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December 17, 2012: Congratulations Rebecca Monastero! Rebecca Monastero, Sayville high school student and mentee of GPPH Professor Jaymie Meliker, has been named as a top finalist for the 2013 Neuroscience Research Prize. Rebecca's project, "Interactions of Mercury and Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Avid Seafood Consumers," was found to be to be among the eleven best from entries submitted from students all over the United States. The Neuroscience Research Prize is offered by the American Academy of Neurology and the Child Neurology Society to four winners out of a large number of entries. Winners get a financial reward and a chance to present their work at a professional poster session. Reaching this round of finalists is a great accomplishment and we commend Rebecca on her work and wish her luck in the future!


November 15, 2012: Congratulations Laura Chiu! Laura Chiu, recent GPPH alumnae, had her practicum research project entitled “Reverse-Migration Separation: Health Outcomes on Satellite Pediatric Population” accepted for oral presentations at a recent conference. The conference was titled CAMS 49th Annual Scientific Meeting/Federation of Chinese American and Chinese Canadian Medical Society’s 16th Conference on Health Care of the Chinese in North America and took place from November 10-11, 2012 in New York, New York. The conference featured disparities as a key organizing concept in thinking about health care issues for North American Chinese on both clinical and scientific levels, with the goal of healthy Chinese Canadians and Chinese Americans. For more details about the conference, please click here. Great work, Laura!


October 17, 2012: Congratulations Fabio Lima! Fabio Vasconcelos Lima, GPPH alumnus, has received the Henry I. Russek Award from the American College of Cardiology (ACC). This award was created to help educate and inspire medical students at a crucial time in their career training, and is granted to only five medical students from the New York Area each year. As a recipient, Fabio will have the opportunity to attend the Annual New York Cardiovascular Symposium in December, 2012, as a Henry I. Russek Student Fellow and will have the chance to meet the ACC Executive Staff. Fabio earned his Bachelors in Pharmacology in 2010, Masters in Public Health in 2012, and is currently pursuing his Medical Doctorate (expected in 2016), all at Stony Brook University. We are very lucky to have such a wonderful student in our community. Congratulations!


October 17, 2012: Congratulations Kunchok Dorjee! GPPH alumnus Dr. Kunchok Dorjee recently presented at the American Center in New Delhi at an event titled “Pecha Kucha Night – Global Perspectives Leading to Innovation in Thought” that took place on October 11, 2012. The focus of Dr. Dorjee’s part of the presentation was "Taking on the Public Health Challenges in the Tibetan Refugee Population." For more information about this event, please click here.


October 17, 2012: Project Funded! Professor Lauren Hale is working with Dr. Michael Grandner and colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania on a NIH-funded R21 project to study Sleep and Health in the Social Environment.  The proposal seeks to better understand the relative contributions of behavioral, social, and environmental factors on sleep, with the eventual goal of developing interventions to address sleep deficiency in the population. Keep up the great work Lauren!


September 20, 2012: Congratulations Amy Hammock and Team! Amy Hammock, Assistant Professor of Prev Med for GPPH, and her team have recently been offered a very sizable grant from the Department of Justice: Office on Violence Against Women. GPPH will collaborate with Stony Brook University’s Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO), using the funds to: continue outreach and education on sexual violence, establish a comprehensive bystander intervention program, increase the availability of specialized counseling to survivors of sexual violence, and initiate many other helpful programs. The grant will involve coordination with other departments on campus, as well as with external partner agencies such as the Suffolk County Police Department. For the detailed press release from the offices of Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand and Congressman Bishop, please click here. We are very proud of Amy and everyone involved, and are looking forward to the great programs that this grant will fund.


September 12, 2012: Research Cited! Congratulations goes out to Dr. Lauren Hale, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine for GPPH, whose research was cited in the Huffington Post article “Sleep Problems and Poverty: How Socioeconomics Impact Our Sleep and Health.” The article discusses Dr. Hale’s research on how living environments can affect sleep patterns and quality. A link to the article can be found here, with her research mentioned in the fourth paragraph.

Dr. Hale was also interviewed on Southern California Public Radio (KPCC, an NPR affiliate) a few weeks ago regarding her press in the New York Times. The NY Times article can be found here. To listen to Dr. Hale’s interview with KPCC, please click here.


