Vital Record » Public Health https://news.tamhsc.edu Your source for health news from the Texas A&M Health Science Center Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:54:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Kash, Han and Radcliff promoted https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=kash-han-and-radcliff-promoted https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=kash-han-and-radcliff-promoted#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:54:26 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21216 Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A., FACHE, and Daikwon Han, Ph.D., have been promoted to associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health effective September 1, ]]>
Drs. Bita Kash, Daikwon Han, and Tiffany Radcliff

Drs. Bita Kash, Daikwon Han, and Tiffany Radcliff

Bita Kash, Ph.D., M.B.A., FACHE, and Daikwon Han, Ph.D., have been promoted to associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health effective September 1, 2014. Additionally, Tiffany Radcliff, Ph.D., and Han have been awarded tenure by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.

Kash is director of the Center for Health Organization Transformation (CHOT), an industry-university cooperative research center funded by the National Science Foundation and health organizations. Her research includes organizational capacity for change and transformation in health care, evaluation of new coordinated models of care delivery in both primary and surgical settings, health care strategic planning and marketing, and health innovation implementation. Kash’s research approach relies on the knowledge and experience of health care leaders to guide academic research. This cooperative model ensures that research is both meaningful and applicable to the health care industry and provides immediate decision support for industry. Kash received her M.B.A. from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and her Ph.D. in Health Services Research from Texas A&M.

With training in epidemiology and geographic information science (GIS), Han’s research spans environmental health, exposure science, spatial epidemiology, and population studies. His recent research has focused on incorporating geospatial and statistical methods into epidemiologic research in order to better understand social-environmental determinants as well as life course influences on chronic health outcomes. He also serves as the director of the GIS and Spatial Statistics Program, which focuses on the development and application of spatial epidemiology methods in public health research and practice. Han received a B.A. and M.A. from Seoul National University, and a Ph.D. from University at Buffalo-SUNY.

Radcliff has been an associate professor at the Texas A&M School of Public Health since 2010. Her teaching and research interests include health economics, health policy, and health services research methods. Her research focuses on improving quality of care in long-term care facilities, access to care for rural and underserved populations, improving care processes and outcomes, industrial organization of health care, and economic evaluation of clinical and policy interventions. She received a B.S. in economics with a minor in political science from Texas A&M, and a Ph.D. in Health Services, Research, Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota.

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Hong finds working with gatekeepers of Chinese female sex workers key to HIV/STI prevention https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=hong-finds-working-with-gatekeepers-of-chinese-female-sex-workers-key-to-hivsti-prevention https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=hong-finds-working-with-gatekeepers-of-chinese-female-sex-workers-key-to-hivsti-prevention#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:26:44 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21211 Recent study focuses on the relationships between women in the sex industry and their “managers” or gatekeepers, and how those relationships affect preventative measures and health among female sex workers]]>
Yan Hong, Ph.D.

Yan Hong, Ph.D.

Within the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, female sex workers constitute a key population with respect to HIV infection and transmission because of their vulnerability and the potential role they play in transmission to the general public. Yan Hong, Ph.D., associate professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, recently published research on female sex workers in China calling for structural interventions to protect their occupational health and safety.

The study published in Qualitative Health Research titled, “‘Misses’ and ‘Mommies’: Relationship of Female Sex Workers and their Gatekeepers and its Implications for HIV/STI Prevention,” focuses on the relationships between women in the sex industry and their “managers” or gatekeepers, and how those relationships affect preventative measures and health among female sex workers. To gather data, Hong and other researchers conducted individual in-depth interviews with both gatekeepers and female sex workers in Guangxi, a region in southeastern China with an alarming increase of HIV cases in the past decade.

The study examined different types of gatekeeper-worker relationships and concluded that their relationship is reciprocal because female sex workers bring business and money to gatekeepers, who in turn serve as recruiters, space providers, business mediators, and protectors of female sex workers. However, the relationship is imbalanced, with the gatekeepers holding most of the power and making most of the decisions.

Gatekeepers not only decide the condom use policies in the venue, but they are also the crucial agent in the communication of HIV prevention in the venue. Their motivation to engage in HIV prevention for female sex workers is driven by financial interest; maintaining a healthy workforce in the venue is often secondary to the desire to reduce interruption of their business and stay out of legal trouble.

These findings prompted Hong and her fellow researchers to conclude that when designing HIV interventions, it is important to recognize “financial interests of the gatekeepers and design strategies compatible with their needs.” Additionally, they recognize that gatekeepers provide a safe space for women in the sex industry, so it is important to include gatekeepers in the strategies, promoting a trusting relationship between them and the workers.

“Working closely with gatekeepers is a promising way to reduce structural health risk factors and promote occupational safety among female sex workers in China,” said Hong.

