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Behind Bars but not Without Rights

Advocating health care for the incarcerated: Julie Samia Mair

Advocating health care for the incarcerated: Julie Samia Mair.

Researchers at the School's new Center for Public Health and Human Rights didn't have to look far to find a population warranting serious concern. Their recent study of female prisoners held at two different Washington D.C. correctional facilities uncovered significant barriers to health care at both prisons.

A trio of researchers from the center, including center director Chris Beyrer, MD, MPH '90; Julie Samia Mair, JD, MPH '00; and research fellow John Zambrano, MHS '05, interviewed nearly a third of the eligible female population last fall and winter, at the request of the D.C. Prisoners' Legal Services Project.

In their interviews of 111 women, the Bloomberg researchers found that 54 percent reported one or more diagnosed medical conditions. For that group, the researchers identified systematic delays in access to health care and prescription medication across a wide range of chronic, infectious and mental health illnesses. Of 13 women who reported having HIV/AIDS, four described medication delays of up to 180 days, two reported interrupted treatment, and three said that their medication was discontinued entirely.

Zambrano says that all of these access issues are serious health threats at both the individual and population levels.

"One example we often cite is that by delaying therapy for these HIV-positive women you run the risk of creating resistances to the drugs and thus the potential for transmitting HIV-drug resistant strains," says Zambrano, an MHS candidate in Epidemiology.

For their health care access survey of women incarcerated at the D.C. Jail and Correctional Treatment Facility, the three recently received the 2004 DC Prisoners' Legal Services Project, Community Service Award for "Protecting Human Rights in the District of Columbia."

In late June, Beyrer testified about the researchers' preliminary findings before a D.C. Council committee hearing. Beyrer and his group will soon produce a report to the committees and plan to submit a manuscript for peer-reviewed publication.

"We hope that our research will help lead to improved health care for persons in the D.C. jails, and other places of incarceration, by adding to the evidence that many persons incarcerated in U.S. correctional facilities are receiving inadequate health care," Mair says.—Greg Rienzi

Hossein Bahrami, MD, MPH '04, PhD candidate, Epidemiology, was appointed to a three-year term (2005 to 2007) on the Science Board of the American Public Health Association (APHA).

Susan P. Baker, MPH, professor, Health Policy and Management (HPM), received the 2005 John Paul Stapp Award in May at the 76th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Aerospace Medical Association. She was recognized for her pivotal role in establishing injury prevention and control as a scientific discipline.

Shyam S. Biswal

Shyam S. Biswal, PhD, assistant professor, Environ-mental Health Sciences (EHS), was recognized by Essential Science Indicators for his article, "Identification of Nrf2-Regulated Genes Induced by the Chemopreventive Agent Sulforaphane by Oligonucleotide Microarray." It has been cited 58 times since 2002, placing it in the top 1 percent within its field.

Lisa A. Cooper MPH '93, associate professor, with joint appointments in Epidemiology and Health Behavior and Society, was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

Valeria Culotta, PhD, professor, EHS, received a "Method to Extend Research in Time" (MERIT) award from the National Institutes of Health, which gives long-term grant support to investigators of proven research skills and productivity.

Marie Diener-West

Marie Diener-West, PhD '84, Helen Abbey and Margaret Merrell Professor in Biostatistics Education, Biostatistics; Stephen Teret, JD, MPH '79, professor, HPM; and Vicente Navarro, MD, PhD, DMSA, DrPH '69, professor, HPM, received 2005 Golden Apple Awards for excellence in teaching from the Student Assembly.

Francesca Dominici, PhD, associate professor, Biostatistics, was elected a Fellow of the American Statistical Association.

William W. Eaton

William W. Eaton, PhD, chair, Mental Health, received the 2005 Strömgren medal and delivered the Strömgren lecture on September 15 in Aarhus, Denmark. The Strömgren Foundation was founded in 1979 to honor the late Professor Erik Strömgren, the most eminent Danish psychiatrist of the 20th century.

Manning Feinleib, MD, MPH, DrPH, professor, Epidemiology, delivered the 32nd Annual Thomas Francis Jr. Memorial Lecture in March at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Linda Fried, MD, MPH '85, professor, Epidemiology, received the 2005 Irving Wright Award of Distinction for Aging Research.

Anne Palaia and Joshua Paul Garoon, both PhD candidates in International Health, have received 2005-2006 Fulbright grants in public health. Palaia will do research in Ethiopia, while Garoon will go to Chad.

Alvaro Muñoz, PhD, professor, Epidemiology, delivered the Breslow lecture in August at the International Epidemiological Association's XVII World Congress of Epidemiology in Bangkok, Thailand.

Neil R. Powe, MD, MPH, MBA

Neil R. Powe, MD, MPH, MBA, professor, Epidemiology, was elected to membership in the Association of American Physicians (AAP), and in April delivered one of two new-member presentations at the annual AAP meeting. Dr. Powe also received the John M. Eisenberg National Award for Career Achievement in Research from the Society of General Internal Medicine.

Noel R. Rose

Noel R. Rose, MD, PhD, professor, MMI, was awarded the Ernest Lyman Stebbins Medal by the Bloomberg School.

Jonathan Samet

Jonathan Samet, MD, MS, Jacob I and Irene B. Fabrikant Professor of Health, Risk, and Society, and chair, Epidemiology, was awarded the 2005 John Goldsmith Award for Outstanding Contribu-tions to Environmental Epidemiology by the International Society of Environmental Epidemiology.

Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS '73

Alfred Sommer, MD, MHS '73, former dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health and professor, Epidemiology, is this year's recipient of the prestigious Helen Keller Prize for Vision Research. Awarded annually by the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, the prize recognizes scientists whose research has made a significant contribution to blindness prevention.

Otsubo Toshiki, PhD, who completed his postdoctoral EHS fellowship in March, received a Young Investigator Award in May from the International Society for Arterial Chemoreception.

Keith P. West Jr.

Keith P. West Jr., DrPH '87, MPH '79, RD, professor, International Health, was installed in May as the inaugural George G. Graham Professor in Infant and Child Nutrition.

Xiaojun You, PhD candidate, Biostatistics, and Alison Gump, PhD candidate, Epidemiology, submitted winning proposals (in the areas of statistical determination of the length of quarantine periods in an epidemic, and statistical image analysis methods for cataract research, respectively) for the 2005 Louis I. and Thomas D. Dublin Award.

Scott Zeger

Scott Zeger, PhD, professor and chair of Biostatistics, was installed in May as the inaugural Frank Hurley and Catharine Dorrier Professor in Biostatistics.

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