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Public Health Grand Rounds - Presented by David Rich, ScD, MPH

Monday, November 25, 2019

Air Pollution exposure and effects on fetal growth: From Beijing to Rochester

Friday, December 6, 2019 

HWH Aud.


Ann Dozier Wins Best Conference Abstract at APHA Breastfeeding Forum

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Ann Dozier, PhD, Chair of the department of Public Health Sciences won Best Conference Abstract (Do Risk Factors For Breastfeeding Duration and Exclusivity Differ By Income?) at the American Public Health Association Breastfeeding Forum Conference, November 2, 2019 in Philadephia PA. 

The Breastfeeding Forum is a multidisciplinary group with a common interest around breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is an important public health issue, and affects or is affected by many of the Sections and SPIGs in APHA. Their annual meeting in 2019 centered around "Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health." 

APHA's Annual Meeting and Expo is the largest and most influential annual gathering of public health professionals. Nearly 13,000 attendees join us each year to present, learn and find inspiration. 

Read More: Ann Dozier Wins Best Conference Abstract at APHA Breastfeeding Forum

University of Rochester Researchers Discuss Vaping-Related Lung Injury on the Today Show

Thursday, October 31, 2019

University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center members Daniel Croft, M.D., M.P.H., and Irfan Rahman, Ph.D., were featured on a Today Show segment about vaping-related lung injury. In the segment, Rahman is shown working in his lab while Croft discussed the symptoms associated with this condition.

Rahman uses cell, mouse, and human studies to investigate how flavoring chemicals used in vaping devices affect lung health. He also analyzes vaping liquid collected from patients and hospitals around the world to better understand its chemical makeup. Croft, a clinician researcher who focuses on inhalation toxicology, helps interpret the clinical relevance of findings from the lab and collaborates on a study to better understand respiratory effects in people who vape.

Read More: University of Rochester Researchers Discuss Vaping-Related Lung Injury on the Today Show

Can Personality Affect Dementia Risk?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Your personality in high school may help predict your risk of dementia decades later.

Researchers reached this conclusion using a 150-item personality inventory given to a national sample of teenagers in 1960. The survey assessed character traits — sociability, calmness, empathy, maturity, conscientiousness, self-confidence and others — using scores ranging from low to high. For their study, in JAMA Psychiatry, scientists linked the scores of 82,232 of the test-takers to Medicare data on diagnoses of dementia from 2011 to 2013.

They found that high extroversion, an energetic disposition, calmness and maturity were associated with a lower risk of dementia an average of 54 years later, though the association did not hold for students with low socioeconomic status.

Calmness and maturity have been linked to lower levels of stress, which may help explain the association. Lower socioeconomic status, which often increases chronic stress, may negate the apparent benefits of those personality traits.

“The study was not set up to discern a causal link,” said the lead author, Benjamin P. Chapman, an associate professor of psychiatry and public health sciences at the University of Rochester. “Most likely these traits lead to all kinds of other things over 50 years that culminate in a diagnosis of dementia. We tried to rule out as many other factors as possible, but our findings are suggestive, and we don’t want to draw strong conclusions about causation.”

Read More: Can Personality Affect Dementia Risk?

PHS Announces Three New Research Directors

Monday, October 7, 2019

Dr. Yue Li as the inaugural Research Director for Health Services Research and Policy

Dr. Scott McIntosh as the inaugural Research Director for Social and Behavioral Sciences

Dr. David Rich as the inaugural Research Director for Epidemiology.

Donor Human Milk May Not Always Be a Perfect Match, According to a New Study

Monday, September 23, 2019

Levels of zinc in pooled donor breastmilk do not meet the nutritional requirements of preterm infants and term newborns, according to a new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics by Bridget Young, Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Colorado. The findings could have implications for the way donor milk is prepared in milk banks and how it is distributed to infants across the country.

The study analyzed the nutrient and caloric profile of 138 samples of donated human milk from The Mother’s Milk Bank in Colorado which is a member of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). Researchers used a Miris Human Milk analyzer, the only FDA-approved product available for testing breast milk.

The results from the analysis also confirmed previous research finding lower caloric density in donor milk than expected.

“It’s important to note that the majority of donor milk is given to NICUs, which use fortifiers to ensure that premature babies receive the energy and nutrients they need,” said Young, a research assistant professor in the department of Pediatrics who co-founded the University of Rochester Human Milk and Lactation Research Consortium. “However, our study could change the ways donor milk is used in other settings, such as in nurseries or at home.”  

