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2020 News Releases

UM Entomologist Shares Insight on South Florida’s West Nile Virus and Dengue Fever Cases

In Miami-Dade County, there have been nearly two dozen locally transmitted West Nile virus cases so far this year, including eight reported in July. Monroe County has reported 16 cases of dengue.

July 22, 2020
Miller School Dean to Lead Panel on Racial Justice

Henri R. Ford will chair a Miller School of Medicine event on July 22 that will feature experts on inclusion, civil rights, and diversity who will discuss ways to promote racial equality at the University and in South Florida.

July 20, 2020
The Meet Group Appoints Health Experts to its New Safer Dating Advisory Board

The Meet Group, Inc. – a leading provider of interactive dating solutions – is committed to providing products and platforms that help daters safely spark conversation and form connections, while form dialogue around the most practical and safe ways to date, especially amid COVID-19. Recently, the group announced its Safer Dating Advisory Board, comprising of experts in epidemiology and health.

July 20, 2020
UM to Launch COVID-19 Vaccine Testing Site for the COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine has been selected to be part of the National Institutes of Health COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (CoVPN) to launch clinical trials to test investigational COVID-19 vaccines.

July 20, 2020
Quality of Indoor Air Plummeted in Some Homes During COVID-19 Shutdown

Environmental sensors placed in Miami- and Baltimore-area homes by University of Miami public health researcher Dr. Naresh Kumar recorded elevated levels of particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and other harmful substances during a two-month, stay-at-home period.

July 14, 2020
Graduate School Eliminates Testing Requirements for Admissions

Hoping to ease hurdles for students to apply to master’s and doctoral programs, a new policy will remove the GRE and GMAT requirement from most of the University’s applications. The testing requirements will be lifted this summer for students applying to many of the master’s and doctoral programs that start in January 2021. 

July 9, 2020
Dr. Adam W. Carrico Appointed as Director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health

Dr. Carrico is well-positioned to ensure the continued growth of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health to advance the understanding of the bio-behavioral, social, and cultural determinants of health to guide efforts to develop, test, and implement effective health programs.

June 29, 2020
Dr. Ana M. Palacio Joins the Department of Public Health Sciences as Professor of Clinical Medicine

Dr. Palacio completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Miami and General Medicine Fellowship and Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. She joined the University of Miami as faculty in 2004.

June 29, 2020
Syringe Service Programs Across the U.S. Have Been Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Study Finds

With the unprecedented developments of COVID-19 this year, experts at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health examined operational and service delivery changes in a new study published in the June issue of the International Journal of Drug Policy.

June 29, 2020
Experts Discuss a Potential Global Public Health Convention in University of Miami-Led Advisory Meeting

Distinguished global public health experts, academic leaders, parliamentarians, and journalists convened in a virtual advisory meeting held to discuss the development of a global public health convention for the 21st century.

June 25, 2020
Why Brazil is Now the Epicenter of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Latin America has 51 percent of daily global deaths due to COVID-19, even though it holds only 9 percent of the population. Brazil has 22 percent of global deaths (53,895 deaths), second to the United States. In a webinar hosted by the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas, experts discussed why the country has been impacted so deeply. Deaths in Brazil are projected to reach 11,000 per day by early August, depending on how the population behaves and whether policymakers and health systems intervene with testing.

June 25, 2020
Orthopaedic Trauma Units Across the Globe Greatly Impacted by COVID-19, Study Finds

A study led by medical and public health researchers at the Miller School of Medicine found that orthopaedic trauma departments across the globe have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in a myriad of ways. The study, published in the journal International Orthopaedics, includes the largest data set characterizing global COVID-19 situations and responses of orthopaedic trauma practices from around the world.

June 25, 2020
Miller School’s NIH Research Funding Sets Record

Out of 45 public health departments within medical schools nationwide, the Department of Public Health Sciences was No. 13 in the 2019 federal fiscal year, receiving $11.8 million in NIH-funding. The department is the fourth highest NIH-funded department within the Miller School of Medicine and No. 20 out of 67 schools of public health in the nation. 

