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Magazine June 2011

UCLA Public Health Magazine

June 2011

50 year anniversary logoOn the school's golden anniversary, we look back at what was and look ahead - through the eyes of five of the school's stellar students - at some of the challenges in the 50 years to come.

Dean's Message

Linda Rosenstock smiling for the camera
Fifty years ago,the Regents of the University of California voted to establish the UCLA School of Public Health. In this issue, we commemorate that historic decision and look back over five decades of accomplishment.
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On the school's golden anniversary, we look back at what was and look ahead - through the eyes of five of the school's stellar students - at some of the challenges in the 50 years to come.
Jamie Oliver speaking at the 50th Anniversary Gala
At the school’s 50th Anniversary Gala February 2 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Century City, the school’s dean, Dr. Linda Rosenstock, recognized three individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of public health – particularly in areas that reflect the school’s mission.
a female Peace Corps volunteer holding hands with local women
Not long after President John F. Kennedy established a corps of talented volunteers who would spend time in developing countries working toward progress and peace,the organization began to make its mark on the UCLA School of Public Health.
Listing of Student Awards and Fellowships for the year 2010-2011.

Research Highlights

mother and daughter smiling in the checkout line buying groceries
The dramatic increase in U.S. obesity rates since 1980 is, to a great extent, the result of an unprecedented expansion in the scope, power and ubiquity of food marketing, according to an analysis by Dr. Frederick Zimmerman, professor and chair of the school’s Department of Health Services.
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hospital staff moving a bed quickly down a hallway
Patients’ mortality risk rises as the number of understaffed nursing shifts they are exposed to increases, according to a study by researchers from the UCLA School of Public Health, Mayo Clinic and Vanderbilt University.
doctors delivering a baby
Despite studies consistently showing high rates of success and low complication rates, vaginal births for women who have previously had a cesarean section have declined from a peak rate of 28 percent in 1996 to 8.5 percent in 2006, according to an analysis led by Dr. Kimberly Gregory.
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Cysticercosis – an infection by the pork tapeworm Taenia solium that can cause severe neurological illness and death in humans – is generally viewed as a disease of developing countries or immigrants from areas where it is endemic. However, a review of more than 50 years of literature by two UCLA School of Public Health faculty members, along with colleagues at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, confirms that cysticercosis is acquired in the United States – and in many geographic areas.
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Women who undergo chemotherapy as part of their treatment for breast cancer show significant improvement in both their physical and psychosocial functioning within 12 months – with quality of life returning to its pre-treatment level, according to a study headed by Dr. Patricia Ganz.
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Climate change, the use of food crops as a fuel source and rising food prices loom as three major challenges to the global problem of malnutrition and food insecurity – a problem that, despite international efforts, has worsened since 2005, according to an analysis co-authored by Dr. Cristina Tirado.

Faculty Profiles

Lester Breslow receiving award from Zev Yaroslavsky
Through a seven-decade career as one of public health’s leading figures, Dr. Lester Breslow has established a track record for being ahead of his time. So it’s not surprising that along the way, some of his most prescient ideas have been met with, shall we say, skepticism.
Roger Detels sitting at his desk
For just about as long as HIV/AIDS has been an issue in Southeast Asia, India and China, something has been particularly striking about the leaders of the programs to combat the epidemic in those regions: So many have trained at the UCLA School of Public Health under the tutelage of Dr. Roger Detels, professor of epidemiology and dean of the school from 1980 to 1985.
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Dr. Afifi in his office
As a leading biostatistician on the school’s faculty for all but four years of its existence, Dr. Abdelmonem A. Afifi has concerned himself with complex formulas – work that is essential to drawing sound conclusions from research data. But when it comes to Afifi’s legacy, the numbers fail to tell the whole story. If skill with the minutiae of biostatistics has fueled Afifi’s scholarly pursuits, it’s his interpersonal and leadership acumen that have served a broader constituency – whether it’s the scores of public health students he has mentored or the school he led during 15 years as dean.
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Student Profiles

Philip Massey working at a chalkboard with a woman
Philip Massey grew up acutely aware of the struggles that come with poverty. His mother, one of seven children from a rural Virginia household, was the only member of her family to graduate from high school – she went on to obtain a master’s degree.
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Annie Fehrenbacher smiling at a car wash
While in high school, Annie Fehrenbacher worked at Planned Parenthood as a peer educator. “It was my reaction to the information we were getting at school during a big push for abstinence-only education,” she says. “I felt we weren’t being informed about our own health.”

Alumni Hall of Fame

alumni hall of fame inductees posing for a photo
The UCLA School of Public Health Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 2002 to honor alumni with outstanding career accomplishments in public health, as well as those who have volunteered time and talent in their communities in support of public health activities. This year's inductees were honored in two categories: Lester Breslow Lifetime Achievement and Young Alumnus Achievement