School of Public Health 
March, 2019
Scarlet Musings
Dear Readers,

On February 21, 2019 , we were honored to welcome colleagues and friends to the official grand opening of our new Rutgers School of Public Health space at One Riverfront Plaza, in Newark, New Jersey. The event celebrated the start of our growth in research, education, and community engagement in the great City of Newark.
On this wonderful evening, we received our colleagues and partners who included Brian Strom, chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Heath Sciences; Jackie Cornell, deputy commissioner, New Jersey Department of Health; Mark Wade, director, Newark Department of Health; and Henry Ristuccia, chair, Rutgers School of Public Health External Advisory Council and global partner, Deloitte (keep reading the March Scarletter to meet all of our Advisory Council members).
In 2016, during my discussions with Chancellor Strom regarding me assuming the deanship, I stressed the importance of building an urban public health program alongside existing programs in epidemiology, biostatistics, social behavioral health sciences, health policy, and environmental and occupational health. At the time, I proposed a vision for the School, stating the following aspiration:
As Dean of the Rutgers School of Public Health, I would lead the institution with one overriding goal: to become a highly regarded and respected school of public health, ranked in the top tier of all schools of public health, recognized for its innovative and entrepreneurial research that enhances the health and well-being of people of New Jersey, the United States, and the world, with a particular focus on the health of urban populations.
To build research enterprise, the Dean of Rutgers School of Public Health must commit to the support and growth of current research programs and signature areas in words and actions. In addition, the Dean must work closely with the research faculty to identify and develop other targeted and Rutgers School of Public Health-appropriate centers of excellence. In my view, the signature areas and other potential areas should be developed using an urban health lens. The Rutgers School of Public Health is uniquely qualified to apply an urban health lens given that it is situated in large metropolitan area with a location in Newark. An urban health approach to the signature areas is also predicated on the fact that the majority of the world’s population is and will be living in urban centers.

In the nineteen months since becoming Dean, we have accomplished much including establishing our new Newark location, which houses the Urban-Global Public Health department and the Epidemiology concentration.

Collectively, we are building a new urban public health paradigm in Newark that:

  • Recognizes that global health is urban health and vice versa;
  • Is informed by strong sciences and scholarship including stellar methodology in epidemiology and biostatistics;
  • With equal dedication to educating and training the next generation of public health scholars, practitioners, leaders, and activists;
  • In close partnership with the community and industry; and
  • Like our entire School, rooted in health equity and social justice with zero tolerance for harassment and discrimination.

We are an inspirational work-in-progress, building an intellectual space that begins with the recruitment of new faculty and the launches of programs such as, our summer camp for high school students ( PHocus), online global courses, revolutionary programs in public health nutrition and LGBTQ health, and the development of our global sites.

Our new state-of-the-art physical space in Newark now allows us to gather in an environment that honors the great city and displays everything that we are building. All of this is possible because of the team that we have assembled at our School, in particular, Mark Carmichael, associate dean for Administration and Finance and CFO, who worked tirelessly on executing our new physical space.

Our work in Newark builds upon that of individuals and groups who have long been dedicated to the health of the city including the brave persons who took part in the Newark Rebellions, Vice Chancellor Denise Rodgers, Mayors Corey Booker and Rass Baraka, and in particular, Chancellor Strom. We are incredibly proud of what we have already built and we look forward to what lies ahead.

As we grow our School, we do so with an eye on the history of the resilient people and communities in Newark – a model that we will enact in other urban hubs in New Jersey and beyond.
Sincerely ,

Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH
Dean and Professor
Rutgers School of Public Health
"Keeping the Public in Public Health"
Newark Ribbon Cutting
Pictured (left to right): Chelsea Gray (student & SGA rep.), Jackie Cornell (principal deputy commissioner, NJDOH), Brian Strom (chancellor of RBHS), Mark Wade (director, Newark Dept. of Health), Perry N. Halkitis (dean, Rutgers School of Public Health), Henry Ristuccia (chair, External Advisory Board, Rutgers School of Public Health).
On February 21, 2019, we hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the grand opening of its new Newark location at One Riverfront Plaza!

The event brought together important partners from Rutgers University, the community, and the State, further strengthening the School’s commitment to conducting relevant public health work with and for the communities that they serve.

