SPH Weekly E-News

Aug. 3, 2015

Throughout the summer, the weekly e-news will be published every other week. Announcements for the next edition should be submitted by noon on Aug. 14. Weekly distribution will return on Aug. 17.


Recent news


Graduate student Wright selected as HHMI International Student Research Fellow
Melecia Wright, doctoral candidate in the Department of Nutrition at the Gillings School, has been chosen as an International Student Research Fellow by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).


Arden Miller, national leader, former chair of maternal and child health, dies July 26
C. Arden Miller, MD, a respected national leader and expert in child health, died on July 26 at the age of 90. Dr. Miller formerly was vice chancellor of health sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill and professor and chair of maternal and child health at the Gillings School of Global Public Health.


Gay and bisexual men willing to use at-home screening tests for anal cancer, study finds
Joshua A. Thompson, MD, MPH, a Gillings School alumnus, and Noel T. Brewer, PhD, associate professor of health behavior at the Gillings School, are co-authors of a recent study examining gay and bisexual men’s willingness to self-administer anal cancer screening tests at home.


Presentations at International AIDS Conference address HIV self-testing, economic incentives
Harsha Thirumurthy, PhD, associate professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School, gave two presentations at the 8th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Vancouver, Canada on July 20 and 21. He shared new research conducted in Kenya on important HIV prevention topics, including economic incentives and self-testing.


Rimer nominated to chair President’s Cancer Panel
Barbara K. Rimer, DrPH, dean and Alumni Distinguished Professor at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, has been selected by President Barack Obama to chair the President’s Cancer Panel.


Doctoral candidate Black awarded University Cancer Research Fund grant
Kristin Black, doctoral candidate in the maternal and child health department at the Gillings School, has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the University Cancer Research Fund.


Cash transfers conditional on schooling do not prevent HIV infection among young women in South Africa
A phase III trial has found that conditional cash transfers for school attendance did not reduce the risk of HIV infection among young women of high school age in South Africa. Investigators from the HIV Prevention Trials Network reported the findings July 21 at the 8th International Aids Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Vancouver, Canada. Audrey Pettifor, PhD, associate professor of epidemiology at the Gillings School, was principal investigator and study protocol chair.


Early HIV treatment provides protection for uninfected partner, study finds
Antiretroviral therapy for HIV infection provides lasting protection against the sexual transmission of the virus from infected men and women to their HIV-uninfected sexual partners. The discovery, made by investigators from UNC-Chapel Hill and the HIV Prevention Trials Network, was reported July 20 at the 8th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Vancouver, Canada. Myron Cohen, MD, professor of epidemiology at UNC’s Gillings School, was principal investigator for the study.


Rate of rural hospital closures is rising, study finds
Since 2010, the rate of rural hospital closures in the United States has increased significantly. During this period, there have been three closures in North Carolina alone. Brystana Kaufman, MSPH, recent graduate of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Gillings School, was lead author of a paper that examined factors differentiating recently closed hospitals from those that remain open.


Health behavior students address aging in Orange County

At the Orange County Master Aging Plan (MAP) Steering Committee meeting on July 23, more than 40 local community providers and older adult leaders came together to talk about accomplishments during the past year. Student from the health behavior (HB) department of the Gillings School were mentioned repeatedly. The concept for MAP was developed by an HB capstone team in 2011, and each year a capstone team and/or HB interns help implement aspects of the original five-year plan.

This summer, eight HB students are being hosted as interns by the Orange County Department on Aging. Some of the students, including Sarah Edwards and Julia Katz, presented on their work at the Steering Committee meeting. “These students are making a real impact to meet the needs of local seniors and to help Orange County become even more aging-friendly,” said Heather Altman, MPH, project manager of the Global Aging Collaborative at the Gillings School.


UNC-IntraHealth Summer Fellows blog about mHealth, abuse during childbirth

Rebeccah Bartlett and Christina Villella are Gillings School graduate students and UNC-IntraHealth Summer Fellows. They both have contributed fantastic posts to VITAL, IntraHealth’s blog, about experiences abroad and lessons learned as part of their summer fellowships. Click through to read full articles on how “Stronger Health Systems Could End Abuse during Childbirth,” by Rebeccah Bartlett, and “Three Ways to Scale the Mountain of mHealth Pilot Studies,” by Christina Villella.


