The Pitt News

Allison Hansen: Serving on the front lines

Allison Hansen: Serving on the front lines

By Matthew Monroy, Senior Staff Writer April 21, 2021
For most of the COVID-19 pandemic, Allison Hansen worked 12-hour hospital shifts taking vital signs, testing blood sugar levels and guiding patients on laps around the hallways — often in the densest COVID-19 areas of UPMC Passavant.
Dr. Jennifer Marin and a team of 13 other researchers analyzed 13 million hospital visits from 44 hospitals across the country and found that non-white children are less likely to get diagnostic imaging compared to white children.

Pitt researchers find racial disparities in pediatric medical imaging

By Rashi Ranjan, Senior Staff Writer February 22, 2021
Dr. Jennifer Marin and a team of 13 other researchers analyzed 13 million hospital visits from 44 hospitals across the country. Their results — non-white children are less likely to get diagnostic imaging compared to white children.
Students in the Pitt Nursing and Pharmacy schools received emails informing them of their eligibility to receive the COVID-19 vaccine through the UPMC hospitals.

‘A huge event in history’: Students recount COVID-19 vaccination experiences

By Punya Bhasin, Staff Writer January 25, 2021
Ragini Rangan, a first-year pharmacy major, got her first dose of the Moderna vaccine last Tuesday at UPMC Mercy South Side Outpatient Center. While she described the needle as the size of a regular flu shot, its purpose was much bigger.

Pitt professor sues University

By Ashton Crawley, Assistant News Editor January 13, 2021
Norman Wang, a Pitt cardiologist, has filed a federal lawsuit against the University and the American Heart Association. Wang authored a scientific article advocating for race-neutral admission and hiring in cardiology. The AHA later retracted the article due to “inaccuracies, misstatements, and selective misreading of source materials” which “void the paper of its scientific validity.” He was removed this summer as program director of the Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology Fellowship. The lawsuit stated that the University violated Wang’s First Amendment rights and is seeking damages for defamation from UPMC, Pitt, the AHA and several Pitt employees for allegedly claiming Wang misused academic sources. It also asks for Wang to be fully reinstated to his teaching position in the cardiology department. “As a result of defendants’ actions, a cloud also continues to hang over [Wang’s] reputation and, accordingly, his ability to obtain other employment is constrained,” the lawsuit said. The Center for Individual Rights, a nonprofit public interest law firm, will represent Wang. Terry Pell, the center’s president, said the actions taken against Wang should concern anybody concerned about academics and free speech regardless of whether it challenges conventional thinking. “What’s remarkable about this is that he was not punished for an inappropriate joke or an intemperate remark in the classroom, but for publishing a thoroughly researched article in a peer-reviewed journal,” Pell said. Pitt spokesperson Kevin Zwick said the University is aware of the complaint and will respond appropriately. “The University of Pittsburgh took no action against Dr. Wang, and we remain fully committed to advancing the value of academic freedom,” Zwick said. Wang did not respond to a request for comment. The University is also under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education for possibly “improperly targeting … a campaign of denunciation and cancellation” against Wang. The department’s Office of Postsecondary Education sent a letter on Oct. 7 to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher stating that the University’s actions against Wang could have violated Title IV of the Civil Rights Act. “It did so solely because his academic paper concluded … ‘Ultimately, all who aspire to a profession in medicine and cardiology must be assessed as individuals on the basis of their personal merits, not their racial and ethnic identities,’” the letter said.
Paige Ottaviano has been working as a transporter at UPMC Presybterian during the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘A new normal’: Student health care workers share their struggles to balance work, school

By Natalie Frank, Staff Writer September 30, 2020
Some of these student health care workers shared their experiences, including a changing work environment and how the personal protective equipment shortage has impacted them.
Wei Li, assistant director of Pitt’s Center for Therapeutic Antibodies and co-lead author of the research, sifted through antibody components and found multiple therapeutic antibody candidates in record time.

Pitt scientists developing drug to prevent, treat COVID-19

By Ashton Crawley, Assistant News Editor September 15, 2020
Scientists at Pitt’s School of Medicine have successfully isolated the smallest biological molecule to date that completely and specifically neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of COVID-19, the University announced Monday.
PittCoVacc, the potential vaccine against COVID-19. Photo via UPMC

Pitt researchers unveil potential COVID-19 vaccine

By Janine Faust , Editor-in-chief April 2, 2020
Pitt School of Medicine scientists announced Thursday that they had developed a potential vaccine against COVID-19.
UPMC and Highmark have begun a coverage split that will be effective July 1.

State officials attempt to avert UPMC, Highmark breakup

By Jon Moss, Contributing Editor February 11, 2019
UPMC and Highmark have a long history of conflict, and this came to a head when UPMC refused to sign a consent decree in late 2018 that would allow Highmark insurance to be used at UPMC hospitals.
Magee-Womens Research Institute is the largest independent women’s research institute in the country with a focus on women’s health.

Breast cancer researchers continue innovating

By Sid Lingala, Staff Writer February 7, 2019
Innovations in technology for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment bring hope to patients and exciting discoveries to researchers.
Dr. Arthur Levine worked as senior vice chancellor for the health sciences for more than 20 years.

Pitt medical school dean steps down

By Brian Gentry, Assistant News Editor January 24, 2019
Dr. Arthur Levine, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine, announced Wednesday that he will soon step down from those positions, according to a press release.
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