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Board Elections

Dean Craig Blakely Elected CEPH President

Dean Craig Blakely has been elected as President of the Council on Education in Public Health (CEPH). CEPH is an independent agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education that accredits schools of public health, and public health programs outside schools of public health.

Previously Dean Blakely served as a site visitor for 15 years, a site team chair for eight years, and a board member for three years. During his one-year term as president, which runs Dec. 2022- Dec. 2023, he has been charged with redefining the role of an accrediting body in promoting an anti-racist agenda. Additionally, he will chair all meetings of the Board and Executive Committee, have general oversight over the business and affairs of the corporation, sign contracts, and execute other duties as assigned.

Scott LaJoie elected Secretary/Treasurer for SMDM Board of Trustees

Scott LaJoie, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, was elected to a three-year term as Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Trustees for the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM). The SMDM is the leading society for studying and advancing decision sciences in health, including incorporation of patients’ values and preferences. It brings together experts from numerous fields, including economics, psychology, sociology, education, communication, mathematics, organizational theory, clinical epidemiology, public health, and clinical medicine. Dr. LaJoie’s role is to ensure the financial resources of the society align with the goals and mission of the SMDM, which is “to improve health outcomes through the advancement of proactive systematic approaches to clinical decision-making and policy formation in health care by providing a scholarly forum that connects and educates researchers, providers, policy makers, and the public”.


Dr. Demetra Antimisiaris recently published a guest editorial in The Senior Care Pharmacist Journal, "Looking Forward: Disruptive Shifts in Population Health Present Opportunities for Pharmacy." The US Bureau of Labor Statistics current pharmacist's job prediction of negative growth reflects the employment bandwidth of the current pharmacy ecosystem, in the aftermath of the once-in-a-lifetime, acute COVID-19 pandemic, and current economic turmoil. This report ignores the evolving and yet to be defined future “new normal” of health care as the turmoil of today settles, and the impact of population growth and an aging population take full effect, driving an abrupt shift toward population health approaches to care. Read more.

SPHIS alumna, Lyndsey Blair, PhD, was recently published by Environmental Epidemiology, the official Journal of the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology. The article titled, “Exposure to natural vegetation in relation to mammographic density in a Massachusetts-based clinical cohort” examined the association between greenness and mammographic density-a strong breast cancer risk factor-to determine whether greenness influences breast tissue composition independent of lifestyle factors. The team found greenness exposures were not associated with mammographic density. SPHIS co-authors included doctoral student in the Dept. of Epidemiology and Population Health, Johnnie Newton, MS, and senior author Natalie DuPre, ScD, MS, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Epidemiology and Population Health. Read more

Ryan Combs, PhD, Associate Professor, Dept. of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, and UofL medical education researchers, Emily Noonan, Laura Weingartner, Carrie Bohnert, M. Ann Shaw and Susan Sawning received the 2022 Editors’ Choice Award from the journal Teaching and Learning in Medicine for their publication “Perspectives of Transgender and Genderqueer Standardized Patients.” Standardized patients are individuals trained to portray patients with a wide variety of symptoms and illnesses to help medical students practice patient communication, diagnostic and physical examination skills. This award, a recognition program now in its eighth cycle, highlights publications that exemplify Teaching and Learning in Medicine’s mission to “provide the theoretical foundations and practical analysis needed for effective educational decision making.”

Scott LaJoie, PhD, Professor, Dept. of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences, alongside colleagues from the Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute conducted a national survey to assess what people know and feel about wastewater surveillance, which is used to detect the presence of pathogens, including viruses, in the water people flush. Wastewater surveillance has been used widely during the COVID-19 pandemic. They found participants were more likely to support monitoring for diseases, environmental toxins, and terrorist threats. Although two-third of the respondents endorsed no prohibition on location sampling scale (e.g., monitoring single residence to entire community was acceptable), the most common location respondents wanted to prohibit sampling was at personal residences. The findings are published in PLOS One. Read more

SPHIS alumni Kelsey White, PhD, is lead author on an article in Health and Social Care in the Community. The study, “A social network analysis of interorganisational collaboration: Efforts to improve social connectedness,” looked at the impact of social isolation on health outcomes and found that social service organizations that also offer public health services play a central role in community efforts to improve social isolation. SPHIS co-authors include alumni Zoe Resmondo, MSHA, J’Aime Jennings, PhD, associate professor, Dept. of Health Management and Systems Sciences, Liza Creel, PhD, Adjunct Associate Professor, and Brandy Kelly Pryor, MA, PhD, assistant professor, Dept. of Health Promotion and Behavioral Sciences. Read more

SPHIS alumni, Qian Xu, PhD, was recently published by the Journal of Applied Statistics. The study, “Statistical methods for assessing drug interactions using observational data” looked at polydrug use and used observational data to assess drug interactions. The team used marginal structural models to assess the average treatment effect and causal interaction of two drugs by controlling confounding variables. SPHIS co-authors include Demetra Antimisiaris, PharmD, BCGP, FASCP, Associate Professor; Director, Frazier Polypharmacy Program, Dept. of Health Management & Systems Sciences, and Maiying Kong, Professor, Dept. of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics. Read more


Mary Curnette, doctoral student, Dept. of Health Management and Systems Sciences, presented a poster at the 2022 Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, titled, “The Effects of Depressive Symptoms and Appetite Changes on Metabolic Risk Factors.”

Melissa Eggen, MPH, Program Manager and doctoral student in the Dept. of Health Management and Systems Sciences, presented about patient-centered birth and birth equity at the 2022 Maternal and Infant Health Convening in St. Louis. 

In September, the Metro Public Health Department hosted its first Healthy Nashville 2022 Health in All Policies Summit at the Downtown Nashville Library in Nashville, Tennessee. Doctoral student in the Dept. of Health Management and Systems Sciences, T Benicio Gonzalez, MSW, presented on a panel during the event, which welcomed approximately 200 attendees from all sectors in Nashville, including government, non-governmental organizations, for-profit businesses, nonprofits or NGOs, community-based organizations, and academia.

Katie Yewell, PhD, assistant professor, Dept. of Health Management and Systems Sciences, presented at three conferences this fall:

1)      “The Effect of Hospital Postpartum Care Regulations on Breastfeeding, Maternal Time Allocation, and Infant Health” at the Western Kentucky University Economics Department Seminar Series.

2)      "The Effect of Universal Access to Free School Meals on Teen Health" at the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) Fall Research Conference in Washington, DC

3)      "The Effect of Hospital Breastfeeding Policies on Breastfeeding, Maternal Behaviors, and Health" at the Southern Economic Association (SEA) Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale

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