June 17, 2020
Blacks Exposed to Highly Segregated Neighborhoods in Young Adulthood Exhibit Declined Cognitive Skills in Mid-Life, Study Finds

A Miller School of Medicine-led study found that Black individuals who are exposed to highly segregated neighborhoods in young adulthood exhibit declined cognitive skills in mid-life. The study was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Neurology in May 2020 and is one of few that offer information on the association of racial residential segregation and cognitive function.

June 9, 2020
Rideshare Drivers Report Acute Musculoskeletal Pain, Study Finds

Miller School of Medicine experts led a pilot study titled “Acute Musculoskeletal Pain Reported Among Rideshare Drivers in the Health/Safety Investigation Among Non-Standard Workers in the Gig Economy (H.I.N.G.E.),” which investigated acute musculoskeletal pain among this population. The study was published in the May issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

May 28, 2020
Experts Develop New Tool to Help Contain COVID-19 in Mexico

The tool is the only database that provides information on the behavior of public policy towards COVID-19 at the state level in Latin America and is innovative for low- and middle-income countries.

May 11, 2020
Researchers Lead Study on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Loneliness and Mental Health

The study is one of 24 University of Miami COVID-19 related projects that received rapid response grants for areas of research that will provide information about the effects of the pandemic.  

May 11, 2020
Strategies to Help the Hard of Hearing during COVID-19 Precautions

Amid COVID-19, audiology and public health experts from the Hispanic Hearing Healthcare Access Coalition strongly recommend that communities take special measures to stay connected with the hard-of-hearing. Experts suggest ten simple, but effective strategies that can boost communication during this time of wearing masks and beyond.

May 1, 2020
New Tool Provides Insight into the Behavioral and Psychosocial Impact of COVID-19 on Latino Gay and Bisexual Men

In a new paper published in AIDS and Behavior, experts detail a new index and give perspective on how COVID-19 is impacting the lives and health of Latino MSM. Dr. Harkness and her team hope their work will help inform other HIV researchers studying this population and highlight health disparities and potential intervention opportunities during these unprecedented times.

April 28, 2020
New Grant Targets Global Health Protection Against the Spread of Infectious Diseases

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation Global Public Health Institute at the University of Miami has awarded José Szapocznik, Ph.D., chair emeritus of the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, a grant to develop a project to promote global health protection against the spread of infectious diseases.

April 17, 2020
Cemeteries can be breeding sites for vector mosquitoes, study finds

In a paper published in PLOS One, University of Miami and Miller School of Medicine researchers, in collaboration with the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control Division, found that vector mosquitoes can abundantly proliferate in cemeteries in urban areas. 

April 20, 2020
U-TRACE Initiative to Address COVID-19 Public Health Crisis

To help the University of Miami community address the health crisis related to the novel coronavirus, the Miller School of Medicine has launched a multidisciplinary initiative called U-TRACE for UM Tracking, Resources, and Assessment of COVID-19 Epidemiology.

April 13, 2020
Frenk: Latin America, Caribbean can learn from other COVID-19 responses

University of Miami President Julio Frenk participated in a webinar that examined how the countries can respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean should look to nations that took proactive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, not those that trivialized the threat, said Julio Frenk, president of the University of Miami and a global health expert, during a webinar examining the pandemic in the Western Hemisphere.

April 9, 2020
Meth Use and HIV Create Perfect Storm for COVID-19 Transmission

Methamphetamine use and HIV – two intertwining epidemics – could create a double jeopardy for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic among men who have sex with men, according to a newly published editorial by Adam W. Carrico, Ph.D., a prolific public health scientist with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

April 8, 2020
What does the public know about COVID-19?

Two University of Miami researchers are investigating how much people truly know about COVID-19—and whether they would be willing to take a drug to prevent themselves from getting the disease, if one existed. Dr. Dushyantha T. Jayaweera, a professor of medicine in the infectious disease research unit at the Miller School of Medicine, and public health graduate student Russell Saltzman often work together on clinical trials.

