Monthly Archives: April 2014

Upcoming MPH Student Presentations

MPH Student Martha Powers

This spring, many of our MPH student will be presenting their work at meetings and conferences, across the country and locally. Here’s where you can see them:

May 5 – Ralph Pietrofesa will be presenting at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, Illinois. Title: “Use of Metformin and Risk of Recurrence of Colorectal Adenoma”

May 6  – Nine students will be presenting at The Public Health Student Poster Day, from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. This event is open to the public and faculty and all students are invited and encouraged to attend. Student presenting are: Brittany Clark, Ralph Pietrofesa, Ashley Kraybill,  Lara Lechtenberg,  Kaitlyn Meirs, Martha Powers, Jordan Price, Jane Seymour,  and Elisabeth Stelson.

May 17 – Doug Farquhar will be presenting at American Rhinological Society Spring Meeting in Las Vegas. Title: “PTC Sensitivity Predicts Sinonasal Symptoms in Healthy Adults”

June 19 – Lara Lechtenberg will be presenting at The North American Refugee Health Conference in Rochester, NY. Title: “Provider Perspectives on Care for Refugee Women in Philadelphia: a Qualitative Study”


Penn Group Calls for Tobacco Divestment

In an open letter to the Penn’s Trustees, a group of Senior Standing Faculty are calling for the university to cease investing in tobacco company stocks. Such investments are “clearly antithetical to the university’s research, teaching and health care missions,” say the 532 faculty members who have signed the statement.

The ad hoc committee working on the issue has also published a report giving context for the push:

The University of Pennsylvania — a recognized leader in global outreach initiatives through its
internationally eminent university and academic medical center — is committed to making a positive contribution to people’s lives around the world. Yet we have fallen out of step with our Ivy League and medical school peers on the issue of tobacco. Of the five Ivies that have deliberated about tobacco investment, only Yale has not adopted a tobacco restriction for their endowment. Of the top five medical schools, Penn is the only one without a tobacco restriction. We believe this is inconsistent with the values of the Penn community as embodied in the Penn Compact and in our leadership, education, research, and service missions around the globe.

You can add your name to the letter here and keep up to date with the effort on the group’s Facebook page.

CPHI is committed to improving the health of populations and fully supports a policy of tobacco divestment for Penn. Read more about our statement on tobacco use and a smoke-free Penn campus here.

antithetical to the university’s research, teaching and health care missions – See more at:
antithetical to the university’s research, teaching and health care missions. – See more at:
antithetical to the university’s research, teaching and health care missions. – See more at:

MPH student explores shortfalls in ACA subsidy awareness

aca-signupIn a post on the LDI Voices blog co-written by MPH student Christopher Colameco and LDI’s Janet Weiner, the two take a look at why America’s uninsured don’t hold favorable opinions of the Affordable Care Act:


[In February], McKinsey & Company reported that 50% of those who shopped for a plan but did not enroll said that they could not afford the coverage. However, 66% of those who cited affordability issues were unaware of the ACA’s subsidy provisions.

Could it be that the uninsured hold the ACA in such little favor because they don’t know about how it could help them?

Chris has been doing his fieldwork with LDI, assisting in the creation of Data Briefs designed to describe the affects of the Affordable Care Act. The post came about after Chris noticed a pattern while doing some research. “I just thought that lack of awareness among the uninsured was startling and could certainly be having an affect on why this specific population views the law so negatively,” he explains.

You can read more about Chris’s work on the ACA in a Data Brief available here. The brief was recently cited by the New York Times in an article about the deadline to sign up for coverage under the ACA.

Karin Rhodes Team Receives Joint Grant

Karin RhodesReposted from LDI.

A proposal by Karin Rhodes and colleagues has been selected as the first to be funded by the interdisciplinary research program of Penn’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB), Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI) and Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI).

Launched in January, the program, officially called the joint CCEB/LDI/CPHI program for Seeding Innovative New Directions in Collaborative, Interdisciplinary Research on the Health of Populations, operates like an in-house “incubator” designed to foster cross-disciplinary projects throughout Penn’s health policy research community.

Seminar grant
The cross-center initiative’s first call for proposals offered a grant for a team of investigators to organize a seminar to examine an important health problem and identify the most fertile areas for further study.

The proposal selected for funding is a “Symposium to stimulate the development, implementation, and empirical testing of innovative transitions of care models” submitted by a team headed by Rhodes.

Rhodes, MD, is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine and Director of the Division of Health Policy Research at the School of Social Policy & Practice.