June 7, 2024

2023 KPWHRI mentorship awards go to Claire Allen and Karen Wernli

Awardees Claire Allen (left) and Karen Wernli.

Kudos emphasized dedication to helping coworkers grow, providing opportunities

In May, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) announced its 2023 mentorship awards, a tradition since 2009. Nominations come from institute employees, and all are eligible for the awards. In announcing the winners at an all-institute meeting, KPWHRI Senior Investigator Jessica Chubak, PhD, noted that the honor is for mentoring that goes above and beyond simply being a good supervisor. Awardees must have a clear and beneficial impact on mentees, both personally and professionally.

This year, the honor for Outstanding Mentor of Scientists went to Claire Allen, MPH. She has been at the institute since 2018, progressing from a position as a senior implementation and evaluation associate to managing the KPWHRI Collaborative Science Division. Allen co-leads the institute's Center for Accelerating Care Transformation (ACT Center), which aims to rapidly implement research evidence into health care practice in Kaiser Permanente Washington and other clinical systems and settings. She also serves as the associate director for the newly established Washington Learning Health System Embedded Scientist Training and Research (LHS E-STAR) Center.

Nominating comments mentioned Allen's dedication to helping coworkers grow. They praised her practical advice, thoughtful and specific feedback, and wisdom and encouragement, particularly about being a working parent.

The Outstanding Mentor of Staff Award went to Karen Wernli, PhD, a KPWHRI senior investigator. Wernli has been at the institute since 2009, starting as a research associate. She is also a professor in the Department of Health System Science with the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine, and an affiliate professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Department of Health Systems and Population Health at the University of Washington. Wernli's work spans epidemiology and health services research ranging from breast and lung cancer to COVID-19 and influenza. A goal of all her studies is making health care effective, evidence-based, and patient-centered.

Nominating comments for Wernli highlighted that she helps people accomplish goals beyond their job description. She provides concrete opportunities to mentees and gives them as much time as they need. Additional kudos noted her caring approach, ability to remember details about coworkers, and priority in making time for team members and others.

Also nominated for Outstanding Mentor of Scientists were Jessica Chubak, Andrea Cook, and Dori Rosenberg. Also nominated for Outstanding Mentor of Staff were Claire Allen, Al Derus, Bianca DiJulio, Janae Hammonds, and DeVona Lang.

KPWHRI is grateful for the work of the Mentorship Award Selection Committee: Joe Glass, Elena Noon Kuo, Stephen Perry, Anne Renz, and Lily Shapiro.

By Chris Tachibana



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Mentoring at KPWHRI


2021 mentorship awards go to Elena ‘Noon’ Kuo and Dori Rosenberg

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