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Public Health in the News – August 30, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

  • Several Chicago residents are at the end of their second week of hunger striking in an attempt to save a Bronzeville high school as well as call attention to modern educational policies that are unfair to students in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
  • An emergency response drill led by the Illinois Department of Public Health was recently conducted. Although the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Transportation did not participate, Governor Rauner says he is confident the state will be able to handle disasters such as a terrorist attack or pandemic.
  • Two residents in a Quincy, Illinois veterans’ home have died from Legionnaires’ Disease.

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – August 23, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern

  • Northwestern scientists have identified genes that are linked to Polycystic Ovary Syndrome in women of European descent.
  • NU recently announced the new director of its Center for Heart Failure, Dr. Duc Thinh Pham.
  • The Northwestern University Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (NUCATS) just received a $27.2 million grant to fund new clinical trials.


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Northwestern Announces Michael and Mary Schuette Fellows in Health and Human Rights

Northwestern Law School has recently announced its inaugural Michael and Mary Schuette Fellows in Health and Human Rights.

NAlmuhaythif

Najd Almuhaythif IHR-LLM ’15, the Schuette Global Fellow, will work with the Near East Foundation, the oldest non-sectarian non-governmental organization in the United States, in Amman, Jordan on issues related to women’s rights, health access and economic development.

AMaitland

Anna Maitland, the Schuette Clinical Fellow, will join us here in the Bluhm Legal Clinic’s Center for International Human Rights to work with students and faculty on existing and new partnerships with the Northwestern Access to Health Project. Anna comes to Northwestern Law School from Lagos, Nigeria, where she co-founded an NGO that focuses on advocacy in the area of social and economic rights.

The Schuette fellowships are made possible by long-time Northwestern benefactors Chris Combe, a Northwestern University Trustee, and his wife Courtney Combe. The Combes’ gift also provides programmatic support for the Access to Health Project, a unique interdisciplinary initiative in which students and faculty from the Law School, Feinberg School of Medicine and the Kellogg School of Management work collaboratively to conduct needs assessments and implement sustainable, capacity-building interventions with communities around the world. “This is a tremendous opportunity for young attorneys interested in pursuing careers in health and human rights law,” said Juliet Sorensen, Clinical Associate Professor of Law with the Center for International Human Rights, who oversees the Access to Health Project.

Our previous post about the announcement of the Combes’ gift can be found here.


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Public Health in the News – August 9, 2015

Global

  • Christian Bréchot, President of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, writes in a Nature World View piece about lessons we can learn from Ebola responses and measures we should take for future outbreaks.
  • Protests erupted in Russia following the destruction of 350 tons of food – all imported products from Europe and the U.S. that had been banned.

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern

  • Check out our post about recent public health stories from the NU community! A Social Justice News Nexus fellow uncovered a phenomenon where Puerto Rican men are abandoned on Chicago’s streets, Northwestern students bring health resources to Evanston and Skokie libraries, and an NU professor integrates health technology into peoples’ lifestyles.
  • Scientists at Northwestern have received a 5-year, $17 million grant to develop a drug delivery system for people at high risk of contracting HIV.
  • Northwestern’s Evanston campus recently hosted practice drills for emergency responders that simulated possible laboratory accidents.


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Public Health Stories from the Northwestern Community

Northwestern students, fellows, and faculty are influencing public health in their communities. Read some of their stories below.

Puerto Rican Men Left Without Resources on Chicago’s Streets

“He had no idea what to do or where to go.” Adriana Cardona-Maguigad, a former fellow in the Social Justice News Nexus program housed in NU’s Medill School of Journalism, uncovered something shocking when she began talking to the homeless men hanging out in the neighborhood where she worked. The men, originally from Puerto Rico, had been given one-way tickets to Chicago to attend drug treatment facilities, only to find that the facilities were not licensed and had no doctors, nurses, or medicine. After quitting the facilities, they were left on the streets with no money, documentation, or health resources. Adriana published her findings with the Chicago public radio station WBEZ and appeared on NPR’s This American Life to bring these men’s stories to a national audience.

Northwestern Students Bring Health Resources to Evanston and Skokie

The Erie Family Health Center, serving the communities of Evanston and Skokie, was under capacity yet residents reported that they didn’t have access to health care. NU students Brittany Zelch and Emery Weinstein addressed this issue by helping found the HIRCULES Health Hub, which helps provide health information to residents. Among their initiatives are creating a database of community health resources, and training NU students as medical librarians to help library patrons find health information. They first introduced their idea in a blog post for Illinois Health Matters, a website that provides information on health care reform to Illinois residents. Brittany and Emery went on to win the Illinois Health Matters Young Leader Award.

Northwestern Professor Tailors Health-Focused Technology to Fit People’s Lifestyles

Lots of people buy wearable devices and use smartphone apps, but not many will stick with them over time. How can we change this? Bonnie Spring, PhD, Director of Northwestern’s Center for Behavior and Health, hopes to change technology to match people’s lifestyles rather than the other way around. She recently helped develop a weight-loss smartphone app and found that people who were more social and used the app’s chatroom were more likely to still be using the app six months later. She’s also building a cardiovascular health app for NU students that will tailor health recommendations to users’ personal and academic goals. Finally, she’s on the Scientific Advisory Board for a new startup that will provide specific health coaching based on patients’ personal data, collected from DNA, blood and saliva, microbiome, and lifestyle.


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Public Health in the News – August 2, 2015

Global Health

  • It’s becoming easier and easier to generate large amounts of research data – but what do we do with it? Nature interviews Jun Wang, former head of China’s BGI genome sequencing institute, about his new plans to lead projects that will use machine learning to make sense of this large amount of information.
  • Imperfect vaccines may lead to more deadly strains of an infectious agent. To be clear, “this isn’t an argument against developing those vaccines, but it is an argument for ensuring that we carefully check for transmission.”
  • For the first time, we have a vaccine that appears to completely protect people from contracting Ebola.

National

  • Congress needs to approve a new budget – which means that scientific funding agencies may spend time in limbo.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Elijah Cummings make the case that scientific research is necessary for middle class progress.
  • A new mirror is being developed that will have the ability to monitor your health and predict risk of developing disease.
  • Science blogger Jalees Rehman discusses a recent paper that documents the ease with which websites like Google and Facebook can find out your health information.
  • An erratum has been released for a study published earlier this year that described finding pathogenic organisms like the plague and anthrax on the NYC subway – the study authors likely overstated their findings.
  • Is there evidence that yoga works? Scientific studies say it’s as good for you as many other types of exercise and can reduce inflammation – but don’t count on it removing toxins or improving digestion.
  • Scientists are learning how to build mini organs – not only will these help us understand how human development works, they may be able to help us fix damaged organs or screen for new drugs.

Illinois/Chicago

  • The University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign has reported 60 cases of mumps in the past couple months.
  • There has been a large increase in the number of Chicago-area teens who have gotten the HPV vaccine.
  • What can you do to protect yourself against the West Nile Virus? Get answers from the Chicago Department of Health’s Dr. Cort Lohoff.

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – July 26, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – July 19, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – July 5, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern


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Public Health in the News – June 28, 2015

Global

National

Illinois/Chicago

Northwestern

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