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Faculty, staff presentations & publications

Liza Creel, PhD, MPH, associate professor, Dept. of Health Management and Systems Sciences, and Maiying Kong, PhD, professor, Dept. of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, contributed to an article published in the Journal of Affective Disorders titled, “Examination of U.S. national rates of emergency department visits and hospitalizations for depression and suicidal behaviors after the release of the 13 Reasons Why Netflix series by demographic characteristics.” Findings showed that the television series 13 Reasons Why was likely associated with exacerbations of both depressive illnesses and suicidal behavior in youth, particularly for female and Black youth from 10 to 17 years.

Melissa Eggen, MPH, presented, “An Exploration of Disparities in Access to Trial of Labor and Vaginal Birth after Cesarean in the United States: A Literature Review,” at the 2022 AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Washington, DC, in June. In describing her research, Eggen said, “Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is an important strategy for reducing overall cesarean rates, and improving birth experiences for many, but isn’t always at the forefront.” Eggen is senior policy analyst for the Commonwealth Institute of Kentucky, program manager for the Center for Health Organization Transformation, and a doctoral student in Health Management and Systems Sciences. J’Aime Jennings, PhD, associate professor, Dept. of Health Management and Systems Sciences, co-authored this research.

Nicholas C. Peiper, PhD, MPH, associate professor, Department of Epidemiology & Population Health, recently published a paper in the International Journal of Drug Policy (IJDP) that evaluated the acceptability of HIV self-testing (HIVST) among people who use illicit drugs. The project was a collaboration with Norton Healthcare Infectious Diseases Institute, Louisville Metro Department of Health and Wellness Syringe Services Program, and Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation. Co-authors included Steve Shamblen, Adam Gilbertson, Greg Guest, Michael Kopp, Laura Guy, and Michelle Rose. Researchers determined that HIVST was acceptable and very easy to use among study participants. Multivariate findings suggest HIVST interventions should be packaged with PrEP interventions and harm reduction programs.

Dr. Peiper and his team were also awarded $400,000 Zeroing In: Ending the HIV Epidemic grant from Gilead Sciences. Their project, Strengthening Community-Driven Partnerships to End the HIV Epidemic through a Comprehensive HIV Innovation Program,” runs from January 2022 to July 2023.

Tammi Thomas, PhD, MSSW, associate dean for student affairs, public health practice and undergraduate education, presented, Exploring Service Provider Perspectives on Facilitators and Barriers to Syringe Service Program Participation by Females who Inject Drugs,” at the 34th National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS in New Orleans on May 26.  The conference addressed health equity, gender equity, and aging and served as a call to action for activism, advocacy, and policy change to ensure that the voices of those affected by HIV are heard.

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