Archive | August, 2013

CURRENT RESEARCH: Blacks with Certain Gene Need Lower Doses of Warfarin: Study

27 Aug


African-Americans with a common gene variant (found in more than 40% of blacks
in the study) require about 7-9 mg less of the blood thinner warfarin per week. Genetic testing for that gene could lead to safer and more effective dosages, and is supported by the FDA — but it is expensive and not widely available in some areas

Read more at:


HIGHLIGHTED STORIES: Despite Progress, African-Americans Still Hard Hit By Medical Bills

27 Aug


A poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of
Public Health found that 24 percent of African American families said they had problems paying for needed prescription drugs. Some turn to taking less of their needed medication to make it last longer, which can lead to worse health conditions. Top three health concerns for AfricanAmerican families are high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

Read more at : -africanamericans-still-hard-hit-by-medical-bills/

Identifying and Approaching a Great Mentor

27 Aug


Submitted by the SAAPHI Mentoring & Professional Development Affairs Committee

“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” –William Arthur Ward

Whether you are a student, in the early stages of your career, or a more seasoned public health professional, engaging in effective mentoring relationships is an important component of professional development. Your first steps in being a great mentee include identifying and approaching a great mentor.

One of the best ways to identify a potential mentor is to speak with other junior and senior colleagues whom you respect and ask them to recommend potential mentors. Be specific when asking for mentor recommendations. These means that you need to know what you want and need out of a mentoring relationship. For example, would you like to connect with someone who has experience working in a variety of settings, or with someone who has only worked in one area of public health? Do you feel it necessary to receive mentorship from someone of the same gender and/or race/ethnicity as yourself? Are you looking for someone who can provide guidance in a specific area of public health, or are you looking for general career guidance? How much and what do you want to have in common with your mentor in terms of professional interests? Does it matter if that person is close in proximity, or are you willing to receive mentorship from across the state or country? You should always ask that colleagues recommend mentors who are trustworthy and have a reputation for providing high quality guidance to others who are in your career stage.

Once you have your list of potential mentors, set up an introductory meeting with each individual. Remember that some of your potential mentors may be quite busy doing what makes them sought after as mentors. You may need to be politely persistent in setting up your first meeting. If you do not receive a response via phone or email, you may wish to request an e-introduction by the colleague who recommended the potential mentor.

The purpose of the introductory meeting is to determine your compatibility for a mentoring relationship. In addition to discussing backgrounds and interests, you will also need to identify your goals and mentoring needs clearly and succinctly. After your meeting, be sure to follow up with a thank you note; include proposed next steps for the individual(s) with whom you would like to begin a formal mentoring relationship.

It is possible to have different mentors for different areas of your professional and personal life. You do not need to limit yourself to one mentor. However, remember that mentoring relationships are just like other relationships – they require time and commitment. As a mentee, you must follow through with tasks assigned to you, and you should expect the same of your mentor. Additionally, the person that you identify to be a mentor should not only tell you about opportunities, he/she should also be able to explain why those opportunities are a great fit for you, have a track record that demonstrates successfully engagement in similar opportunities, and inspire you to pursue those and other opportunities to advance your career.

For more information on cultivating great mentoring relationships, see:

Ammerman, C. & Tseng, V. 2011. Maximizing mentoring: A guide for building strong relationships. New York, NY: The William T. Grant Foundation.

Zerzan, J.T., Hess, R., Schur, E., Phillips, R.S., & Rigotti, N. 2009. Making the most of mentors: A guide for mentees. Acad Med, 84(1), 140-144.

Registration Opens for the annual National Health Equity Conference, PLACE MATTERS: Exploring the Intersections of Health and Economic Justice.

27 Aug
The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is proud to announce its third annual National Health Equity Conference, PLACE MATTERS: Exploring the Intersections of Health and Economic Justice. This conference will explore the intersections of health equity and economic justice movements with a focus on the relationship between community development and the creation of healthy spaces and places. The conference takes place on October 2, 2013 in Washington D.C.

Registration closes on September 30, 2013. To register:


 Featured Guests & Invited Speakers

NBC contributor and MSNBC regular, author and co-host of the cable channel’s ensemble show The Cycle
Singer, Dramatist, Educator and Activist

Vice President of Policy and Outreach at Demos

Professor Emeritus of Social Epidemiology at the University of Nottingham (U.K.) Medical School
Florence and Laura Norman Professor of Public Health; Professor of African and African American Studies and Sociology
Social Health Concepts and Practice, Inc.
Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
President and Executive Director; Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC

For more information:

Harvard School of Public Health is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 Yerby Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

20 Aug
The Harvard School of Public Health is now accepting applications for the 2014-2015 Yerby Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. This program is designed to increase diversity among individuals who wish to pursue academic careers in public health. Working closely with accomplished faculty mentors, Yerby fellows gain experience and skills in areas critical to success in an academic environment, with an emphasis on research, publication, and grant writing.

Applicants should be members of a minority group that is underrepresented in academic public health; individuals from other backgrounds that would contribute to academic diversity, including those with disabilities, will also be considered. Candidates must have received (or be about to receive) a doctoral degree in a relevant field. Online applications are now being accepted at  The application deadline is November 1, 2013.

This is an excellent opportunity for promising young scholars. We are requesting your help in forwarding this information about the fellowships to appropriate departments and offices within your school or organization, as well as to individual students whom you feel would be strong applicants to the program. More information can be found on our website at If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 617-432-1018 or

Many thanks for your help.

All best,
Christina Burkot

Office of Faculty Affairs
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA  02115
Phone:  617.432.1047

APTR-CDC Preventive Medicine and Public Health Fellowship Program FALL 2013

20 Aug

APTR-CDC Preventive Medicine and Public Health Fellowship Program


Application Deadline: September 30, 2013


The Association for Prevention Teaching and Research is pleased to announce a new fellowship opportunity in the Preventive Medicine and Public Health Fellowship Program in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  APTR is currently accepting applications for one training position based at CDC in Atlanta, GA with a start date of January 2014.  The Fellow will gain leadership experience in public health practice and policy, access to state-of-the-art technology and national databases, and will train with leading experts in the field of preventive medicine and public health.

APTR is looking for applicants with a minimum of a master’s degree for the following fellowship placement:

“Interprofessional Education Approach to Develop Public Health Practice & Policy”


The complete application package including the fellowship description, additional information and online application form can be found on the APTR website at:

Please pass this fellowship announcement along to qualified individuals who would benefit from this exceptional training opportunity.

For more information about the APTR-CDC Preventive Medicine and Public Health Fellowship Program please email .

CURRENT RESEARCH: ADHD Diagnoses Up 70% Among African-American Children

7 Aug

According to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics, more African-American kids are being diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some experts believe this trend is a result of increasing numbers of African-American parents getting their children evaluated for the disorder. However, there is a concern that children with histories of trauma, violence and abuse are being misdiagnosed (often post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can be mistaken for signs of ADHD).