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February 18, 2010

People of the Times

Sudhakar Pesara “P.S.” Reddy, a faculty Reddy_Sudhakarmember in the Division of Cardiology at the School of Medicine, will receive the 2010 Peter J. Safar Pulse of Pittsburgh Award from the American Heart Association, Allegheny Division Feb. 20.

The award recognizes leadership in the fight against heart disease and stroke.

In 1981, Reddy established Science Health Allied Research Education (SHARE), a charitable foundation dedicated to promoting scientific exchange between the United States and developing countries, particularly India. Funding through SHARE en-abled Reddy to establish MediCiti Hospitals in Hyderabad, India. The main facility provides tertiary care to residents and another suburban facility provides primary and secondary care through its attached medical college, MediCiti Institute of Medical Sciences.

In the late-1980s, Reddy traveled to Egypt several times to share his expertise with area surgeons. He trained local cardiologists to perform mitral valvuloplasty, a minimally invasive procedure that helps to open a blocked heart valve. Since then, this procedure has benefited thousands of underserved patients in Egypt.

Reddy completed a medical residency and fellowship at Pitt and joined the faculty here in 1971. He also served as director of the cardiac catheterization laboratory at UPMC Presbyterian, 1972-93. His research and clinical interests are in hemodynamics, pericardial diseases and auscultation.

He is the author of the book, “Pericardial Disease,” and has won numerous professional honors.

He has served as president of the Laennec Society of the American Heart Association and has been appointed to fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians in Edinburgh, U.K., the American Heart Association Council on Clinical Cardiology and the American College of Cardiology.

Mark S. Roberts has been named chairRoberts_Mark of the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH).

Roberts has been a Pitt faculty member in medicine, health policy and management, industrial engineering and clinical and translational science, and as well as chief of the section of decision sciences and clinical systems modeling in the School of Medicine’s Division of General Internal Medicine.

His areas of expertise are decision analyses and the mathematical modeling of diseases and their treatments. He uses a variety of methods from cost-effectiveness analysis to simulation modeling to examine costs and policies related to transplantation, vaccination, surgery and the use of medications.

Roberts is the immediate past president of the Society for Medical Decision Making.

He received his medical degree from Tufts and a master’s degree in public policy and health policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Roberts succeeds Judith Lave, who had been department chair since 2002. Lave will continue to serve as director of the Pennsylvania Medicaid Policy Center and pursue research interests as a faculty member in health policy and management at GSPH.

Barbara K. Shore, professor emerita in the School of Social Work, is one of seven finalists for Most Outstanding Volunteer of the Year for the 2009 Jefferson Awards for Public Service.

The program is administered locally by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with sponsorship by Highmark, the Pittsburgh Foundation and the Heinz Endowments.

The finalists were selected from 50 volunteers nominated by citizens from the region for their exemplary contributions. This year, for the first time, all 50 will receive Jefferson Award medals.

The regional winner will be considered for a national Jefferson Award in Washington, D.C., to be announced this summer.

Shore was cited as pioneer in social work who has spent a lifetime helping local nonprofits achieve their goals. As a researcher and member of many boards, she’s been instrumental in advocating for women’s rights, the aging, Jewish culture, crime victims, the gay and lesbian community and those with special needs. The Jewish Healthcare Foundation will give $1,000 to the Human Services Center Corp. on Shore’s behalf.

In 1972, she helped found what would become the Persad Center, serving the local gay and lesbian community. She also helped found what is now the Center for Victims of Violent Crime and the Children’s Lobby of Western Pennsylvania.

At Pitt, Shore served as director of the School of Social Work doctoral program for 20 years. She wrote more than 50 research papers and co-authored two books.

In 2006, the University Senate anti-discriminatory policies committee established an annual award to honor significant contributions in identifying and rectifying discriminatory polices or practices at Pitt.

The Shore-Tobias Award for Action Against Discrimination was named in honor of the contributions of Shore and the late Richard C. Tobias, an English department faculty member.

Toni Carbo, professor emerita and former dean of the School of Information Sciences (SIS), was honored this month by iSchools with the von Dran Award.  iSchools is an international consortium of schools of information sciences that aims to leverage the power of leading institutions in building awareness of, support for and involvement with the information field among key constituencies.

The von Dran Award is presented in memory of Ran von Dran, dean of the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, 1995-2007, who was a key force behind the formation of the iSchools movement. Carbo was recognized as an individual who has demonstrated von Dran’s commitment to excellence and leadership.

Carbo was a professor at SIS and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, 1986-2009. She served as SIS dean, 1986-2002. Carbo also has served as executive director of the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, the government agency responsible for advising the president and U.S. Congress on policy and planning in the information field.

Her work in the information field began in 1962 and includes extensive experience with information service producers and users (both libraries and database producers) and in research in the areas of information policy and information ethics and in the use of information.

Currently Carbo is a faculty member at the College of Information Science and Technology (the iSchool) Center for Graduate Studies, Drexel University.

Janet L. Grady, chair of the Janet GradyDivision of Nursing and Health Sciences at Pitt-Johnstown, has been chosen by the Canadian Society of Telehealth (CST) to receive the CST Award for Innovative Use of Store and Forward Technology in 2009. The award recognizes Grady’s work as principal investigator on the Henry M. Jackson Foundation’s Diabetes Care for Adolescents Project.

The research project, part of a federally funded nursing telehealth program, evaluated an e-health approach to school-based care at 13 high schools throughout rural west-central Pennsylvania. The subjects in the study were adolescents with diabetes, school nurses and designated support personnel who assist students in the absence of the school nurse. The American Diabetes Association estimates that there more than 186,000 individuals under the age of 20 with diabetes in the United States.

A main feature of the program was the use of “store and forward” technology to increase the effectiveness of a web-based learning system. The technology enables data to be collected and stored at a central point (such as a server) between the sender and the receiver, and later forwarded to the receiver.

In the adolescent diabetes study, the high school students uploaded their glucometer readings to a central database, where they were stored and then forwarded to the researcher so that trends could be tracked in blood glucose readings. The readings also could be forwarded to the school nurse, who could review them at a later time with the student.

Grady said, “While this was a pilot study, its continuation in high schools, especially in rural regions, has enormous potential to advance the use of telehealth for the benefit of a population with critical health care needs.”

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