Events and deadlines for Aug. 3–16

The SPH Events Calendar is now available for iCal, Google Calendar and other apps.


Gillings community invited to enjoy summer yoga classes

Monday, Aug. 3
Noon12:30 p.m.
2304 McGavran-Greenberg Hall

On behalf of the School’s Culture of Health initiative, all members of the Gillings community are invited to participate.

Please contact mps3@email.unc.edu if you have any questions.


Fulbright Canada Programs accepting applications

Faculty and students of the Gillings School (who are U.S. citizens) are invited to apply to the Fulbright Canada Programs. These programs range from four months to three years in length and offer stipends between $12,500 and $120,000. Please visit www.fulbright.ca/ to find more information and see the full list of research themes. The application deadline for faculty and PhD holders is Aug. 3; the deadline for graduate students is Oct. 13.

Faculty and PhD holders: please contact Brad Hector, bhector@fulbright.ca, program officer for scholars, if you have any questions.

Graduate students: please contact Michelle Emond, memond@fulbright.ca, program officer for students, if you have any questions.


APHA webinar series to cover impact of racism on health and well-being

Tuesday, Aug. 4
23:30 p.m.
2306 McGavran-Greenberg Hall

Gillings is offering on-campus screenings of the American Public Health Association (APHA) summer webinar series, “The Impact of Racism on the Health and Well-being of the Nation.” The four-part series will address issues of critical importance, as evidenced by the School’s mission to eliminate health disparities, the centrality of diversity and inclusion in the School’s strategic plan, the School community’s engagement with the Black Lives Matter movement and more. The remaining screenings, in order of appearance, will be:

  • Community Violence and Well-Being
    (Aug. 4, 23:30 p.m., 2306 McGavran-Greenberg Hall)
  • Unequal Treatment: Disparities in Access, Quality and Care
    (Aug. 18, 23 p.m., Location TBD)
  • Racism: The Silent Partner in High School Dropout and Health Disparities
    (Sept. 1, 23 p.m., Location TBD)

If you are unable to join the on-campus screenings, you can register to participate online. (One free CPH credit is available to participants who register, attend the entire webinar, complete the online evaluation and obtain a CE certificate.) More information is available at tinyurl.com/APHA-racism-webinars.


Desk exercise classes come to Gillings

Aug. 6 and Aug. 13 (Thursdays)
12:45—1 p.m.
2304 McGavran-Greenberg Hall

The Gillings School’s Culture of Health initiative introduces a new free class for community members: Sittercise. If you find yourself sitting at a desk for too long, drop by to learn how to be a “fitter sitter.”


World Health Assembly simulation seeks participants

Friday, Oct. 2
Noon–6:30 p.m.
Armfield Atrium, Michael Hooker Research Center

AMWHO is the only World Health Assembly (WHA) simulation in the United States. It aims to engage and educate undergraduate and graduate students in the plethora of global health opportunities. Participants send a working resolution to the WHA in Geneva, Switzerland. Learn more and register online; enjoy a discounted $50 early bird registration fee if you sign up prior to Aug. 15.

Contact Samantha Croffut, samcroff@live.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


Stigma Free Carolina seeks students to discuss mental health

Stigma Free Carolina is seeking students who have lived experience with mental health concerns to participate in a video showcasing the personal experience of such students on UNC’s campus. Contact stigmafree@unc.edu if you would like to participate.


Opportunity to work with local educators to end child sexual abuse in Orange County

The Orange County Rape Crisis Center seeks a motivated and personable intern to deliver their evidence-informed SafeTouch child empowerment program in local elementary schools. Visit ocrcc.org/about/employment/ for more details.


USAID issues two calls for Ebola response partnerships

To aid the recovery and rebuilding of the countries most heavily impacted by Ebola, USAID has released two calls for partnership to companies, foundations, non-profits and others interested in making a difference.

