1. Tulane SPHTM Celebrates Public Health Week throughout Southeast Louisiana The Tulane School of Publi

    The Tulane School of Public Health will celebrate National Public Health Week at both the downtown campus where graduate classes are held as well as on the uptown campus where university undergraduate classes are held. Events will also be held in the community. By the time the week ends, it will be obvious that “Public Health: Starts Here” at Tulane.

    Graduate School Events

    Downtown, The Tulane Maternal and Child Health Leadership Training Program will kick off the week on April 7 by sponsoring a webcast with alumnus Mr. Chris Gunther, manager of strategic initiatives for the City of New Orleans Health Department. Mr. Gunther will discuss “Stopping Violence Before It Occurs: Violence Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, and Public Health.” The webcast will be produced by the Alabama Department of Public Health.

    Dr. Tom Farley, former chair of the school’s Department of Community Health Sciences, will speak on both campuses during NPHW. On April 9 he will be downtown presenting on “Saving Gotham: Policy and Environmental Approaches to Health Promotion in New York City, 2002-2013.” Dr. Farley is the former health commissioner for New York City. 

    Undergraduate Events

    The Public Health Undergraduate Student Government has developed a full slate of uptown events for NPHW around several key topics. The week begins on April 7 with “What is Public Health,” with BSPH students sharing information about the field and inviting students to take a photo then finish the question “Public Health is…” with their own thoughts. The photos and answers will be displayed on a large whiteboard.

    On April 8, the undergraduates take on the Affordable Care Act, with nationally known political strategist Mr. James Carville and Clinical Assistant Professor of Global Health Systems and Development Mollye Demosthenidy. Mental health is the topic for April 9, including yoga on the quad, study break snacks, and presentations.

    Dr. Farley speaks again on “Saving Gotham” at the university student center on Thursday, April 10th. Finally, on April 11, the undergraduate focus will be on nutrition, with a healthy lunch and snacks on the uptown campus pocket park. Student leaders will explain what the Public Health Undergraduate Student Government does.

    Community Events

    The Gulf Region Health Outreach Programs, a collaborative effort of the Department of Global Environmental Health Sciences, is presenting daily NPHW events focused on the community:

    • On April 7, the topic is “Eat Well” with cooking demonstrations and samples from the Lose Dat Program, presented at the Tulane Community Health Center in New Orleans.
    • April 8th focuses on “Be the Healthiest Nation in One Generation” with a women’s wellness program at the Common Ground Health Clinic in Algiers, La.
    • On April 9, Participants are invited to “Be Healthy from the Start” at the Crossroads Pregnancy Center in Thibodaux, La.
    • April 10th is the day set aside to “Get Out Ahead” with emergency preparedness and diabetes management seminars in Belle Chasse, La.
    • Finally, on April 11, the topic is “Don’t Panic,” with a domestic violence seminar at the Tulane Community Health Center.

    The school will also promote and participate in the NPHW twitter chat on April 9, inviting our community to share and learn on a number of key topics.

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  2. Center for Emerging Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology launched at SPHTM

    Pierre Buekens, Arachu Castro

    Dean Pierre Buekens, CERPE director, with CERPE
    fellow Arachu Castro, the Samuel Z. Stone Chair of
    Public Health in Latin America.

    The Center for Emerging Reproductive and Perinatal Epidemiology (CERPE), directed by Dean Pierre Buekens, was officially launched last week at a lunchtime reception in their new space.  The CERPE features research and academic activities that span several SPHTM departments and the School of Medicine and includes the expertise of faculty from both schools.

    “I’m excited about CERPE because it allows for new research collaborations with emerging countries and provides its fellows and trainees with priority rights to use the center’s services, including computer facilities, scientific and software resources, and this beautiful work space,” Buekens said.

    The CERPE takes a broad approach to research with a focus on emerging issues such as congenital Chagas disease, dengue and pregnancy, and disasters and pregnancy; emerging methods including novel indicators of chronic stress and weathering, implementation research, and mHealth (mobile health); and collaborations with emerging countries/economies such as Argentina, China, and Mexico.

    CERPE trainees are pre- and postdoctoral students (MD, PhD) from Tulane University with a strong interest in developing knowledge and competencies in experimental research. All trainees have access to the Center’s programs and resources. The duration of a trainee’s membership varies according to his/her individual involvement in research projects. For more information about becoming a trainee or working with CERPE, contact Andie Meyer at ameyer1@tulane.edu.

     

  3. Malaria prevention saves children’s lives

    Malaria continues to be a major disease worldwide, but while funding projects are working hard to improve malaria prevention it is difficult to measure how effective these interventions are. New research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Malaria Journal has used a Lives Saved Tool (LiST) model to show that the increase in funding for the prevention of malaria has prevented 850,000 child deaths in the decade between 2001 and 2010 across Africa.


    Children in Guinea, Africa

    According to the WHO, malaria caused an estimated 655,000 deaths in 2010, mostly among African children. They estimate that a child dies every minute due to malaria in Africa, deaths which are unnecessary because malaria is both preventable and curable. In addition to diagnosis and treatment of sick children, simple solutions to prevent the diseases like insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITN) and malaria prevention during pregnancy, (IPTp), have all been shown to reduce the number of deaths due to malaria. Initiatives like Roll Back Malaria, set up in 1998, aim to reduce child mortality due to malaria by two thirds, by 2015, using large scale implementation of these simple solutions.

    Researchers from USA at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins, the WHO and the Malaria Control and Evaluation Partnership in Africa (MACEPA), used the LiST model to investigate the impact of malaria prevention in the decade between 2001 and 2010 across 43 countries in sub-Saharan Africa where malaria is endemic. The team, led by Dr. Thomas Eisele, based their model on UN estimates of malaria deaths over the year 2000 and future population growth, the effectiveness of ITNs and IPTp in preventing child deaths, and the number of households using ITN to protect their children.

