Bickford, Abigail (UMD SPH Behavioral and Community Health)
Gold, Robert (UMD SPH Behavioral and Community Health)
Background: Originally started as an online forum, the Black Lives Matter organization has grown into a social movement through an extensive social media presence under the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. While the Black Lives Matter movement has evoked many academic and popular responses, there has been a distinct lack of focus on this movement by the public health discipline. The Black Lives Matter organization has outlined its mission and goals, which includes bringing awareness to the many ways black people face discrimination and oppression today.
Goal: The purpose of this study is to identify the prevalent themes in a sample of tweets containing #BlackLivesMatter to better understand how this online social movement relates to public health.
Objectives: 1. To determine the major themes present in a sample of tweets using #BlackLivesMatter 2. To identify health-related themes in the tweet sample 3. To match tweets with the mission and goals of the official Black Lives Matter organization
Approach: A random sample of 10,000 tweets collected from January 2017 through June 2017 containing #BlackLivesMatter were collected and analyzed. Tweets were coded by two human raters for thematic content based on codes developed from the Black Lives Matter organization's stated mission and goals.
Results: 52% of tweets were found to align with the Black Lives Matter organization's stated mission and goals with the most prevalent themes surrounding protest, death by police, and diversity. 48% of the tweets contained themes unrelated to the movement's mission and goals. The majority of tweets were in favor of the Black Lives Matter movement (57%), while 35% were opposed, and 18% were neutral in nature. 115 different health-related words were discovered in the tweet sample. Tweets also have high clout, suggesting confidence in the statements made, and showed a low emotional tone, indicating the anxiety, hostility, and sadness in the text of the messages.
Importance to public health: It is important for the field of public health to better understand social movements and their relation to health issues. With more social movements organizing through social media, it is important to utilize this form of data when examining health-related social movements.
Hurwitz, Natasha (UMD)
Crowley, Kenyon (UMD)
Background: A digital health disease management company partnered with the Center for Health Information and Decision Systems to gain insights into their patient population and the success of their program.
Goal: The goal of this project is to identify patient characteristics and program features that contribute to patient success.
Objectives: 1. Combine all data at the patient level to prepare for machine learning analysis. 2. Identify measures of patient success. 3. Identify trends in patient characteristics that point toward patient success. 4. Identify program characteristics that lead to patient success.
Approach: Data is coming into the company's system from many different sources. We combined and mined data on insurance claims, initial patient health survey (similar to PHQ-9), device reading data streaming into the system several times per day, notes on health coaching sessions, notes on outreaches triggered by the device reading system and demographic data. We continue to work on preparing the data for time series analysis.
Results: Right now, we are building the dataset and running some analytics. We do not have conclusive results at this time, but we are hoping the time series analysis will help us. Also, the company is enrolling more patients and we hope a larger dataset can run through our scripts and point to patient indicators.
Importance to public health: The patients are Medicaid patients and if programs like this can help Medicaid patients manage their disease conditions, the hope is that they can be applied to other patients as well.
Li, Weizhe (UMD SPH EPIDEMIOLOGY AND BIOSTATISTICS)
Zhang, Jing (UMD SPH EPIDEMIOLOGY AND BIOSTATISTICS)
Background: The spatial organization of cells is critical for normal organ physiology and function. For immune cells, position influences such key events as intercellular contacts, activation and effector activity. Our understanding of these relationships has been historically derived from imaging of immune-labeled tissue sections. However, section-based sample preparation discards all three-dimensional information and limits the ability to study rare events in structurally complex organs. Based on our new clearing method, Clearing-enhanced 3D (Ce3D), which generates excellent tissue transparency, preserves cellular morphology, maintains reporter protein fluorescence, while also retaining epitopes for antibody-based labeling, we are able to analyze the spatial distribution of immune cells in lymph nodes and their relations in three dimensions.
Goal: To characterize the spatial distribution of immune cells inside lymph nodes.
