Public Health Pulse (news, events, announcements)

Events Calendar

September 2018

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Announcements (recent)

  • All University of Hawai‘i campuses and System offices on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i will be closed from Thursday through Sunday. All UH Manoa athletic events scheduled for Thursday and Friday are cancelled. A decision on athletic events scheduled for Saturday and Sunday will be made depending upon weather conditions and facility availability. Residence halls at UH Manoa and UH Hilo will remain open for student residents. All employees who have been designated as disaster response workers or have been directed to report to work or remain at work due to operational needs, must still report to work. At this time, the UH campuses on Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i remain closed until further notice. The State of Hawai‘i announced today (August 22) that all state government offices and facilities on O‘ahu and Kaua‘i will be closed, starting Thursday, August 23, because of Hurricane Lane, a category 4 storm currently on track to move dangerously close the islands.   Hurricane Lane could make landfall on any or multiple islands, and may bring strong winds, heavy rains, flooding, high surf and storm surges. All students, faculty and staff are asked to keep informed of the latest developments and prepare for the possibility of the need to shelter in place or move to a public shelter. Prepare yourself and your families for the potential effects of the storm. Officials recommend a 14-day emergency supply. Students in residence halls will continue to receive more specific communications and instructions from their respective student housing office. However, please do not hesitate to contact them with any questions or concerns at UH Mānoa: (808) 956-8177 and UH Hilo: (808) 932-7403. Please follow the National Weather Service (http://www.prh.noaa.gov/cphc/), other official agencies and local media for the latest weather news. All members of the UH community are urged to sign up for UH Alert to receive emergency text alerts:  http://www.hawaii.edu/alert. If you have already signed up, log in to ensure that your contact information is up-to-date: http://www.hawaii.edu/alert Notifications affecting UH campuses will be posted on the Emergency Information webpage, as well as on social media: https://www.hawaii.edu/emergency/ https://www.facebook.com/universityofhawaii https://twitter.com/UHawaiiNews Please stay informed and updated: Hawaii Emergency Management Agency: http://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/ National Weather Service Honolulu Forecast Office:   http://www.prh.noaa.gov/hnl/ The Pacific Disaster Center's Disaster Alert app https://disasteralert.pdc.org/disasteralert/

    - Posted 3 weeks ago

  • Delta Omega will hold it's annual Distinguished Lecture on Thursday, May 10, 2018 from 5:00PM - 7:30PM in Biomed B-103.

    This year's lecture will be given by Rachael Wong, DrPH, Founder & Strategic Advisor, One Shared Future. Dr. Wong is the founder of the One Shared Future Initiative (OSF), which is piloting a strengths-based professional development series to increase the public sector’s capacity to serve local communities through collaboration and innovation. She has dedicated her career to improving quality of life for Hawai‘i residents: leading the State of Hawai‘i Department of Human Services (DHS) as director and developing the ‘Ohana Nui framework; partnering with providers to incorporate population health into the healthcare delivery system as the vice president and chief operating of cer of Healthcare Association of Hawai‘i (HAH); advocating for patients and those who serve them as the executive director of Kōkua Mau (Hawai‘i Hospice & Palliative Care Organization) and the Hawai‘i Consortium for Integrative Care; and serving on numerous local and national boards and committees. Dr. Wong earned a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies and certi cate in women’s studies from Princeton University, a master’s degree in public health from UH-Mānoa, and a doctorate in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Take this wonderful opportunity to meet and hear from Dr. Wong. Reception to follow. Campus parking is $6.

    For more information and to RSVP please contact Professor Al Katz: katz@hawaii.edu.

    - Posted 4 months ago

  • The Hawai‘i Chapter of Delta Omega invites all interested Public Health graduate and undergraduate Students to submit an abstract for the National Delta Omega Poster Contest Display at the APHA 2018 annual meeting to be held 10-14 November, 2018, in San Diego, CA. Each chapter is able to select no more than 2 abstracts for the graduate student competition and 1 for the undergraduate competition.

    Students whose work is selected for a national award will receive a $350 cash prize from the national Delta Omega Honor Society, which the OPHS will match for a total of $700. Student awards will be made during the Delta Omega Social Hour. In addition, students will have the opportunity to present their poster during the APHA scientific poster sessions. Student abstracts will also be published on the Delta Omega National Webpage.

    All abstracts must be submitted via email for consideration to katz@hawaii.edu by 17:00 (5:00 pm) Friday, March 30, 2018. No late or incomplete submissions will be accepted or considered.

    See the Delta Omega Student Abstract Announcement and Delta Omega Abstract Submission Guideline documents for more details

    Students from our department have been national Delta Omega student poster contest award winners for 9 of the past 10 years. We look forward to your submissions.

    Please contact Dr. Katz if you have any questions.

    - Posted 7 months ago

  • The Hawai‘i Chapter of Delta Omega invites all interested Public Health graduate and undergraduate Students to submit an abstract for the National Delta Omega Poster Contest Display at the APHA 2017 annual meeting to be held 4-8 November, 2017, in Atlanta. Each chapter is able to select no more than 2 abstracts for the graduate student competition and 1 for the undergraduate competition.