The School’s new highly accessible location houses its  Department of Urban-Global Public Health  and the  Center for Health, Identity, Behavior and Prevention Studies (CHIBPS) , as well as other faculty and units. Students have access to advanced classrooms, technology, and conveniences throughout Newark Penn Station and downtown Newark.

“This location is a testament to Dean Halkitis’ leadership and the tremendous growth that the School is undergoing, expanding their research, educational, and community engagement programs across the state and around the world,” said Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.
Sex Ed 2.0
While comprehensive SexEd curriculums in schools help young people think about topics and situations before they become pressing, new digital tools, like Planned Parenthood's "Chat/Text" program, help fill in the gaps and provide a space for teens to ask questions without feeling embarrassed.

Leslie M. Kantor, PhD, MPH, chair of the department of Urban-Global Public Health and former vice president of education for Planned Parenthood explains in a new article by Mashable .

Single Mothers Spend More on Children's
Health in Hard Times
Single mothers facing economic hardships are more likely to sacrifice their own health care in favor of their children than traditional two-parent families, according to a new study led by Alan Monheit, PhD, professor of health economics and public policy.

 “In particular, we were interested in whether parents sacrifice their own health care spending in favor of spending for children during such times,” said Monheit, who is also a researcher at the   Center for State Health Policy at  Rutgers Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research . “We sought to identify family types whose health care spending was especially vulnerable to changes in their economic status, and whether particular family members’ health care spending was at risk due to a loss in economic status.” The study was co-authored by Irina B. Grafova, PhD , assistant professor of health systems and policy.
HIV Intervention Programs Work
The rate of new HIV infections among young at-risk individuals is lower than it has been in the past, pointing to the success of pharmaceutical and other intervention programs, according to a recent study by Henry Raymond, DrPH , associate professor of epidemiology.

“One of our interpretations is that the rate of new infections is not as great as it used to be and the prevalence is staying pretty steady. And it seems to be more likely that older transwomen are infected and the younger ones are not. So that is really hopeful that as society maybe becomes less stigmatizing, people are reducing their risks,” Raymond said.

Raymond was interviewed by NJ TV News alongside Aminah Washington , a proud African-American trans woman who leads several educational and awareness projects with the African American Office of Gay Concerns.
Snus: Smokers Often Misunderstand Health Risks of Smokeless Tobacco Product
A new Rutgers School of Public Health  Center for Tobacco Studies report finds that American smokers mistakenly think that using snus, a type of moist snuff smokeless tobacco product, is as dangerous as smoking tobacco.

"Quitting all tobacco is the best course of action. However, smokers who have not been successful in quitting or who do not want to quit tobacco entirely may be able to reduce their risks by learning about and switching to a product like snus," said lead researcher Olivia Wackowski, PhD , assistant professor in the Department of Health Behavior, Society, and Policy and member of the Rutgers Center for Tobacco Studies and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey.
Meet The Dean's External Advisory Council
Henry Ristuccia
Managing Partner
Policy & Government Relations
Elizabeth Brewer, MS, MPH
Global Lead
North Americas Government, Public Policy and Advocacy
GSK Consumer Healthcare

May Chan-Liston, MPH
Risk Evaluation- Mitigation Strategy
PHAR’00 DPRM’00 MPH’14

James F. Dougherty, MS, VMD
Metropolitan Veterinary Associates 
Vice Chair, Rutgers Board of Trustees
RC’74 GSNB’75

Bernard Goldstein, MD
Dean Emeritus & Professor Emeritus
University of Pittsburgh
Graduate School of Public Health

Ron Krauskopf
Senior Vice President 
Business Lending – Healthcare
Investors Bank
Alison G. Modica
Executive Community Liaison
Gilead Sciences

David Ostrowsky
Loan Consultant

Janet Ott, MBA
Chief Marketing Officer

Bruce Richman
Founder and Executive Director 
Prevention Access Campaign
U=U Campaign

Ilise Zimmerman
Executive Director 
Partnership for Maternal & Child Health of Northern New Jersey
Thanks Investors Bank!
Huge thank you to our partners Investors Bank, Dee Abedraboh (District Manager) and Syed Jafri (Senior Branch Manager), for supporting the Rutgers School of Public Health's urban public health initiatives. Together with community partners and industry leaders, “we’re keeping the ‘public’ in public health.”
OpEd: It's Not Too Late to Get Vaccinated!
By: Kimberly Pierre is a health educator for NJ Physicians Advisory Group, a non-profit agency advocating for solutions for the societal problems of teen pregnancy, teen STDs/STIs and single parent teen families. She is also a student at the Rutgers School of Public Health. The oped ran in the Star Ledger.
As a health educator, I conducted interviews with a few New Jersey residents from different educational backgrounds and occupations to better understand what the public thinks about vaccinations. They shared several doubts about vaccines and miseducation about how they work. A few of their comments resonated with me.
A college student told me, “Vaccines get you sick. It doesn’t protect you against anything.”

