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Issue 1 - Spring 2017

Welcome to the inaugural issue of the CUNY ISPH News, a quarterly newsletter designed to help keep you up-to-date on activities, projects and research happening around the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health.

Message from the Executive Director

Dear Colleagues,
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the ISPH News, a new quarterly newsletter for the CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH).  The goal of ISPH News is to provide up-to-date, relevant news about the ISPH, as well as to provide information and updates about the ISPH's investigators, staff, trainees, projects, research, new publications, and upcoming events occurring here each quarter.

In May of 2016, the ISPH at CUNY was established via a unanimous vote of the CUNY Board of Trustees. The ISPH is a CUNY-wide Institute, and is housed within the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (GSPHHP). The ISPH launch process has been a time of exciting developments. For example, faculty from three other CUNY campuses (City College of New York, Queens College, and Hunter College) have joined the ISPH, and the ISPH just occupied our new space in the School of Public Health at 55 W. 125th Street, in the heart of Harlem.

A primary goal in the Institute will be to utilize our digital communication channels to efficiently disseminate news and information to our colleagues and friends inside and outside the University in a timely manner. This newsletter and our newly launched website, which includes details on the ISPH's mission, investigators and staff, projects, and upcoming events, will assist us as we attempt to more broadly disseminate our scientific work, achievements and observations to ISPH collaborators, stakeholders, and others who may be interested in activities at the intersection of implementation science and population health.

Lastly, we are very excited to involve our broader community as an organic part of this new newsletter. We welcome your input and will enthusiastically accept contributions and ideas for upcoming issues. If you have ideas for future articles, research we should highlight or other subjects you feel are relevant to the mission of the ISPH, please contact Jill Hill at

The ISPH was founded on the notion that substantial improvements in population health can be efficiently achieved through better implementation of existing strategies, policies, and interventions within and outside the health sector. With the establishment of the ISPH, CUNY is uniquely poised to lead multidisciplinary and multi-sector research collaborations in pursuit of improved population health outcomes through better implementation.

I hope you enjoy the newsletter and our new website, and I look forward to updating you on the evolution of our new research Institute, and our work going forward.
Denis Nash
Executive Director
Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
ISPH. Pursuing population health gains through better implementation.

What's New at the ISPH

A New Home for the ISPH
At the end of 2016, we moved into our new location within the School of Public Health on 125st Street in Harlem. The CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH) brings together multidisciplinary teams of researchers to conduct impactful, cutting edge research on population health and related outcomes, including programmatic and service delivery implementation, and clinical interventions.  We provide research and training opportunities for faculty, students, post-doctoral fellows, interns, and visiting scholars. 

The ISPH Hosts Grant Writing Workshops

In Fall of 2016, ISPH Investigators participated in a two-day workshop with Robyn Gershon, a Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at UCSF, and experienced grant writing mentor.  The workshop covered topics such as grantsmanship, organizational management, and scientific writing strategies, but all participants received one on one mentorship from Dr. Gershon in order to advance their own research proposals.  Dr. Gershon continues to work with ISPH investigators on their proposals, and we hope to host another workshop next summer. 

ISPH Research Highlights

Study Examines HIV Treatment Initiation in Six Ethiopian HIV Clinics 2012 – 2013
Most HIV positive persons in sub-Saharan Africa do not begin antiretroviral therapy (ART) until the infection is at an advanced stage (late ART initiation).  Understanding and intervening on the drivers of late ART initiation is a vital step towards achieving the full potential of HIV treatment, according to a paper published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society and lead authored by Dr. Denis Nash, Executive Director, CUNY Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH) Professor of Epidemiology, CUNY School of Public Health.


New ISPH Study Reveals Importance of Care Coordination in Improving HIV Health Outcomes
A new study published by investigators from the CUNY School of Public Health’s Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health (ISPH) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene highlighted HIV outcome improvements experienced by Care Coordination clients entering the program with psychosocial barriers such as unstable housing, lower mental health functioning, and hard drug use. 

Read More>>

Computer-based Bilingual Education Program Teaches Rural Hispanic Women About the Benefits of Breastfeeding
A recent study published in the International Journal of Medical Informatics, by Ashish Joshi, Chioma Amadi, Jane Meza, Trina Aguire and Sue Wilhelm, concluded that Hispanic women living in rural settings showed improvement in breastfeeding knowledge, self-efficacy and intent to breastfeed using a computer based bi-lingual education program implemented in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The study placed randomly grouped study participants into intervention and control groups, with the intervention group receiving bilingual (English and Spanish) breastfeeding education on a touchscreen computer kiosk program while the control group received printed educational material. Study participants were enrolled during their last 6 weeks of pregnancy with follow-up assessments conducted postpartum at days 3 and 7, weeks 2 and 6 and months 3 and 6.


Implementation Science News

The following articles highlight recent implementation science research our investigators thought readers might find relevant.
Lancet Report: Achieving Goal of Ending AIDS by 2030 Will Be Challenging
Despite notable progress made in the past fifteen years towards ending the global HIV epidemic, there is little chance of achieving the UNAIDS goal of “ending AIDS by 2030,” according to research published in The Lancet in July of 2016, in which the ISPH was involved. [Estimates of global, regional, and national incidence, prevalence, and mortality of HIV, 1980 – 2015: The Global Burden of Disease Study 2015].

