Lightning-Round Presenters

School of Public Health faculty, staff, and student research is taking on the world’s most stubborn problems, from environmental pollutants in rural India to food equity in Minnesota. We work across disciplines and with local, national, and international colleagues to make real and lasting change. Our goal is to give all people the chance to be healthy.

Each of these five minute presentations aims to support the 2019 Research Day theme of Shaping the Future of Health, which focuses on imagining a world where every person in every community has the opportunity for a healthy life.

Assistant Professor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences

Kimberly Anderson is an assistant professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences. She received her BS in Industrial Hygiene from Clarkson University, her MS and PhD in Industrial Hygiene from the University of Iowa. Dr. Anderson’s research interests focus on evaluating exposure to aerosols, investigating associations between aerosols and adverse health effects, and developing scientific and engineering solutions that protect human health.

Using Low-cost Aerosol Sensors to Monitor Personal Exposure to Ambient Air Pollution
Exposure to ambient air pollution is everywhere. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly 11.5 percent of all deaths are attributable to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Furthermore, WHO’s air pollution models estimate that more than 90 percent of the world’s population live in areas that exceed the 2.5 particulate matter standard – identifying air pollution exposure as a global health priority. In this talk, Kimberly Anderson will describe the growing push for low-cost air pollution monitors and the difficulties associated with the low-cost sensors’ reliability and robustness as compared to stationary environmental monitoring equipment. She will also discuss the evaluation of a low-cost aerosol sensor to determine its utility for personal air pollution exposure monitoring.

PhD Student, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

Collin Calvert is a doctoral student in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, specializing in social and behavioral health. Calvert holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Macalester College. His training includes interrupted time series analysis using ARIMA modeling and correlated data analysis using mixed models. He has also been a teaching assistant in graduate-level public health courses on evaluation and research methods, taught course labs on data management and analysis using Stata, and trained graduate research assistants in data collection and analyses.

Perceptions of Violent Encounters between Police and Young Black Men
High profile events in recent years have drawn attention to the problem of violent encounters between police and young black men in the U.S. In 2016, black men between the ages of 18 and 44 were more than three times as likely as white men of the same age group to be killed by a police officer. In this talk, Rhonda Jones-Webb and Collin Calvert will highlight findings from their recent study on how different stakeholder groups (e.g., police, young black men, parents) perceive the problem of police-youth violence, including causes and potential solutions to the problem.

Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health

Rhonda Jones-Webb is a Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, whose research focuses on alcohol epidemiology and policy with a special focus on race, class, and neighborhood influences. As a leading scholar on alcohol use and alcohol-related problems among African Americans, her research focuses on three primary areas: 1) alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems among African Americans; 2) environmental factors associated with alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems among African Americans and low income populations; and 3) environmental policies to prevent alcohol-related problems.

Perceptions of Violent Encounters between Police and Young Black Men
High profile events in recent years have drawn attention to the problem of violent encounters between police and young black men in the U.S. In 2016, black men between the ages of 18 and 44 were more than three times as likely as white men of the same age group to be killed by a police officer. In this talk, Rhonda Jones-Webb and Collin Calvert will highlight findings from their recent study on how different stakeholder groups (e.g., police, young black men, parents) perceive the problem of police-youth violence, including causes and potential solutions to the problem.

rhonda jones-webb

PhD Student, Division of Health Policy and Management

Laura Smith is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Division of Health Policy and Management and a graduate research assistant at the Rural Health Research Center. Her broad research interests include health economics and health policy. She uses large datasets to study quality and access in health care, with a particular focus on primary care and nurse practitioners. Prior to her studies at the University of Minnesota, Laura earned a BA in mathematics from St. Olaf College and worked on Medicare payment policy evaluations at the Lewin Group.

Multidisciplinary Primary Care Practices in Rural vs. Urban Areas
Rural communities have long faced primary care physician shortages. Nurse practitioners (NPs), registered nurses with additional training and education, are a rapidly growing part of the rural provider workforce. In this talk, Laura Smith will dive into how physicians and NPs work together to provide primary care in rural versus urban communities. She also will describe the use of a novel source of service claims and electronic health record data to study differences in patient complexity, visit length, appointment wait times, and payer mix.