An educator - a local history teacher - said, "Vaccines are created so the pharmaceutical companies can profit on our fears of getting sick."

How did we get to this point of doubt? How can we change the perceptions of individuals so we can have safe havens for schools and healthier communities throughout our nation?

It’s apparent that despite our accessibility to a vast amount of information, when it comes to prevention methods, there are still myths and stigmas present. As a health educator who strives to increase health awareness, I must address these stigmas providing accurate information with the hopes of increasing positive health behaviors.
Within the last year, according to the   Center for Disease Control  (CDC), there were 17 outbreaks of measles within the United States. Of these outbreaks, there were 33 cases found in New Jersey. The primary sources of the measles cases found in New Jersey, and the surrounding areas in New York State, is believed to have started with  a person who traveled to Israel   and was exposed to the virus. The cases that followed occurred mostly in unvaccinated members of the  Orthodox Jewish communities , according to the CDC.

Other sources of the outbreaks  found in the United States were associated with travelers coming from other countries.

New Jersey has confirmed that its outbreak is over, but there should still be concern among its residents. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 7, there were   101 outbreaks found in 10 states , and data is still being collected and updated weekly.

What can we possibly do to stop these outbreaks? The best solution is to get vaccinated.
One of the greatest achievements in public health during the 20th century is immunization. Vaccines prevent thousands of individuals from severe illness and complications that can consist of later amputation or paralysis of limbs, hearing loss and brain damage. They can even prevent premature death.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children be vaccinated on a recommended   schedule .  But for people who weren’t vaccinated as a child, It isn’t too late. The CDC provides a catch-up schedule  for persons aged 4 months to 18 years, and a  schedule . for adults 19 years or older.

Let us all work on changing the narrative regarding vaccines. Not understanding them and avoiding them can leave you vulnerable to illnesses. Protect yourselves and those you care for and get vaccinated.
Additional Highlights
South Asians at Risk for Tuberculosis Often Are Not Tested
South Asian immigrants from countries where tuberculosis (TB) is common do not get tested even though they are at high risk for developing the disease. The researchers, who include Rutgers School of Public Health alum, Rajita Bhavaraju, PhD , found that many South Asian immigrants who regularly visit their birth countries may have latent TB and, given the lack of symptoms, often do not get tested. 

Opinion: Has Abstinence-Only SexEd Contributed to the Rise of STDs?
Leslie M. Kantor, PhD, MPH , chair of the department of urban-global public health and former vice president of education for Planned Parenthood provides perspective on the importance of comprehensive sex education programs that teach and promote behaviors that are necessary to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

If you can't access the report, click here .
Mother's Age, Race, Weight Affect Hormone Concentrations During Pregnancy
Hormone concentrations during early fetal development — that may affect the child’s development and increase the mother’s risk for breast and ovarian cancer years later — are significantly affected by maternal age, body mass index and race rather than lifestyle, according to a recent study led by  Emily Barrett, PhD, professor of epidemiology and researcher at the Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute.
Faculty Honored by National Academy of Inventors
Jeffrey Laskin, PhD , distinguished professor, has been named a Senior Member of the Inaugural Class of the National Academy of Inventors!

This is considered one of the highest professional honors among scientists and health professionals who have been recognized for distinguished and continuing achievements in original research leading to success in patents, licensing and commercialization.

Times Up: Healthcare Industry
It's time to stop harassment and discrimination across the healthcare industry. 

The Time's Up Healthcare movement seeks to unify national efforts to bring safety, equity, and dignity to the healthcare workplace

Rutgers School of Public Health  student, Jonas Attilus , participates in the movement's latest video.
Attend Our Spring Open House!
Join the Rutgers School of Public Health for our annual Spring Open House on April 3, 2019, and learn about the 30+ masters', post-baccalaureate certificate, doctoral, dual-degree, and accelerated programs, the School offers!

