Drs. Heidi Hanson and Yelena Wu Featured in Algorithms for Innovation
Division of Public Health faculty, Heidi Hanson, PhD, MS and Yelena Wu, PhD, were featured in the Algorithms for Innovation article, Fueling the Fire: Fostering Women in Science. The article features young female scientists that are thriving in the University Health Sciences. Read More
More photos of our events, booth, students and faculty from the APHA 2016 annual meeting and expo.
Utah Public Health Student Ambassadors Update
Utah Public Health Student Ambassadors (UPHSA) has had an exciting fall semester. In its second year as a student group, we have already surpassed the amount of students reached last year. We started the year off on campus at Plazafest and traveled to BYU and Sandy to speak to high school students about public health. Our last event of the semester takes place at Dixie State in St. George on December 1-2. We currently have two presentations, one about epidemiology and another on injury prevention, which we have partnered with Primary Children’s Hospital. For the spring semester, we want to keep the momentum going. Information about future events will be distributed through the Division of Public Health newsletter and announcements sent out by Jill Stephenson and Hailey McCormick.
We are calling for more students to be involved with UPHSA and are also working on a presentation with Huntsman Cancer Institute on skin cancer prevention. If you are interested in more information or how to be involved, contact us at UPHSA@utah.edu or check out our website at uphsainfo.wixsite.com/uphsa and our facebook page @UPHSA.
Need a Lyft? UPHSA partnered with Lyft to give new riders a $50 credit - lyft.com/invite/UPHSA. Be safe out there!
The Division of Public Health is at APHA! More news to follow next month.
The Division of Public Health held a gala in honor of the launch of the alumni association! The Alumni raised over $800 for student scholarships. Special thanks to all who attended and tune in for more news.
Public Health Graduate Rises Corporate Ladder at PEGUS Research
Kimberly Anderson, graduate of the Division of Public Health, has risen through the ranks at PEGUS Research to become vice president of clinical operations. She joined the company in its call center, but loved the work and the company so much she completed a bachelor’s degree and a master’s in public health in order to progress within the firm. Read More
Students from the Asia Campus Celebrate Chuseok: Korean Thanksgiving Day
Chuseok, also known as Korean Thanksgiving Day, is one of the most important and festive holidays of the year. This year, Chuseok falls on Thursday, September 19th, but the holiday period actually lasts for three days in total – including the day before and after Chuseok. Read More
Drs. Porucznik and Stanford Announced as Lead Principal Investigators on $3.1 Million Award to Study Children's Health
The September 21, 2016 the University of Utah released that a $3.1 million award was received from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study children's health in conjunction with the national launch of the Environmental influences on Child Health Outcomes (ECHO) initiative. Read more
Official Launch of the Public Health Alumni Association
The Division of Public Health has officially launched the Alumni Association. The association will be holding its first annual gala to introduce the association and celebrate 40+ years of Public Health education.
New Faculty at Public Health
Dr. Steven Godin joined the Division of Public Health within the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah School of Medicine in July, 2016. Beyond teaching in the graduate public health programs on the main campus and Asian campus, Dr. Godin’s role will be to build the undergraduate public health programs (tracks include: nutrition, global health, health policy, and environmental) so they become CEPH (Council on Education in Public Health) accredited. Prior to arriving at the U of U, Dr. Godin served on faculty within the Department of Health Studies faculty at East Stroudsburg University (ESU) both as an undergraduate BSPH coordinator (1994-2007) and graduate MPH program director (2007-2015). Read More about Dr. Godin
A new semester started at the Division of Public Health in Asia! We are welcoming new students to the program. Read More
Public Health Faculty Participate in Childhood Cancer Research
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (August 30, 2016) – The St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a volunteer-powered and donor-centered charity dedicated to raising money for childhood cancer research, is proud to award a $90,650 St. Baldrick’s Research Grant to support the work of Anne Kirchhoff, Ph.D., a researcher at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Utah.