April 7, 2020 
Sylvester Researchers Collaborate with County to Provide Important COVID-19 Answers

When Miami Dade-County leaders set out to quantify the extent of COVID-19 infection in the county, they tapped researchers from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and the Department of Public Health Sciences at the Miller School of Medicine to lead this effort. Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., M.P.H., and Alberto Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., are the director and deputy director of Sylvester’s Firefighter Cancer Initiative. They’re applying their expertise at assessing the burden of cancer among first responders to providing a better picture of how many people in Miami-Dade have been infected with the novel coronavirus.

April 3, 2020
Dr. Felicia Knaul Weighs in on the Importance of Palliative Care in the Time of COVID-19

Felicia Knaul, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and professor at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, has been a long-time advocate for worldwide palliative care. In the time of COVID-19, Dr. Knaul, who is an expert in Latin American health systems and social sectors and an international health economist, weighed in on the importance of palliative care in tackling the pandemic.

April 1, 2020
Mindfulness During Uncertain Times

David J. Lee, Ph.D., professor at the Department of Public Health Sciences and education director for the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, recently recorded two mindfulness practices drawn from a program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) – an eight-week evidence-based program. This recording has been released to the University of Miami community, as well as to the general public. Participate from the comfort of your home.

March 30, 2020
African Americans Have Higher Cancer Mortality Rates than Black Immigrant Populations, Experts Find

While Blacks in the U.S. bear a disproportionate cancer mortality burden, race itself is not the primary causal factor of these disparities, according to a study recently published in Cancer Epidemiology.

March 30, 2020
UM Experts to Study the Impacts of COVID-19 on Medical Cannabis Patients 

Medicinal cannabis users – one of the many vulnerable populations that may be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 – have been advised to prepare for possible delays in health care delivery. Learn more about a new University of Miami-led study that is seeking to leverage epidemiology expertise and collect data on the patterns and trends of this vulnerable population amid the rapidly evolving status of COVID-19. 

March 27, 2020
Department of Public Health Sciences Implements its First Online Course

Public health and healthcare program evaluations are key to a program’s outcome, efficiency, and quality of health care. The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences has launched “Fundamentals of Program Evaluation” – its first asynchronous course, where 27 students are learning how to conduct such evaluations in a public health setting.

March 24, 2020
Study Analyzes Risk Behavior and Syringe Coverage among participants accessing the IDEA Exchange

A study recently published in the International Journal of Drug Policy provides important comparative data on the differences in demographic characteristics, risk behaviors, and syringe coverage among people who inject drugs. The goal of the study was to provide policy considerations based on the IDEA Exchange – the first legal syringe exchange program in the state of Florida – to show the importance of tailored prevention strategies, as well as to show the need for reform to the strict one-for-one syringe exchange policy at the state level.

March 24, 2020
The Miami-Dade Mosquito Control Division Visits the Department of Public Health Sciences

The Miami-Dade Mosquito Control Division gave a lecture at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, where graduate students also had the opportunity to interact with professionals and learn from their real-world experiences, as well learn more about the challenges to control vector mosquitoes in Miami. Since 2019, the Miami-Dade Mosquito Control Division has had a partnership with the University of Miami.

March 13, 2020
Infectious Disease and Public Health Experts Weigh in on the Coronavirus Disease 2019

Dr. Baracco, an infectious disease specialist at the Miami Veterans Affairs Health System and professor at the Miller School of Medicine, engaged in a Q&A with the Department of Public Health Sciences on the respiratory disease. Dr. José Szapocznik, chair emeritus and professor at the Department of Public Health Sciences, also participated in the Q&A.

This Q&A was originally published on February 27, 2020 and was updated on March 12, 2020. 
University of Miami School of Education and Human Development Leads Panel on Tackling the Opioid Epidemic

The University of Miami School of Education and Human Development invited five key stakeholders and leaders in the field to a panel discussion that addressed the implications for prevention and treatment in tackling the opioid epidemic. 

