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

Archive for March, 2016

The Opioid Epidemic: Numbers That Matter

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This is the second post in a blog series entitled “The Opioid Epidemic,” a collaboration between UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences highlighting the doctors, researchers and nurses making significant efforts to reduce diversion and misuse of prescription opioids. For more information about the series or resources to help with drug addiction, click here.   

Overdose deaths surpassed the number of car crash deaths in the United States, with 42,000 deaths in 2014. Western Pennsylvania has been exceptionally hard hit, with overdose deaths increasing 14-fold in the past 35 years.

The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health is compiling some of the most comprehensive statistics on the problem to help guide public health interventions and law enforcement efforts.

Jeanine Buchanich, Ph.D., deputy director of Pitt Public Health’s Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology is leading this project.

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The Opioid Epidemic: A Program for Pregnant Women Coping with Addiction

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This is the first post in a blog series entitled “The Opioid Epidemic,” a collaboration between UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences highlighting the doctors, researchers and nurses making significant efforts to reduce diversion and misuse of prescription opioids. For more information about the series or resources to help with drug addiction, click here.    

Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC and the nation are facing an increasing number of pregnant women struggling with an opioid addiction.

In 2014, Magee, in collaboration with three local insurance companies and the Allegheny County Office of Behavioral Health, addressed this growing epidemic by opening a comprehensive Pregnancy Recovery Center to provide concurrent treatment for opiate use disorders and prenatal care and delivery.

Current staff and patients who have gone through the program share their thoughts on the Pregnancy Recovery Center.

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Grow Your Career with UPMC: Spotlight on Muya Muya

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Meet Muya Muya, a medication delivery assistant at UPMC Presbyterian who was born in Somalia and raised in Kenya before coming to Pittsburgh. Before joining Pharmacy, Muya worked in Environmental Services (EVS) and was assigned to the Pharmacy’s administrative offices. Although he recognized the importance of cleaning, he wanted a challenge and a position “to improve myself and better myself.”

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Grow Your Career with UPMC: Spotlight on Dawndra Jones, D.N.P, RN, NEA-BC

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DawndraJones2EDITFor 25 years, Dawndra Jones has dedicated her career to nursing and patient care, advancing in leadership roles and at the same time, investing in her own passion for education. When Dr. Jones was named vice president of Patient Care Services and chief nursing officer at UPMC McKeesport nearly two years ago, it opened the next chapter of many in her UPMC journey.

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Spreading Awareness: 6 Tips to Prevent Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer Awareness Month

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, prompting UPMC Presbyterian’s Dr. Jennifer Holder-Murray, assistant professor, Division of Colon and Rectal Surgery, to offer advice to help reduce a person’s chance of getting colorectal cancer. 

Dr. Holder-Murray’s tips include:

  • Get regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at 50 years old. Those with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps, or a personal history of another cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, are encouraged to talk to their doctor about earlier screening.
  • Eat plenty of fiber — 20 to 35 grams of fiber each day from fruits, vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, nuts and beans.
  • Eat a low-fat diet.
  • Eat foods with folate such as leafy green vegetables.
  • Don’t drink excessive alcohol or smoke. Alcohol and tobacco in combination are linked to colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers.
  • Exercise for at least 20 minutes three to four days each week. Moderate exercise such as walking, gardening or climbing steps may help reduce risk.

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