Meet with students, alumni, faculty, and staff, from all of our concentrations:

  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental Health Sciences
  • Epidemiology
  • Global Public Health
  • Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics
  • Health Systems and Policy
  • LGBTQ Health
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Public Health Nutrition
  • Social and Behavioral Health Science
  • Urban Public Health

Take your passion and enthusiasm for protecting and improving the health of people to the next level.  
Graduating? Here's Everything You Need to Know
Graduating students - congratulations on your achievements, we can't wait to celebrate your success this May! It's up to you to stay informed, so please check your Rutgers School of Public Health email often, and visit the graduation page here .
Convocation Vs. Commencement: Do Both!
Convocation is the Rutgers School of Public Health graduation ceremony. All Rutgers School of Public Health graduates (Newark and New Brunswick) are strongly encouraged to participate in this ceremony to celebrate their achievement with fellow graduates, as well as family and friends.

  • Date: Friday, May 17, 2019
  • Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM. Doors open at 4:15 PM.
  • Location: Nicholas Music Center (85 George Street, Douglass Campus, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901)
  • Tickets: Five per grad - will be mailed to your mailing address. Additional tickets can be purchased from the Student Affairs Office beginning April 1, 2019.
  • Parking: No registration or special parking permits are required for graduate or guest parking. Parking will be available in lots 79 and 79A to the left of Nicholas Music Center. 
Commencement is the Rutgers University-wide graduation ceremony held at Stadium in Piscataway, NJ! All Rutgers School of Public Health graduates (Newark and New Brunswick) are encouraged to participate in this ceremony.

  • Date: Sunday, May 19, 2019
  • Time: 10:00 AM
  • Location: Stadium (Piscataway)
  • Tickets: No tickets required
  • Parking:Beginning March 19, 2019 graduating students may register for up to two free parking hang-tags for themselves and their guests here. Parking hang-tags will be mailed by early May to the address provided during parking hang-tag registration. Registration for two free parking hang-tag ends April 16, 2018. Transportation Services for use during the year will not be valid for parking on campuses in Piscataway and New Brunswick on May 19, 2019. 
PHocus: A Summer Experience for Students
Public Health: Outbreaks, Communities, and Urban Studies (PHocus) is back for a second summer!
PHocus is an interdisciplinary educational program organized by the Rutgers School of Public Health, where students will explore population health and learn the fundamentals of public health!

Students can expect a variety of experiences including mock outbreaks, hands-on population health and community disease activities, a laboratory session, and conversations with public heath scientists and practitioners.
Session 1
New Brunswick:
July 22-26, 2019
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Rutgers School of Public Health, Piscataway, NJ
Session 2
August 5-9, 2019
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Rutgers School of Public Health, Newark, NJ

Register: Upcoming Conferences
"Safe Patient Handling Conference"
March 19, 2019

Did you know that nurses, nurse aids, orderlies, emergency medical technicians and physical and occupational therapists have some of the highest numbers of nonfatal occupational injuries?
"Causal Inference Summer Institute"
July 10-12, 2019

The Center for Causal Inference is proud to announce its third annual Causal Inference Summer Institute,
a three-day intensive learning experience that will take place at Rutgers!
Save-The-Date: Giving Day
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 Rutgers University Giving Day!

This year, we're asking our Rutgers School of Public Health faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends to think bigger and support our global education fund, with donations going to student scholarships!

Social Bites
We're on LinkedIn!
You can now connect with us on LinkedIn by following the official
Rutgers School of Public Health LinkedIn page!

Tag the official Rutgers School of Public Health LinkedIn page on your LinkedIn profile “education” and "experience" sections to increase your visibility, grow your professional network, and show your #RutgersSPH!
Get Involved
Getting Social @RutgersSPH
Follow and interact with the Rutgers School of Public Health (@RutgersSPH) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Tag us in your posts and show us how you're "keeping the public in public health," for a chance to be featured on our social media accounts and in t he Scarletter .

Follow and interact with Dean Perry N. Halkitis (@DrPNHalkitis) on Twitter and Instagram.
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Support Public Health
Donating to the Rutgers School of Public Health supports scholarships for students to be engaged in discovery-based learning through research and practice activities working with populations who experiencing health disparities here in New Jersey, in our country, and  globally. By giving, you are helping us further our mission – we thank you. To donate, follow the URL and type “School of Public Health” in the search box.
Rutgers School of Public Health

Rutgers School of Public Health
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