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The HPRC Link Newsletter
Newsletter of the UW Health Promotion Research Center  April 2013

What's new?

Getting Immunized at the Workplace

Workplace Immunization ProjectRates of flu vaccination among adults, particularly those working in low-wage industries, are low. Yet because these workers often lack medical benefits and sick leave, getting the flu can have significant physical and economic consequences.

Understanding the barriers to and opportunities for increasing flu vaccinations at low-wage worksites is the focus of a series of studies collectively known as the Workplace Immunization Project (WIP). The current phase of WIP focuses on restaurants, an industry segment of particular interest because restaurant workers are second only to healthcare personnel in their level of exposure to the public.

Kristen Hammerback, a research scientist on WIP, says, “We’re working directly with people, many of whom don’t have health insurance, promoting health for them and the people who eat at their restaurants. What could be more rewarding?”


Spotlight on Kristen Hammerback

Kristen HammerbackKristen Hammerback, research scientist at HPRC, is the first to admit that her background is not a typical one for HPRC staff. She has a master’s degree in political science with an emphasis on American politics. Her skills in quantitative analysis landed her a job analyzing large datasets for trends and patterns at a marketing research company with clients such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Hewlett-Packard. After 12 years, Kristen was ready for a new challenge.

Although Kristen’s academic background is not in public health, she’s long been interested in health policy that addresses social and political inequities. She enjoys combining this interest with skills she refined in the private sector. Kristen says, “It can be very effective to use the techniques available to big business for the purpose of promoting public health.”


Selected Publications

In order to improve the lives of those with chronic illnesses, we need to increase community-clinical linkages.

Harris JR, Wallace RB. The Institute of Medicine's new report on living well with chronic illness. Preventing chronic disease. 2012 Sep;9:E148.

Opportunities may exist for reaching Filipino and other Asian Americans with messages that can enhance cognitive health.

Laditka SB, Tseng W, Price AE, Ivey SL, Friedman DB, Liu R, et al. Beliefs about promoting cognitive health among Filipino Americans who care for persons with dementia. International journal of aging and human development. 2012;75(3):273-96.

The policy processes associated with passing menu-labeling in King County, Washington can inform the development of other nutrition policies.

Johnson DB, Payne EC, McNeese MA, Allen D. Menu-labeling policy in King County, Washington. American journal of preventive medicine. 2012 Sep;43(3 Suppl 2):S130-5.

A high percentage of physicians report offering nonrecommended breast or colorectal cancer screening tests for young women.

Kadivar H, Goff BA, Phillips WR, Andrilla CH, Berg AO, Baldwin LM. Nonrecommended breast and colorectal cancer screening for young women: a vignette-based survey. American journal of preventive medicine. 2012 Sep;43(3):231-9.

Save the Date

The next Community Advisory Board meeting will be on Friday, April 26th, at the Tukwila Community Center, 8:45-12:00. Directions.

Elder Friendly Futures Gerontology Conference will be held at the University of Washington on September 11-12, 2013.

HPRC 2nd Quarter 2013 Research Seminars

May 9: Meredith Cook: "Workplace-Based Strategies to Increase Influenza Vaccination Rates Among Restaurant Employees: A Pilot Study"

June 13: Norma Coe: "Healthy aging: what you do in your prime matters"



HPRC researchers Peggy Hannon and Steve Zeliadt were each promoted to Associate Professor, effective July 1, 2013.

Marlana and Rodger Kohn are the proud parents of Willem Werner Kohn, who was born on February 7.

Lesley Steinman and Joe Bermeister are the proud parents of Elizabeth Ray Steinman Burmeister, who was born on April 5.


Welcome Caitlin Mason

We warmly welcome HPRC's newest staff member, Caitlin Mason. Dr. Mason started on April 1 as a research scientist. She will work on several HPRC research and evaluation projects in collaboration with our public health partners.


Health Promotion Research Center is a research center at the University of Washington School of Public Health funded by the Prevention Research Centers Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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