Expert Pitch

UAlbany Emergency Management, Public Health Experts Available to Discuss COVID-19

University at Albany, State University of New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 17, 2020) -- As we continue to prepare for a rise in COVID-19 cases, experts from the University at Albany’s first-in-the-nation College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity (CEHC) and School of Public Health are looking at the virus from a number of different perspectives.  

We are offering faculty experts for phone and/or live interviews this week:

David Holtgrave, Dean and Distinguished Professor, School of Public Health

Holtgrave’s internationally-recognized research focuses on complex public health challenges including the relationships between social factors, infectious disease rates and health risk behavior. He has worked on issues related to HIV for just under 30 years. He can speak about the emerging threat of COVID-19 as the pandemic relates to epidemiology, effectiveness of social measures and health disparities

Holtgrave worked previously at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and previously served as the director of the agency’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention – Intervention Research and Support. He also served on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS during President Obama’s Administration.

Quote: “I believe that we should say ‘physical distancing’ instead of ‘social distancing’ to be clear that we only mean maximizing physical distance.  We need to keep our social networks intact, but temporarily through other (mostly digital) communication channels.  As everyone must be more physically distant, we should use this time to find ways to communicate more meaningfully with each other, and grow even more connected as a society.”

Samantha Penta, Assistant Professor, CEHC

Penta research focuses on health and medical care in crises, decision-making in preparedness and response, and humanitarian logistics. 

She can speak on the following: crisis decision-making in health and medical response/relief efforts; human and organizational responses to crises and extreme events; and giving behavior, particular disaster donations.

Quote: “The coronavirus response requires a community perspective. People’s behaviors can directly contribute to the containment or spread of coronavirus, directly affecting the success of broader public health measures. Consequently, people’s behaviors can affect others’ health as well as their own. As people make decisions around what supplies to buy or what events to attend, it is important that they consider not just the risk to themselves, but also what risks their own actions may pose for others.”

Jayson Kratoville, Interim Director, National Center for Security & Preparedness (NCSP)

Kratoville is available to discuss strategies for organizational leadership and decision-making during COVID-19. His view is that public, nonprofit and private entities should focus their attention on continuity of operations, risk assessment and crisis communication.

Quote: “Organizational leaders need to focus their time and resources on assessing their risk and implementing continuity plans based on available, verified information. Public health experts are still learning about this relatively new virus. Avoid the siren call of unvetted information in the meantime. We tend to seek more and more data on the threat; but strong leaders make operational decisions based on imperfect information all the time. It’s important to follow the science; but that doesn’t mean we all become epidemiologists.”


About the University at Albany:  A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusinessengineering and applied sciencesinformatics, public administrationsocial welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.



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10-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Long-term strategies to control COVID-19 pandemic must treat health and economy as equally important, argue researchers
University of Cambridge

Strategies for the safe reopening of low and middle-income countries (LMICs) from months of strict social distancing in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic must recognise that preserving people’s health is as important as reviving the economy, argue an international team of researchers.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 3:05 PM EDT
Simple blood test can predict severity of COVID-19 for some patients
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

An early prognosis factor that could be a key to determining who will suffer greater effects from COVID-19, and help clinicians better prepare for these patients, may have been uncovered by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). Results of the findings were published today in the International Journal of Laboratory Hematology.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:50 PM EDT
Genetic ‘fingerprints’ of first COVID-19 cases help manage pandemic
University of Sydney

A new study published in the world-leading journal Nature Medicine, reveals how genomic sequencing and mathematical modelling gave important insights into the ‘parentage’ of cases and likely spread of the disease in New South Wales.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:35 PM EDT
Our itch to share helps spread COVID-19 misinformation
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

To stay current about the Covid-19 pandemic, people need to process health information when they read the news. Inevitably, that means people will be exposed to health misinformation, too, in the form of false content, often found online, about the illness.

Newswise: Pandemic Inspires Framework for Enhanced Care in Nursing Homes
Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:25 PM EDT
Pandemic Inspires Framework for Enhanced Care in Nursing Homes
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

As of May 2020, nursing home residents account for a staggering one-third of the more than 80,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in the U.S. This pandemic has resulted in unprecedented threats—like reduced access to resources needed to contain and eliminate the spread of the virus—to achieving and sustaining care quality even in the best nursing homes. Active engagement of nursing home leaders in developing solutions responsive to the unprecedented threats to quality standards of care delivery is required.

Newswise: General Electric Healthcare Chooses UH to Clinically 
Evaluate First-of-its-kind Imaging System
Released: 10-Jul-2020 12:15 PM EDT
General Electric Healthcare Chooses UH to Clinically Evaluate First-of-its-kind Imaging System
University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center

University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center physicians completed evaluation for the GE Healthcare Critical Care Suite, and the technology is now in daily clinical practice – flagging between seven to 15 collapsed lungs per day within the hospital. No one on the team could have predicted the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this technology and future research with GEHC may enhance the capability to improve care for COVID-19 patients in the ICU. Critical Care Suite is now assisting in COVID and non-COVID patient care as the AMX 240 travels to intensive care units within the hospital.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 11:50 AM EDT
COVID-19 Can Be Transmitted in the Womb, Reports Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

A baby girl in Texas – born prematurely to a mother with COVID-19 – is the strongest evidence to date that intrauterine (in the womb) transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) can occur, reports The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, the official journal of The European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 9:45 AM EDT
How COVID-19 Shifted Inpatient Imaging Utilization
Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute

As medical resources shifted away from elective and non-urgent procedures toward emergent and critical care of COVID-19 patients, departments were forced to reconfigure their personnel and resources. In particular, many Radiology practices rescheduled non-urgent and routine imaging according to recommendations from the American College of Radiology (ACR). This new Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute study, published online in the Journal of American College of Radiology (JACR), evaluates the change in the inpatient imaging volumes and composition mix during the COVID-19 pandemic within a large healthcare system.

Released: 10-Jul-2020 9:00 AM EDT
Team is first in Texas to investigate convalescent plasma for prevention of COVID-19 onset and progression
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

A research team is the first in Texas to investigate whether plasma from COVID-19 survivors can be used in outpatient settings to prevent the onset and progression of the virus in two new clinical trials at UTHealth.

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