The Ebola Response, Recovery and Resilience in West Africa APS Addendum (PDF) aims to leverage the good ideas, capacity and resources of the local, regional and international private sectors to develop partnerships that address gaps and build resilience in health care, education, information/communications technology, energy infrastructure and social programing. USAID may issue approximately 10 to 20 awards between $250,000 and $2 million.

The Feed the Future Ebola Recovery Partnership APS Addendum (PDF) will engage and mobilize the expertise, infrastructure and resources of the private sector, foundations and other partners, including in-country partners, to achieve a rapid and robust recovery from the Ebola outbreak and foster broad-based food security in the short, medium and long term. USAID anticipates awarding at least $1 million across two or more alliances.


Upcoming events and deadlines


School-wide event to welcome new and returning students

Monday, Aug. 17
89:30 a.m.
133 Rosenau Hall

Gillings is eager to welcome new and returning students for the 20152016 school year. The event schedule is as follows:

  • 8 a.m. Breakfast
  • 8:45 a.m. Welcome from Dean Barbara K. Rimer
  • 9:30 a.m. Departmental sessions

Please contact Natiaya Neal, nneal@email.unc.edu, if you have any questions.


Memorial service to honor Dr. Michael O’Malley

Saturday, Aug. 22
1—3 p.m.
G200 Genome Sciences Building (Auditorium)

Michael O’Malley, PhD, associate director of UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and adjunct associate professor of health policy and management at the Gillings School, passed away unexpectedly on June 24. Read more in School News.

A memorial to honor Dr. O’Malley and reflect on his life and service will be held Aug. 22 at the Genome Sciences Building. Genome Sciences is located near the Bell Tower and the Carolina Union in the center of the UNC campus. Parking will be available in the Ram’s Head Parking Deck adjacent to the building (map).

The program will begin with planned remarks. Time also will be allotted for individuals in the audience who would like to share memories of Dr. O’Malley. A reception will be held, also in the Genome Sciences Building, at the conclusion of the program.

In his memory, friends and colleagues are invited to donate to the Michael S. O’Malley Cancer Prevention Fund at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. The fund will carry on his passionate life’s work by funding innovative education and research initiatives at UNC Lineberger.

For details about memorial gifts or to share your thoughts and reflections with Dr. O’Malley’s family, please visit michael.web.unc.edu. His obituary can be found here.


NCHS seeks exhibitors for 2015 National Conference on Health Statistics

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is currently accepting applications to exhibit at the 2015 National Conference on Health Statistics, to be held Aug. 24–26, 2015, in Bethesda, Maryland. The conference focuses on the critical importance of public health data in making an impact on the health and well-being of the U.S. population. Registration for the main two-day conference is free; more than 1,000 people are expected to attend. If you are interested in exhibiting at the conference, you can access more information at www.cdc.gov/nchs/events/2015nchs/.

Please contact conference coordinator Jennifer Adona, Jenniferk@capconcorp.com, if you have any questions.


Gillings to host welcome-back gathering

Tuesday, Sept. 1
3 p.m.
Armfield Atrium

The dean’s office will host a welcome-back gathering to kick off the 2015-2016 academic year. Enjoy healthy food, meet some new people and catch up with friends and colleagues!

Please contact Angelica Figueroa, a.fig@unc.edu, if you have any questions.


Registration now open for NCHICA’s 21st annual Conference and Exhibition

Sunday, Sept. 13–Wednesday, Sept. 16
Pinehurst, N.C.

The theme of the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communications Alliance’s (NCHICA’s) 21st annual Conference and Exhibition is “Transforming Healthcare from Volume to Value.” The program will feature over 40 speakers, four plenary sessions and 21 breakout sessions on population health, health information exchange and technology topics. For further details on registration fees and deadlines, click here.


How to send announcements through this listserv:

To submit an event or announcement, please complete the form located at https://sph.unc.edu/comm/announcements-form/.

For all submissions:

  • Events and announcements posted by noon each Friday will be included in the following week’s email and newletter, which is sent on Mondays.
  • Requests posted after noon on Friday will be added to the website as soon as possible and will be featured in subsequent emails.