March 6, 2020
Department of Public Health Sciences More than Doubles in NIH Research Grant Funding

The department received $11.8 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded research grants in Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2019, raising the department from No. 19 in FFY2018 ($5.4 million) to No. 13 in FFY2019 ($11.8 million) – according to the Blue Ridge Institute for Medical Research – in public health departments within medical schools. The department also increased four spots since FFY2018 (No. 8), placing it as the fourth-highest NIH-funded department within the Miller School of Medicine. For rankings compared to schools of public health, the department is now No. 20, representing a seven-spot increase from FFY2018 (No. 27).

February 27, 2020
Dr. Hansel Tookes Named as One of the 2020 Herald Influencers

Hansel Tookes, M.D., M.P.H., an alumnus of the Master of Public Health program at the Department of Public Health Sciences, was one of two University of Miami leaders to be selected to the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and Bradenton Herald 2020 Florida Influencers series. Dr. Tookes and a group of statewide leaders from a variety of perspectives and industries will assess major challenges in the state of Florida, as well as find solutions for these challenges.

February 27, 2020
Study Examines 33-Year Data to Investigate Cancer Risk in over 100,000 Career Florida Firefighters

A new study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine examined cancer risk in over 100,000 career Florida firefighters, including approximately 5,000 females who were assessed from 1981 to 2014. Researchers from the NCI-designated Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Department of Public Health Sciences, as well as the Florida Cancer Data System co-authored the study. 

February 27, 2020
Attractive Toxic Sugar Baits Found to be An Effective Mosquito Control Method in Mali, West Africa

In a study recently published in Malaria Journal, researchers found that attractive toxic sugar baits are an effective control method of the Anopheles mosquitoes in Mali, West Africa, where sustained malaria transmission occurs despite the use of other control methods.

February 27, 2020
Global Public Health Protection Against the Spread of Infectious Diseases

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) Global Public Health Institute at the University of Miami, in a unique collaboration with the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, will engage in global public health policy analysis and research to generate objective evidence that can help guide improvements in public health policy at the global, regional, national and local levels. This collaboration will be led by Dr. Jorge Saavedra, executive director at the AHF Institute, and Dr. José Szapocznik, who is chair emeritus and professor at the Department of Public Health Sciences, on behalf of the University of Miami.

February 27, 2020
Public Health Researchers to Study a Mindfulness-Based Smoking Cessation Smartphone Application for People Living With HIV

Taghrid Asfar, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Population Health Sciences at the Department of Public Health Sciences, and a group of public health experts are working on a study that will develop a mindfulness smartphone application for smoking cessation, specifically targeting people who live with HIV. The project, funded by the Center for AIDS Research, will adapt an existing mindfulness-based smoking cessation smartphone application – Craving to Quit – for people living with HIV.

February 27, 2020
Upcoming Priority Deadline for Graduate Programs in Public Health at the Department of Public Health Sciences

The priority deadline for various graduate programs in public health at the Miller School of Medicine's Department of Public Health Sciences is March 1, 2020. These programs, all accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, include the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.), Accelerated M.P.H., Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.), and Bachelor of Science in Public Health/M.P.H. or M.S.P.H. 

February 6, 2020
Upcoming Priority Deadline for Graduate Programs in Biostatistics, Climate and Health, and Prevention Science and Community Health at the Department of Public Health Sciences

The priority deadline for various Master of Science (M.S.) programs in public health at the University of Miami (UM) Miller School of Medicine's Department of Public Health Sciences is March 1, 2020. These programs, all accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health, include the M.S. in Biostatistics, M.S. in Climate and Health, and M.S. in Prevention Science and Community Health.

February 6, 2020
New Public Health Scholarship Program to Launch in Fall 2020

The Department of Public Health Sciences announced a new scholarship program for prospective Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) and Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) students who enroll in the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. Eligible candidates will receive up to 25 percent in tuition scholarship awards. Students who are awarded the scholarship are required to complete the M.P.H. or M.S.P.H. degree, both of which are 45-credit programs.

January 21, 2020
Journal of Public Health Student Capstones is Now Accepting Submissions

The Journal of Public Health Student Capstones, led by the Miller School of Medicine's Department of Public Health Sciences, is a faculty/practitioner-reviewed journal that is dedicated to publishing scholarly work by students as part of their fieldwork and capstone experiences in public health. The journal is now accepting submissions from graduate and undergraduate students and the first inaugural issue will be published in the summer of 2020.