With the grant from St. Baldrick’s, Dr. Kirchhoff and her research team from the University of Utah, including Drs. Judy Ou, Heidi Hanson, and Jim VanDerslice, will be the first to study the relationship between air pollution, pulmonary health issues, and childhood cancer survivors. Using a unique epidemiologic resource, the Utah Population Database, her project aims to identify pulmonary health risks due to air pollution among childhood cancer survivors, which will help inform effects to prevent morbidity in this growing population. Read More
SPARK Study Newsletter
Dr. Wu and her research team recently completed a study on children at risk for melanoma to identify factors that impact children’s engagement in melanoma preventive behaviors (the SPARK Study). This study was funded in part by a F. Marian Bishop grant from the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah awarded to Dr. Wu. The team held 6 focus groups with 39 parents and 6 groups with 37 children on melanoma prevention and the obstacles families face when implementing melanoma preventive behaviors. Participating children had a parent who had a history of melanoma. Read More
Ensign College of Public Health Graduation
Ensign College of Public Health, located in Kpong, Ghana, held the graduation ceremony of its first class of Master of Public Health graduates on July 16, 2016. The program focuses on public health disciplines including epidemiology, environmental public health, global public health, and foundations of public health. Graduates of the college will become leaders in their country and impact change in a variety of Public Health disciplines which will impact Public Health reforms in the county. Congratulations graduates! Read more
Health 2 Go Official Launch
Asia Campus MSPH student, Jihye Park, with Drs. Stanford and Schliep attended the 2016 Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiologic Research (SPER) Annual Meeting. They presented their poster and research on Perceived Stress and Time to Pregnancy.
Health 2 Go Launches in Ghana
Fifteen years ago Professor Steve Alder and Rick Haskins envisioned doing good for Ghana. Having been involved in projects engaging the community, they wanted to immerse with the culture, working closely with the healthcare system already in place, rather than create a new, little program that did more for humanitarian’s sake than for the actual needs of the people.
Malaria, pneumonia, and diarrhea are the leading causes of global death for children under-5 years of age with malnutrition reported to be a contributing factor in almost half of all under-5 deaths. Lack of access to healthcare and poor-health household practices have also affected the health of most people in Ghana. To combat these issues, Health 2 Go (H2Go) was the culmination of that vision, based off of the World Health Organization’s strategy of Integrated Management of Children’s Illness (IMCI). This pilot program, in collaboration with Rick Haskins’ organization, Cast a Pebble, along with the University of Utah, Ensign College of Public Health and Ghana Health Services, aims to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality in Ghana. It hopes to evolve into a nationwide program, building upon its sponsored relationship with Ghana Health Services, as it bridges the gap between the healthcare system and the community. Read More
Sun Safety and Avoidance of Skin Cancer in Schools (SASS) Project
Division of Public Health faculty member, Yelena Wu, Ph.D., was awarded a new grant, skin cancer prevention in Utah schools: The sun safety and avoidance of skin cancer in schools (SASS) project, from the Utah Department of Health through the Cancer Control Program. The project focuses on working with a rural and urban Utah school districts to address skin cancer prevention policies and educational programming in the schools. With Utah having the highest rate of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer in the country, we are excited to see Dr. Wu make her mark in the community.
Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Primary Care Research Fellowship
The Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at The University of Utah School of Medicine was recently awarded a Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Primary Care Research Fellowship designed to train professionals for careers in research and academic medicine. This five-year grant will support up to two fellows a year with stipends, tuition, and fees as well as salary support for faculty and funding for a local primary care research conference.
The Department of Family and Preventive Medicine Program Faculty overseeing the grant include: Christina A. Porucznik, PhD, MSPH; Fellowship Program Director; Associate Professor and Associate Division Chief for Education, Division of Public Health; Lisa H. Gren, PhD, MSPH; Assistant Professor; Director, University of Utah Primary Care Research Network; Joseph B. Stanford, MD, MSPH: Professor; Adjunct Professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynecology; and Michael K. Magill, MD: Professor and Chairman.
CUGH 2016 Conference
April 9-11, 2016 the Consortium of Global University's 7th Annual Global Health Conference took place in San Francisco, CA. The Division of Public Health and the University of Utah were well represented at the conference with many students presenting posters featured at the conference. Global Health in Former Soviet Nations: Investigating the Determinants of Cardiovascular Health Across Armenia poster was a finalist for the Lancet-CUGH Best Student Poster. This was presented by: Calli Bennett, Rachel Huynh, Ben Berger, Dr. Marine Hovhannisyan, Casey Tak, and Hripsime Wright.
Graduation plans are underway for the Ensign College of Public Health’s first graduating class. The ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 16th and will be a memorable celebration for all in attendance. Admissions for fall 2016 have begun and the college continues to attract a strong and competitive applicant pool that is passionate about public health.
