Global Primary Care

The town of Dhulikehl, Nepal, site of the Dhulikehl Heart Study, in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains
The town of Dhulikehl, Nepal, site of the Dhulikehl Heart Study, in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains
Annette Fitzpatrick will be traveling to Nepal in January as a Fulbright Fellow sponsored by Kathmandu University. She’ll be implementing a Chronic Disease Symposium with the Nepali Ministry of Health to highlight results of the Dhulikehl Heart Study.
Matthew Thompson
and Victoria Hardy completed a feasibility study of the use of a mobile phone decision support tool for village health care workers in rural Malawi. The research team based at Mzuzu University Malawi, also includes multidisciplinary researchers from the UK, Sweden, Norway and Ireland. Initial feedback on the smartphone-based version of the WHO’s Community Case Management algorithm was positive, and a mixed methods analysis is underway. The Supporting Life research team will be conducting a comparative effectiveness trial of this mHealth tool in 2016.
WWAMI Rural Health Research Center
The WWAMI RHRC began three new research studies this fall:

  • Who Treats Opioid Addiction in Rural America? Quantifying the Availability of Buprenorphine Services in Rural Areas
  • The Supply and Distribution of the Behavioral Health Workforce in Rural America
  • Diverging Populations Served by the Medicare Home Health Benefit: Comparison of Post-acute vs. Community-entry Home Health in Rural Areas

In September, Davis Patterson was invited by the New England Journal of Medicine CareerCenter to speak to physician recruiters about the RHRC’s research on attracting physicians to rural practice.
The WWAMI RHRC is about to debut its new website, which will make it easier to search for rural health research products on topics of interest. Stay tuned!
UW Center for Health Workforce Studies (UW CHWS)
UW CHWS Director, Bianca Frogner, was appointed to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Consensus Study Committee on Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health. Dr Frogner will also serve for the next two years as a member of the Executive Committee for a new project funded by the Quality Enhancement Research Initiative, Veterans Affairs Office of Rural Health “Partnered Evaluation of the Social Determinants of Health and Healthcare Resource Needs of Rural Veterans” (PI: Alyson Littman, PhD and Teresa Hudson, PharmD, PhD).
Susan Skillman, CHWS Deputy Director, has recently been invited to speak to several state and national groups including a presentation on health workforce planning to the Washington State House of Representatives Health and Wellness Committee. She also led efforts to obtain a new contract from the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board to develop and implement a novel monitoring system of emerging health workforce demand in Washington State.
Newly Awarded Grants/Contracts
Health Workforce Industry Sentinel Network: Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board (Prime: Washington State Health Care Authority). Objective: To design and implement a sentinel network to identify emerging health workforce demand trends and rapidly disseminate information to relevant stakeholders.
WWAMI Region Practice and Research Network
The practices within the WPRN continue to be involved in coordinating multiple research studies in the WWAMI region.
The WPRN Coordinating Center is also collaborating with Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) on a new resource for primary care practices in the WWAMI region – the Implementing Innovations into
Practice Blog: This blog features weekly posts that showcase proven strategies practitioners can use to improve care and financial performance in primary care. It also includes opportunities to engage with other primary care professionals and to work with researchers on obtaining funding for improvement efforts. Innovations from WPRN clinics will be featured over the next few months. This project is supported by the Institute of Translational Health Sciences. You can view the blog at
Women’s Health
Newly Awarded Grants/Contracts
UW Department of Family Medicine and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology will soon be enrolling research participants in an open-label phase III trial evaluating a new contraceptive vaginal ring (etonogestrel + 17Beta estradiol) among healthy women aged >17 years at risk of pregnancy. The UW Department of Family Medicine plans to recruit 16-20 women into this trial (PI: Emily Godfrey; Co-I: Micks, Benson, Harrington). For more information, please contact Sally Friend (
Tobacco and Other Substance Abuse
Tobacco Studies Program Publishes E-Cigarette Policy Paper: At the request of Washington State Representative Gerry Pollet, Abigail Halperin and a team of Tobacco Studies Program (TSP) students composed a whitepaper about e-cigarettes and associated policy tools to accompany the introduction of a 2015 omnibus bill to regulate the increasingly popular electronic cigarettes (HB 1645 / SB 5573). A modified version of this whitepaper, entitled ‘E-Cigarettes and Public Health: Policy Options for Washington State’ was recently published in the UW Evans School Review, an annual publication of the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. Representative Pollet has requested that the TSP team update the whitepaper in Fall 2015 with the latest research about e-cigarette use and potential policy avenues to help inform and influence the legislative process for e-cigarette regulation during the 2016 session.
IQI Summary-Shanghai Training August 3-10, 2015: Our team from the International Quitline Institute (IQI), co-directed by Abigail Halperin and Ken Wassum (Alere Health), recently completed a second training with colleagues at China CDC, to train and assist Chinese health professionals to build capacity for providing telephone-based tobacco cessation services. In August IQI partnered with WHO to provide training in Shanghai for ~130 individuals representing nearly 30 provinces. About half of the trainees were managers for the nation’s Public Health Hotline, and half were policymakers with the Chinese Health & Family Planning Commission. Following the Shanghai training, IQI participated in the annual Asia Pacific Quitline Network (APQN) meeting and Ken Wassum subsequently led a further one-day training in Changsha, Hunan Province, for an additional 80 quitline counselors. Participant evaluations of the program will be analyzed along with ongoing short- and long-term outcome data from prior IQI trainings and workshops.