This study received funding from an NIH Research Grant by the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Research Development Award from Texas A&M University. Additional researchers include Chen Zhang, M.P.H., Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee; Xiaoming Li, Ph.D., Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, Michigan; Yuejial Zhou, M.D., Guangxi Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Nanning, China; and Weigui Guo, M.D., Beihai Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beihai, China.

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Mehta to receive new investigator research award https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mehta-to-receive-new-investigator-research-award https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mehta-to-receive-new-investigator-research-award#comments Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:17:37 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21208 Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D., M.S. has been selected to receive the James G. Zimmer New Investigator Research Award by the American Public Health Association (APHA) Aging and Public Health Section]]>
Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D., M.S.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D., M.S.

Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D., M.S., assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, has been selected to receive the James G. Zimmer New Investigator Research Award by the American Public Health Association (APHA) Aging and Public Health Section.

Mehta is receiving this award for her research on “Stress Impacts Physical Competencies in Older Obese Adults,” and will be honored at the APHA 2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans on November 17.

Mehta is the director of the NeuroErgonomics Lab and co-director of the Ergonomics Center in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at the Texas A&M School of Public Health. She received both a Ph.D. and M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech, and an M.Eng. from SUNY at the University of Buffalo.

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Sharma developing portable water purifying device for military https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=sharma-developing-portable-water-purifying-device-for-military https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=sharma-developing-portable-water-purifying-device-for-military#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 21:56:53 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21155 Sharma leads research group that is conducting laboratory studies to demonstrate the efficacy of ferrate to remove a wide range of contaminants, which will contribute to the development of a purifying device for the military]]>
As our troops serve our nation all around the world, it is important to provide a way for them to obtain pure drinking water.

As our troops serve our nation all around the world, it is important to provide a way for them to obtain pure drinking water.

Providing a reliable source of purified drinking water for our U.S. military as they serve our nation in the field is the focus of a research grant awarded to Virender K. Sharma, Ph.D., M.Tech, M.Sc., professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health.

The Battelle Memorial Institute has awarded a subcontract to the Texas A&M School of Public Health to develop a portable water treatment device using naturally occurring iron in the environment. According to Sharma, this iron is easily converted to an environmentally friendly chemical compound called ferrate that can be used as a water treatment disinfectant to purify water.

“In a matter of minutes polluted water contaminated with pesticides and other toxins can be purified using ferrate without possibly leaving harmful by-products currently left behind with traditional water treatment chemicals, such as free chlorine, choramines and ozone,” says Sharma.

Virender K. Sharma, Ph.D.

Virender K. Sharma, Ph.D.

A research group led by Sharma is conducting laboratory studies to demonstrate the efficacy of ferrate to remove a wide range of contaminants. Results of the research will contribute to the development of the device. Additional Texas A&M School of Public Health researchers working on the project are Natalie Johnson, Ph.D., Thomas McDonald, Ph.D., and Ranjana Mehta, Ph.D.

Sharma, an environmental chemist, was recently named interim department head of the Environmental and Occupational Health Department at the Texas A&M School of Public Health.

(The project is sponsored by the Defense Technical Information Center, IAC Program Office (DTIC-I), 8725 John J. Kingman Road, Suite 0944, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6218.  Approved for Public Release, Distribution Unlimited.)

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McLeroy to present at Health Education & Behavior Editorial Board meeting https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mcleroy-to-present-at-health-education-behavior-editorial-board-meeting https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=mcleroy-to-present-at-health-education-behavior-editorial-board-meeting#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:32:09 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21152 Regents and Distinguished Professor Kenneth McLeroy, Ph.D., will deliver the keynote address at the Health Education & Behavior (HE&B) Editorial Board meeting and luncheon in New Orleans on November 17. ]]>

Regents and Distinguished Professor Kenneth McLeroy, Ph.D., will deliver the keynote address at the Health Education & Behavior (HE&B) Editorial Board meeting and luncheon in New Orleans on November 17.

Health Education & Behavior is a peer-reviewed bi-monthly journal that provides empirical research, case studies, program evaluations, literature reviews, and discussions on theories of health behavior and health status, as well as strategies to improve social and behavioral health. It also examines the processes of planning, implementing, managing, and assessing health education and social-behavioral interventions.

McLeroy will speak on his previously published work, “Creating Capacity: Establishing a Health Education Research Agenda,” published originally in 1995 that led to the establishment of a research agenda for health education. He will recount the history of that effort and address the issue of new journal reporting standards that go beyond the current standards for public health journals.

Kenneth McLeroy, Ph.D.

Kenneth McLeroy, Ph.D.

McLeroy currently serves as the department editor of Framing Health Matters for the American Journal of Public Health and is an international leader in the use of social ecology as a framework for public health research and practice. His research interests include community capacity, community-based approaches to health promotion and disease prevention, program evaluation of individual and community assets and resources, the relationship between theory and practice, social ecology, and history of public health.

