The ITHS Community Engagement program is committed to facilitating community-academic research partnerships in eastern Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) that are true collaborations. We aim to increase community involvement in every stage of research. We promote research that will address priorities and health outcomes in the communities and practices we work with, and support these communities in becoming more engaged and savvy about research.
We work to understand the translational research interests, strengths and needs in the WWAMI region so that we can effectively facilitate multi-directional collaboration and exchange between academic, clinical, community-based organizations, and patients, and help support the development of a vibrant translational research community.
All ITHS programs interact with regional constituents in significant ways, but the Community Engagement Program focuses on:
The ITHS and the Community Engagement Program meet its goals through:
Dr. Baldwin is Co-Director of the ITHS Regional Collaborations Program, is a Professor in the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine, and is a Senior Investigator in the University of Washington’s Rural Health Research Center. She has developed and is the Director of the WWAMI-region Practice and Research Network (WPRN). This practice-based research network has more than 35 primary care clinics in the five-state WWAMI region. A subset of 17 of these clinics participate in a data-sharing infrastructure (Data QUEST) that leverages their electronic health record data. Dr. Baldwin is also a practicing family physician with strong ties to teaching programs in the WWAMI states. Dr. Baldwin’s research focuses on access to and quality of health care in diverse underserved and rural areas.
Dr. Cole is an Assistant Professor in Family Medicine in the Research Section and a practicing family physician. Dr. Cole’s research focuses on primary care practice-based research and systematic approaches to reducing cancer screening disparities. Prior to joining the department she practiced at a Community Health Center in the Seattle area for almost five years and then completed a two-year NRSA Primary Care Research Fellowship.
Ms. Keppel is a Research Scientist in the University of Washington Department of Family Medicine. She possesses more than 10 years of experience as a study coordinator and data analyst. She is the primary contact for the WWAMI region Practice and Research Network (WPRN) Coordinating Center. For the last five years, she has supported the development of the WPRN and its research infrastructure, and continues to work closely with the WPRN and regional partners to engage clinical practices in research. Ms. Keppel is also part of the Data QUEST team and facilitates Data QUEST projects with WPRN member sites.
Dr. Larson is the Executive Director of the Group Health Research Institute and was formerly the Medical Director of the University of Washington Hospital. Dr. Larson understands the challenges of conducting research from both the UW and community perspectives. He has led the Society of General Internal Medicine, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and the American College of Physicians Board of Regents. His research interests range from Alzheimer’s disease to technology assessment and quality improvement.
Ms. Ridpath has more than seven years of experience helping health researchers and other health care professional improve the readability and format of print and web-based materials. She is the lead writer, editor, and trainer for the Program for Readability In Science & Medicine (PRISM), a plain language initiative founded at Group Health Research Institute in 2005. With support from ITHS, Ms. Ridpath developed PRISM Online Training, a free, Web-based plain language tutorial for researchers that launched in October 2010.
Ms. Temposky is a Research Project Manager at the Group Health Research Institute with extensive experience in managing complex, transdisciplinary research projects. She currently works closely with the Hispanic Community Liaison to connect the Hispanic community with researchers. Her experience includes projects in women’s health, energetics, and cancer research. Ms. Temposky’s interests lie in public administration, health policy, and their relevance in addressing health disparities in minority communities.
Squaxin Island Tribe Professor Whitener is Assistant Director of the UW Native American Law Center (NALC), and consults with communities and researchers on data dissemination and publication issues, research regulation, and tribal sovereignty. He teaches the UW’s Tribal Public Defense Clinic, a clinical course representing low-income Natives in criminal cases and teaches various courses in the field of Indian and health law. He provides research regulation expertise to ITHS community outreach core’s Locally Controlled Data QUEST pilot project.
The first two hours of consultation are free with an additional 10 hours if Community Engagement personnel will be included in grant applications. Consultation costs and effort percentages are negotiable and are subject to the availability of personnel and resources.
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