Mapping project to assess best, worst locations for Philly safe-injection site

The Center for Public Health Initiatives, with Senior Fellow Doug Wiebe, is leading an interdisciplinary working group examining the evaluation of safe injection facilities (SIFS) - referred to as comprehensive user engagement sites (CUES) in Philadelphia.  As part of this working group, Wiebe discusses the process involved in deciding a potential location for CUES in Philadelphia. The team is mapping out the city block-by-block to determine which is the best suited location, and the analysis considers factors such as high rates of overdose deaths and narcotics arrests. Other factors to consider regarding location involve the proximity to other places, such as SEPTA stops,police stations, schools, or other social services.

Read the full article here.

On Friday, February 23, 2018, The Center for Public Health Initiatives collaborated with the School of Nursing to bring opioid overdose and Naloxone (or Narcan) training to life in the Helene Fuld Pavilion for Innovative Learning and Simulation. Using actors and simulators, students from the Master of Public Health program and the School of Nursing learned how to administer Naloxone to a person who has overdosed on opioids, heroin, or fentanyl.

 Read the full blog post here
Bridging Community-Academic Partnerships 

The Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI) is currently working with our third cohort of Penn Community Scholars,  a training program for community organizations that teaches successful community-academic partnerships, the research process, and how to successfully  develop and present a pitch, among other skills. 

The Penn Community Scholars program is primarily supported by the University of Pennsylvania's Office of the Provost, with additional support from the Prevention Research's Center's Philadelphia Health Leadership Institute, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and the Penn School of Medicine's National Center for Integrated Behavioral Health, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and Division of General Medicine.

Read more about the program. 
CPHI is Celebrating 15 Years of Public Health! 

The Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI) and the Master of Public Health (MPH) Program are thrilled to celebrate the anniversary of 15 years of public health on Penn's campus. From the inception of the MPH degree program in 2002, to the formation of CPHI in 2007, public health has grown tremendously at Penn. We continue to celebrate this growth, as well as the accomplishments of our students, faculty, fellows, and community partners.

Read our Anniversary Report to learn about the exciting activities and initiatives
MPH Alumni Spotlight:  Matthew Kearney, MPH

Matt  attended a weeklong research methods workshop series in Dakar, Senegal in early February 2018. Invited as a teaching/research assistant by his advisor Drexel DSPH assistant professor Philip Massey, PhD, MPH, Kearney worked with local graduate students as they evaluated the impact of "C'est La Vie" (CLV), a serial health education drama and transmedia program produced in Dakar.

In this blog post, Mr. Kearney reflects on his experience and touches on the applicability of the Senegal workshop to his doctoral research, which is centered on using novel research methods that incorporate mHealth and social media to evaluate school-based health programs and assess adolescents' health seeking behavior and health literacy.

 Read the blog post 
CPHI Seminars and Talks
Use of Teledermatology in Global and Community Health
Thursday, March 15 at 12:00 PM | Light Lunch Provided 
Claudia Cohen Terrace Room 

Description: Teledermatology has the potential to improve access for patient care within local and global health care systems and provide an efficient, patient-centered experience. Teledermatology can be used to improve patient care, access, and outcomes in a variety of ways, including triage, urgent care, inpatient consultation, direct follow-up with known patients, and patient monitoring, when integrated into the patients' overall medical care. In order to optimize the use of telemedicine in a particular site, many issues need to be taken into account, including motivation of providers to participate, participation of local health care entities, provider and patient access to high speed internet/ cellular service, and m any others. This lecture will cover a global experience with teledermatology, as well as challenges and pitfalls that can be faced when working with technology in low resource environments.

Carrie L. Kovarik, MD is an Associate Professor of Dermatology, Dermatopathology, and Infectious Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Kovarik has a special interest in global and community health, telemedicine, informatics, and HIV-related skin disease. She created the Penn Dermatology Global Health program, through which she works to provide clinical care and education in developing countries and underserved communities in the United States. Dr. Kovarik is the Head of Dermatology, Informatics, and Telemedicine for the Botswana-UPenn Partnership and has created a global telemedicine consult service which is a collaborative effort between Ministries of Health, local telecommunication and software companies, universities, specialty organizations, numerous countries, and local governments. She is now focusing on developing, sustaining, and researching new models of health care that can increase access to care through telemedicine.