Donor milk is increasingly provided to healthy term infants in the hospital, and is utilized by 18 percent of level 1 nurseries, according to a national study led by the Boston Medical Center. Parents are also increasingly purchasing donor milk privately or directly from milk banks. In those settings, milk is generally not fortified with extra nutrients or calories. This is one of the reasons HMBANA milk banks encourage parents’ close consultation with baby’s doctor if donor milk is used long term or as a large portion of intake.

Standardizing levels of zinc in donor milk is difficult, said Young, because the measurement process is time intensive. Zinc also dramatically decreases over the course of lactation and donor milk banks often face limited availability of milk donations when generating pools of donor milk. To address this challenge, Young’s study presented a new equation, based on the milk donor’s “post-partum time,” (or how long it has been since she delivered her baby and began nursing), that can predict the level of zinc in donor milk.

This equation could provide a method for standardization across milk banks.

“This is still an emerging field of research and sets the stage for further work on this topic,” said Young. “But, we’ve taken an important step by demonstrating new findings about the composition of donor milk and the way we might be able to optimize this important form of nutrition for infants.”

Yue Li, PhD Commented on Research related to Medicare Payment Reform at Reuters

Friday, August 23, 2019

In a Health News Report of the Reuters, August 22, 2019, Dr. Yue Li commented on research findings about one major Medicare payment reform, the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program, and its impact on hospital readmission rate, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospital observation stays.

Read More: Yue Li, PhD Commented on Research related to Medicare Payment Reform at Reuters

Study Points to Heart Benefits of Fish Oil

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New research co-authored by Robert Block, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences, Cardiology Division of the Department of Medicine, and the Center for Community Health and Prevention, adds to a growing body of research that points to the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids.  Namely, higher levels of consumption – either through supplements or fish consumption – reduce risk of heart failure.

The research, which appeared in the journal JACC: Heart Failure, analyzed the concentrations of two kinds of omega-3 (EPA and DHA) fatty acids in the blood samples from participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) study. The MESA study consists of a cohort of more than 6,000 adults who have been followed since 2000 and is notable because of its large proportions of African Americans, Hispanic, and Asian participants.

The researchers found that higher concentrations of EPA in blood had a 27 percent lower long-term risk for new heart failure and that higher concentrations of DHA in blood had a 49 percent lower long-term risk for new heart failure.  “The findings reinforce what we has been previously observed in other studies, and that is that individuals who eat diets high in oily fish -- such as the Mediterranean Diet -- have a significant lower risk of heart attack and stroke,” said Block.

This is the first study in which such consumption predicted reduced risk of heart failure-- a leading cause of death and hospitalization -- in a large number of individuals of different ethnicities and reinforce the health benefit of eating more seafood.

PHS PhD Students and CHeT Post-Doctoral Fellow Receive Funding to Support their Newly Developed Writing Initiatives

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Alina Denham and Ashley Holub, doctoral candidates at the Department of Public Health Sciences, and Monica Javidnia, a post-doctoral fellow at the Center for Health + Technology (CHeT) and the Department of Neurology, received a URBEST Microgrant ($2,500) to support their newly developed, student-led UR Writing Program at the UR Medical Center. Their mission is to promote regular, effective, and prolific writing practice among URMC trainees through a comprehensive system of writing supports to help them achieve their academic and professional goals. UR Writing initiatives include a bi-annual trainee grant writing workshop series (UR Writing Grants), a monthly writing retreat (UR Writing Retreats), weekly writing sessions (Just Write!), and bi-weekly writing group meetings (UR Writing Groups).

McIntosh and Ossip Interviewed on New Smoking Legislation

Monday, July 29, 2019

Scott McIntosh and Deborah Ossip did several media interviews this week regarding Governor Cuomo’s signing legislation to raise the age of legal tobacco sales in NYS from 18-20.  Below are links to their interviews:

Scott McIntosh

Channel 9:

Deborah Ossip

Channel 8

Channel 10

Dr. Theresa Green - PHS faculty at AAMC

Thursday, June 20, 2019


Dr. Theresa Green - PHS faculty at AAMC presents our 3 year academic-community partnership project on unintended pregnancy. Team included URMC faculty (Drs. Dozier, Chaudron, Hartmann, Bennett, Parrinello) & community members (Wade Norwood (Common Ground Health); Dr. Mike Mendoza (Monroe County Health Dept) and new team member Kellie Anderson from Advancement. This work included multiple community partners.