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Wells to present research at AcademyHealth Public Health Systems Research Close-Up Briefing https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=wells-to-present-research-at-academyhealth-public-health-systems-research-close-up-briefing https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=wells-to-present-research-at-academyhealth-public-health-systems-research-close-up-briefing#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:56:51 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21122 Rebecca Wells, Ph.D. was invited to present and discuss her research at a Public Health Systems Research Close-Up Briefing conducted by AcademyHealth in Washington ]]>
Rebecca Wells, Ph.D.

Rebecca Wells, Ph.D.

Rebecca Wells, Ph.D., professor of Health Policy Management at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, was recently invited to present and discuss her research, Effects of Reduced Medicaid Funding for Maternity Outreach and Postpartum Services, at a Public Health Systems Research Close-Up Briefing conducted by AcademyHealth in Washington, D.C. in October.

Public health systems research examines the financing, organization, and delivery of public health services within communities and how these services impact health outcomes, with the goal of informing public health policy decision-makers about the evolving public health system.

The briefing will bring together experts from public health research, practice, and policy, and will be an interactive exchange of ideas, questions, and evidence. This particular session focuses on research of maternal and child health, including the impact of recent funding reductions and policy changes on maternal and child health outcomes. The goal of this meeting is to share the latest research on maternal and child health policy, and improve the effectiveness, relevance, and accessibility of public health systems research to make it more useful for public health policy-makers.

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Bustillos secures national public health research poster presentation https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=bustillos-secures-national-public-health-research-poster-presentation https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=bustillos-secures-national-public-health-research-poster-presentation#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 13:42:33 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21119 Brenda Bustillos, M.S., RD, LD was selected as one of 19 people nationwide for the Delta Omega National Honorary Society in Public Health research poster presentations at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting]]>
Brenda Bustillos, M.S., RD, LD

Brenda Bustillos, M.S., RD, LD

Brenda Bustillos, M.S., RD, LD, a doctoral student at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, was selected as one of 19 people nationwide for the Delta Omega National Honorary Society in Public Health research poster presentations at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual meeting November 17 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Six out of the past seven consecutive years one or more Texas A&M School of Public Health Students have had research posters selected for this prestigious honor.

A captain in the U.S. Army Medical Specialist Corps, Bustillos is completing her Dr.P.H. in Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences. Her winning research poster is titled, “Development and implementation of a culturally and linguistically-centered nutrition education program for promotora researchers to foster community health education and outreach in Texas border colonias.”

Earlier this spring, Bustillos won first place with her poster in the Texas A&M School of Public Health 9th Annual Research Poster Symposium and Student Poster Contest.

“We are very pleased that Brenda’s outstanding work can be showcased on the national scale at the APHA meeting,” remarked Jean Brender, RN, Ph.D., associate dean for research.

This opportunity was created by Delta Omega to encourage and recognize the public health leaders of tomorrow.

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INFOGRAPHIC: Managing the next public health outbreak https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-managing-the-next-public-health-outbreak https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=infographic-managing-the-next-public-health-outbreak#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:18:45 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21091 Ebola virus disease is a stark reminder that an outbreak anywhere can be a risk everywhere. This is both the harsh reality and the shining truth, but more than just managing this outbreak, we must learn from it and vow to prevent the next one by overcoming social, scientific and economic barriers that inhibit effective public health preparedness and response. ]]>

Roadmap_ManagingOutbreaks_VitalRecord

View the full article.

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Ory to receive Lifetime Achievement Award https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=ory-to-receive-lifetime-achievement-award https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post=ory-to-receive-lifetime-achievement-award#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 20:31:49 +0000 https://news.tamhsc.edu/?post_type=post&p=21080 Regents and Distinguished Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H, has been selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Aging and Public Health Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA)]]>
Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Regents and Distinguished Professor Marcia Ory, Ph.D., M.P.H, has been selected to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Aging and Public Health Section of the American Public Health Association (APHA).

“Her record speaks for itself, and we feel that her amazing accomplishments exemplify what this award represents,” states Lene Levy-Storms, Ph.D., M.P.H, past-chair of the Aging and Public Health Section.

Ory is an international leader in healthy aging, community-based prevention and wellness research. She has made substantial contributions to identifying factors associated with healthy aging as well as implementing and disseminating evidence-based programs for improving the health and functioning of older adults. Working collaboratively with a variety of community, state and national partners she has advanced the science of public health translational research. She is also known for her excellence in mentoring the next generation of scholars and practitioners. She has authored or co-authored 10 edited books, 35 book chapters, served as guest editor for 20 journal issues, and published over 300 articles.  Additionally, she has generated more than $1 million annually in expenditures for research and service. She was previously awarded at the Phillip G. Weiler Award for Leadership in Aging and Public Health. She has also received the Texas A&M Health Science Center’s Presidential Award in Research selected for this honor from nominees from the colleges of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and nursing.

She will be honored at the APHA 2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans on November 17.

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