Faculty Publish and Speak about Research

Dr. Smith LabThe college takes enormous pride in the pioneering work of our faculty and students who are constantly creating, discovering and leading the discourse in their disciplines.  Recent work has involved fostering health equity, local health department consolidation and collaboration and Staphylococcus aureus infection in livestock workers, among other topics.  Following are highlights:

Madhav Bhatta, PhD, Epidemiology faculty member mentoring Ramos Mboane, MPH ’14, published Influence of a Husband’s Healthcare Decision-Making Role on a Woman’s Intention to use Contraceptives among Mozambican Women in the April 22 Reproductive Health 2015.  They found that a woman whose husband/partner usually made the decision about her healthcare was 19 percent less likely to report an intention to use contraceptives than a woman who reported that she herself or jointly with her husband/partner made the decision.  Mboane is a former Fulbright Scholar at Kent State and is now chief medical doctor, Niassa Provincial Directorate of Health, Mozambique.

Thomas Brewer, PhD, associate professor, Health Policy & Management, has begun Loyola University of Chicago’s master of jurisprudence program in health law.  This degree will aid Brewer in the classroom with all levels of students and will also enhance the college’s capabilities as a resource for community partners dealing with healthcare compliance issues.

Assistant Professor, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Tina Bhargava, DrPH, spoke on April 24 at Stark County Minority Health Day on Shifting the Focus to Health Equity: A Public Health Approach.

Also on April 24, at the Ohio Environmental Health Association Spring Conference, Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Charles Hart, PhD, spoke on Comparing Undergraduate Environmental Health Education in Canada and the United States…Training the Next Generation, Eh!  Also that day at the conference, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences Christopher J. Woolverton, PhD, spoke on Outbreak Ebola: Lessons Learned

Woolverton gave the keynote address at the April 17 Elyria meeting of the Ohio Branch, American Society for Microbiology, Zombies, Ebola and More, Oh My!

On May 14 in Neurological Sciences, Health Policy & Management Assistant Professor Rebecca Fischbein and colleagues published online ahead of print the article Patient-Reported Chiari Malformation Type I Symptoms and Diagnostic Experiences:  A Report from the National Conquer Chiari Patient Registry Database.  Using the only national online patient registry available, their study reports the symptoms, comorbid neurocognitive and psychological conditions and diagnostic experiences of patients living with Chiari Malformation Type I.

On March 6, Fischbein and colleagues also published Surveying the Hidden Attitudes of Hospital Nurses towards Poverty online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Nursing.  They found that nurses were more likely to agree with stigmatizing statements than statements that attributed poverty to personal deficiency or structural factors.  Years of experience were associated with more positive attitudes towards those living in poverty.  Nurses with the most experience had less stigmatizing beliefs about poverty and were more likely to endorse structural explanations.  Those with a baccalaureate education were also more likely to endorse structural explanations for poverty.

John Hoornbeek, PhD, associate professor of Health Policy & Management and expert in water pollution policy, and colleagues in the Center for Public Policy and Health (CPPH), were awarded a $24,455 grant from the U.S. Geological Survey and The Ohio State University’s Water Resources Center to assess policies relating to control mechanisms for reducing flows of phosphorus and nitrogen to combat harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. 

In the April 6 Journal of Urban Affairs, Hoornbeek, doctoral student Tegan Beechey and Tom Pascarella, PhD, director of administration for the City of Tallmadge and affiliate of the college’s CPPH, published Fostering Local Government Collaboration:  An Empirical Assessment of Case Studies in Northeast Ohio.  They observe that a combination of external incentives and past interactions leading to trust consistently predicts the success of local government collaborations. 

Hoornbeek, Public Health Ambassador Matt Stefanak and CPPH Outreach Coordinator Joshua Filla, along with colleagues from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, published The Impacts of Local Health Department Consolidation on Public Health Expenditures: Evidence from Ohio in the April American Journal of Public Health.  The study found that consolidation reduced total local health department expenditures by about 16 percent, although administrative expenses showed no statistically significant change after consolidation in the local health departments investigated.  Interviewees cited both financial and service improvement benefits.

The college was well-represented at the 2015 Ohio Public Health Combined Conference, May 18-20.  In a plenary session on public health and ethics, Stefanak spoke on Ethical Decision-Making in Local Health Departments: Using CDC and NACCHO Resources to Strengthen Your Agency’s “Ethics Infrastructure.”  Doctoral students Diana Kingsbury and Sunita Shakya made a poster presentation on Effects of a Pilot Hand Hygiene Randomized Cluster Trial to Reduce Communicable Infections Among U.S. Office-Based Employees.  Dipendra Thapaliya, research associate in the Emerging Infections Lab of Associate Professor Tara C. Smith, presented From Farm to Fork:  The Prevalence and Molecular Epidemiology of Staphylococcus Aureus in Commercially Distributed Meat, winning first place in the oral presentation competition.

Smith, faculty member in the Biostatistics, Environmental Health Sciences & Epidemiology Dept., was chosen for the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Distinguished Lecturer Program.  The ASM annually selects a scientifically diverse group of distinguished lecturers to present sponsored addresses at ASM branch meetings throughout the country.  Lecturers are chosen through a competitive nomination process.  Smith will address Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus:  Pigs, Pork, and Pathogens; Staphyloccocus aureus in Animals, Science Denial and the Internet; Ebola and Emerging Diseases:  Why We’ll Always Have Pandemics; and Zombies and Infectious Diseases in Popular Culture.

Smith spoke on April 11 at a conference in Beijing organized by The University of Chicago Center in Beijing, Epidemiology and Control of MRSA in China and North America, on Livestock-Associated Staphylococcus aureus in the United States:  An Overview.  She also spoke at the April 23-26 Association of Health Care Journalists annual conference in Santa Clara, California, on A Brief History of Ebola.

Swine farmers are more likely to carry multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus than people without current swine exposure, according to a study conducted by Smith and fellow researchers from the University of Iowa and the National Cancer Institute.  The study, which was published online April 29 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, is the largest prospective examination of S. aureus infection in a group of livestock workers worldwide and the first such study in the United States.

Smith and colleagues published Comparative Effectiveness of Beta-lactams versus Vancomycin for Treatment of Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) Bloodstream Infections among 122 Hospitals on April 21 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.  The scholars conclude that, for patients with MSSA bloodstream infections, beta-lactams are superior to vancomycin for definitive therapy, but not for empiric treatment.  Patients should receive a beta-lactam for definitive therapy, specifically an antistaphylococcal penicillin or cefazolin.

On April 2 in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, Smith and colleagues published Molecular Characterization of Hospital and Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in a Veterans Affairs Hospital.  Their data demonstrate a direct link between antecedent nasal colonization and subsequent MRSA infection.  Further, the data indicate variability in colonization and infection efficiency among MRSA genotypes, which points to the need to define the molecular determinants underlying emergence of S. aureus strains in the community and nosocomial setting.

The American Journal of Infection Control for March 5 published a study by Smith and colleagues, Molecular Characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus Isolated from Employees, Children and Environmental Surfaces in Iowa Child Daycare Facilities.  The study found that daycare facilities can serve as reservoirs for community-associated methicillin-resistant S aureus and facilitate genetic exchange.  Employees may be at increased risk of carrying antibiotic-resistant strains.

POSTED: Monday, June 8, 2015 - 5:14pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 1:54pm