PhD student, Division of Health Policy and Management

Jiani Yu is a PhD candidate, with a focus on health economics, in the School of Public Health Division of Health Policy and Management. Prior to her PhD program, she worked as a research associate for the American Institutes for Research. Jiani’s research interests are primarily in the areas of innovations in health care delivery, alternative payment models, and variation in the prices of health care services and access to care.

Assessing the Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Telemedicine on Quality, Utilization, and Spending
Telemedicine, the use of telecommunications technology to remotely diagnose and treat patients, has the potential to improve access to care and provide lower-cost alternatives for health care services. In recent years, there has been a sharp rise in direct-to-consumer (DTC) telemedicine services, which introduced convenient alternatives to in-person services for non-emergent primary care conditions. While the number of options for DTC telemedicine services has grown, its potential to transform the delivery of care and decrease health care costs is still largely unknown. In this talk, Jiani Yu will share research that evaluates the impact of a DTC telemedicine visit for urinary tract infections on quality, utilization, and spending outcomes relative to those initiated with an in-person visit over a 30-day episode of care, and the extent to which DTC telemedicine visits replaced in-person visits for the same condition.

PhD Student, Division of Environmental Health and Science

Hannah Kaup is a PhD student in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences in the School of Public Health. She received her BA in both Biology and Chemistry from St. Catherine University in 2011. She then worked as an analytical chemist at General Mills and 3M before returning to school in 2016 to complete an MS degree in Industrial Hygiene at the University of Minnesota. She has a strong interest in healthcare safety, specifically in hazardous drug handling.

Antineoplastic Drugs: An Occupational Hazard for Healthcare Workers
Antineoplastic drugs, more commonly known as chemotherapy, pose an occupational risk to healthcare workers. Recent updates to handling guidelines in the United States and Canada will require healthcare facilities using these medications to perform routine surveillance by measuring surface contamination levels. Little guidance for conducting surface measurements of these drugs is available. In this talk, Hannah Kaup will discuss several gaps in our understanding of exposures to chemotherapy medications and why implementing effective controls has proven difficult. She will share insights from her current work and discuss future projects to protect the health and safety of healthcare workers.

PhD Student, Division of Biostatistics

Shannon McKearnan is a third-year PhD student in the Division of Biostatistics. She is working with her advisors Associate Professor Julian Wolfson and Assistant Professor David Vock on risk prediction for health outcomes, machine learning methods, and the use of electronic health record data.

Identifying Key Predictors of Patient Outcomes
Predictions of patient risk for health outcomes are important measures for physicians. They can inform and guide them as they make decisions about patient treatments, and can aid in the allocation of scarce resources. Some machine learning techniques can yield very accurate predictions of patient risk, but their methods lack intuitive interpretation. In these cases, feature selection is an important step to identify meaningful predictors. In this talk, Shannon McKearnan will describe her work with collaborators on one method of feature selection for such a machine learning technique, with a focus on its application to predicting outcomes for oropharyngeal cancer patients based on high-dimensional imaging data.

PhD Student, Division of Biostatistics
Jincheng Zhou is a PhD candidate in the Division of Biostatistics. She is working with her advisor Professor Haitao Chu on Bayesian causal effects in meta-analysis. Prior to her PhD program, she obtained a medical degree in Preventive Medicine, an MS in Biostatistics, and worked as a Biostatistician at the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation before returning to school in 2015.

Adjusting Noncompliance in Meta-analysis
Noncompliance occurs in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) when some participants do not follow their assigned treatments and may create bias in estimating a treatment effect. Meta-analysis is a valuable statistical technique to combine estimated treatment effects from multiple independent clinical trials. It improves the statistical power, and has become increasingly popular in medical research. However, noncompliance rates are generally different between treatment arms and across studies, thus current meta-analysis methods cannot account for noncompliance. In this talk, Jincheng Zhou will first illustrate the noncompliance problem through a real case meta-analysis of epidural analgesia in labor on the outcome cesarean section, then describe an innovative Bayesian hierarchical framework to make causal inference for meta-analysis of RCTs in the presence of noncompliance and missing data.

© 2015 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy Statement