Training dogs to detect malignant ovarian cancer - and using them to help produce an early-detection system
Thursday, April 19 at 12:00 PM | Light Lunch Provided 
Location TBA

Description:  Presently, there is no early diagnosis system for ovarian cancer, resulting in later diagnoses and poorer prognoses of the disease. At the Penn Vet Working Dog Center, we are training dogs to alert on malignant ovarian cancer when presented with plasma samples of human patients. Our project has aimed to answer two questions. First, can we train dogs on cancer cell lines to alert on cancer plasma? This would reduce the need for increasing numbers of plasma samples, one hurdle to get over when training cancer detection dogs. Second, can we use dogs to inform us in our end-goal to make an early-detection system for ovarian cancer? Together with our collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania and Monell, we hope to make an 'electronic nose' early detection system that can be used to diagnose ovarian cancer at earlier stages, when the disease has a significantly higher survival rate.

Jennifer Essler, Ph.D., is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Her interests center around how we can quantify the training of working dogs, and how we can use this to improve the training process, resulting in better working dogs. At the Working Dog Center, she runs the research side of the center, including work on scent detection and development. Her major research project presently involves training dogs to detect malignant ovarian cancer, working in collaboration with other researchers to hopefully result in an early detection screening for ovarian cancer.
Before beginning at the Working Dog Center, she received her B.A. in Psychology from Georgia State University and her M.Sc. in Animal Behavior from Bucknell University. Her earlier work was on cognition and social behavior in non-human primates, focusing on capuchin monkeys. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna, Austria, where she studied the effects of domestication on cooperation in pack-living dogs and wolves. Her research has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals, including Current Biology and Animal Cognition.

Other CPHI Events
Save the Date! 

Wellness Walks for Penn Employees 
Friday's from 12:00-1:00 beginning at College Green 

Spring 2018 Dates: 
March 16 (Indoor at Palestra) 
April 13 (Indoor at Palestra) 

We meet at the Ben Franklin statue in front of College Hall (except when indoors) at 12 noon. The walk begins with stretching, followed by a 2 mile walk around campus and beyond. This is a great opportunity to get away from your desk and walk with others. Plus- you'll receive points for Penn HR's "Be In the Know Campaign" if you are a Penn employee. 
Visit the HR website to sign up. 

A Qualitative Exploration of Co-location as an Intervention to Strengthen Home Visiting Implementation in Addressing Maternal Child Health

CPHI Senior Fellows Frances Barg and Peter Cronholm , along with colleagues, examine the effects of co-location in home visitation models address maternal and child health. Historically, models have engaged in a sort of competition in order to receive continued funding; however, this competition stalled collaboration. In the present study, Barg, Cronholm, and team, examined co-located programs through interviews with administrators and home visitors. Read the results and more. 

Implementation strategies to improve cervical cancer prevention in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review

CPHI Senior Fellows Anne M. Teitelman and Alison M. Buttenheim , along with colleagues, conducted a systematic review of the implementation strategies used to improve the uptake and sustainability of cervical cancer prevention programs in sub-Sharan Africa, as these region has not seen the decreases that countries like the United States have. Read the results and more. 

Achieving public and global health competencies: A teaching case study of Botswana's cervical cancer screening program

CPHI Fellow  Alison Buttenheim  and MPH alum Harriet Okatch , along with collaborators, published a case study of the cervical cancer screening program in Botswana. This screening program is intended to teach public and global health competencies to undergraduate nursing students. The case study was implemented in a course at the University of Pennsylvania, and responses from students as well as results from student deliverables suggest that the students achieved the learning objectives and competencies intended. Read more. 

Identifying Prevalence and Characteristics of Behavioral Health Education in Family Medicine Clerkships: A CERA Study

CPHI Senior Fellow Kent Bream and colleagues examined the extent to which behavioral health disorders and needs were included in teachings of family medicine. The researchers utilized responses from the 2016 Council of Academic Family Medicine's Educational Resource Alliance (CERA) survey of clerkship directors.  Read the results and more. 

Physical and Psychological Abuse among Seropositive African American MSM 50 Aged Years and Older

CPHI Senior Fellow Christopher L. Coleman presents the results from a series of focus groups intended to examine the perspective of age 50+ seropositive African American men who have sex with men (MSM), as this is a population that does not have much known regarding abuse. Read the results and more. 

Young Driver Compliance With Graduated Driver Licensing Restrictions Before and After Implementation of a Decal Provision

CPHI Senior Fellow Allison E. Curry and collaborators examine the effect of the New Jersey decal provision on probationary driving restrictions. Previous research by this team has shown that the decal provision itself was associated with a 9.5% decline in crash rates. Two probationary compliance policies relevant to the present study are: nighttime driving (driving after a certain hour) and passenger restrictions (restrictions on the number and type of passengers). Read the results and more. 

