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Tulane News & Press

  1. Dr. Julia Fleckman and Dr. Sharven Taghavi provided insight and information in a NOLA.com article entitled "Pregnant women in New Orleans are violently injured at 3 times national average, analysis says."
  2. Dr. Charles Zeanah comments on the conditions of Romanian orphanages in the early 2000's when the Bucharest Early Intervention Project began. Dr. Zeanah and researchers at Harvard and the University of Maryland are studying the outcomes of institutionalized children who were placed in foster homes by researchers early on in their lives to children who remained in institutional care. They are beginning the seventh round of follow-up as the children are turning 21.
  3. The VPI has won a grant from the Pincus Family Foundation to create a Violence Prevention Scholarship which connects graduate students with VPI faculty and community partners! This interdisciplinary program will be based in the Master's of Public Health program, but will integrate faculty from across all schools at Tulane, particularly the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, the School of Medicine and the School of Social Work. Scholars will be immersed in an innovative new training initiative focused on building skills to effectively integrate with community organizations and co-develop programs designed to mitigate the effects of violence and, in the long-term, prevent the intergenerational transmission of violence and its health impacts. The initiative will focus on the lives of children throughout New Orleans, with an emphasis on Central City, and places throughout the city where children are most affected by violence.
  4. Public health officials grappling with record-high syphilis rates around the nation have pinpointed what appears to be a major risk factor: drug use. Research has shown that people who use drugs are more likely to engage in unsafe sexual behaviors, which put them at higher risk for sexually transmitted diseases. "The addiction takes over," said Dr. Patty Kissinger, an epidemiology professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.
  5. Gretchen Clum of the School of Public Health has been working on numerous projects focused on sexual violence. She evaluated the impact of the 2016 Reading project book “Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture—and What We Can Do About It” by Kate Harding. “Preliminary results suggest that beliefs in rape myths, which we know are associated with blaming sexual assault survivors, and perpetrating of sexual violence, were reduced after reading the book,” Clum said.
  6. There are many good health, caregiving, and economic security reasons to endorse the current proposal for paid family leave insurance in Louisiana–Senate Bill 186–as it could greatly benefit women, men, children, families and employers. One important reason is to promote maternal health. About 80% of American women have at least one child, and after giving birth, it is clear that mothers need time for physical recovery, bonding with newborns and emotional health. Since most mothers are employed, it is important for maternity leave to exist — and be paid.
  7. Dr. Thomas LaVeist has an illustrious professional track record researching the nature and causes of racial health disparities and inequities. As the new Dean of the Tulane Public Health School, he sees an opportunity to make a difference in a region that most needs a difference. Dean LaVeist notes that “we’re in a city that has all of the urban health problems of every other big city in this country. We’re in a state that has all of the rural health problems of every other part of rural America. And we’re in the Southeast United States, which is the epicenter for inequities, both historically as well as today.”
  8. Tulane News provides an in-depth look at recent Tulane initiatives to prevent sexual assault on campus, from the creation of the Wave of Change to the Sexual Assault Task Force to the All In initiative.
  9. Dr. Aubrey Madkour gives an overview of her research career examining predictors and consequences of early sexual initiation among adolescents; determinants of longitudinal trajectories of dating violence between adolescence and early adulthood; adolescents’ perceptions of dating violence definitions and etiology; and most recently, causes of substance use behaviors in early adulthood.
  10. Dr. Stacey Gage received $4.8M from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to direct the implementation of Momentum, a project to provide nursing students training in how to counsel first-time parents aged 15 to 24 on family planning, birth preparedness, newborn care, and gender-equitable attitudes in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). According to Gage, this initiative is important because health outcomes for both new mothers and babies in the DRC are poor as compared to other countries. If Momentum proves successful, it could be implemented in nursing schools across the DRC.
  11. Dr. Gretchen Clum reflects on her history as a public health researcher from studying the effect of sex abuse on HIV treatment adherence to mindfulness training and analyzing the data from Tulane's sexual misconduct climate survey. Her current projects include looking at the impact of police raids on the health and wellbeing of female sex workers and teaching the “Public Health Approaches to Sexual Violence” undergraduate course.
  12. The U.S. is the most dangerous nation in the developed world in which to give birth, and Louisiana is among the states with the highest maternal death rates. Dr. Maeve Wallace, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist and researcher at Tulane's School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, has received two grants totaling $2.4 million to study pregnancy-associated mortality to study potential reasons why.
  13. The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world, and Louisiana consistently ranks among the top states for rates of death among pregnant and postpartum women. Dr. Maeve Wallace studies pregnancy-associated mortality and the state-level policies that could be contributing to the higher rates seen in Louisiana and the U.S. more broadly. Wallace and her team will also look at how factors including income inequality, structural racism and residential segregation play a role in the increased mortality rate among black women, who are currently three to four times more likely than white women to die during pregnancy or post-partum periods.
  14. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which represents 64,000 pediatricians, released an updated policy statement that “corporal punishment and harsh verbal abuse may cause a child to be fearful in the short term but does not improve behavior over the long term.” Dr. Cathy Taylor supports this policy and adds, “The goal of discipline is to teach, guide, educate, and reinforce good behavior.” Even further, Dr. Taylor conducted a recent study that found that even indirect exposure to violence during childhood can play a key role in the child developing anti-social and aggressive behavior. Positive parenting strategies can be found on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.
  15. Can cleaning vacant lots cause a chain of events that curbs child abuse or stops a teen from falling victim to violence? That’s the provocative question behind a new Tulane University research project to study whether maintaining vacant lots and fixing up blighted properties in high-crime areas reduces incidents of youth and family violence. The National Institutes of Health awarded Tulane a $2.3 million grant to test the theory in New Orleans.
  16. Tulane researcher Dr. Katherine Theall was just awarded a $2.3 million grant from the NIH for a first-of-its-kind study. The study seeks to learn if cleaning up overgrown, vacant lots and blighted houses can decrease youth and family violence. “To our knowledge, no other studies have examined the impact of blight remediation on youth and family violence, specifically,” said principal investigator Katherine Theall, PhD, Cecile Usdin Professor in Women’s Health. “However, research on other forms of neighborhood disorder suggest that it could have a substantial impact.”
  17. A recent study conducted Dr. Patty Kissinger found that the standard prescribed single-dose treatment for trichomoniasis is not as effective as multidose. Kissinger hopes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will change its recommendations for trichomoniasis treatment based on the results of her study. She has been asked to work with the CDC on STD prevention guidelines.
  18. A collaboration between the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and YEP Design Works, led to creation of the Check It website www.gocheckit.net, which is specifically designed for young black men to promote sexual health and screening for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Check It partners with local barbershops, colleges/universities and other non-clinical venues to reach 15-24 year old African American men who have sex with women, are new to testing and do not have symptoms. Treatment for men who test positive and their sexual partners is provided by the project, which is funded by the National Institutes for Health (NIH).
  19. Tulane researchers conduct 4-year study, "Safe Schools NOLA," on trauma-informed approaches across 5 schools in New Orleans. These approaches include training for teachers to recognize signs of trauma, finding ways to make children feel safe, teaching coping skills and eliminating harsh discipline policies. The Institute for Women and Ethnic Studies, a key community partner for many Tulane researchers, surveyed New Orleans youth over the past several years to learn how deep the mental health issues are stemming from untreated trauma.

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