Monday, February 28, 2022

Establish a Minimum Nursing Home Staffing Requirement. The adequacy of a nursing home’s staffing is the measure most closely linked to the quality of care residents receive. For example, a recent study of one state’s nursing facilities found that increasing registered nurse staffing by just 20 minutes per resident day was associated with 22% fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 26% fewer COVID-19 deaths. 

To read the full statement, click here: FACT SHEET: Protecting Seniors and People with Disabilities by Improving Safety and Quality of Care in the Nation’s Nursing Homes

Remembering and honoring Paul Farmer for his contributions to global public health

Thursday, February 24, 2022

The faculty, staff and students of Public Health Sciences honor the lifetime of contributions of Dr. Paul Farmer (1960- 2022) to global public health. His impact is immeasurable on the public, on trainees and on colleagues. He met with members of our department during his visit to the UR when he gave the 2004 Morgan Lecture sponsored by the Anthropology Department. The co-founder of Partners in Health, who died on Monday at age 62, simply did not accept the idea that inequality of health-care access is natural or inevitable.

Opinion | How Paul Farmer helped save the lives of millions of people - The Washington Post


University of Rochester launches new course on Coursera - Community Engagement for Research and Public Health

Friday, February 18, 2022

The University of Rochester has launched a new course on Coursera, titled: Community Engagement for Research and Public Health. Theresa Green, PhD, MBA, Assistant Professor of Public Health Sciences and the Director of Community Health Policy and Education at the Center for Community Health, has been at the lead of this effort, creating the course and coordinating the educational contributions of her UR colleagues. Nana Bennett, Kevin Fiscella, Michael Mendoza, Kathleen Holt, Ann Dozier, Rachel Allen,  Alicia Bell, Karen Vitale, Indrani Singh, John Cullen, Amina Alio, Robert Moses, and Joyce Duckles have all contributed video presentations on specific topics for this course, which officially launched on February 14, 2022. To learn about course content and enrollment options, you can find more information here:

Special thanks to the Department of Public Health Sciences and the Clinical & Translational Science Institute for their support of this endeavor.

PHS welcomes three new Assistant Professors to the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division

Thursday, January 6, 2022

The department of Public Health Sciences is proud to announce the addition of three Assistant Professors. Francisco Cartujano-Barrera, MD, who joined us in September 2021, is a Latino researcher focusing on the development and implementation of mobile health interventions for smoking cessation among underserved populations (e.g., Latinos, people living with HIV, people living in low- and middle-income countries). In January 2022, we welcome José G. Pérez Ramos, PhD, MPH, and Wyatte Hall, PhD from the URMC Obstetrics and Gynecology department. Dr. Pérez Ramos is a Latino researcher focusing on designing and implementing technological, community-oriented research initiatives to reduce health inequities and address sociostructural determinants of health among minoritized groups globally. Dr. Hall is a Deaf researcher focusing on community engagement and overall reduction of health disparities in deaf populations, with a particular focus on the relationship between early childhood language experiences and subsequent health, cognitive, education, and overall quality of life outcomes across the lifespan – especially the phenomenon of language deprivation​. All three Assistant Professors are joining the Social and Behavioral Sciences Division of PHS.