The ambitious goal of achieving 90-90-90 targets (90 percent of global HIV population diagnosed, 90 percent of those diagnosed on ART therapy and 90 percent of that group virally suppressed), has been a serious challenge with no country yet reaching this target.

Researchers in this study discovered that globally HIV cases peaked in 1997 and declined until 2005 but since 2005 there have been only slight annual declines in the rate of new infections.  The report states the area of Sub-Saharan Africa have been particularly hard hit by the HIV epidemic with 1.8 million new infections (75% of incident infections globally) in 2015 alone. The ability to access ART (antiretroviral therapy) also continues to contribute to the problem with only 41% of those infected receiving therapy.


For more information on progress towards achieving the End of the AIDS Epidemic in New York state, please visit our Ending the Epidemic dashboard at

Also for additional information please visit:
Maternal Mortality and the Importance of Data to Inform Implementation Strategies
Recent studies on maternal health highlight the critical importance of data to inform strategies to address maternal mortality.  In the U.S., accurate estimates of maternal mortality have been difficult to derive because key questions related to recent pregnancy status have not been included on death certificates across all states.  A recent analysis of vital statistics data that corrected for state-level changes in death reporting has shown that maternal mortality increased in 49 out of 50 between 2000 and 2014; maternal mortality increased by 27% in 48 states and the city of Washington DC, and it more than doubled in the state of Texas after 2010.  A second analysis of state-level maternal mortality also found increasing rates of maternal mortality since 2007, especially among non-Hispanic Black women.  Findings that suggest that racial disparities in health care availability, access and utilization are important drivers of maternal mortality in the U.S. and that aggregated state-level data often mask elevated risks facing certain population groups.  Researchers involved in both studies emphasize the need to improve the collection and reporting of state- and national-level maternal mortality data in order to identify at risk populations and to measure progress in reversing these trends in the US—trends that are strikingly different from global trends in improving maternal survival.


ISPH Faculty and Staff Profiles

Daliah Heller - Clinical Professor of Experiential Learning for GSPHHP

Daliah Heller is Clinical Professor and Director of Experiential Learning for GSPHHP, where she manages graduate and doctoral student fieldwork training, and partnerships for student training with local, national, and global organizations. Over the past two decades, she has served in leadership positions in the non-profit sector and in government, including as Assistant Commissioner for the Alcohol and Drug Use Bureau at the New York City Health Department. She is interested in public health approaches to social policy issues, including drug use, healthcare, incarceration, and criminalization. Her current work includes an examination of the health and social factors associated with frequent incarceration in US jails, an analysis of the type and severity of charges resulting in jail incarceration for people with substance use disorders in NYC, and an investigation of the impact of elements of recent US healthcare reform on incarceration.


Emmanuelle Menos – Administrative Coordinator

Currently serving as an Administrative Coordinator for the CUNY ISPH, Emmanuelle has a background in business administration. She has had extensive experience in event planning, project management, and budget preparation.  Her background also includes organizing meeting and events in collaboration with GHESKIO Centers and the Weil Cornell Medical College’s Center for Global Health where she managed both logistics and presentation content for the 2016 TBRU (Tuberculosis Research Unit) meeting held in Haiti for over 30 members. She has worked in both Haiti, and the US. Emmanuelle is fluent in English, French, and Creole.


For more information on our investigators and staff,
please visit our website:

ISPH Awards and Grants

CUNY ISPH, and the Einstein-Montefiore Research Team Receives $9.4 Million To Continue Long-Term Study of HIV/AIDS Care in Central Africa
The CUNY ISPH, in collaboration with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Montefiore, have received a $9.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead research in Central Africa to improve clinical care and health outcomes for patients with HIV. The ongoing, five-country observational study, called Central Africa International Epidemiologic Databases to Evaluate AIDS (CA-IeDEA), involves more than 50,000 HIV-positive children and adults taking anti-retroviral therapy (ART).

CA-IeDEA partners with the governments of five nations—Burundi, CameroonRwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo—and will extend the collaboration to the Republic of Congo. Researchers and health workers based in each country regularly collect de-identified data from electronic medical records, which are integrated into an external database for analysis. Over the next five years, the team will increase the number of clinical sites involved in the study from 15 to 20 as CA-IeDEA expands into more rural areas.  



Project Improve - Understanding Implementation of PrEP Navigation in STD Clinics 

Project IMPrOVE, a collaboration between NYC DOHMH, the Hunter HIV/AIDS Research Team (HART) and the CUNY ISPH, is designed to identify best practices and barriers to implementation for integrating PrEP navigation services into the standard of care at clinics that provide treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs).  

The objective of Project IMPrOVE led by Dr. Sarit Golub is not only to improve NYC’s PrEP navigation program, but also identify elements of a successful program model that could be adopted by STD clinics across the country. Specifically, the project is designed to explore the following questions:  

  1. Are there aspects of the PrEP navigation program that need to be changed to better serve patients or better integrate the program into the existing workload of the clinic? 

  1. Are there specific types of clients who are more or less likely to be helped by the PrEP navigation program, and what program modifications/alternatives would better reach them? 

  1. What happens to clients once they are connected to clinical referral sites? What enables certain sites to engage and retain clients, and what additional support is needed to improve the referral process?  

Over the next two years, the research team at project IMPrOVE will be working with STD clinics to answer these questions and provide concrete suggestions for improving the program. 

Read More >> 


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55 W. 125th St. - 6th Floor
New York, NY  10027

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