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Public Health Dynamics Seminar Series

Can we improve population health by improving foundational determinants? In silico experiments and agent based counterfactuals.

Sandro GaleaSandro Galea, MD, MPH, DrPH

Anna Cheskis Gelman and Murray Charles Gelman Professor
and Chair of the Department of Epidemiology
Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Tuesday, April 1, 2014
3:00 - 4:00 PM
109 Parran Hall


The foundational determinants of population health are well understood to influence a broad range of health conditions. However, a substantial proportion of efforts to improve health focus on individual behaviors and proximal health determinants. But, can work on only proximal determinants improve the health of populations? Is work that aims to improve foundational determinants necessary to improve population health? We shall explore this question through simulation modeling, illustrating how, absent work to improve foundational determinants there is a limit to the potential improvement to the health of populations.



PLOS Revised Data Policy



PLOS is releasing a revised Data Policy that will come into effect on March 1, 2014. Authors will be required to include a data availability statement in all research articles published by PLOS journals.

To see the policy, click here: https://www.plos.org/data-access-for-the-open-access-literature-ploss-data-policy/

Universal Paid Sick Leave Reduces Spread of Flu

Allowing all employees access to paid sick days would reduce influenza infections in the workplace, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by Pitt Public Health modeling experts. The researchers simulated an influenza epidemic in Pittsburgh and surrounding Allegheny County and found that universal access to paid sick days would reduce flu cases in the workplace by nearly six percent. They estimated it to be more effective for small, compared to large, workplaces. 

The results are reported in the August issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people with flu stay home for 24 hours after their fever breaks,” said lead author Supriya Kumar, a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Epidemiology. “However, not everyone is able to follow these guidelines. Many more workers in small workplaces than in large ones lack access to paid sick days and hence find it difficult to stay home when ill. Our simulations show that allowing all workers access to paid sick days would reduce illness because fewer workers get the flu over the course of the season if employees are able to stay home and keep the virus from being transmitted to their coworkers.”

Read more: Universal Paid Sick Leave Reduces Spread of Flu

Public Health Dynamics Seminar Series

Assessing and Addressing the Complexity of Multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis Epidemics

Ted CohenTed Cohen, MD, MPH, DPH

Associate Professor
Division of Global Health Equity
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Tuesday, March 4, 2014
3:00 - 4:00 PM
109 Parran Hall


The emergence and spread of drug-resistant M. tuberculosis threaten effective TB control in many settings. In this talk, Cohen will highlight recent work in which they assess worldwide trends in highly drug-resistant tuberculosis and will discuss the potential importance of attending to complexity at two very different scales of resolution: 1) the diversity of M. tuberculosis infections occurring within individual hosts, and 2) the spatial heterogeneity of tuberculosis circulating in communities. He will propose that that an improved response to drug-resistant TB can arise from a better understanding of the complexity associated with this epidemic.



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