Objectives: 1. To test if distribution of immune cells is completely spatial random. 2. To test any cluster formation among immune cells. 3. To test the relations among the distribution of immune cells.
Approach: The three-dimension (3D) dots were reconstructed after image stacks were segmented. The 3D dots can be treated stationary point process. Then point pattern was characterized by K, G (nearest-neighbour distance distribution function), F (empty-space function), J functions with incremental modeling. The deviation of immune cells from complete spatial randomness was evaluated, and their possibility of clustering was estimated with depletion of the cofounding from intensity. Distance decay function was then adopted to describe the intensity relations of immune cells.
Results: Still being computed
Importance to public health: The 3D spatial analysis of immune cells in lymph node is novel and fundamental for the diagnosis and characterization of immune diseases.
Li, Andrew (UMD SPH)
Li, Alice (UMD SPH)
Shukla, Malavika (UMD SPH)
Cunningham, Laura (UMD SPH)
Background: Contrary to popular belief, researchers at the University of Maryland have found strong evidence that flu can be transmitted through breathing, and not just through coughing and sneezing. Breathing infectious aerosol particles which can stay suspended in air and transmit disease raises a concern regarding building ventilation. CO2 concentrations are used to estimate the ventilation rate in a room; high CO2 concentrations indicate poor ventilation.
Goal: We studied how factors such as ventilation, humidity, and temperature affected the CO2 concentration to analyze if buildings should change ventilation to decrease the prevalence of potential infectious aerosol particles.
Objectives: We examined data from six CO2 monitors collected over 17 days - five in poorly ventilated rooms in the School of Public Health and one mounted outside. Our objective was to compare the differences in humidity, temperature and ventilation in order to come up with a recommendation if buildings should be renovated so ideal factors are reached. We hypothesized that: Poor ventilation will cause high CO2 concentration Higher humidity will cause high CO2 concentration Higher temperature will cause high CO2 concentration
Approach: In order to study the effect of the aforementioned building factors, relevant data was collected using HOBO sensors. These sensors were mounted in rooms 301, 302, 303, 305, and 307 to measure each room’s average temperature, relative humidity, dew point, and carbon dioxide concentration, with data points taken every five minutes. In addition, a sensor was mounted outside of the School of Public Health to serve as a baseline comparison for outdoor air quality. At the end of the 17 day collection period, the data for each room was subsequently downloaded in a list format using the HOBO mobile app and converted to Excel files. Upon acquiring the data, we analyzed and compared the relationship between time and each of the ventilation variables for each room.
Importance to public health: Old buildings generally have poor ventilation, which can negatively affect the health of its residents and visitors. As the University of Maryland research shows, breathing can expel infectious aerosols that can remain suspended in the air. We believe that having even one sick person in a room with poor ventilation can greatly impact the chances of others in the room getting sick. Therefore, our study is designed to come up with an initial conclusion and recommendation for potential changes in ventilation in old buildings.
Background: About 440,000 patients are expected to die this year according to the National Patient Safety Foundation. The number of deaths has been increasing for the last 20 years. The causes and solutions are covered from the presenter's book "Safer Hospital Care" based on his research as medical writer.
Goal: Hospitals lack the knowledge of proactive risk prevention and they need this knowledge immediately.
Objectives: The objectives for preventing deaths are: . Understand that failure in healthcare is not an option. . Learn proactive tools to prevent 440,000 deaths . It has significant public health benefits. Deaths from mistakes is the third largest cause of population deaths . Learn to prevent mistakes and collect return on investment at least 100,000% . Learn from paradigm pioneers such as Johns Hopkins, Allegheny General and Geissinger Health
Approach: This presentation on the proposal to a new project.
Results: The results are unknown since this is a project proposal.
Importance to public health: It has significant public health benefits. Deaths from mistakes is the third largest cause of population deaths. Hospitals need to use proactive risk prevention tools.
