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Alumni and Students Receive School Support to Share Innovative Research at APHA

November 17, 2016

On Monday October 31, alumni, students, faculty and friends of Dornsife SPH gathered at the school's yearly reception at the APHA Annual Meeting in Denver. In addition to hosting this valuable networking event this year, the school’s Office of Student Services and Alumni Relations sponsored five alumni and five current students to attend the American Public Health Association Annual Meeting.

“Our recent alumni were able to present work conducted in their last year as students at Dornsife,” said Phi Nguyen, MSEd, director of Student Services and Alumni Relations. “And current students who had posters accepted for presentation at APHA were able to attend and present their research in person.”

The alumni who presented were:

  • Brenna Aumaier, MPH ’16: Facilitators and Barriers to PrEP for Persons Who Inject Drugs, an exploratory study into the factors impacting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) uptake for HIV prevention among persons who inject drugs.
  • Nina Figueroa, MPH ’16: Improving Parity Compliance: Affecting change by examining mental health and substance abuse policy from a multi-level perspective
  • Jesse Goldshear, MPH ’16: Provision of STD Control Services at a Syringe Exchange Increases Chlamydia/Gonorrhea Case Finding In Persons who Inject Drugs.
  • Elizabeth Kauffman, MPH ’16: Gender differences in factors associated with the co-occurrence of depressive symptoms in patients with diabetes.
  • Bhavika Patel, MPH ’16: Analyzing the Cost-Effectiveness of Public Health Department Accreditation

“By attending APHA as a Dornsife alumnus, I hoped to show to others the groundbreaking and innovative research being conducted here,” said Goldshear, who is now working at Penn’s Social Media and Health Innovation Lab. “While I have attended and presented at other small conferences and symposiums, this was my first time attending APHA.”

A handful of current students also received school support to attend APHA and present current research:

  • Kaitlin Koffer Miller, MPH ‘13, a doctoral student in Health Management and Policy and Policy Project Manager at the A.J. Drexel Autism Institute, presented on Program experiences of adults with autism, their families, and providers: Findings from a focus group study.
  • Avat Kioumarsi, MPH, a doctoral student in Community Health and Prevention, shared her research on Health Histories and their Role as Motivation for Marijuana Use Among Young Adult Medical Marijuana Patients.
  • Arduizur Carli Richie-Zavaleta, MASP, MAIPS, a doctoral student in Community Health and Prevention, shared work on Medical Marijuana Usage as a Coping Mechanism for Psychological Distress among Los Angeles Young Adults.
  • Marisa Felsher, MPH, a doctoral student in Community Health and Prevention, collaborated with recent MPH alumni Brenna Aumaier and Jesse Goldshear on posters (above) sharing research findings describing health disparities and access to heath care issues among vulnerable female populations.
  • Janna Ataiants, doctoral student in Community Health and Prevention: ‘Just do not inject and you'll be fine': Strategies for managing drug dependency by pregnant women in Russia. She was quoted in Public Health Newswire on her findings on the options offered to pregnant opioid-addicted women in Russia.