Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) Senior Biostatistics Investigator Pamela Shaw, PhD, MS, was honored with a MERIT (Method to Extend Research in Time) award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health. The award is given to outstanding investigators based on "superior competence and productivity." Shaw and her collaborator Bryan Shepherd, PhD, Vanderbilt University, received the award for their project “Statistical methods and designs for correlated outcome and covariate errors in studies of HIV/AIDS.” The MERIT award means that, after the initial 5-year grant period, Shaw and Shepherd are eligible for a 5-year funding extension based on progress and proposed studies.
The KPWHRI Center for Community Health and Evaluation (CCHE) was well represented at the annual conference of the American Evaluation Association. Speakers from CCHE included Senior Evaluation and Learning Consultant Elena Noon Kuo, PhD, presenting at several sessions. Kuo spoke about working with program staff on a compelling narrative of the impact of a program and on a text-based navigation project to improve health equity in birth outcomes. Kuo copresented with CCHE Director Maggie Jones, MPH, on telling a tale of tech and health system partnerships. Jones also spoke about evaluating the implementation of a social health referral platform. CCHE Evaluation and Learning Associate Carly Levitz, MPH, and CCHE Manager, Evaluation Division, Emily Bourcier, MPH, MHA, spoke about journey mapping for program evaluation.
Maricela Cruz, PhD, KPWHRI associate biostatistics investigator, presented at the Association for Women in Mathematics Research Symposium at Clark Atlanta University in Georgia in September. Cruz spoke about using difference-in-differences methods, which are common in health care research, in risk-stratified intervention studies. Coauthors on the presentation were KPWHRI Senior Investigator Susan Shortreed, PhD, and Associate Biostatistics Investigator Yates Coley, PhD.
KPWHRI Associate Biostatistics Investigator Yates Coley, PhD, spoke at a virtual symposium on algorithmic equity that Kaiser Permanente held for its leaders, researchers, and invited attendees and speakers. Coley, an expert on equitable prediction models, spoke on addressing bias in suicide risk models.
In September, KPWHRI Collaborative Scientist Tessa Matson, PhD, MPH, spoke at the INEBRIA (International Network on Brief Interventions for Alcohol and Other Drugs) conference in Greensboro, North Carolina. Matson presented research on cannabis use disorder symptom severity and diagnosis and treatment that is clinically documented in primary care. KPWHRI coauthors on the presentation were Assistant Investigator Gwen Lapham, PhD, MPH, MSW, Senior Investigator Kathy Bradley, MD, MPH, Data Reporting and Analytics Consultant Malia Oliver, and Affiliate Investigator Emily Williams, PhD, MPH.
KPWHRI Senior Investigator Karen Wernli, PhD, was invited to give the Robert C. Millikan Seminar for the Department of Epidemiology at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Her topic was patient engagement in cancer research. In October, Wernli was a panel member on a National Lung Cancer Roundtable workshop on EHR-IT (electronic health records and information technology).
KPWHRI Senior Investigator Lisa Jackson, MD, MPH, moderated several talks at a meeting of the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC) in Boston in October. The talks were on new approaches to pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination, promoting use of vaccines, and next-generation COVID-19 vaccines. IDCRC works with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the national Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units, one of which is at KPWHRI.
In September, KPWHRI Executive Director Rita Mangione-Smith, MD, MPH, gave the Tom Nolan Lecture on Improvement Science for Pediatric Grand Rounds at Cincinnati Children's. Mangione-Smith spoke about optimizing doctor-parent communications during a visit for a child's respiratory illness. This work is part of her research on the Dialogue Around Respiratory Illness (DART) quality improvement program.
Susan Shortreed, PhD, KPWHRI senior investigator, spoke at a Florida State University webinar about the Mental Health Research Network. The practice-based research network is funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health and is composed of 14 research centers, all embedded in health systems. Shortreed's talk described the network and its opportunities for statistical engagement.
In October, KPWHRI Senior Investigator Bev Green, MD, MPH, was invited to present at a webinar from the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation. The nonprofit organization has a membership that includes health care organizations, biotech firms, and companies producing pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and health technology. Green spoke about disparities in colorectal cancer screening among racially and ethnically diverse populations, part of her extensive research on effective, equitable, and accessible screening.
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