    Students whose work is selected for a national award will receive a $350 cash prize from the national Delta Omega Honor Society, which the OPHS will match for a total of $700. Student awards will be made during the Delta Omega Social Hour. In addition, students will have the opportunity to present their poster during the APHA scientific poster sessions. Student abstracts will also be published on the Delta Omega National Webpage.

    All abstracts must be submitted via email for consideration to katz@hawaii.edu by 17:00 (5:00 pm) Friday, April 14, 2017. No late or incomplete submissions will be accepted or considered.

    1)      Only student work that is completed by the submission date will be considered by the review committee

    AND

    2)      “Because the Delta Omega Student Poster Session is held as part of APHA’s scientific sessions, presenters must adhere to APHA’s guidelines.”

    The following is taken verbatim from the APHA “Poster Session Guidelines”:

    Presenters must be individual members of APHA Presenters, session organizers and moderators must register for the meeting (full or one-day). All presenters must be registered by the Advance Registration Deadline. Speakers who fail to show up for their scheduled presentations without previously notifying the program planner of cancellation will not be permitted to present papers or posters at any APHA-sponsored meeting for two years following the "no-show."

    See the Delta Omega Student Abstract Announcement and Delta Omega Abstract Submission Guideline documents for more details.

    Students from our department have been national Delta Omega student poster contest award winners for 8 of the past 9 years. We look forward to your submissions.

    Please contact Dr. Katz if you have any questions.

    - Posted 1 year ago

  • The Hawai‘i Journal of Medicine & Public Health invites students and professionals at public health, medical, nursing, pharmacy, and dental schools or programs to enter its 2nd Annual Writing Contest. Submissions must be original works related to the practice of medicine or public health, witha focus on the Hawaiian Islands or Pacific Rim Region.

    Eligibility:

    The contest is open to students and professionals at public health, medical, nursing, pharmacy, and dental schools or programs.

    Undergraduates, Graduate students (masters- and doctoral-level students), and Post-Graduates (postdoctoral fellows and residents) may apply.

    Note: Consideration may be given to applicants in other disciplines. Individuals not currently enrolled in a qualifying program but who completed one of the programs within the last 12 months may submit their work for consideration.

    Prize: Up to three cash prizes in the amount of $500. Winners will have their photographs featured along with their works in a future issue of HJM&PH.

    Contest opens on August 1, 2016 Deadline is December 30, 2016

    See our 2015 Contest winners: http://hjmph.org/contest2015.htm. More information can also be found at www.hjmph.org/contest.

    - Posted 2 years ago

Events (upcoming)

News (recent)

  • Managing big data in the health section researchers awarded $215,000 grant

    An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Hawaiʻiat Mānoa has been awarded a $215,000 National Science Foundation grant to study the emergence of organizational forms of data governance in the big data era.

    The research investigates one of big data’s greatest challenges—how to harness massive amounts of information in the healthcare sector for social good while balancing competing claims on the data and concerns regarding risks for individual privacy and security.

    “This project will address unmet needs and opportunities for more effective governance of protected health information data that will advance the research and education infrastructure related to health management, data science and information policy,” said UH Mānoa researcher and College of Social SciencesAssociate Professor Jenifer Sunrise Winter. Her expertise is in information policy and big data governance, and she has advanced knowledge about privacy and big data.

    Winter, together with fellow researchers Elizabeth Davidson of the Shidler College of Business and Victoria Fan of the Office of Public Health Studies, will examine how organizational forms develop around health data resources to address these challenges and opportunities, including what institutional and sociotechnical factors enable or inhibit new forms of governance, and how varied forms address the interests and values of societal and organizational stakeholders.

    Davidson is an expert researcher on health information technology design, and Fan’s work in health economics and health systems has contributed to identifying the health financing transition, landscaping the health workforce in China and India.

    This inquiry will be addressed through a series of embedded case studies of an emerging health data governance form, the All–Payer Claims Databases in the U.S. healthcare sector.

    The findings from this project span communications, public health and information technology management, and will develop new knowledge with application for policy settings. It will also position health system leaders and technology innovators to fine-tune health data analysis with the intent of improving the healthcare system for the benefit of public welfare.

    Read more about the research team

    - Posted Wednesday, September 5

  • To Tell or Not Tell, That is the Question: Should Physicians Have to Tell Adolescents with HIV that They Have HIV?

    Introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has significantly decreased deaths in HIV-positive children, most of whom were infected from pregnancy or breastfeeding. Before, HIV-positive children rarely lived past their fifth birthday; today, they are living into their teenage years. As a result, parents and health care providers struggle to decide how and when to tell an adolescent that he/she is HIV-positive.

    Researchers from the Office of Public Health Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa explore this dilemma in a paper published in the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics this month, “Should There Be a Disclosure Mandate for Physicians Caring for Perinatally Infected Adolescents Who Don’t Know Their HIV Serostatus?” First author Sabhyta Sabharwal wrote the paper during a class when she was an MPH student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with her instructor and assistant professor Victoria Y. Fan, ScD, SM. Jason W. Mitchell, PhD, MPH, assistant professor, is also a co-author on the paper. Sabharwal is currently a medical student at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts.

