WVU Community Medicine student awarded for outstanding research

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia University Community Medicine student John Blosnich received the Walter J. Lear, M.D., Outstanding Student Research Award at the 136th annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA). His research project is titled, “Violence by any other name: using population-based data to explore intimate partner violence in same sex and opposite sex couples.”

Blosnich looked at data from surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify differences between victims of intimate partner violence in same-sex versus opposite-sex relationships and between urban and rural areas.

His findings included that gay male and lesbian victims reported more sexual and verbal violence than heterosexual male victims of female perpetrators. He also found that same-sex victims in urban areas were three times more likely to report poor perceived health status than heterosexual female victims.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus of Public Health Workers established the Walter J. Lear, M.D., Outstanding Student Award in 2003 in honor of its founder, Dr. Walter J. Lear. Lear has been active in the APHA for more than 40 years and a health activist for more than 50 years. The award recognizes exceptional work by students on LGBT-related issues. It consists of a stipend and free caucus membership.
The APHA, which was founded in 1872, is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. Its annual meeting brings together more than 13,000 physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, other health specialists and students to address health science, policy and practice issues. This year’s conference, Public Health Without Borders, was held Oct. 25-29 in San Diego, Calif.

Two other WVU public health students, Clifton Strange and Ekta Choudhary, also participated in the conference. They presented a research project titled, “Perceived racial misclassification: Implications for health.”

For information on the Department of Community Medicine see www.hsc.wvu.edu/som/cmed.
For information on the American Public Health Association see www.apha.org.


For more information:
Amy Johns, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
rk/asj: 11-12-08

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