Take a bow! Arnold School success has wide reach
September 12, 2012
Competition finalists named
The Columbia Regional Business Report has named three people from the Arnold School of Public Health as finalists in the second annual Health Care Heroes competition.
A finalist in the Community Outreach category is Dr. Saundra Glover, director of the Institute for Partnerships to Eliminate Health Disparities and a professor in the department of health services policy and management. Glover is also the Arnold School’s associate dean for health disparities and social justice and associate director of the S.C. Rural Health Research Center.
Among the Health Care Professional finalists is Jan Merling of the Arnold School’s Office for the Study of Aging. Merling directs the Dementia Dialogues program and has trained about 18,000 caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients across South Carolina.
Dr. Steve Blair, a professor in the departments of exercise science and epidemiology and biostatistics, is a finalist in the Research category.
Finalists will be recognized and category winners will be announced at a dinner Oct. 3 at the Marriott Columbia from 6 – 9 p.m.
Visit https://www.columbiabusinessreport.com/events/HealthCareHeroes for ticket information.
Faculty elected to service posts
Dr. Ed Frongillo, chair of the department of health promotion, education, and behavior, has been elected to serve a two-year term on the Governance Committee of the American Society for Nutrition’s International Nutrition Council.
The executive committee of the American Public Health Association has appointed Dr. Linda Hazlett, a clinical assistant professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics, to serve on the Program Planning Committee for a one-year term beginning at the end of the annual meeting in October. Hazlett also serves at the graduate director for epidemiology.
Dr. Robert Valois, a professor in the department of health promotion, education, and behavior, has been appointed to the editorial board of the American Journal of Sexuality Education. He also will serve as the secretary-elect for the American Public Health Association’s School Health Education & Services Section through 2014.
Marcus Lattimore honored by SEC
USC junior tailback Marcus Lattimore, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public health at the Arnold School, was selected as the SEC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance at Vanderbilt in week 1 of competition.
Lattimore, who is from Duncan, is back with the team after suffering a knee injury that ended his 2011 season with the Gamecocks. In his first game since the injury, Lattimore had a game-high 110 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 23 carries to lead the Gamecocks to a 17 - 13 SEC Conference win over the Commodores. He also caught three passes for 21 yards.
Lattimore, who leads all current collegiate players in average yards per game for a career, was selected as the league’s Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career.
HSPM study recognized by Kaiser Family Foundation
The Kaiser Family Foundation recently singled out a study – by researchers at the Arnold School and USC School of Medicine – that appeared in the journal of Health and Place. The study, which examined the factors related to obesity among residents living in persistently poor, rural, and urban counties, appeared in the June issue of Kaiser’s Monthly Update on Health Disparities.
The researchers found that both individual and county-level factors influence a resident’s likelihood of being obese. Dr. Jan Probst, a professor in the department of health services policy and management and director of the S.C. Rural Health Research Center, and Chaiporn Pumkam collaborated with Dr. Kevin J. Bennett of USC’s medical school on the study.
The study comprised data from the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), from over 230,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 65 years, combined with county-level data extracted from the Area Resource File (ARF) and the Food Environment Atlas of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The researchers compared obesity rates in three geographic areas: 1) Urban, 2) Persistent Poverty Rural (PPR) (i.e. a county with 20 percent or more of the population below the poverty level in the census years 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990), and 3) Other Rural. Fewer than 2 percent of the sample resided in PPR counties; 82 percent were in urban counties, and 16 percent lived in “Other Rural” counties.
Residents of “Persistent Poverty Rural” and “Other Rural” counties were more likely to be obese than residents of “Urban” counties. The relationship between county type and obesity remained significant after controlling for socio-demographic variables including race, age, gender and marital status, but was no longer significant after controlling for county-level variables – such as number of grocery stores per square miles, per capita fast food expenditure, and access to quality food sources. The authors concluded that community-level and individual characteristics contribute to the high rates of obesity found in PRR counties and suggested that in order to reduce obesity rates in these areas, efforts should be targeted toward those “factors that can be amenable to policy interventions, such as food availability and SNAP benefit levels.”
