Research is like a long, long bicycle ride!
Well, not quite sure if that analogy holds true, but several members of the research section have been involved in some epic cycling feats recently. Emily Godfrey spent much of her summer training for two iconic Cascade Bicycle Club rides and successfully finished them both!  (1) Seattle to Portland (STP) ride, 206 miles in 2 days and (2) Ride from Seattle to Vancouver and Party (RSVP), 208 miles in 2 days. In celebration of their 50th birthdays Holly Andrilla rode all 50 rides in Bill Thorness’s book “Biking Puget Sound, 50 rides from Olympia to the San Juans”, while Matthew Thompson rode the Marmotte cyclosportive in the French Alps which traced Stage 20 of this year’s Tour de France.

WWAMI RHRC at Several Spring Conferences
Eric Larson, Davis Patterson, and Sue Skillman presented research on rural nurse practitioners, physician assistant programs, and physicians at the National Rural Health Association’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia, the Association of American Medical Colleges Health Workforce Research Conference in Alexandria, VA, the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting in Minneapolis, and on rural training track residency finance at the RTT Collaborative Annual Meeting in Madison, WI.
Holly Andrilla presented a webinar for the Rural Health Research Gateway on “Prevalence of Opioids and the Workforce to Provide Treatment in Rural and Urban Settings.” A follow-up study is planned to understand the extent to which physicians who practice in rural areas with a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) waiver to prescribe buprenorphine as an office-based outpatient treatment for opioid use disorder are providing this treatment to their patients. The WWAMI RHRC will also begin a new study this fall on the supply and distribution of the behavioral health workforce in rural America and continue a multi-year study on rural home health services.
RHRC researchers are in their fifth year of conducting research as part of the HRSA-funded Rural Training Track (RTT) Technical Assistance Program, a consortium of organizations led by the National Rural Health Association to sustain existing family medicine “1-2” RTT residencies and support the development of new ones.
UW CHWS participates in national discussions about health workforce planning, education and training
Dr. Frogner and Ms. Skillman were commissioned by The National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine to write a background paper on the pathways to middle-skilled allied health occupations. Dr. Frogner presented the findings at the Symposium on the Supply Chain for Middle-Skilled Jobs: Education, Training and Certification Pathways in Washington, DC in June 2015.
Ms. Skillman and Dr. Frogner presented issues around health workforce planning during a WWAMI Legislative Staff Tour in Seattle, WA in August 2015.
UW CHWS participates in medical innovations program
Dr. Frogner served as guest faculty for the Medical Industry Valuation Lab in Stockholm, Sweden in July 2015 led by the Medical Industry Leadership Institute in the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota and in collaboration with Karolinska University and the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship.
UW CHWS at several spring conferences
Ms. Sue Skillman co-organized, and Dr. Bianca Frogner also attended, the International Health Workforce Conference in London and Cambridge, UK in May 2015 to engage in cross-country exchange of health workforce research ideas and findings. Ms. Skillman also served on the planning committee for the national Association of American Medical Colleges Health Workforce Research Conference, held in May in Alexandria, VA. Dr. Patterson served on the planning committee for the Workforce Interest Group at the Annual Research Meeting (ARM) of AcademyHealth in Minneapolis, MN in June 2015. Dr. Frogner and Ms. Skillman were invited to participate, and Ms. Skillman presented, at the National Forum of Nursing Workforce Centers in Denver, CO in June 2015.
Newly awarded Grants/Contracts:
Dr. Bianca Frogner is PI on several new grants. The Health Care Cost Institute (Prime: Laura and John Arnold Foundation) is funding a study To evaluate the impact of early use of physical therapy services on health costs, called “Does the Unrestricted Access to Physical Therapy Reduce Health Spending?”. A second grant for Bianca from the University of Minnesota (Prime: Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation) aims to identify trends in team-based care using claims data. In addition Bianca Frogner and Cyndy Snyder are involved in a pilot study funded by the UW’s Institute of Translational Health Sciences titled “Impact of Innovations on Primary Care Workforce Configuration” which aims to collect pilot data on domains of team-based care in ambulatory care practices. Finally, the Veterans Administration are funding Dr. Frogner to evaluate the implementation of the Group Practice Manager Initiative in a study titled “Evaluation of the VHA Group Practice Manager Initiative’s Partner Evaluation”.