    This paper highlights current gaps in HIV disclosure policies for adolescents in America. Currently, the law does not require providers or caregivers to tell minors that they are HIV-positive. In some states, the physician needs parental consent before they can tell a minor that he/she is HIV-positive.

    On the one hand, disclosure may cause psychological distress, social stigma, or social isolation to the minor. On the other hand, adolescence is a time when children are more likely to engage in risky behaviors and if a minor does not know they are HIV-positive, they can have unprotected sex and infect unknowing partners. Furthermore, adolescents living with HIV could face criminal penalties if they fail to tell sex partners about their HIV-status once they turn 18.

    For these reasons, physicians should be legally allowed to tell adolescents of their HIV serostatus, even if parental consent is not granted.

    Additional details about this paper can be found here: https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/should-there-be-disclosure-mandate-physicians-caring-perinatally-infected-adolescents-who

    - Posted Thursday, August 30

  • Student Novella from APLE and Honors Thesis Published

    Congratulations to Madisyn Uekawa, BA '17 who has published a novella originally written for her Applied Learning Experience and Undergraduate Honors Thesis! Her novella focuses on youth suicide prevention and she plans to donate any proceeds to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

    - Posted Thursday, August 16

  • Women need better understanding of important childbirth terms

    Understanding healthcare terminology is critical to patient education and engagement, but healthcare vocabulary that may be familiar to clinicians and researchers is often not understood, or is misunderstood, by patients.

    In a study recently published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa public health researchers found a lack of understanding of common obstetric terms used to measure maternal healthcare quality among women who recently gave birth on Oʻahu.

    “Our research team interviewed 400 pregnant women to learn about their thought process and experiences in selecting a hospital to deliver their babies. We also assessed their understanding of terms often used to compare hospital quality in childbirth,” said Mary Guo, lead author and alumna of the UH Mānoa Office of Public Health Studies(OPHS) graduate program. “Our data showed that many women lacked understanding of some very important terminology around childbirth outcomes.”

    The interviews took place between July 2013 and January 2015.

    In one example, the research team found that almost 40 percent of participants did not know or misunderstood “episiotomy,” which is a surgical incision made during delivery, as opposed to a natural tear. Possible complications for women following an episiotomy include infections, pain during sex in the months after delivery and fecal incontinence.

    Most women are likely to care about such obstetric outcomes, but first need to know what these words mean. Some demographic factors were significantly associated with less comprehension of obstetric terminology, including being younger, having less education and identifying as Filipino, Japanese, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

    “The finding that many women were unfamiliar with important terminology around quality of healthcare in childbirth is significant. This highlights areas where improvement in patient education is needed,” said Tetine Sentell, co-author and associate professor in OPHS. “More efforts are also needed to address knowledge gaps to achieve health equity across education, age and race/ethnicity.”

    For example, Sentell said physicians should use layman's terms when communicating with patients. Also, healthcare providers should not assume that patients who nod in response or remain silent fully understand the relevant health information being conveyed.

    Actively confirming patient understanding is important, Sentell emphasized.

    The study was funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    - Posted Tuesday, August 14

  • Food and Family key to Filipino Heart Health

    To lower the high rate of heart disease among Filipino-Americans, the community needs heart health interventions rooted in Filipino cultural values, according to a new analysis by public health researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

    Filipino-Americans comprise 20 percent of the growing Asian-American population and are overrepresented in important workforces, including healthcare and the military. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among Filipino-American males and second among Filipino-American females.

    Further, they have a high prevalence of hypertension and behavioral risk factors associated with these cardiovascular and other chronic conditions, such as obesity, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity.

    Filipino-Americans place a high importance on family relationships and often hold gatherings and celebrations with traditional foods. The community also values spirituality, caring for others and a tradition of obligation and reciprocity.

    “We found that incorporating these values into interventions is an effective way to improve heart health,” said Professor Kathryn L. Braun, who worked on the study and is the director of the UH Office of Public Health Studies. Lead researcher on the study, Jermy-Leigh Domingo, is a recent UH Mānoa public health graduate.

    For their analysis, the authors looked at eight previous studies that involved healthcare workers using culturally tailored interventions to increase Filipino-Americans’ participation in heart disease prevention programs. The researchers looked at whether these interventions worked and also identified their key components. Four of the previous studies were done in Hawaiʻi, while the others were performed on the mainland.

    “In some interventions, healthcare workers offered suggestions for small changes that could be made in serving traditional Filipino foods, such as grilling fish rather than frying it,” Braun said.

    Other interventions focused on a recognition of the importance of family relationships. For example, since turning down food is frowned upon, it is vital to get the whole family on board for support rather than focusing on the single individual with heart disease, the researchers said.

    Few interventions involved finding ways to increase physical activity, however, dancing is popular among Filipino-Americans and may be an area to target in future studies.

    “Our research is part of a growing body of evidence that shows that public health efforts that are tailored to reach people of certain cultures are effective in lowering the rates of chronic diseases,” Domingo said. Other factors include the ethnicity of healthcare workers, educational materials and the settings of interventions.

    - Posted Monday, August 13