January 21, 2020
HIV Prevention and Care Interventions are Cost-Effective or Cost-Saving Across Four U.S. Cities, Researchers Find

Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), a Florida Drug Administration-approved medication that can prevent HIV if taken daily, for example, was cost-saving in Miami and cost-effective in Atlanta, Baltimore, and Los Angeles, specifically for high-risk men who have sex with men. They found that interventions made to improve antiretroviral therapy initiation, such as PrEP, gave greater value than other treatment engagement interventions. No single intervention, however, was projected to reduce HIV incidence by more than 10.1 percent in any city.

January 21, 2020
Researchers Report on Invasive Alien Mosquito Species in America and Europe

Miller School of Medicine’s Andre Wilke, Ph.D., a post-doctoral associate, John Beier, Sc.D., professor and director of the Division of Environment and Public Health, as well as University of Pisa’s Giovanni Benelli, Ph.D., a senior research entomologist at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, co-authored a viewpoint paper on the A. albopictus in Europe and C. coronator Dyar and Knab in America – two highly invasive mosquito species. In the paper, which was published in Plos One, they shed light on key biological, ecological, and epidemiological issues that urgently need further attention at the forefront of vector biology and control research and provide suggestions for future research on the development of control strategies.

January 21, 2020
Network-Based Interventions Can Have Positive Effects on HIV Prevention and Treatment Outcomes for Latinos, Study Finds

A study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found significant changes in cognitive factors, such as in HIV knowledge, condom use self-efficacy, and adequate knowledge of condom use, behavioral factors, such as condom use, female condom use, and HIV testing, and communication factors, such as talking with friends about HIV prevention and intention to negotiate safe sex with male partners.

January 21, 2020
Researchers Report on the Double Environmental Injustice of Climate Change in the Bahamas

In the paper, public health experts noted that socioeconomically disadvantaged and marginalized populations are experiencing disproportionate harm and loss as more hazardous storms are worsening conditions. While small-island states, which are populations that are most vulnerable to Atlantic hurricanes, contribute nearly nothing to climate change, they are also most exposed to risks that are worsened by the carbon emissions from higher-income countries.

January 21, 2020
A Renewed Focus on Epidemiology Education

Epidemiology is evolving in its concepts and principles. As the scientific foundation of public health, epidemiology education should be continually examined to ensure that learners receive appropriate training. To gather insight, Dr. WayWay M. Hlaing, professor at the Miller School of Medicine’s Department of Public Health Sciences, collected doctoral-level epidemiology competencies from relevant leaders and directors of Ph.D. in epidemiology programs from accredited schools and programs of public health, as well as other pertinent information.

January 21, 2020
Department of Public Health Sciences Alumni Conduct Research on Racial Disparities Among American Film Celebrities

Alumni of the M.S.P.H. program in the department, as well as two public health professors, investigated the survival differences between black and white film celebrities in a paper published in the Interactive Journal of Medical Research.

January 21, 2020 
Researchers Address the Mental Health Needs of Hurricane Maria Survivors in Central Florida

After Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico in September 2017, an estimated 100,000 Puerto Ricans fled to Florida, the state with the largest Puerto Rican population in mainland United States. Central Florida, which encompasses Orlando and the surrounding areas, received the most Hurricane Maria survivors. Today, displaced families continue to face challenges as they rebuild their lives. Dr. Seth Schwartz, professor, and Dr. Adriane Gelpi, assistant professor, both from the Department of Public Health Sciences, examined the mental health needs of adolescent Hurricane Maria survivors in Central Florida.

January 21, 2020
Researchers Examine Whether Racial Discrimination in Medical Settings is Protective for Blacks Against Opioid Pain Reliever Misuse

Dr. Samuel Swift, an alumnus of the Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Population Health program in the department, served as the lead author on a study that examined whether racial discrimination in medical settings is protective for blacks against opioid pain reliever misuse.

January 21, 2020