September 5, 2012: Round of Applause for Kayla Lacci! A big congratulation goes out to Kayla Lacci, current MPH student, who is just starting the Physician Assistant program at Stony Brook University. Kayla is our first MPH student to also be in this highly selective, highly ranked PA program. Stony Brook’s PA program was ranked 13th in the 2011 US News and World Report issue titled America’s Best Graduate Schools/Programs, and Kayla is one of the 44 students accepted out of nearly 1850 applicants. Above this, Kayla was also awarded the TYLENOL Future Care Scholarship for this academic year. This award was given to 40 students out of a nationwide applicant pool who exhibited academic excellence, leadership, and community involvement. Kayla’s future plans are to work clinically as a Physician Assistant while doing public health research in her specialty field. She also plans to continue to go on Public Health and Medical Mission trips to under-served communities. She wants to get involved in PA professional associations to help change the health care system to be more effective and helpful. Lastly, she would like to work in educating future providers and public health practitioners. We cannot express how proud we are of Kayla, and how thrilled we are that she is continuing the MPH program part-time while enrolled in this great PA program. We wish her the best of luck and know that she will be very successful!


August 30, 2012: Congratulations Giuseppina Licata! Giuseppina Licata, recent GPPH graduate with a concentration in Community Health, has been granted a great job opportunity! She will be employed through the Brownsville Multi-Service Community Health Center in Brooklyn, NY, and will serve as the youth programming and internships coordinator for World Academy for Total Community Health High School. Giuseppina will be working with students to train them as peer health educators, as well as developing programs both to serve the students and for the students to implement themselves with other local middle schools. She will also be connecting students with internship opportunities and programs in the health care field. We wish Giuseppina the best of luck in her new position and know she will make a great difference in her students’ lives!


August 29, 2012: Congratulations Laura Chiu! Laura Chiu, GPPH alumnus and first year medical student, was awarded the Vicki Chang Scholarship for her studies at Albany Medical College. This prestigious scholarship was awarded by the Chinatown Health Clinic Foundation, which is affiliated with the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center in New York, NY. Laura was affiliated with CBWCHC through her employment as a pediatric medical assistant and through an independent research study done for her MPH practicum project. The scholarship was awarded on the basis of academic merit, interest in serving the Asian American community, and the demonstration of compassion and professionalism in health care.  We wish Laura the best in her medical studies and congratulate her on this significant award!


August 29, 2012: Abstract Accepted! The presentation titled “Regional Variations in Processes of Care and Vascular Morbidity in Diabetic Adults in the United States” was accepted for a presentation at the American Heart Association’s annual Scientific Sessions conference this coming November in Los Angeles, California. The abstract was co-authored by Puja Parikh, MPH alumus, Fabio Vasconcelos Lima, MPH alumnus, Dr. Raymond Goldsteen, GPPH affiliated faculty member, and a faculty cardiologist at Stony Brook University Medical Center. The presentation abstract can be found here.


August 29, 2012: Congratulations Lauren Hale! Dr. Lauren Hale, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine for GPPH, was quoted in the New York Times article “How Well You Sleep May Hinge on Race.” The article discusses Dr. Hale’s research on social and racial differences in sleep patterns. A link to the article can be found here, with her quotes on the second page.


August 15, 2012: Congratulations Kunchok Dorjee! Kunchock Dorrjee, GPPH alumnus, has had much success and made several contributions to public health in India.  He has had two abstracts accepted for presentation at the World Lung Conference organized by International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, to be held in November 2012 in Kaula Lumpur, Malaysia.  His first abstract, in which he is the first author, is titled “Drug Resistant TB in the Tibetan Population in India: Risk factors, Resistance Profile and Treatment Outcomes.”  The second abstract he co-authored with Dr. Kerry Dierberg from John Hopkins University.  That abstract is titled “Improved TB case-finding and MDR-TB detection among Tibetan refugees in India.”  Kunchok has also had a case study accepted for publication in International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, titled “Xpert MTB/Rif Diagnosed Disseminated Smear Negative MDR TB in a Sub-District Hospital in India.”


August 1, 2012: Smoking banned on campus! Starting January 1, 2014 smoking will be banned not only at Stony Brook University but on all SUNY campuses.  SUNY will be joining the almost 800 other somke-free campuses when this policy is set in place. 

To read the press release, click here.

To read more about other smoke-free campuses, click here.