Drs. Temkin-Greener and Li receive funding from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Thursday, June 6, 2019

This 4-year study will examine variations in patient safety culture among Assisted Living (AL) communities, its relationship to residents’ health outcomes, and the potential impact of state regulations on safety culture and outcomes.

The information generated through this study will increase knowledge about AL communities and their ability to adequately and safely serve their residents. This project will provide the much-needed evidence for the design of future practice and policy initiatives aimed at improving safety culture and care quality in AL.

Congratulations to Sijiu Wang for receiving Mathematica summer fellowship!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

This is a highly competitive program, which only accepts 1-3 fellows in healthcare unit nationally each year. The past awardees were all from top universities, including Harvard, U of Penn, and U of Chicago!  With the support of this fellowship, Sijiu will be working on her  own independent dissertation work and gaining additional experience from Mathematica researchers.  Great work, Sijiu!

AnnaLynn Williams Receives Vincent du Vigneaud Award

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

AnnaLynn Williams, recent PhD epidemiology graduate, has been selected to receive this year’s Vincent du Vigneaud Award which will be presented at the PhD Commencement Dinner on May 17th. This award "is presented annually to a graduating student whose thesis work is judged to be unique in potential for stimulating and extending research in the field.?" (See attached for more information about Dr. du Vigneaud and the award.) The selection committee has deemed her work as the best example of what this award represents. Please join me in congratulating AnnaLynn!

Announcing Regulatory Science Student Competition Winners

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Twelve teams competed this year in the sixth annual America’s Got Regulatory Science Talent student competition. Teams proposed a wide range of novel solutions to address the nine scientific priority areas outlined in the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Strategic Plan for Advancing Regulatory Science. From a farm-to-table produce-tracking app to a public alert system for product recalls and disease outbreaks, this year’s competition was full of innovation. Learn more about the top three winners on the UR CTSI Stories blog.

HSR PhD students will present research at 2019 ARM

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Eight students from the Health Services Research and Policy PhD Program will be presenting their research at the 2019 Annual Research Meeting (ARM) in Washington, D.C.

“AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting shares important findings and showcases the latest evidence to move research into action and improve health and health care”. Participants were selected on a competitive basis.

Xi Cen

  • Medicare’s Voluntary Lower Extremity Joint Replacement Bundled Payment is Associated with Exacerbated Racial Disparities in Hospital Readmissions

Michael Chen

  • Understanding the Role of Paternal Economic Support in Early Childhood Development Among Families with Unmarried Mothers
  • Shared Decision-Making and Cancer Patients’ Experience with Physician Communication

Alina Denham

  • Did Medicaid Expansion Matter in States with Generous Medicaid?
  • The Impact of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid Expansions on Mortality
  • Analyzing Opioid-Related Hospitalization Data: The Role of Increases in the Number of Recordable Diagnosis Fields

Lianlian Lei

  • Continuity of Care and Health Care Cost among Community-dwelling Older Veterans Living with Dementia

Wei Song

  • A Social Network Analysis of Nursing Home Medical Staff Organization

Sijiu Wang

  • Does the Dementia Care “National-Partnership” Improve Outcomes for Nursing Home Residents with Dementia?

Huiwen Xu

  • Rural Nursing Homes Were Associated with Lower Risk Adjusted Rates of Emergency Department Visit but Higher Mortality
  • Application of Machine Learning Ensemble Models to Predict Hospitalizations and Emergency Department Visits of Long-Stay Nursing Home Residents

Di Yan,  Sijiu Wang, Helena Temkin-Greener, Shubing Cai

  • Influence of Market Factors and State Policies on Access to High Quality Nursing Homes for Residents with Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias

Congratulations to Meiling Ying, Sijiu Wang and Xi Cen on Receiving Post-Acute Care Conference Award!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Meiling Ying, Sijiu Wang and Xi Cen, PhD students of Health Policy and Outcomes research, have been selected as the Travel Scholar Awardees of the 2019 National Post-Acute Care Conference, sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) of the NIH.

Congratulations to HSR PhD student Alina Denham

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

 Receiving a 2019 Teaching-as-Research (TAR) Fellowship from UR Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL).  CIRTL provides its TAR fellows with training regarding teaching and support for research of education innovations.