WWAMI region Practice and Research Network (WPRN)
WWAMI region Practice and Research Network selects Hepatitis C as topic for EHR data Practice Improvement Study. A continuing priority for the WPRN in 2015 is to conduct projects that use electronic health record (EHR) data to inform practice improvement. Following a successful project in 2014 that used EHR data to explore the use of sleep medications, representatives from WPRN practices identified clinical topics of importance to their practices and chose to explore Hepatitis C screening in 2015. Specifically, across the WPRN, practices will identify the proportion of patients born between 1945-1965 who have laboratory evidence of a completed HCV Ab test, since publication of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Guideline for birth cohort hepatitis C screening (June 2013). To-date, ten practices have expressed interest in participating.
In addition, the WPRN will host a webinar presented by colleagues from Qualis Health on October 30th entitled ‘Health IT and Quality Improvement: How to optimize technology for better health outcomes.’ To attend the webinar or for more information about the WPRN please contact Gina Keppel (
Women’s Health
Newly awarded Grants/Contracts:
The UW Division of Family Planning (which includes faculty in the Departments of Family Medicine and OB/GYN) has received funding for four clinical trials. Dr. Emily Godfrey is the PI of each of these trials. One trial entails the use of video for anticipatory counseling among women receiving a hormonal IUD (PI: Godfrey, Co-I Callegari and Patel); another is a double-blind placebo-controlled trial evaluating the treatment of heavy or prolonged bleeding among new Copper IUD users with naproxen sodium (PI: Godfrey, Co-I: Micks and Patel).  For the first trial, Dr. Godfrey is looking to recruit women who received a hormonal IUD (Skyla or Mirena) in the last six months to participate in a 1-hour focus group.  These women will provide feedback regarding the video script discussing expected side effects of the hormonal IUD. If you know of anyone who would be interested in participating, please contact Kelly Gilmore at
Dr. Godfrey is the PI for two additional clinical trials in the Departments of Family Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology.  The first study uses a continuous temperature monitor called Tempu-Ring that is intended for measuring and recording core body temperature as an aid in ovulation prediction in conception. This study is a “proof of concept,” in which up to 20 women who are currently trying to conceive will use TempuRing for 3 menstrual cycles. (PI: Godfrey; Co-I: Prager and Neal-Perry; funded by Prima-temp) We are currently recruiting for this study. If you know anyone who might be interested in participating, please contact Sally Friend (
The other clinical trial soon to be launched at the UW is sponsored by Merck. This is an open-label phase III trial evaluating new contraceptive vaginal ring (etonogestrel + 17Beta estradiol) among healthy women aged 18-50 years. The UW Departments of Family Medicine and OB/GYN plan to recruit 16-20 women into this trial (PI: Godfrey; Co-I Micks, Benson, Harrington). If interested in more information, please contact Sally Friend (
Diagnostic Testing
Newly awarded Grants/Contracts:
We have been awarded a contract from Alere Diagnostics to explore the feasibility and acceptability of using a point of care test for C-reactive protein to help guide antibiotic prescribing in adults presenting with respiratory tract infection (PI Thompson, Co-Investigator Cole). Improving the targeting of antibiotics is a major issue in primary care, and in other countries trials in family medicine settings suggest this test can help reduce unnecessary antibiotics in primary care. This study will involve collecting data from several clinics in the WPRN on the possible role of this test in the US.
NRSA Fellowship
NRSA Fellow Dr. Ying Zhang received an AAFP Research Stimulation Foundation grant for her project: “Reproductive Health in Somali Refugees: Exploring women’s views on birth spacing and modern contraception to inform culturally sensitive patient centered counseling” and will be working on this project over the coming year.