Research in Brief: Alumna, Professor Are Co-Authors of Article on Antiviral Access

FEBRUARY 26, 2014 - A recent article co-authored by a Georgetown alumna and a well-known population health researcher is the culmination of a senior internship that began in a policy course offered through the Department of Health Systems Administration.

Rachael Piltch-Loeb (NHS’12), who majored in health care management & policy at the School of Nursing & Health Studies, and Michael Stoto, PhD, professor of health systems administration, are co-authors of, “Facilitating Access to Antiviral Medications and Information During an Influenza Pandemic: Engaging with the Public on Possible New Strategies,” which appeared in Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science.

Barbara A. Fain, JD, MPP, executive director of the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction, is lead author.

Engaging with the Public

As part of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) forum on medical and public health preparedness for catastrophic events, which conducted a workshop series on antiviral community engagement, the study explored the public’s attitudes about strategies for accessing flu medications in the event of the next pandemic.

Focusing on three communities around the United States – Fort Benton, Mont.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Los Angeles, the study found slight differences between locations.

However, there was fairly universal support for strategies including nurse triage lines, facilitation to medicine through pharmacists, and other emergency communication channels.

Student-Faculty Collaboration

As a student, Piltch-Loeb was involved in this project, working on questionnaire development and qualitative results as an intern for Fain while she took the senior-level policy course taught by Stoto and Robert Friedland, PhD, associate professor of health systems administration.

Piltch-Loeb, who is now working on Stoto’s research team, and Stoto later conducted the statistical analysis and methodological writing for the article.

Summary provided by Rachael Piltch-Loeb (NHS’12)