Congratulations to Monique Brown, MPH, PhD on her December 2014 graduation from the VCU PhD in Epidemiology Program! Dr. Brown has accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the University of South Florida. 

Datapalooza was a success! Dr. Elizabeth Prom-Wormley has directed a community-engaged survey within the Health and Wellness Initiative (HWI) to assess the needs of residents in the East End of Richmond and organized Datapalooza to explore the results of this survey. HWI staff and partners, community leaders, local organizations, student researchers, and East End residents all came together on November 15th to participate in Datapalooza. GREMAP members Natalie Bareis and Katherine Crawford also helped out with this event. 


Residents began the day creating a "Wall of Wellness," where everyone was encouraged to create a sign describing what a culture of wellness in the East End means to them.


After reviewing the preliminary results of the survey, everyone collaborated to reach a common goal for the evening, which was to work towards creating a culture of "collected wellness" for Richmond's East End. 


Residents then broke into teams to review the data sets with the help of data analysts. 


The group identified "next steps" to use the knowledge gained from Datapalooza: 1) Develop a comprehensive resource and services guide for East End residents, 2) Create a summary doument and strategy by which to develop legislative advocacy for mental health issues in the East End, and 3) Host a celebratory Datapalooza results-related event for the residents. Click here for more information on the 7th District Health and Wellness Survey. 


In early October Dr. Mezuk visited Tilberg University in Tilberg, Netherlands where she gave a talk entitled "Integrating social psychology and biology to examine the sources of social disparities in diabetes risk" at the Center of Research on Psychology in Somatic diseases (CoRPS). While there she met with Dr. Frans Pouwer, an international expert on the role of psychosocial factors in diabetes risk. She also traveled to Malmo, Sweden to meet with Drs. Jan and Kristina Sundquist at the Centre for Primary Care Research at Lund University to continue work on their project on the contribution of neighborhood factors to depression and diabetes risk.

Scene of Swedish city in the evening  Dr. Mezuk with group in Sweden 

Dr. Steve Cohen has been featured in an APHA podcast regarding immunizations in the aging population. The podcast is available at




GREMAP doctoral student Natalie Bareis has helped author a paper published in Molecular Psychiatry. The paper, "Depression, anxiety and telomere length in young adults: evidence from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey" is available on the Nature website.



GREMAP group at bowling alley

In the spirit of "The Dude," GREMAP goes bowling to kick off the Fall 2014 semester!

lohman grad

Congratulations to Matthew Lohman, MHS, PhD on his graduation from the VCU PhD in Epidemiology Program! Dr. Lohman has accepted a postdoctoral fellowship with the Weill Cornell Medical College, Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Julia Foutz, Lauren Kelley, and Kristen Rice graduated with their Masters of Public Health from VCU's Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, Division of Epidemiology. Julia and Lauren have accepted positions within the Division of Epidemiology. Kristen has accepted a position as Research Consultant with The Lewin Group's Center on Aging and Disability. Congratulations graduates!

Elderly suicide prevention: Focus on housing transition

By Bruce Jancin, Clinical Psychiatry News Digital Network

ORLANDO- Transition to an assisted-living facility or nursing home is a period of high risk for suicide among the elderly- as well as an opportunity for preventive intervention. That was the key message of a study, which earned its presenter, Briana Mezuk, Ph.D., the Best Early Investigator Award for the top research study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry.

Click here to read the full article.