Cost Offsets of Supportive Housing: Evidence for Social Work

CPHI Fellow Dennis Culhane works alongside international colleagues to present cost-benefit evidence of supportive housing for homeless populations in the international sphere. Such evidence may prove useful in the realm of social work, as well as other policy-centered fields. Read the results and more. 

Reducing the Prevalence of Cervical Cancer in the Hispanic Community

CPHI Senior Fellow Carmen Guerra is cited in a blog regarding the importance of early detection and prevention methods for cervical cancer amongst the Hispanic community. According to the CDC, Hispanic women have the highest incidence of cervical cancer compared to other racial/ethnic groups. Guerra shares, "Though simple screening tests allowing for the early detection of cervical cancer are essential to every woman's health, access and financial barriers can make it difficult for many women to access the care they need." Read more.

I CARE: Development and Evaluation of a Campus Gatekeeper Training Program for Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention

CPHI Senior Fellow Marian Reiff with collaborators explored the impact of I CARE training on a college campus (University of Pennsylvania). Such training, which utilizes experiential learning and role-plays, has been implemented as a response to addressing the need for suicide prevention on campuses. The goal of I CARE training is to encourage open discussion about mental health and suicide as well as reducing anxieties and fears of engaging others in times of need. Read more. 

What Do People Do If They Don't Have Insurance?: ED-to-ED Referrals

CPHI Fellow Karin Rhodes and colleagues published a study analyzing the mechanisms behind and the health, social, and financial implications of multiple emergency department visits. According to previous research, 20% of ED-patients have already been examined in another ED for the same compliant. Rhodes and colleagues conducted a mixed-methods study which involved survey and qualitative interviewing of patients presenting with a complaint which was already examined in another ED. Read the results and more. 

Sodium content needs to be on the menu at Philly restaurants. Here's why 

CPHI Senior Fellow Christina Roberto published a piece in The Inquirer regarding newly-proposed legislation which would require chain restaurants to place warning labels next to menu items which contain at least a day's worth of sodium, which is 2,300 mg. This is an initiative aimed at making consumers more aware of the sodium content of their meals when dining outs, in an effort to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease. Roberto writes that 25% of sodium consumed by Americans is from restaurant foods. Read more.

Efficacy of Solution-Focused Brief Therapy for Distress among Parents of Children with Congenital Heart Disease in China

CPHI Senior Fellow Phyllis Solomon published with collaborators the results of a randomized control trial examining the efficacy of solution-focused brief therapy among Chinese parents of children with CHD. The hospital medical social work was used as the control. Read the results and more. 

Dating partners commit more domestic abuse than spouses

CPHI Senior Fellow Susan Sorenson in several articles this month for her research which shows that dating couples experience greater amounts of intimate partner violence than spouses. In her research on forms following a police encounter of intimate partner violence, Sorenson and her team found that over 82% of incidents involved current or former dating partners. Sorenson explains that boyfriends or girlfriends were more likely to "push and shove, to grab, to punch. They were more likely to strangle." There are numerous implications for social policy as well as data collection. Read more.

Later School Start Can Help Prevent Teens Driving While Sleep-Deprived

CPHI Senior Fellow Flaura K. Winston published a blog addressing the current research surrounding sleep deprivation among teenagers and impaired driving ability. A previous study by Winston found that teenagers who drive alone while drowsy are more likely to be involved in a car crash. Other recent research shows that a delay in school times, even by just an hour, is beneficial, as students get more rest, and there is a decrease in the number of car crashes involving teen drivers. Read more. 

Do You Know What Your Kids Are Drinking? Evaluation of a Media Campaign to Reduce Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

CPHI Associate Fellow Amy Bleakley and colleagues evaluate the effectiveness of a Philadelphia Department of Public Health media campaign intended to reduce the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages. The media campaign is part of the initiative of addressing obesity. Read the results and more. 

Uber, Lyft Rides May Not Help Boost Doc Visits for Poorer Patients

CPHI Associate Fellow David Grande is cited amongst colleagues in HealthDay for a recent finding that suggests that ridesharing (Uber, Lyft), even when offered complimentary to patients, did not increase attendance at appointments for poorer populations. For those offered complimentary ridesharing services, the missed appointment rate was 36.7%, compared to 36.5% in the population that was not offered complementary ridesharing services. Read more.