Shah, Veeraj (UMD SPH Family Science)
Ghodasra, Mitsu (UMD SPH Family Science)
Obasiolu, Camilla (UMD SPH Family Science)
Lewis, Jonathan (UMD SPH Family Science)
Mulloor, Anjali (UMD SPH Family Science)
Vahanan, Manasvinee (UMD SPH Family Science)
Rahman, Tanjila (UMD SPH Family Science)
Sathiya, Vandu (UMD SPH Family Science)
Maring, Elizabeth (UMD SPH Family Science)
Ahmed, Naheed (UMD SPH Family Science)
Background: Varanasi, India is a city of 1.2 million people built on the bank of the Ganges river and is the holiest city in Hinduism. According to a 2014 study conducted by Rai, 78% of the population in Varanasi are cognizant of the health care services provided yet only 25% are content with the options present for primary care.
Goal: The goal of this study was to investigate health needs among community members in Varanasi through a needs assessment in a school and university setting.
Objectives: The objectives of this study were to conduct a focus group, interviews, and observations in order to build rapport and better understand the health needs in Varanasi, India.
Approach: A team of six individuals from Public Health without Borders (PHWB) at the University of Maryland traveled to Varanasi, India in January 2018. Participants consisted of students and staff at a private school with rural and urban campuses, and staff at a public university. The school provides primary and secondary education. The first student cohort (7 students) was from the rural campus and the second (10 students) was from the urban campus. Students participated in focus group discussions and notes were taken of their responses. Interviews with school and university staff were audio recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for common themes.
Results: After analysis of the interview data, several observations were noted. One prominent health barrier was stigma regarding mental health, and variation in how children and adults define mental health. Many students cited standardized exams and homework assignments as a significant source of stress. With regard to environmental issues impacting families, participants obtain water from neighborhood pumps or household filters and taps. However, very few boiled the water before consumption. Many of the children interviewed cited that they would like to learn more about nutrition and physical exercise.
Importance to public health: This initial PHWB travel team conducted a rapid community needs assessment, which involved formal and informal meetings with city residents on pressing health concerns. The needs assessment provided a broad overview of general health needs within Varanasi based on a small set of interviews, which will inform future interventions in Varanasi.
Toussaint, Ebony (UMD SPH Health Services Administration)
Simon Rusinowitz, Lori (UMD SPH Health Services Administration)
Background: Every second in the United States an older adult falls, making falls the number one cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans. In 2014, older Americans experienced 29 million falls causing seven million injuries and costing an estimated $31 billion in annual Medicare costs. With more than 10,000 older Americans turning 65 each day, the number of fall-related injuries and deaths is expected to surge, resulting in cost increases.
Goal: The primary goal of our study is to facilitate better health policy and public health practice targeted at reducing falls and ultimately lowering the associated costs.
Objectives: (1) Identify strong predictors of falls among older Americans (2) Identify changes in daily activities among older Americans due to falls.
Approach: In this study, we created a subsample population of older Americans ages 65 years and older using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). We created a logistic regression model for data analysis where the response variable (fall) is equal to 1 if the respondent answered yes to the question “In the past year, have you fallen at least one time?”
Results: We identified predictors including chronic disease diagnosis (diabetes, heart problem, arthritis), prescription drug use, marital status, work status, and substance use (alcohol). Older Americans reported changes in daily activities such as driving or taking public transportation, completing household chores, engaging in social activities outside the home, exercising or walking down a flight of stairs, and changing the frequency or manner of bathroom visits.
Importance to public health: Medications increase the risk of falls among older Americans. The majority (~65%) of older Americans suffer from comorbidity, so they are likely to use prescription medication. Pharmacists can be trained to identify older Americans at risk of falling and provide counseling (e.g. recommend tai chi and vision exam). Additionally, policy changes should support older Americans having a home inspection conducted by certified Community Health Workers to identify fall hazards. This policy change supports the recommendation by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force for older Americans to “make changes at home to decrease the chances of a fall.”