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Coming Soon: New Release of FRED

New Release!A new version of FRED (A Framework for Reconstructing Epidemiological Dynamics) will soon be ready for release. FRED is a tool for building epidemiological agent-based (individual-based) models and is designed to study how patterns of health conditions in defined populations vary over time. The new FRED will make population modeling easier. It is a unique tool for social science modeling and no computer programming is needed. A systems thinking approach is required to identify conditions of interest, their states, and the rules for changing states. FRED will simplify the workflow environment and manage the data produced by the simulation. To read more about the new FRED platform, click here.

The Classics

nature coverIn June 2017, Google Scholar released a collection of highly-cited papers in their area of research that have stood the test of time. These Classic Papers were published in 2006 and the list includes the ten most-cited articles, proving that though research is often about the latest findings, some have an impact long after their publication.

We are proud to report that in the field of epidemiology, the Classic Papers list includes a 2006 publication co-authored by Dean Donald Burke, who was at Johns Hopkins University at the time, and others from Johns Hopkins, Imperial College London, and RTI. Not only was the Nature paper "Strategies for mitigating an influenza pandemic" included on the list, it had 1500 citations and was the #1 most cited article in the field of epidemiology!

Congratulations to Dean Burke and his co-authors!

NPR Program on Pitt Public Health’s Resilience Workshop

npr logoAllegheny Front, an NPR program that runs on several NPR affiliates including WESA in Pittsburgh, recently released a radio piece from the April 17, 2017 emergency preparedness resilience workshop hosted by Pitt Public Health, City of Pittsburgh and Intermedix: http://www.alleghenyfront.org/your-environment-update-for-thursday-july-6-2017/. The original article titled "City of Pittsburgh Prepares for a Severe Air Quality Incident Using Predictive Analytics Technology" was posted on May 26, 2017.

Forecasting the Opioid Epidemic

opoid crisisDeaths from opioids have been rising sharply for years and could kill more than half a million people across America over the next decade as the crisis accelerates. Are we doing enough asked Donald Burke, MD, Dean, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, one of several leading public health experts from 10 universities asked recently by STAT/The Boston Globe to forecast the opioid epidemic over the next decade. "Are we doing enough of what we think works – prescription drug monitoring programs, medication-assisted treatment, naloxone? And, are we matching the societal costs with a like expenditure in prevention?" Dr. Burke responded. The consensus of the experts is it will get worse before it gets better. Read full article.

Congressional Briefing on the Opioid Epidemic: Findings from Public Health Research Experts

congressionalbriefingOn Monday, June 19, Pitt Public Health's Dean Donald S. Burke and fellow ASPPH leaders converged on the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C., to discuss the complex and dynamic processes at work in the opioid crisis. Deans representing public health schools in five contiguous states in the Appalachian region shared their findings and unique approaches to confronting the course of the epidemic.

Addressing the standing-room-only crowd, Burke spoke about the epidemiology of the crisis and the need for better information on costs. "Billions [of dollars] are needed, and we don't have a good handle on the magnitude of the epidemic. We need data." Read more.

FRED Measles Model Demonstrates Need for Vaccination

"There was something about showing a movie of your hometown that people relate to," said Don Burke, dean of Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health. It was his idea to break the data modeling down by county. "The FRED platform allowed researchers to build a simulation of human interaction dynamics," said Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Lab and HPM chair, "wherein virtual people in 116 million households across the country live, work and socialize according to data synthesized from the U.S. Census." The FRED measles model, developed at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, can be used to visualize infectious disease dynamics in any county, allowing California's Pan to show his fellow senators exactly how an outbreak would play out in their own backyards. Read more.

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