Advising Colorado residents on health and social equity through improved active transportation

The Colorado Health Foundation and Urban Land Institute recently funded a national panel of experts to help a city between Denver and the Denver International Airport to manage growth while promoting healthy communities.  CPHI Adjunct Fellow Joyce Lee was on the panel, which advised the City manager, City Council and Mayor to prioritize policies and projects. Read the press release
Want to become a CPHI Fellow?
CPHI welcomes new voices and representations from various sectors related to health. 
To become a Fellow, please visit our website and apply!

Other Public Health Events

College of Physicians Senior Health Forum lectures
College of Physicians at 19 S. 22nd St
Wednesday March 14, 2018 @12PM
Janet Haas--  "Palliative Care:  What It Is & What It Isn't"
Wednesday April 11, 2018 @12PM
Gail Scott-"Older People Don't Do/Use Drugs, Do They?"
Wednesday May 9, 2018 @12PM
Heather Claus-"What's All the Fuss About Vaccinations for Older People?"

Population Health Colloquium
March 19-21, 2018 | Loews Philadelphia Hotel 
This 3-day conference will bring together stakeholders including healthcare providers, payers, pharmaceutical executives, leading technology and solutions companies, academia and government to share best practices, case studies, expert insights and industry trends. 

With more than 700 attendees, the Colloquium has become the leading conference on population health. The full conference agenda  can be found on the  Colloquium website

Global Health & Innovation Conference: Call for Abstracts 
April 14-15, 2018 | Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
The Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale on April 14-15, 2018, is the world's leading and largest global health conference as well as the largest social entrepreneurship conference, with 2,000 professionals and students from all 50 states and more than 55 countries. This must-attend, thought-leading conference convenes leaders, changemakers, professionals and students from all sectors of global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship.  Register Here. 

Summer Institute in Mental Health Research
May 29-June 8, 2018 | Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 
Are you a student or working professional interested in expanding your knowledge in the mental health field or interested in methods of public health generally, such as Propensity Score Methods in Non-Experimental Research in Mental Health? Then check out the upcoming registration for our annual Summer Institute. 

Classes are offered both in-person and online, and are taught by some of the foremost experts within the Hopkins Institutes of Public Health. Our courses cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from foundational methods in public health, including the use of mixed methods, linked data and mobile health tools, to overviews on mental health services and evaluation, and evolving hot topics in global public health. View the courses currently being offered:

Dr. Lewin is the inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital; Professor of Medicine, The University of Melbourne; consultant infectious diseases physician, Alfred Hospital and a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellow. She is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist.  She  will be the CFAR Seminar Speaker on  Thursday, March 8th at 12:00 pm in the Class of '62 Auditorium, John Morgan Building.
Her research focuses on understanding why HIV persists on treatment and developing clinical trials aimed at ultimately finding a cure for HIV infection. She has also had a long standing interest in HIV-hepatitis B co-infection and understanding pathogenesis and optimal management strategies. She has given over 100 major international invited talks on HIV and the search for a cure and her laboratory receives over 3 million dollars a year in funding from the NHMRC, National Institutes for Health and the private sector. She is a co-principal investigator for the NIH-funded Martin Delaney collaboratory, DARE and the lead investigator on a new 5 million dollar NHMRC funded Centre for Research Excellence on Emergency Responses to Infectious Diseases which will establish a national network across Australia.

Please join the Region III Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health and the National Vaccine Program Office for an immunization meeting focusing on the adult immunization work of the six Region III states (DE, MD, PA, VA, WV, and Washington, DC), debunking myths and dispelling vaccine misinformation, and identifying ways to enhance adult immunization communication at state and local levels.
(Event is free and all are welcome to attend. Registration is highly encouraged.)

Join us in fighting back against cancer at Penn's Relay For Life! This annual event is a night celebrating those who have won their battle and remembering those who have lost their fight against cancer. The event features cancer survivor and caregiver speakers sharing their experiences with cancer as well as a Luminaria ceremony dedicated to reflection and remembrance, a time at which all of the lights are turned off and the stadium is lit only by the glowing Luminaria bags that read the names of those we've lost to cancer. In addition, Relay is filled with tons of food, fun activities and fundraisers, and performances by student groups. This year, Relay will be held at Franklin Field from 6:30pm-12:00am on March 23, 2018. By registering, you are under no obligation to come to the event; your Relay page can simply be used as a fundraising account for the ACS or to make your one-time contribution. Feel free to come to all, some, or none of the event! You may register as a participant or as a member of a team at If you have any questions, please reach out to Colleen McGrath at - Help us create a world with more birthdays by signing up for Relay today!

Be sure to check out the  ASPPH Friday Letter  for News, Events, and Opportunities.  Click here  to sign up to receive the letter. 
Please send us news and events to include in this digest: