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Faculty Research, Publications Proceed Apace

Posted Aug. 1, 2013

The 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 research has examined local health departments, refugee health, injury, violence and numerous other topics.  Following are highlights:
 
A study to help catalyze maternal and child health intervention programming in Portage County was published by Heather Beaird, Ph.D., working with MPH student Dana S. Mowls, Portage County Maternal and Child Health Indicators:  A Report to the Portage County Maternal and Child Health Consortium for Issue Prioritization.  The data collection and analysis was conducted as part of a five-year grant to Portage County from the Ohio Department of Health Child and Family Health Services Program (CFHS).
 
An examination of the health status of Ohio-based Bhutanese refugee women by Madhav Bhatta, Ph.D., MPH student Sunita Shakya and recent MPH graduate Lori Assad, was presented at the North American Refugee Health Conference, held in Toronto on June 6-8.  The scholars also made a poster presentation at the conference about changes in dietary intake among Bhutanese refugees resettled in Ohio.
 
Bhatta and recent MPH graduate Sameer Gopalani presented their work on human papillomavirus (HPV), HPV vaccine awareness and HPV vaccine beliefs, acceptance and uptake among college students at the Society for Epidemiologic Research Conference (SER), held in Boston on June 18-21.
 
Also at the SER conference, Melissa D. Zullo, Ph.D., Vinay K. Cheruvu, Ph.D., and MPH student Dana S. Mowls presented two poster sessions, one entitled Underutilization of Spirometry in Adults Diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Who to Target for Improved Clinical Management.  Their additional poster session was Perceived Weight, not Body Mass Index: a Strong Predictor of Suicide Risk among U.S. Adolescents.
 

In June 2013, the three collaborators also published an article on PLOS-ONE, the peer-reviewed, open-access, online scientific publication, about the impact of diagnostic breathing tests on influenza vaccination in adults with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
 
Thomas W. Brewer, Ph.D., Krystel Tossone, doctoral student, and Jonathan B. VanGeest, Ph.D., published a chapter in the groundbreaking new text Epidemiological Criminology:  Theory to Practice.  Their chapter is entitled Health and Social Policy: An Evidence-Based Imperative for Epidemiological Criminology.  This text explores the public health outcomes associated with engagement in crime and criminal justice and brings together, for the first time in one source, the existing interdisciplinary work of academics and professionals merging the fields of criminology and criminal justice to public health and epidemiology.
 
Brewer recently stepped down from serving as associate dean for undergraduate affairs for the college to resume teaching and research.  He is leading a new study that will examine the effects of a 2013 Ohio law making it a felony to commit violence against health care professionals in the workplace.  The study will also evaluate the effectiveness of training these workers to defuse violent acts.
 

At the Ohio Public Health Combined Conference in May, John Hoornbeek, Ph.D., and colleagues shared preliminary findings regarding their statewide assessment of the impact of health department consolidations in Ohio since 2001.  In addition, Hoornbeek participated in a panel discussion involving the proposed consolidation of the Portage County and Ravenna city health departments, along with representatives of those two organizations.  Also at the conference, doctoral student Aimee Budnik presented a paper on work she and Assistant Dean Ken Slenkovich have done regarding feasibility assessment processes for health department consolidations.
 
Hoornbeek and colleagues published Implementing Water Pollution Policy in the United States:  Total Maximum Daily Loads and Collaborative Watershed Management in the April 2013 issue of Society and Natural Resources:  An International Journal.  The article assesses the implementation of water pollution reduction recommendations contained in Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) reports for Ohio and West Virginia.  It also evaluates the role of collaborative groups in fostering watershed restoration progress.
 
Kent State, in an effort led by Deric Kenne, Ph.D., recently assumed evaluation of Ohio’s Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK), a family-focused kindergarten readiness program.  In addition to handling the evaluation component, Kenne anticipates examining nearly a decade of data collected in the successful program to help develop new studies aimed at better understanding how improved academic achievement can help children avoid substance abuse, criminality and risky sexual behavior.
 
In collaboration with community partners from Health Recovery Services, Inc., in Athens, Kenne presented Pregnant and Using:  What We Know about Helping Pregnant Women and Their Babies When Opioid Use Disorder is a Factor at Ohio's 2013 Opiate Conference, held April 29-30 in Columbus.  The presentation included preliminary results of research with pregnant or recently pregnant women who are addicted to or recovering from opioid drugs (e.g., pain medication).
 
New faculty member Tara Smith was quoted extensively in MRSA: Farming up trouble, a news feature posted July 24 on nature.com, the international weekly journal of science.  Smith is investigating where methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) lives and how it spreads into and out of agricultural settings.  Her findings promise to shed light on whether farms' use of antibiotics is contributing to the rise of drug-resistant bacterial infections in humans.  Smith’s research also was cited by New York Times columnist Mark Bittman as “pioneering” in his July 9 op-ed piece, Breeding Bacteria on Factory Farms.

Christopher J. Woolverton, Ph.D., and colleagues published an article about the National Science Foundation funded Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training program entitled Environmental Aquatic Resource Sensing (EARS):  Basic Science, Business Education and Outreach in the Journal of Contemporary Water Research and Education, March 2013.

Woolverton and collaborators also published two recent articles on a novel decontamination technology.  An article about the characterization, properties and applications of pulse-based nonthermal plasma appeared in the Journal of Biotechnology and Biomaterials.  A second article, Pulse-Based NTP Disrupts the Structural Characteristics of Bacterial Biofilms, was published in Biofouling:  The Journal of Bioadhesion and Biofilm Research, Volume 29, Issue 5, 2013.  Scott F. Grey, Ph.D., was a collaborator on that article.

Grey, along with several collaborators, also published Methods for Synthesizing Findings on Moderation Effects Across Multiple Randomized Trials in the April 2013 issue of Prevention Science.

Jingzhen “Ginger” Yang, Ph.D., and colleagues published their recent findings on the effect of field condition and shoe type on lower extremity injuries in American football in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, August 2013.
 
Yang and colleagues authored two articles on teen driving safety.  They evaluated implementation of a parent-based safe-driving intervention program for teens in Health Education & Behavior, October 2012.  In addition, the researchers examined family communication patterns and teen driver attitudes toward driving safety in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care, February 2012.