School of public health

Fauci to be commencement speaker

The 2021 Yale School of Public Health commencement speaker will be the nation’s prominent leader during the novel coronavirus pandemic and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony SFauciFauci was appointed director of NIAID in 1984 and is the longest-serving NIAID director in history. He oversees an extensive portfolio of basic and applied research to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola, Zika, and COVID-19. The commencement ceremony will be held on May 24, with the decision for an in-person or virtual celebration to be made in the spring.

Study shows COVID’s emotional toll on health care workers

A new YSPH study suggests that the coronavirus pandemic has taken an extreme psychological toll on health care workers across the country—and for many the effects could be long lasting. In the study, recently published in PLOS One, researchers polled workers at 25 medical centers across the United States in an effort to gauge the pandemic’s early impacts on health care workers. Of the 1,132 people who responded to the survey last May, almost a quarter had probable post-traumatic stress disorder, and nearly 43 percent reported probable alcohol-use disorder. Rachel Hennein, an MD/PhD student who led the study, said the findings can help guide responses to future pandemics.

Phone calls boost spirits during lockdown

Isolated, lonely and fearful, many older Americans living in long-term care facilities have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic—especially when in-person visits from loved ones are not allowed. A Yale School of Public Health study suggests regular phone calls could boost spirits and reduce loneliness. The study, published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, surveyed more than 160 Americans who have at least one close relationship with someone in a long-term care facility. The findings were not surprising in some ways, but surprising in others: Phone calls and e-mails were associated with fewer negative emotions and more positive emotions for family members, friends, and residents, said associate professor Joan Monin, the study’s first author.    

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