July 18, 2012: Is Seafood A Good Or Bad Thing? Choosing which types of seafood to eat is not simple. In addition to balancing cost and quality, as we do for all foods, the educated consumer might also consider sustainability of the fish species, and human health risks and benefits. Seafood provides important nutrients, most notably n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to confer benefits to brain and visual system development, and reduce risk of heart disease. However, seafood can also be a source of contaminants, perhaps most importantly, methylmercury, a known neurotoxicant.  Dr. Meliker is leading the Long Island Study of Seafood Consumption, an ongoing study at Stony Brook University, to assess risks and benefits among avid fish consumers. This study is funded by The Gelfond Fund for Mercury Research & Outreach, which supports research at Stony Brook that aims to improve the understanding of how mercury cycles in our environment and the health effects of methylmercury from fish consumption. Dr. Meliker recently spoke at Stony Brook University’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences giving a presentation titled: Public Health Implications of Seafood Consumption. He discussed the risks, benefits, sustainability, and cost as they relate to different species of seafood; gaps in the scientific literature; and the Long Island Study of Seafood Consumption

To read more on the Gelfond Fund for Mercury Research and Outreach, click here.


July 3, 2012: Congratulations Margaret Pichardo! Margaret Pichardo, current MPH student, has had an article selected for publication in the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.  The article titled Dietary Acculturation in U.S. Hispanic Communities was co-authored with N. Davis, MD and E. Chambers, PhD. It discusses how traditional diets and dietary acculturation influence cardiovascular health among Hispanics as well as examines the relationships between dietary acculturation and obesity.  Understanding how dietary acculturation influences health status of these individuals is vital in order to develop effective health interventions. The article is currently in press. 


June 20, 2012: Congratulations Robbye Kinkade! Robbye Kinkade, MPH alumni, has been accepted to SUNY Downstate, School of Public Health’s DrPH in Community Health Sciences program! We wish Robbye every success in her doctoral training and beyond!


June 20, 2012: Congratulations Giuseppina Licata! Giuseppina Licata, MPH alumni, has passed the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) Exam.  The CHES examination is a competency-based tool used to measure possession, application and interpretation of knowledge in the Seven Areas of Responsibility; a comprehensive set of Competencies and Sub-competencies defining the role of an entry-level health education specialist.  

For more information on the exam, visit: http://www.nchec.org/exam/overview/


June 20, 2012: Congratulations Susanne Mendelson! Susanne A. Mendelson, a member of the GPPH affiliated faculty, was honored with the Friends of Education Award presented by the Phi Delta Kappa International Stony Brook Chapter to recognize the commitment and effectiveness of outstanding educators, staff members, and citizens throughout Nassau and Suffolk County.


June 20, 2012: Abstract Accepted! Congratulations to GPPH's Director, Dr. Lisa Benz Scott, and her colleagues, for having an abstract accepted for presentation by the Canadian Association of Cardiac Rehabilitation at the Annual Meeting and Symposium in Toronto, October 26 - 28, 2012. The paper is entitled, "A PATIENT NAVIGATION INTERVENTION IMPROVED ENROLLMENT IN OUTPATIENT CARDIAC REHABILITATION: RESULTS FROM A RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL.” The abstract also will be published in the Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation & Prevention (JCRP) online version in the September/October 2012 issue. Co-authors include Co-Principal Investigator Dr. David L Brown (School of Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine), Co-investigator Dr. Thomas Sexton (College of Business), and research assistants Dr. Sabrina Brzostek (School of Medicine) and Ceylan Cizmeli (Department of Psychology). The paper will be presented as a poster by Dr. Shannon Gravely (post-doc, School of Medicine and Graduate Program in Public Health) who also is a scientist with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre & Women's Health Program, Toronto General Hospital University Health Network, in Toronto, Canada.


May 24, 2012: Congratulations Giuseppina Licata! Giuseppina Licata, MPH alumni, has landed a job as Project Coordinator at the Citizens Committee for New York City.  This is a small non-profit in the city that awards grants to grassroots community groups.  To read more about Citizens Committee for New York City you can view their website at: http://www.citizensnyc.org/


May 24, 2012: Sleep Disparities Symposium! On March 14, 2012, Professor Lauren Hale participated in a Symposium at Harvard University entitled Sleep Health Disparities:  Opportunities to Improve the Health of the Community.  Her talk addressed her research on differences in sleep disorder and sleep traits across the population, and the possible implications for contributing to health disparities.


