Kitty Christensen brings
a passion for public health and broad experience in research project management
to her new role as Deputy Director of the Health Promotion Research Center. She
has over 15 years of experience in public health and health services research
settings, including managing projects in the areas of older adults and
depression, cancer prevention, workplace health and cancer survivor quality of
life. Kitty’s background includes overseeing research activities for a survey
research software company, and most recently managing collaborative care
implementation projects in the UW Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral
Born in Juneau, Alaska, and
raised in northern California and the Pacific Northwest, Kitty traveled
extensively in Europe (she lived in London for five years) and returned to
Washington to obtain an undergraduate degree in psychology and business
administration from Central Washington University, and an MPH in Health Services from the UW.
What drew you to the
field of public health?
In my undergraduate work I was intrigued by the science of
the connection between mind and body, and had planned to apply to graduate
programs focusing on psychoneuroimmunology. While I was gaining research experience
as a volunteer in the Public Health Sciences Division of Fred Hutchinson Cancer
Research Center, I worked closely with staff and faculty with a wide range of
roles and educational backgrounds. I discovered that my planning and
organizational skills were more suited to project coordination and management.
first full-time job at Fred Hutch was managing a dietary change study in faith
communities. I went on to coordinate other research at Fred Hutch that focused on how to
change people’s behavior, to improve their health and their lives, and I found
it motivating to contribute to that. I decided to pursue an MPH because I
valued the connection between research and the potential to make a positive
difference in the health of individuals and communities. More >>
Washington State CEOs Against Cancer Challenge
As part of World Cancer Day, HPRC director Jeff Harris recently kicked off the CEOs Against Cancer Challenge. The Challenge, a collaboration between the American Cancer Society’s CEOs Against Cancer (CAC) program and HPRC’s Workplace Solutions wellness program, will track the efforts of large Washington employers to provide evidence-based interventions designed to reduce cancer and improve the lives of their employees. HPRC’s Marlana Kohn and Amanda
Parrish are on the research team. More >>
2014 ASA Conference San Diego
HPRC presented "EnhanceFitness: Strengthening Dissemination and Sustainability Success" at the American Society of Aging conference in March.
L-R: Ann-Hilary Heston, YMCA of USA; Paige Denison, Senior Services; Susan Snyder, Senior Services; Penny Bailey, ASH Companies; and Basia Belza, University of Washington
Harris JR, Hannon PA, Beresford SA, Linnan LA, McLellan DL. Health Promotion in Smaller Workplaces in the United States. Annual Review of Public Health. 2014 Mar 18;35:327-42
Read the abstract >>
Snyder S, Denison P. Building Strong Communities through Evidence-Based Health Improvement Programs. Generations: Journal of the American Society on Aging. 2013;37(4):77-8.
Read the abstract >>
Save the Dates
The next Community Advisory Board meeting will be on Friday, April 25, 2014 at the Tukwila Community Center, 8:45 am to noon. Directions >>
Seminar: Network Analysis of the Healthy Aging Research Network (HAN)
Date: Thursday, May 8,
10:30 am to 11:20 am
Presenter: Miruna Petrescu-Prahova, HPRC Investigator
Visit our website for notices of other upcoming seminars.
Lecture: Focus on Falls: Falls Prevention in Community Dwelling Older Adults
Date: Wednesday, May 14,
2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
At: UW Tower
Presenter: Elizabeth Phelan, HPRC Investigator
Kitty Christensen has joined HPRC as Deputy Director. (See story at left.)
Sheri Simonsen, our new Communications Specialist, brings a background in nonprofit marketing, communication, and visual design to HPRC.
Kristen Hammerback, HPRC Research Scientist, is the recipient of this year's Department of Health Services Outstanding Staff Award. She will be honored at the UW School of Public Health Awards Picnic on May 9. Congratulations to Kristen--well done and well-deserved!
Learn more >>
Community Guide Article Features HPRC's Workplace Health Partnerships
Read the article >>