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

Archive for April, 2016

Last-Minute Marathon Tips From Dr. Aaron Mares


The 2016  Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon is coming up. If you’re planning to run, UPMC’s Dr. Aaron Mares has some last-minute tips for a safe and healthy day on the course.

For more tips, click here.

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Bedford Memorial Celebrates Donate Life Month


Jeanne Defibaugh of Northern Bedford knows the life-saving value of organ donation better than most people – her husband is a liver recipient and she is a living kidney donor for a family friend.

Defibaugh spoke at UPMC Bedford Memorial’s flag-raising ceremony Monday to inspire hope, advocacy and passion for National Donate Life Month. Both her husband and her friend have recovered and returned to work.

Nationally, more than 121,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant, explained Misty Enos, communications director at the Center for Organ Recovery and Education (CORE). In 2015, five tissue donations and five cornea donations occurred at UPMC Bedford Memorial.   (more…)

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The Opioid Epidemic: Pitt Public Health Examines the Data


Western Pennsylvania is in the midst of a drug overdose epidemic, prompting the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health to create a pilot grant project that funds several studies exploring different aspects of the problem.

Jeanine Buchanich, Ph.D., deputy director of the Center for Biostatistics and Epidemiology at Pitt Public Health, discusses her pilot project to examine data on overdose deaths. The results will be made available to public health practitioners and law enforcement officials with the goal of  better guiding efforts to prevent these deaths.

For more information or resources to help with drug addiction, click here. (more…)

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Flag Given in Gratitude by Starving Family Returns Home

J flag

Dennis Downey tells the story in a quiet, reverent tone.

More than 70 years ago, shortly after World War II, Downey’s father, an American soldier, shared his food rations with a starving Japanese family. In appreciation, the family presented his dad with several gifts, including a Japanese flag.

Last week, at UPMC Shadyside’s Cherry Blossom Festival, the story came full circle.

Downey, a mechanic who maintains UPMC Shadyside’s generators and other equipment, presented the flag to Dr. Kazuo Kodera, guest of honor at the festival, who agreed to fulfill Downey’s wish and take the flag back to its land of origin. (more…)

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Pitt Public Health Chair of Epidemiology Elected to Prestigious Medical Association


Anne B. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, was elected to the Association of American Physicians at the nonprofit organization’s annual meeting recently held in Chicago.

Dr. Newman was inducted into the association for having “attained excellence” in the “pursuit of medical knowledge, and the advancement through experimentation and discovery of basic and clinical science and their application to clinical medicine.”

“It is a wonderful honor to be elected to the Association of American Physicians,” said Dr. Newman, the Katherine M. Detre Endowed Chair of Population Health Sciences at Pitt Public Health and director of Pitt’s Center for Aging and Population Health. “I look forward to learning from my fellow members and sharing my scientific knowledge and expertise in epidemiology with them, all with the ultimate goal of improving patient care and preventative medicine.”

Dr. Newman’s research focuses on aging, including the determinants of physical and cognitive function, as well as successful aging and longevity. Using non-invasive assessment in multiple organ systems, she has been a leader in developing clinically relevant metrics for healthy aging. Her work on sarcopenia – loss of muscle mass – has shifted the paradigm toward a holistic assessment of body composition.

She is leading several long-term studies and clinical trials in older adults funded by the National Institute on Aging, including the Health, Aging and Body Composition Study, which identified factors for disability in people over 70 years old, showing that physical endurance and muscle strength are critically important. These findings were targeted in the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders, or LIFE, study, and made international news when that study showed that these risk factors could be successfully modified to prevent disability. (more…)

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