May 11, 2012: Congratulations Trinley Palmo! Trinley Palmo, current MPH student, had a paper accepted for oral presentation at the 9th Annual Global Health and Innovation Conference sponsored by Unite for Sight, at Yale University in New Havens on 22 April, 2012. The presentation is titled “Sontsa: a Project for Tibetan Youth.” Her presentation described a program to promote positive emotional development among a group of Tibetan children in India through Theater, Storytelling and Art mediums. Sontsa metaphorically means “children” in Tibetan language. Trinley also is to be congratulated for being accepted to the prestigious HELP program (Health Emergencies in Large Populations) at the Center for Refugee and Disaster Response, the John Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health this summer.


May 7, 2012: Congratulations Lisa Benz Scott! Lisa Benz Scott, GPPH Program Director, is the recipient of the 2011-2012 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service at Stony Brook University.  The Chancellor's Awards for Excellence are System-level honors conferred to acknowledge and provide system-wide recognition for consistently superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.


May 3, 2012: Congratulations Muath Bishawi! Muath Bishawi, MPH alumni and current MD student, received the AMA Seed Grant.  This is a $2,500 award that is given to outstanding junior investigators for their basic science or clinical research projects. Only 43 individuals nationwide received the grant, which includes medical students, residents, and fellows. Muath is researching health-related quality of life as a predictor of long-term survival of patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG).

Muath’s study is a follow-up and expansion of his summer 2011 research project, where he investigated quality of life and long-term survival of CABG patients.  The follow-up for this clinical trial is evaluating longer term outcomes of veterans undergoing non-emergent CABG procedures. Muath’s AMA research project will evaluate how a CABG patient’s perception of their quality of life before CABG surgery, at three months after, and at one year post-CABG might predict their longer term survival (up to 10 years).

To read more about Muath’s research, click here.


May 3, 2012: Congratulations Aleef Rahman! Aleef Rahman, MPH alumni, has passed the Certification in Public Health (CPH) exam.  The exam is rooted in the five basic core competencies of public health to reflect the nature of the field and the way one area of knowledge blends into another. The certification exam is administered to graduates of CEPH-accredited schools and programs of public health.

Becoming a Certified Public Health Professional Has Multiple Benefits:

  • Sets a standard of knowledge and skills in public health
  • Encourages life-long learning
  • Adds credibility to public health profession
  • Increasing public health awareness
  • Fosters environment of a professional community

For more information on the exam visit: www.publichealthexam.org


April 24, 2012: Think Again Campaign! In response to the overall safety of members of the campus community, Stony Brook University has launched “Serious About Safety” which is a wide-ranging campaign to promote and cultivate a safe and responsible environment for personal, traffic, and pedestrian safety.  As part of the toxic drinking initiative Stony Brook University has joined the National College Health Improvement Project (NCHIP).  This is a nationwide learning collaborative that seeks to combat high-risk drinking behavior on college campuses through data-driven, community-wide efforts involving several areas of the University.

One way in which this is beneficial, is that it enables members to come up with ways to help better reach out to their campus community.  Aleef Rahman, MPH alumni, did just that.  Rahman created a campaign “Think Again” which is designed to encourage students to reflect on common misperceptions about the prevalence of alcohol use as part of the college experience.  Stony Brook University students overestimate the percentage of their peers who engage in heavy or high-risk drinking.  This campaign is completely student-generated, and seeks to inform the Stony Brook University community of alcohol use on campus.  One major way that the campaign does this is through the use of photographic portraiture of student ambassadors.  Rahman says, “Public health photography is a significant and effective method of involving people in activities that promote health.  Photography can mediate between everyday life experiences and scientifically based knowledge of what affects health so that people are moved rather than indoctrinated by health messages.”

For more information or to join the campaign, visit: http://thinkagain.carbonmade.com/


April 9, 2012: Natasha’s Justice Project Film Screening! On March 21, 2012, the Graduate Program in Public Health (GPPH) organized a screening of HBO’s award-winning documentary Sex Crimes Unit: True Convictions. The event included a Q&A Session with a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) from Suffolk County VIBS and a talk by Natasha Alexenko, a survivor who was featured in the film. Ms. Alexenko is the founder of Natasha’s Justice Project, a Long Island-based non-profit created to empower survivors of sexual assault by getting their rape kits off the shelves and tested so that their perpetrators are brought to justice. Other co-sponsors of the event included VIBS, Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO), Dept. of Preventive Medicine, Dept. of Cultural Analysis and Theory, School of Nursing, School of Social Welfare, The Family Violence Education and Research Center, and Voices for Planned Parenthood (VOX).  The event helped raise awareness about the frequency with which sexual assaults occur, where survivors can seek help at Stony Brook Hospital, and the issue of the backlog of rape kits that exists across the United States.

