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2007 Accolades

Recognized achievements and excellence among SPH faculty, students, and staff.

Fall/Winter 2007

Recent HBHE student Danielle Buechler was awarded a UM Ginsberg Center fellowship to develop a self-sustaining tool to evaluate health programs in Ghana. She worked with fellow SPH alum Bhavna Sivanand and created a simple tool for assessing mother and child health programs, teens and sex education, a de-worming clinic, a malaria program, and more. "The tool had to be very flexible to adapt to all the different topics," she said. Buechler, Sivanand, and other SPH students have plans to showcase the tool to Partners in Health and Partners in Progress in Haiti. Read more in the Ginsberg Center newsletter.

marcia inhorn's bookHealth Behavior and Health Education professor Marcia Inhorn won the 2007 Diana Forsythe Prize for her book Local Babies, Global Science: Gender, religion and in vitro fertilization in Egypt. The Diana Forsythe Prize was created in 1998 to celebrate the best book or series of published articles in the spirit of Diana Forsythe's feminist anthropological research on work, science, and technology, including biomedicine. It is a prestigious prize awarded at annually atl the meetings of the American Anthropological Association.

A multidisciplinary team from UM earned the Distinguished Paper Award at the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) meeting held in November in Chicago. The paper was led by Suresh Bhavnani and included other investigators from the UM School of Information and from Stanford University, and also Rudy J. Richardson from the UM Toxicology Program, Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health. The paper dealt with "toxicoinformatics" and used network theory to analyze a system for identifying toxic chemicals based on their symptoms. The work is intended to enhance the ability of first-responders to deal with emergencies involving toxic chemicals. Read the paper (PDF).

Brian Burt, Professor Emeritus of Dental Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology, received the 2007 John W. Knutson Distinguished Service Award in Dental Public Health from the Oral Health Section of the American Public Health Association.

David Schottenfeld, Professor Emeritus in Epidemiology, was selected by the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association to receive the John Snow Award for 2007. This is the highest honor bestowed by that group; it recognizes an outstanding epidemiologist for excellence in epidemiologic practice or research. Dr. Schottenfeld came to UM as chair of Epidemiology and the John G. Searle Professor of Epidemiology in 1986, serving as chair until 1991 and retiring in 2004. He received the John Snow Award at the APHA annual meeting in November, where he spoke on "Alleviating the global burden of cancer: perspective on advances and future directions."

UM SPH Health Management & Policy students were awarded a first-place finish in the Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition sponsored by the National Association of Health Services Executives. For the third year in a row, HMP students have earned first place in this national competition. The National Association of Health Services Executives is a non-profit association for African American healthcare executives. It was founded in 1968, with a mission to promote African American leadership in the healthcare field and to improve health service delivery to underserved and minority communities. The case competition uses case study methodology to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their analytical and presentation skills while representing their schools.

UM produced the largest number of 2007-08 Fulbright awards for American students – 37 (compared to second-best Yale's 27). Three of the UM Fulbrights are SPH students: Sean Armstrong, who will work on increasing community participation in wellness campaigns in rural Mongolia; Heather Lanthorn, working on care of and coping with diabetes in the slums of Chennai, India; and Elizabeth Wiley, focusing on alternatives to institutional care of the elderly in Norway. More info.

UM SPH community partner Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade has received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leader award for 2007. UM SPH's Michigan Center for Public Health Preparedness and its director, Jo Lynn Montgomery, nominated Anne for the award. CHL awardees each receive $105,000 to further the work of their programs and a $20,000 personal award. Anne Rolfes and the Louisiana Bucket Brigade, which she founded, have worked with residents in Louisiana to mitigate the impact of polluted air and soil. Members of the Bucket Brigade have learned to test soil and air samples and amass data that clearly illustrate the link between contaminants and myriad health problems.The SPH PHAST team worked with Anne Rolfes and the Bucket Brigade two years in a row during spring break deployment. "It gave me the opportunity to see first-hand the difficulties encountered by those attempting to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina," said SPH student Travis Gilchrist. " The PHAST trip represented an opportunity to apply the teachings we have been exposed to and truly make an impact."

Summer 2007

The National Institutes of Health has announced that the University of Michigan will receive a $55 million Clinical and Translational Science Award, as part of a national initiative to encourage and speed collaboration and interdisciplinary research for therapies that improve human health. This five-year grant builds on previous NIH investments to expand innovative programs and services at UM Health System, Medical School, and several other UM schools and units. Current and recent SPH faculty involved include Derek Griffith, Jack Kalbfleisch, Rod Little, Bin Nan, Woody Neighbors, Trivellore Raghunathan, Leon Wyszewianski, Marc Zimmerman, Tom Braun, and Debasis Ghosh. Ken Resnicow serves in a key advisory role, and Dean Ken Warner is on the executive committee of the Michigan Institute for Clinical and Health Research, the administrative umbrella for this grant. More info.

The UM SPH Preventive Medicine Residency program, directed by Matthew Boulton, has been selected as the recipient of the Outstanding Educational Program of the Year award by the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. The award will be presented at the the APTR annual meeting in February 2008.

photo of James P. FitzgeraldThe American College of Healthcare Executives' Senior Level Executive Regent's award was recently presented to James P. Fitzgerald, the UM SPH Department of Health Management and Policy's executive in residence. The award is for ACHE members from Michigan area, as presented at annual meeting of Michigan Health Association. It recognizes significant contributions toward the advancement of healthcare management excellence.