Public Health Professional Education
The Public Health & Disasters Conference just wrapped up and was a SUCCESS! Special thanks to all of our amazing guest speakers and wonderful attendees!
Epi Essentials: For Public Health Practice is next Friday! The training theme is Evaluation and will cover collecting and analyzing data to assess program outcomes and will be taught by Kimberley Shoaf, DrPH, Associate Chief for Community Engagement, Division of Public Health, University of Utah. Find out more...
Cancer Control Research
Dr. Yelena Wu and MSPH student Bridget Grahmann of the Wu Team at Huntsman Cancer Institute recently published a blog post on what cancer control is and how it helps people with cancer as well as those who may never have it. The blog outlines the importance of cancer control research, examples of cancer control research, and how this research is used in practice. Read More
Congratulations to our 2015-16 Public Health Graduates!
The Division of Public Health graduation ceremony took place on May 19, 2016. The graduation keynote was Jason Perry, JD, Vice President, Government Relations, University of Utah; Director, Hinckley Institute of Politics. Thanks to all the staff and faculty that made the event special!
In April 2016, Kathy Pedersen of Global Partners at the University of Utah physician assistant students spent one month in Nepal, where they were immersed in the culture and the multiple facets of the Nepali health care system. The trip included visits to a busy city hospital, a small rural clinic in Ghandruk, and outreach rural health camps. The physician assistant students presented at a major seminar on health workforce in Nepal. Read More
Don M. Pedersen, PhD, PA-C, ventured to Mount Everest to honor Eve Girawong, PA-C, who passed during an avalanche on Mr. Everest that was triggered after a 7.9 earthquake in 2015 in Nepal. Read Don's story about how the Physicians Assisntant program honored and preserved Eve's legacy.
Public Health Professional Education
Dr. Stephen Alder Awarded Perlman Award for Excellence in Student Counseling
The Alumni Association presents this award annually to faculty or staff who have exemplified excellence in student counseling. The recipient this year, Stephen Alder, is chief of the Division of Public Health at the U and has mentored and provided opportunities for countless students to make an impact on global health issues.
Alder is a professor of Family and Preventative Medicine and head of the Public Health at the U, where he holds adjunct appointments in Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Health Promotion and Education. Since joining the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine in 1995 as a founding member of the Health Research Center, he has been active in various forms of clinical and population-based research.
As the faculty advisor for Global Health Scholars in the Honors College since 2009, Alder has mentored, taught, and counseled thousands of students in majors impacting global health issues. He has also been instrumental in initiating the University’s Global Public Learning Abroad programs where students from a variety of disciplines—both grad and undergrad—participate in community-engaged scholarship in Ghana, Peru, India, Armenia, China and Uganda. Alder is also working to develop a Junior Global Health Scholars program for high school students. Read More
UPHA Conference - 2016
Special thanks to all the staff, faculty, and students for representing the university at the 2016 UPHA Conference!
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows
On Friday, April 1, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows visited the state of Utah and spent the morning in the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. Our professors, Michael Magill, MD; Christina Porucznik, MD, MSPH; and Karen Mulitalo, MPAS, PA-C each presented to the fellows. David Keahley, PA-C, MSPH, an associate professor with the University of Utah Physician Assistant Program in the Department of Family Medicine, is a current member of the foundation. Thank you to Dr. David Sundwall for coordinating the visit.
Asia Campus- Sondgo, South Korea
University of Utah - Asia Campus has a New Building!
The University of Utah, including the MPH program, has a new home in Songdo, South Korea.
Check out pictures of the new space below!
Ghana Campus- Kpong, Ghana
Ensign College of Public Health Matriculation
Ensign College of Public Health held a matriculation ceremony for the second group of students to pursue its Master of Public Health degree program for the 2015-16 academic year. The ceremony, which took place at the school's campus at Kpong, saw a total of fifty students which comprised 24 males and 26 females taking the matriculation oath.
In his address, the Inaugural Dean of the school, Dr. Christopher N. Tetteh, encouraged the matriculants to rest assured that they made the right choice in their quest to develop themselves academically, as Ensign offers the desired "citadel of learning, teaching, research, and community service for producing, sharing, and implementing knowledge".
