NEWS BLOG from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

Archive for June, 2014

UPMC Employees Find Support as They Quit Smoking

For more than 10 years, Dan Pitchford tried to stop his pack-a-day smoking habit that started during high school.

“I would buy a pack and smoke two or three, then toss that pack away,” said Pitchford. “I threw more full packs of Winston cigarettes over the Homestead High Level Bridge during those ‘stopping and starting’ days.”

Lately, Pitchford has had extra incentive to kick the habit.  The UPMC HC Pharmacy contract specialist also has access to a comprehensive, well-organized support system as he continues to maintain a smoke-free lifestyle. (more…)

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Race Ends But Efforts to Raise PH Awareness Continue



Two years ago, four Pittsburgh-area women announced they would bicycle across the country to raise awareness of pulmonary hypertension. And 3,021 miles and 175¼ hours after the Oceanside, Calif., start line, the team ended their bicycling trek in Annapolis, Md., at the Race Across America (RAAM) finish line.

But don’t call this the end, they say. (more…)

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Patient-Centered Care: Informing, Respecting, and Caring for Cancer Patients

The LIVESTRONG Foundation earlier this month convened a meeting of nearly 100 stakeholders including providers, researchers, survivors and policy makers, focused on improving the delivery of patient-centered cancer care. LIVESTRONG defines patient-centered cancer care as care that is “respectful of and responsive to individual patient preferences, needs, and values, and ensures that patient values guide all clinical decisions.” (more…)

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Studies Add to Concern About Children and Caffeine

Sleek colorful cans. Celebrity endorsements. And promises to “Give you Wiiings,” “Party like a Rockstar,” “Unleash the Beast,” “Elevate your Performance,” and “Go Fast.” Or how about a nice warm espresso macchiato while studying for finals or an iced caffé mocha on a hot day while socializing with friends at the nearest Starbucks or Crazy Mocha?

It’s no wonder caffeine, one of the most popular drugs in our country, has become so enticing for kids.  (more…)

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Pitt Vaccine Experts Developing Therapies Against Debilitating Mosquito-borne Virus

With federal health officials saying it’s only a matter of time before chikungunya virus starts spreading in the mainland U.S., University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research (CVR) scientists are on the hunt for a cure. Earlier this month the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) confirmed that the virus, which has been spreading in the Caribbean since December, appeared to have established local transmission in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Kate Ryman, Ph.D., and William Klimstra, Ph.D., both researchers at Pitt’s CVR and members of the Global Vaccine Network’s Chikungunya Virus Taskforce, are examining multiple approaches to help people avoid the severe joint pain and potential arthritis caused by the mosquito-borne virus.  (more…)

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