Spring 2007

Edward Okeke, a UM SPH doctoral in student in Health Services and Organizational Policy (HSOP), has been awarded one of the two Yossi Schiff Memorial Scholarships ($25,000) given by UM this year. The Yossi Schiff Awards assist outstanding international students.

photo of Ian RandallUM SPH Health Management and Policy student Ian Randall won second prize in an essay contest sponsored by KaiserEDU.org, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s website for students and faculty interested in health policy. Nearly 250 graduate and undergraduate students entered the contest. They prepared memos as a senior advisor to an actual or fictitious 2008 presidential candidate, proposing a health care platform and communication strategy for the candidate. Read his winning essay.

photo of Kathleen WelchKathleen Welch of Biostatistics has received the 2007 UM Office of the Vice President of Research Exceptional Service Award. Her nomination contains numerous examples of extraordinary service, such as sharing subtleties that make statistical analysis more efficient.

The National Academy of Sciences announced the election James House, who has appointments in UM's departments of Sociology and Epidemiology at SPH, as well as at the institutes for Social Research and Gerontology. His social science research includes work on how social relationships influence health, how work and retirement affect health and well-being in older age, and how marital quality changes through life. House also has conducted research showing how volunteering is related to mortality among older adults, how urban living affects mortality, and how socioeconomic disparities in health change over time.

photo of Trivellore "Raghu" RaghunathanThe University of Michigan is a winner of this year's Statistical Partnerships Among Academe, Industry, and Government (SPAIG) award given by the American Statistical Association. The award recognizes research on estimating cancer rates in small areas conducted by UM SPH professor of biostatistics Trivellore "Raghu" Raghunathan (pictured at right) and his team. The team includes SPH's Michael Elliott and ex-student Dawei Xie, now at the University of Pennsylvania, together with colleagues at the Statistical Research and Applications Branch of the National Cancer Institute, and the National Center for Health Statistics and the Behavioral Surveillance Branch of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. The American Statistical Association established the SPAIG award in 2002 to recognize outstanding partnerships established between academe and business, industry, and government organizations and to promote new partnerships. It differs from other ASA awards, in that it recognizes organizations instead of individuals.

Environmental Health Sciences Human Nutrition Program scholarship news: Graduating student Dana Schaad has won scholarships from the Michigan Dietetic Association and the Southeastern Michigan Dietetic Association, and will begin an internship in July. First-year student Elizabeth Wiseman has received a scholarship from Center for the Education of Women at the University of Michigan.

Winter 2007

photo of Martin PhilbertUM SPH's Martin Philbert has accepted an invitation from the U.S. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) to serve on the newly created nanotechnology technical advisory group (nTAG). The PCAST is assembling the nTAG in preparation for a review of the National Nanotechnology Initiative later in 2007. Philbert, a professor of toxicology in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, will serve as an expert resource in the review process. Philbert is also a senior associate dean at UM SPH.
--Dr. Philbert has also recently been invited to serve on the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine. His term ends in December 2008.

David Dyjack, who received a Dr.P.H. in occupational health from UM SPH in '96, has become dean of the School of Public Health at Loma Linda University in California. Also at Loma Linda, he's held positions as professor of environmental and occupational health, associate professor of preventive medicine, and associate professor of global health. Read more.

photo of Gail WardenGail Warden of the Department of Health Management & Policy has been elected to the Modern Healthcare Hall of Fame. He will be inducted, along with the other new members, in March 2007 in New Orleans. 

Two students in the Department of Epidemiology were recently awarded Rackham Predoctoral Fellowships. Anne Marie France and Carla Talarico will each receive a stipend of $25,800 over three terms, candidacy tuition, and GradCare health insurance for 2007-08.

photo of Matthew BoultonMatthew Boulton, UM SPH associate dean for practice, has been nominated to serve on the new Public Health System and Services Research national panel that is being jointly convened by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The purpose of the panel is to "address national strategies for advancing public health systems research." Health systems research is defined as the field of study that examines the organization, financing, and delivery of public health services and the impact of those services on public health.

photo of Paula LantzPaula Lantz, chair of the UM SPH Department of Health Management & Policy, has been selected as the inaugural Distinguished Alumnus/a from the University of Wisconsin Population Health program. She will present a lecture in an inaugural named lecture series in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health on March 26, 2007.

photo of Howard HuThe New England College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine has selected Howard Hu, chair of the UM SPH Department of Environmental Health Sciences, as recipient of this year's Harriet Hardy Award. This prestigious award in occupational medicine recognizes outstanding service and dedication by a clinician. Presentation of the award takes place at the organization's annual conference on Dec. 1.

UM SPH's Sadaf Shaukat was one of 21 UM students to be awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for 2006 -07 (only Yale, Harvard, and Brown produced more Fulbright winners this year). A student of Environmental Health Sciences, Saukat says, "I am interested in the health implications of Jordan's water crisis, especially on the most vulnerable sector of the population -- young children. More specifically, I would like to focus on the distribution of the second most serious killer of children under 5: childhood diarrhea. I would like to conduct research on the socio-economic disparities relating to water availability, consumption, and quality of supply within the city of Amman."

UM SPH Health Management & Policy students Salewa Oyelaran, Ike Mmeje, and Aisha Taylor were awarded a first-place finish in the Everett V. Fox Student Case Competition sponsored by the National Association of Health Services Executives. For the second year in a row, HMP students have earned first place in this national competition. The National Association of Health Services Executives is a non-profit association for African American healthcare executives. It was founded in 1968, with a mission to promote African American leadership in the healthcare field and to improve health service delivery to underserved and minority communities. The case competition uses case study methodology to provide students with the opportunity to enhance their analytical and presentation skills while representing their schools.