To view photos from the event, click here.


March 29, 2012: Abstract Accepted for Presentation! The presentation titled "QR Codes and Google Analytics: A Novel Approach In The Process Evaluation Of A Multifocal Campaign To Reduce Normalized High Risk Behaviors" was accepted for a presentation at the global 'Medicine 2.0' annual conference at Harvard Medical School, taking place this September 15, 2012 – September 16, 2012 in Boston. The abstract was co-authored by Aleef Rahman, MPH alumni, and Dr. Amy Hammock, GPPH core faculty member. The work was done in collaboration with the Stony Brook University's Center for Prevention and Outreach, the National College Health Improvement Program (NCHIP) collaboration, and Dr. Hammock.

The abstract can be found here: http://www.medicine20congress.com/ocs/index.php/med/med2012/paper/view/1117.


March 29, 2012: Congratulations Brian Jonat! Brian Jonat, a current MPH student, has been accepted to present at the American Burn Association annual meeting in Seattle, WA on April 24, 2012.  He also won the very competitive ABA Student Scholarship, funded by the American Burn Association, to cover his expenses to the conference. The presentation is co –authored by Jonat B, Wat K, Taira BR, Thode HC, Sandoval S, Soroff H, Singer AJ., and is titled Comparison of Scald and Flame Burns: a 17 year study.  This presentation is a comparison of severity of injury and utilization of resources by mechanism of injury comparing flame burns to scald burns in patients hospitalized in the Stony Brook University Medical Center. 


March 27, 2012: Congratulations Aleef Rahman! Aleef Rahman, MPH alumni, has been working on lab research over the past 4 years with Dr. Srinivas Pentyala and the Dept. of Anesthesiology at Stony Brook University. He recently co-authored a journal article titled “Effect of Lidocaine on Bone Matrix Formation by Osteoblasts” on his findings.  The article was published in the Journal of Anesthesiology and Clinical Research.  He has also co-authored a book chapter “Polychlorinated Biphenyls: In Situ Bioremediation From the Environment" which was published in the textbook Environmental Pollution: Ecology and Human Health. 

To read the article, visit http://www.hoajonline.com/journals/jacs/content/pdf/1.pdf.

To read the chapter, click here.


March 8, 2012: GPPH Welcomes New Core Faculty Member, Dr. David Graham! Dr. Graham recently joined the faculty at Stony Brook Medicine, School of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine as a Clinical Associate Professor in the Fall of 2011. He is the new Director of Occupational and Environmental Medicine and the Medical Director of Employee Health Service at Stony Brook University Hospital. He is board certified in his specialty, and practices in the Clinical Practice Management Plan of Stony Brook University Physicians.

Prior to Dr. Graham’s appointment to Stony Brook Medicine, he held key positions in the Suffolk County Department of Health Services for most of his 32 years as a physician. Dr. Graham has acted in the capacity as Health Commissioner, Chief Deputy Health Commissioner, and Director of Public Health in Suffolk County. Immediately prior to joining the Department of Preventive Medicine full time, he was the Physician-in-Charge of the Employee Medical Bureau of the Police Department of Suffolk County. In that capacity he supervised, practiced and directed a Division of Occupational and Clinical Preventive Services for ~2,500 police officers and 1,000 civilians. Dr. Graham has been directly involved in health professional personnel decisions, strategic planning, program development, operational efficiency, professional leadership, clinical practice and health and medical education. He has taught a wide variety of courses in the medical school and graduate school at Stony Brook, and graduate and undergraduate courses at many of the universities and colleges in the region for over 30 years.

We are delighted to have Dr. Graham as core faculty in the Public Health Practice Concentration. Please extend a warm welcome to Dr. Graham.


January 4, 2012: Congratulations, Carolyn Gallagher and Jaymie Meliker! Carolyn, a MPH alum and PhD candidate, has recently published two articles with Dr. Jaymie Meliker, a member of the GPPH Core Faculty. Please click to the respective titles to view their publications.

C. Gallagher and J. Meliker 
“Mercury and thyroid autoantibodies in U.S. women”

C. Gallagher, D. Smith, and J. Meliker
“Total blood mercury and serum measles antibodies in US children”