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From Home Visiting to the Classroom and Back

Risk and Resilience in the Lives of First-Time, Young Parents, an innovative, 3 credit course that was developed and taught at the UMass Springfield Center in the fall of 2017, brought together UMass undergraduates with Healthy Families home visitors from across the state to apply a research-based framework to bear on topics critical to working with young parents. Dr. Maureen-Perry Jenkins, Director of CRF and Professor of Psychology, and Gisele Litalien, Associate Director of CRF, collaborated with Meg Manning and Lee MacKinnon, family training specialists at the Children’s Trust, a statewide agency whose goal is to prevent child abuse. 

Miliann Kang (FRS ’09-’10) Reflects on Progress Toward Full Accessibility for People with Disabilities in Korea

Miliann Kang (FRS ’09-’10), Associate Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies recently published an opinion piece in The Korea Tomes, “Paralympic reflections, 1988-2018.” Kang is currently a Fulbright senior scholar at Ewha Womans University researching family issues in South Korea, including families raising children with disabilities. Kang attended the Summer Paralympics in Seoul in 1988 and compares her experience with the Paralympics held in March 2018, “Much has changed in three decades, but much more has yet to change… In addition to greater sensitivity, various policy changes are needed. The South Korean government should change its system of classifying people solely based on a medical examination without considering environmental factors. Disability activists have been protesting this system for years as restrictive and demeaning.” Read the article here.

Pilsner’s Research Highlighted in Environmental Health Perspectives

Rick Pilsner headshot

J. Richard Pilsner, 2015-16 CRF Family Research Scholar and assistant professor of environmental health sciences, is among the researchers featured in an article on the burgeoning field of sperm epigenetics appearing in the February 2018 issue of Environmental Health Perspectives. The focus article explores current research trends on paternal environmental exposures and how they might affect the health of his unborn children.

Laura Vandenberg (FRS '15-'16) Publishes Findings Linking Fracking Chemicals to Pre-Cancerous Lesions in Mice

A new study has observed detrimental changes in the mammary glands of female mice following exposure to chemicals used in unconventional oil and natural gas (UOG) extraction methods, which include fracking. The study was published in the journal Endocrinology and was led by Laura Vandenberg, an environmental health researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health Sciences. Read more here.

Video: Harvard Medical School Professor, David Grabowski, PhD Presents on Using Market-based Approaches to Encourage High Quality Nursing Home Care

Tay Gavin Lecture Series - The Center for Research on Families welcomed David Grabowski, PhD on February 8, 2018 who presented, "Opportunities and Challenges: Using Market-based Approaches to Encourage High Quality Nursing Home Care."

In his talk, Dr. Grabowski discussed how the quality of nursing home care in the US has been a longstanding policy concern. In response, the use of market-based approaches, like pay-for-performance and quality report cards, has grown in recent years. To date, these programs have been somewhat mixed in terms of improving performance. Dr. Grabowski broadly reviewed the policy issues and discussed several studies focusing on nursing home care and challenges to improving care. Read more about the presentation here.

Laura Vandenberg's (FRS '15-'16) Research Featured in Article Exposing Health Risk Associated with Cash Register Receipts

Taking a receipt from a cashier, ATM or gas station seems like a benign activity however, each time you touch those receipts, you may be exposed to harmful chemicals, since many receipts have a coating of Bisphenol-A (BPA) or Bisphenol S (BPS), chemicals that may be harmful to our health. Laura Vandenberg studies exposure to endocrine disruptors in mice at the University of Massachusetts Amherst School of Public Health & Health Sciences. Her research has shown that low doses of BPS disrupt maternal behaviors, the brain, and the mammary gland in nursing females. Read the article here.

Linda Isbell Awarded $1.7 M Grant to Study the Influence of Emotions on Medical Decision Making

Linda Isbell

Linda Isbell, FRS '15-'16, has received a five-year, $1.71 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to study the influence of emotions on medical decision-making and diagnosis among emergency medicine staff. Diagnostic errors are very common in medicine and often come from failures of “clinical reasoning,” some of which may be related to a medical professional’s emotions, says social psychologist Linda Isbell at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Such errors are especially prevalent when treating vulnerable and stigmatized groups such as people with mental health disorders, who disproportionately use emergency services and may evoke negative emotions.

Michelle Budig (FRS '06-'07) Referenced in WHQR Radio Program About Gender Roles

It's a pervasive cultural attitude, often unconscious, that requires women are to be nice and friendly but also tough and decisive at work. And if a working woman decides to have children, University of Massachusetts sociologist Michelle Budig says, she is making the worst possible move for her career. Listen to the story here.

New Video Highlights Impact of Environmental Health Science Research of Current and Former Faculty Research Scholars

Current and former Faculty Research Scholars Laura Vandenberg '15-'16, Richard Pilsner '15-'16, and Krystal Pollit '17-'18 speak to the critical need for ongoing research into environment health science in new video from the UMass School for Public Health and Health Sciences.