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Georgia Southern students, health officials collaborate for inaugural drive-thru flu clinics

Brian Buck, a doctor of public health student, and Jessica Schwind, Ph.D., epidemiology professor in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, welcome a drive-thru flu clinic participant.

Georgia Southern University master of public health and doctor of public health students recently partnered with the South Central Health District, the public health authority for 10 counties in middle Georgia, to make getting flu shots a little easier.

“Roll In, Roll Down, Roll Out,” was the slogan for the two inaugural drive-thru flu shot clinics that enabled community members in Wheeler and Treutlen Counties to receive flu shots without leaving their cars.

“Drive-thru clinics are important to the community for many different reasons,” noted Jessica Schwind, Ph.D., epidemiology professor in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH). “These clinics encourage community members to get vaccinated against influenza, which is still a major cause of sickness and death in the winter across the U.S. Additionally, it serves as an emergency preparedness exercise for community members in case the health district needs to rapidly dispense immunizations or medications. Should a public health emergency arise, an informed community is an empowered community.”

Students in a social epidemiology course earned credit hours for participation and created a proposal for the successful development, implementation and evaluation of drive-thru flu clinics. They also learned valuable lessons in public health initiatives, as South Central Health District’s Jodi Bazemore spoke to students about preparing communities for emergency pandemics.

“Participating in the Wheeler County drive-thru clinic opened my eyes to the importance of such clinics in rural counties,” stated doctoral student Brian Buck, who hopes to continue research on these clinics in the future. “It not only helps in developing these important relationships between the community and healthcare providers, but it also provides much-needed access to influenza vaccinations in underserved rural counties.”

The mission of JPHCOPH is to improve health, eliminate health disparities and health inequities of rural communities and underserved populations globally through excellence in teaching, public health workforce development, research, scholarship, professional service and community engagement.

Georgia Southern University, a public Carnegie Doctoral/Research institution founded in 1906, offers 141 degree programs serving more than 27,000 students through nine colleges on three campuses in Statesboro, Savannah, Hinesville and online instruction. A leader in higher education in southeast Georgia, the University provides a diverse student population with expert faculty, world-class scholarship and hands-on learning opportunities. Georgia Southern creates lifelong learners who serve as responsible scholars, leaders and stewards in their communities.

Brian Buck and Dr. Jessica Schwind from JPHCOPH; Megan Parker, Jodi Bazemore and Dr. Thomas Craft, director, South Central Health District.

Georgia Southern finds Fish consumption is associated with a decreased risk of death among adults with diabetes.

There are few studies examining the beneficial effects of fish consumption on cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) among adults with diabetes, who experience a substantially high risk of CVDs.


Researchers from Georgia Southern University analyzed the data of 1136 adults with diabetes mellitus aged 18 years and older who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted between 1988 and 994, and were followed up through December 31, 2010. Cox regression was used to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for the relative risk across the levels of fish consumption.


A total of 698 deaths were recorded at the end of 11,465 person-years follow-up with a mortality rate of 60.88 per 1000 person-years. CVDs were listed as a contributing cause for 326 d­eaths, thus accounting for 46.4% of total deaths. Stroke-specific mortality rate among patients who ate fish less than once a week was more than twice as high as that among patients who ate fish more than twice a week, 6.23 vs. 2.36 per 1000 person-years, respectively. The corresponding CVD-specific rate was 34.38 vs. 22.99 per 1000 person-years, respectively. The adjusted HRs of death due to stroke were 1.00 (reference), 0.55 (95% confidence interval Z 0.28e1.07), and 0.30 (0.11e0.80) among patients who ate fish <1, 1 – 2, and more than twice  a week, and the corresponding HRs of death due to CVDs were 1.00 (reference), 0.78 (0.60e1.02), and 0.69 (0.50e0.96), respectively.


The researcher concluded that a high consumption of fish may reduce the risk of death,

especially stroke, among adults with diabetes.


Fish consumption is associated with a decreased risk of death among adults with diabetes: 18-year follow-up of a national cohort” was recently published in The Journal of Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Disease.


The paper was authored by a group of doctoral students from Georgia Southern University, including Mr. Abraham Deng, Mr. Anunay Bhattacharya, Ms. Swaha Pattanaik, MPH, and Mr. Chongjian Liu. Dr. Jingjing Yin, Assistant professor, Georgia Southern University Jiann-Ping Hsu Collage of Public Health (JPHCOPH), Dr. Levi Ross, associate professor, the University of Alabama, Health Science, and Dr. Jian Zhang, professor of epidemiology, Georgia Southern University, JPHCOPH served as the faculty advisors.

Georgia Southern evaluates N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators on Construction Jobsites for Protection against Airborne Ultrafine Particles