Ensign College of Public Health was funded by Robert and Lynnette Gay, American Philanthropists, it is fully accredited by the National Accreditation Board of Ghana to run a Master of Public Health degree program and affiliated to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi and collaborating with the University of Utah. Read more
Cast a Pebble featured in Variety Magazine
Rick Haskins, CW’s executive vice president of marketing and brand strategy, has spearheaded the drive to build two schools, a latrine system, and other public health services in the village of Barakesa. Now Haskins’ non-profit organization, Cast a Pebble, is taking the model developed in Barakesa to four other villages in Ghana, and possibly other countries down the road.
Haskins’ interest in Ghana was spurred by his brother-in-law, Stephen Alder, our chief at the Division of Public Health. Over the years, Haskins saw that Alder and his students had conducted extensive research in the West African nation, but there was never enough funding to implement recommendations for improving conditions in villages like Barakesa. With Alder’s help... Read more
Dr. Mia Hashibe's student, Yuji Chen, presented her poster on a head and neck cancer case-control study at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of North Carolina, Asheville.
Most of the previous large-scale studies investigating body mass index (BMI) and head and neck cancer (HNC) risk have focused on European-origin populations. The aim of our study was to investigate potential associations between BMI and HNC risk in the East Asian population. Read More
Students at the 2016 UPHA Conference
Many of our students presented their research at the Utah Public Health Association Conference on April 12, 2016. Below we have highlighted the public health research of our students Emily Roberts, Bridget Grahmann, and Alvin Green. Thank you to all the students and faculty who represented the university at the conference.
Emily Roberts: Preparing for the Growing Impact of Alzheimer's and Related Dementias through Implementation of Utah's State Plan
Bridget Grahmann: Non-Modifiable Skin Cancer Risk Behaviors in a Screening Sample from a High-Risk Catchment Area
Alvin Green: Water Quality Analysis of a Non-traditional Distribution System in Trujillo, Peru
Public Health Professional Education
Public Health and Disasters is a multidisciplinary national conference that brings together professionals from a variety of disciplines including academia, research, medical practice, and emergency response, as well as policy-makers from public health, community disaster preparedness, social science, government, media, and non-governmental organizations.
This years topics include funding, collaboration, safety training, and working as a first responder. Plenary and breakout sessions will be hosted by professionals from local, state, regional, and national organizations.
Keynote Speakers include Linda Degutis, DrPH, MSN and Allison B. Johnson, MPA, Deputy Director for Management and Operations, Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Protection
Utah Public Health Student Ambassadors (UPHSA) is a new student interest group in the Division of Public Health. Three students are leading the club: Kasey Shakespear, a 2016 MPH/MHA candidate; Josh Bradford, a 2015 MPH graduate; and Alvin Green, a 2016 MPH candidate. The group plans to educate and inspire students about the science, impact, and careers of public health. Currently, the group is making presentations to high school students about public health and how it affects the community. They plan to expand to presentations for undergraduate students and other interested community member. The group’s presentations introduce the history, meaning, and practical use of public health, and incorporates a group activity where students trace the source of a hypothetical disease outbreak.
For more information, contact Shakespear at email@example.com, Bradford at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Green at email@example.com.
Asia Campus- Songdo, South Korea
The new semester has just begun at our Asia campus, and we are pleased to announce that the new building on campus is complete. Pictures coming soon!
Spring semester started March 2nd. Faculty and students have moved into the new University of Utah building and are enjoying ample space for teaching and learning activities. Active recruiting has started for a new professional format for the 2016-2017 academic year. This schedule will allow working students to attend evening and weekend classes and complete their MPH degree in one year.
Ghana Campus- Kpong, Ghana
We are pleased to congratulate Lynette Nielsen Gay on receiving a honorary Doctor of Humane Letter from the University of Utah.
Lynette Nielsen Gay will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters. A notable entrepreneur and philanthropist, she is best known for her impactful charity work, particularly in creating health programs in Africa. As an outgrowth of her development program in Ethiopia’s Rift Valley, she founded Engage Now Africa in 2002...Read more
Graduation is approaching at the Ensign College of Public Health in Kpong, Ghana. The graduation ceremony will take place on July 16, 2016.
Yelena Wu, PhD
In December, 2014, together with several colleagues, Wu was awarded the Diane Willis Award for Outstanding Article for a manuscript published in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology. The article, led by Dr. Tonya Palermo, was titled “Recommendations for training in pediatric psychology: Defining core competencies across training levels” and was the product of a task force through the Society of Pediatric Psychology. The Diane Willis Award is given yearly to one article selected by a committee and is rated by reviewers as having the highest likelihood of making an impact on the field.