HPEB students honored
Achievements for students from the department of health promotion, education, and behavior include:
- The S.C. Public Health Association Student Forum for 2012 – 13 has named several students to leadership posts: Oghenekaro Omodior will be vice chair; Caroline Bergeron will serve as secretary; and Nan Carter will be a member-at-large.
- Shaun Owens received the 2012 Public Health Scholarship Award (first place) from the S.C. Public Health Association. This monetary award is granted to graduate students who achieve and maintain stellar academic performance and exhibit significant commitment to the public health profession through volunteer and professional activities.
- The research of Winston Abara and Shaun Owens was featured in a recent newsletter of the Institute for African-American Research.
- Jean Marie-Place, a Ph.D. student, received funding to attend the International Council of Women’s Health Issues(ICOWHI) Congress on “Women’s Health 2012: Partnering for a Brighter Global Future,” including a travel grant from The Graduate School.
Turner-McGrievy studies ‘mHealth’
Dr. Brie Turner-McGrievy was accepted into the Mobile Health (mHealth) Summer Training Institute which took place in July at Northeastern University in Boston.
Hosted by the Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research and many NIH institutes, centers and federal partners, the program is designed to provide early-career investigators with an opportunity to learn about mHealth research. The mentors for the program comprise leaders in the fields of engineering, medicine and the behavioral and social sciences. Program participants focused on the current state of the science in mobile technology and engineering, behavior change theory and clinical applications, and the opportunities among these areas for research related to health.
Turner-McGrievey, who joined the Arnold School’s faculty in the department of health promotion, education, and behavior in 2011, studies emerging technologies to create health behavior changes, including mHealth and eHealth; vegetarian and vegan dietary approaches in the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases; diet quality and assessment; and obesity prevention and treatment.
Hypertension study remains in the news
A study on hypertension by Robin Shook, a graduate student in the Arnold School’s department of exercise science, is getting a second wave of publicity.
The research findings, first reported in the May issue of the journal “Hypertension,” are being transmitted now by United Press International. Shook garnered national and international attention for his research in late spring.
The study found that people can reduce the risk the risk of developing hypertension through moderate exercise and increased cardiovascular fitness – even if their parents have a history of high blood pressure.
Steck’s cancer research recognized
Dr. Susan Steck, an associate professor in the Arnold School’s department of epidemiology and biostatistics, has been elected secretary/treasurer of the American Society of Preventive Oncology, a national research organization dedicated to progress toward cancer prevention and control.
Steck joined the Arnold School’s faculty in 2005 and is a researcher with the Cancer Prevention and Control Program. She is an affiliated scholar with the Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities.
The American Institute for Cancer Research recently featured Steck as the “Scientist in the Spotlight” in its ScienceNow publication. The article highlighted Steck’s cancer studies, including research on vitamin D and cancer in African Americans.
Walsemann study examines criminal justice exposure
Dr. Katrina Walsemann, an assistant professor in the Arnold School’s department of health promotion, education, and behavior, has received funding for a study on how exposure to the criminal justice system influences substance use during the transition from adolescence to early adulthood. Walsemann is the co-investigator on the grant that is led by Dr. Connie Hassett-Walker of Kean University.
The study seeks to identify and describe trajectories of justice system involvement, and trajectories of substance use, including alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs, from adolescence to early adulthood; 2) examine how trajectories of criminal justice involvement influence substance use trajectories from adolescence to early adulthood; and 3) examine how educational attainment and employment affect the relationship between criminal justice involvement and substance use.
Wirth paper receives plaudits
Mike Wirth, a doctoral student in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics, earned honorable mention for a paper, titled Shiftwork Duration and the Awakening Cortisol Response, that appeared in the journal Chronobiology International.
Wirth’s paper was entered in the annual Alice Hamilton for Excellence in Occupational Safety and Health competition. The award is from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.