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

Archive for September, 2015

UPCI, UPMC CancerCenter Director: NIH Funding Critical to Our Mission to Fight Cancer

ThinkstockPhotos-503258063It can be difficult sometimes to connect the dots between what happens in the halls of Congress to what affects us in our own neighborhoods, or even our own homes. But that’s not the case with medical research that the federal government supports through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Consider this:  1.35 million deaths are prevented every year due to research on cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes. And people in the U.S. are living longer – one additional year of longevity is added every six years – thanks in large part to NIH-funded research.

So when clinicians, researchers and other leaders in biomedical research gather today in Washington, D.C., to call for more funding for NIH, their message at the “Rally for Medical Research” is one that affects us all. As a cancer clinician and researcher, I know that everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer, and cuts to research funding have come at a critical time in the fight against this devastating disease. (more…)

Read More

Pitt Pharmacy’s Drug Take-Back Day A Great Success

More than 100 people came to the University Pharmacy on Sept. 12 for Drug Take-Back Day, where student and faculty volunteers from the Pitt School of Pharmacy along with Pitt Police officers collected 185 pounds of expired and unused medications to turn over to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The event marked the DEA-sponsored 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, and similar drug take-back stations were offered throughout the UPMC hospital system. (more…)

Read More

UPMC ‘Lends a Hand’: Starting School With Lessons of Dignity, Respect


Kindergartners at Pittsburgh’s Arlington Primary Campus started the 2015-16 year strong with a first-day-of-school celebration hosted by UPMC volunteers who participated through the “Lend a Hand” program. Each month, UPMC employees lend their hands in the community by participating in donation drives, volunteering and attending events.

Wide-eyed students saw the signs, balloons and cheering volunteers as they made their way toward the school. Diggy M.D., the UPMC Center for Engagement and Inclusion’s Dignity and Respect mascot, and Ready Freddy the Frog were on hand with hugs and low fives for each new student. The Ready Freddy program was created in collaboration with Pittsburgh Public Schools aiming to ease a child’s transition into kindergarten, setting the tone for his/her educational experience for many years to come.

Photos with Diggy and Freddy proved to be the student and family favorite. The celebration ended with four new classes of kindergartners and their teachers running through a tunnel of volunteers.

Read More

A Female Viagra? Here’s What You Should Know

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a new pill for the treatment of low sexual desire in women. The drug, called flibanserin (trade name Addyi), is being called the“female Viagra,” but there are some important facts about flibanserin that women should know.

“Female Viagra” is really a misnomer. While Viagra most affects the genital tissues, flibanserin is thought to work through effects on neurotransmitters in the brain. Additionally, while Viagra is typically taken on an as-needed basis right before sex, flibanserin is taken daily. (more…)

Read More

Leadership, Staff Gather to Commemorate 30th Anniversary of UPCI

On September 3, 1985, Ronald Herberman, M.D., arrived in Pittsburgh to lead the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI). On the same day 30 years later, leadership and staff gathered at the Hillman Cancer Center, home to UPCI and its partner, UPMC CancerCenter, to celebrate three decades of innovation and progress towards a cure for a disease that impacts the lives of so many people across the world. (more…)

Read More