The Journal of Pediatric Psychology is the flagship journal for the American Psychological Association’s Division 54 (Society of Pediatric Psychology). Pediatric psychology entails research and clinical practice focused on the psychological and behavioral aspects of health and illness among children, adolescents, and young adults. Pediatric psychologists work to answer questions through research and work directly with patients in clinical practice. Other pediatric psychologists work in policy and other settings.
This manuscript defined areas of competency in pediatric psychology that should be developed in graduate school and beyond. Many people are familiar with the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) competencies that are listed in the Division of Public Health course syllabi and that are an integral part of course planning for public health students at the University of Utah. Competencies in other fields, including pediatric psychology, are similar in that they focus on the key areas of knowledge and skills that an individual should have for work in that field. The competencies Wu and her colleagues developed for pediatric psychology focused on cross-cutting knowledge in pediatric psychology, science, professionalism, interpersonal skills, application, education, and systems. These areas were developed based on a review of the literature, their experience with pediatric psychology training and professional positions, and consultation with other experts. The authors hope that this article will contribute to continued discussions in the field of pediatric psychology and beyond on best practices for fostering trainee’s development of competencies and assessment of competency attainment.
Bridget Grahmann is a second-year Master of Science in Public Health student completing research for her thesis with skin cancer data from the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She is studying the characteristics of the population that attended a skin cancer screening at an HCI event in 2015. She began the public health program interested in chronic illness, but wasn’t interested in cancer research until she began working for Yelena Wu, PhD, as a research assistant. Grahmann was surprised to learn that Utah has the highest incidence rate of melanoma in the country, and that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. Grahmann said she is interested in skin cancer because it is a disease that affects many people even though it is completely preventable. The public health work that can be done for skin cancer, including improved screening access and education, can really make a difference to reduce mortality and morbidity. Grahmann said she hopes to continue working in cancer research after graduation.
Public Health Professional Education
Public Health Professional Education is a continuing education program designed for the public health practice community and housed in the Division of Public Health, a local performing site for the Rocky Mountain Public Health Training Center. Faculty and staff in the Division of Public Health at the University of Utah work to assess the training needs of the community and develop a set of educational offerings to meet those needs. The Public Health Professional Education program features programming in executive education, emerging leadership, core public health, and public health and disasters. This program replaces the Southwest Regional Training Center that was based at the University of California Los Angeles.
During the 2014-15 school year, 60 students gradauted with degrees from the Division of Public Health. There were 22 students who graduated with an MPH, four students with an MSPH, 13 students with joint degrees including MD, MHA, MPA, MPP, and MSW, 11 students with an MSTAT-Biostatistics, and 10 students with a PhD.
Ghana Campus in Kpong, Ghana
Four second-year MPH students and one staff member from Ensign College of Public Health visited Utah in November for two weeks of cross-cultural learning and experiences.
Heidi Hanson, PhD
Hanson’s K12 career development grant entitled Phenomes, Families, Cancer, and the Environment was recently funded through the Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health award program.
A major challenge for cancer researchers is to identify the genetic and environmental factors that play a role in cancer incidence. The purpose of this research project is to elucidate genetic and environmental mechanisms predisposing women to cancer by developing new algorithms to identify sex-specific familial and spatial patterns of cancer coaggregation.
Mia Hashibe, Ph.D.
Two undergraduate students working with Mia Hashibe, PhD, have recently had research sucesses.
Yuji Chen was awarded the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program Award at the University of Utah to work with Hashibe on a Nepal lung cancer case-control study.
Nancy Li’s first scientific publication was published in the December issue of Oral Oncology. The study explored oral lesions and chronic diseases and their relation to head and neck cancer in a Chinese population.
About Tazlina Mannix, MPH
Tazlina Mannix graduated from the MPH program in May 2015. After taking biostatistics and epidemiology, she realized she liked the math and science side of public health. She chose electives that would help her pursue a career in epidemiology, including ID epi, occupational epi, cancer epi, and SAS.
Mannix is now working as a health program associate for the State of Alaska, Division of Public Health, Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. She is part of the Surveillance and Evaluation team and is primarily working on data collection for the School Health Profiles, a CDC survey of school principals and health teachers. She is also compiling 2015 YRBS data into school district reports, and she is helping launch an updated version of Alaska's IBIS database.