    The LiST model conservatively estimates that malaria prevention has saved 850,000 children’s lives over the past decade. 99% of these were saved by using ITN alone. Dr Thomas Eisele commented, “Malaria continues to cause a tremendous amount of child deaths throughout Africa. If 100% of the children at risk of malaria had insecticide mosquito nets we estimate as many as 2.77 million additional children’s lives could be saved by 2015.”

    These figures are believed to be the lower estimate of deaths prevented by anti-malaria initiatives since they do not include the impact of better access to treatment with anti-malarials. However, the threat of malaria remains and both prevention and treatment plans need to be sustained for these improvements to be maintained.

     

  4. Tulane SPHTM Uses Internet to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

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    In recognition of May’s National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month, program leaders of the Louisiana Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative provided updates to the community on the significant strides made during the past year to prevent teenage pregnancy.

    In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded six grants totaling $30 million to Louisiana-based state and non-profit agencies, including the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, to address teen pregnancy prevention. The five-year grant is expected to reach more than 20,000 youth across six agencies throughout its implementation.

    According to recent statistics, Louisiana has the 18th highest teen pregnancy rate and ranks 13th for teen birth rates in the nation. In New Orleans, research shows youth are two times more likely than the national average to have sex before the age of 13, so much of the Collaborative’s  programming takes place in the New Orleans area.

    Tulane’s program, adapted an evidence-based intervention for Internet delivery entitled Sisters Informing, Healing, Living and Empowering (e-SiHLE), is a highly interactive four session intervention for African-American females ages 14-18. This program focuses on ethnic and gender pride, healthy relationships, and assertive communication. The goal of e-SiHLE is to reduce unintended teen pregnancy among 18-19 year-old African-American women in the Greater New Orleans area using an Internet- based curriculum, social media, forums, and text messaging to engage and educate young women about pregnancy prevention and HIV/STI risk reduction, as well as goal setting, gender empowerment, and communication and decision making skills.

    A community advisory panel of 18- to 24 year-old African-American women worked closely with the researchers to develop the program and the procedures for dissemination. Partnering sites for the program include Delgado Community College, the Tulane Drop-In Clinic, Southern University of New Orleans, and Dillard University.

    "The Internet provides an excellent mode for providing greater access to quality information and low-cost interventions in a manner that is relevant for our youth," said Patricia Kissinger, professor of epidemiology. "We hope our Internet-based pregnancy prevention intervention will help level the playing field so all youth have the opportunity to grow to be productive, happy, and healthy adults."

    The Louisiana Teen Pregnancy Prevention Collaborative will be hosting an event tomorrow (Friday, May 25, 2012) from 12noon - 2:30 p.m. n the Diboll Gallery at the Tidewater building, 1440 Canal Street. The event will feature food, musical performances, local celebrity panel discussions, as well as a film festival. Participation is free and youth between the ages of 13-19 are invited to attend.

    Visit the nola.com article to learn more about the other programs launched to reduce teenage pregnancies in Louisiana.

     

  5. Travel Bug and Friend in China, Summer 2013

    Travel Bug and her friend, the Flu, went on the annual China Summer Abroad trip with SPHTM undergrad and graduate students and faculty. 

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    Flu also enjoyed a sunny day with the group visiting historical Shanghai.

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    The group took Travel Bug to the CDC in Shanghai (though I am not sure the CDC appreciated this activity!).

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    The Travel Bug enjoyed a boat trip with Amanda Gusovsky, and a trek to the Great Wall where she posed with Amanda and Kelsey Chan-Chin. 

    These creatures get around! Come see us on the 24th floor if you want to take Travel Bug or one of her friends with you on your next adventure.  

     

  6. Johnnie Allen (CHS MPH’87)

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    Allen is Director of Health Equity at the Ohio Department of Health in Columbus and is helping to develop state policy initiatives to achieve health equity in Ohio.

     

  7. Travel Bug in Nicaragua

    In June Elaine Hicks, Education Services Librarian and SPHTM liaison at Matas Health Sciences Library, accompanied a group from her church, Trinity Episcopal, on their annual medical mission trip to Jinotega, Nicaragua. SPHTM Alumni Scott Kellerman, MD (MPHTM ‘78) was also a part of the group that provides pop up clinics complete with pharmacy, dental, and veterinary services, and medical supplies. During this mission, their 21st, the group treated and helped more than 1800 people and animals in the community. The annual trip is made possible by a grant from the Doris Stone Foundation, daughter of Samuel Zemurray, whose $25,000 gift in 1912 helped found the country’s first School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, laying the groundwork for today’s Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

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  8. The Travel Bug is back!

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    In 2012 the Travel Bug was busy flying around the world to tell all her friends about our centennial celebration — and what a great three-day-long party it was!!

    After a well-earned winter vacation Travel Bug is ready to hit the road again, and she has a few new friends who are looking for travel companions and adventures of their own.

    Students, staff, and faculty are encouraged to take a “bug” on a learning adventure. Please see Tara Brown in the Dean’s office to meet the bugs. You can reach her at tbrown19@tulane.edu.

     
  9. The Travel Bug visited China and Vietnam with GHSD professor TJ Stranova in fall 2012. She had a great time in Old Shanghai and visiting the Vietnam Military museum.

     
  10. The Travel Bug made a few last minutes stops on her way to Centennial last year, but she misplaced her photos until recently. We’re glad they were found because Thailand is beautiful!


    Enjoy her adventures in Thailand with SPHTM alumna Latasha A Allen, MSPH (2002).