Ulltrafine particles include particles smaller than 0.1 μm sizes, which can penetrate deep into our lungs. Exposure to high concentrations of airborne ultrafine particles in construction jobsites including silica nanoparticles may play an important role in the adverse health effects among construction workers, therefore adequate respiratory protection is required. The performance of NIOSH-approved N95 masks has never been evaluated in field conditions against ultrafine particles on construction jobsites. A recent Georgia Southern field study, led by Dr. Atin Adhikari, has evaluated performance of N95 masks against ultrafine particles of different size ranges during three common construction related jobs using a manikin-based set-up at 85 L/min air flow rate. The researchers used two NanoScan SMPS (Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer Spectrometer) nanoparticle counters for measuring ultrafine particles in two sampling lines of the test filtering facepiece respirator — one from inside the respirator and one from outside the respirator. Particle size distributions were characterized using the NanoScan data collected from outside of the respirator. Two models of N95 respirators were tested — foldable and pleated. Collected data indicate that penetration of all categories of ultrafine particles can exceed 5% and smaller ultrafine particles of <36.5 nm size generally penetrated least. Foldable N95 filtering facepiece respirators were found to be less efficient than pleated N95 respirators in filtering nanoparticles mostly at the soil moving site and the wooden building frameworks construction site. Upon charge neutralization by isopropanol treatment, the ultrafine particles of larger sizes penetrated more compared to particles of smaller sizes. The findings from the field experiments, therefore, indicate that N95 filtering facepiece respirators may not provide desirable 95% protection for most categories of ultrafine particles and generally, 95% protection is achievable for smaller particles of 11.5 to 20.5 nm sizes. The study also provides evidence showing that foldable N95 respirators are less efficient than pleated N95 respirators in filtering ultrafine particles, mostly in the soil moving site and the wooden building framework construction site. This work has been financially supported by the CPWR (The Center for Construction Research and Training) through NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) cooperative agreement OH009762 (PI: Dr. Adhikari).


Field Evaluation of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators on Construction Jobsites for Protection against Airborne Ultrafine Particles” was recently published in The Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.


Authors are Dr. Atin Adhikari, Jiann-Ping Hsu Collage of Public Health (JPHCOPH), Georgia Southern University (GSU),Dr. Aniruddha Mitra, Department of Mechanical Engineering, GSU, Dr. Abbas Rashidi, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Utah, and GSU graduate and undergraduate students Ms. Imaobong Ekpo, JPHCOPH, Jacob Schwartz, Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Mr. Jefferson Doehling, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

New administrator appointments in Georgia Southern’s Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health

Dr. Gulzar Shah

Dr. Jospeh Telfair

Georgia Southern University’s Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) is pleased to announce that Joseph Telfair, DrPH, has been appointed associate dean for Practice and Research and Gulzar Shah, Ph.D., MStat, MS, has been appointed chair of the Department of Health Policy and Community Health.


“I am very excited about these appointments,” said JPHCOPH Dean Greg Evans. “They should help us better serve our students and move to the next level of recognition in both the University system and among other schools of public health.”

As the Karl E. Peace Distinguished Chair of Public Health, Telfair brings more than 32 years of international experience as a clinician, community advocate, academic, researcher and academic administrator. He is widely known for his focus on practice-based, evidence-driven public health in the areas of social work, social epidemiology, cultural and linguistic competency, public health genetics, elimination of health inequities, disparities and systemic poverty, community-based and rural public health practice, program evaluation, and policy issues concerning women, adolescents and persons in underserved areas.


He has been a public health faculty member and leader in three schools of public health for nearly 26 years. In addition, he has been a principal investigator, co-principal investigator, co-director or director of a number of Health Resources and Services Administration, National Institutes of Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, foundation and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded training, evaluation or research programs, and applied research and coordinating centers.


As the 2017-18 president of the American Public Health Association, Telfair takes a leader-as-servant approach, believing leadership is a unique and privileged opportunity to serve. He holds a master of social work and master of public health from the University of California at Berkeley and a DrPH from Johns Hopkins University.


Shah is a prolific researcher who won Georgia Southern’s 2016 Award for Excellence in Research. He has interdisciplinary training and his multi-sector work experience spans over 19 years, with national and international appointments in academia and public health practice agencies. Prior to joining JPHCOPH, he was the lead research scientist at the National Association of County and City Health Departments and the director of research at the National Association of Health Data Organization. He also served at the Utah State Department of Health for six years, contributing significantly to patient safety and informatics projects, and maternal and child health and systems research. Shah’s research interests include data improvement; practice-based public health services and systems research; eHealth and public health informatics; and public health finances. He earned a Ph.D. in sociology with emphasis on demography and sociology of health from Utah State University.


The JPHCOPH recently launched two new degree programs — bachelor of science in public health and master of public health — on the Armstrong Campus. These programs join the BSPH, MPH and DrPH programs on the Statesboro campus, continuing to build a premier program as an accredited public health college at Georgia Southern. The mission of the JPHCOPH is to improve health, eliminate health disparities and health inequities of rural communities and underserved populations globally through excellence in teaching, public health workforce development, research, scholarship, professional service and community engagement.


Georgia Southern looked at a more efficient sampling method of recruiting subjects for survival analysis.

Survival data are time-to-event data, such as time to death, time to appearance of a tumor, or time to recurrence of a disease. Accelerated failure time (AFT) models provide a linear relationship between the log of the failure time and covariates that affect the expected time to failure by contracting or expanding the time scale. The AFT model has intensive application in the field of social, medical, behavioral, and public health sciences. In this article we propose a more efficient sampling method of recruiting subjects for survival analysis. We propose using a Moving Extreme Ranked Set Sampling (MERSS) or an Extreme Ranked Set Sampling (ERSS) scheme with ranking based on an easy-to-evaluate baseline auxiliary variable known to be associated with survival time. This article demonstrates that these approaches provide a more powerful testing procedure, as well as a more efficient estimate of hazard ratio, than that based on simple random sampling (SRS). Theoretical derivation and simulation studies are provided. The Iowa 65+ Rural Health Study data are used to illustrate the methods developed in this article.

Reducing sample size needed for accelerated failure time model using more efficient sampling methods” was recently published in The Journal of Primary Prevention.

Jiann-Ping Hsu Collage of Public Health, Georgia Southern University professors,Dr. Hani M. Samawi, Haresh Rochani, Dr. Jingling Yin and Dr. Lili Yu co-authored this paper with Dr. Amal Helu, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Jordan, Amman, Jordan.