Jack Westfall, MD, MPH – Director of HPRN
Jack was born and raised in rural eastern Colorado. A graduate of Yuma High School, he currently practices family medicine part-time at the Yuma Clinic. As the Associate Dean of Rural Health for the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Jack works to build bridges between rural communities around Colorado and the University of Colorado Denver. He started and directs the High Plains Research Network (HPRN) in 1997, an integrated practice-based research network of rural and frontier hospitals, ambulatory clinics, and clinicians dedicated to improving medical care in rural Colorado. The HPRN has conducted research on a host of topics including cardiac care, palliative care, medical mistakes, colon cancer prevention, asthma, and the impact of underinsurance on access to care. The HPRN is guided by a community advisory council (C.A.C.) of farmers, ranchers, school teachers, and others. Three years ago Jack was named the Director for the Colorado Area Health Education Center, which focuses on increasing the pipeline of young people from rural Colorado interested in health careers. He is married to Dr. Audrey Yee, a neurologist. They have two sons, Matthew and Noah.
Linda Zittleman, MSPH – Associate Director of HPRN
Linda is the Associate Director for the High Plains Research Network (HPRN). She moved to Colorado in 1995 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in psychology and criminal justice. Linda received her Master of Science in Public Health from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Linda joined the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado in 2005. With HPRN, she oversees all aspects of research and program activities and fosters and coordinates the HPRN Community Advisory Council, a group of local residents from eastern Colorado that helps guide the work of HPRN in all phases of the research process. Linda’s research career has addressed a wide range of health issues, such as youth delinquency, youth anti-tobacco messaging, community-based colon cancer prevention and screening, home blood pressure monitoring, asthma diagnosis and treatment, underinsurance, child obesity prevention, and the patient centered medical home. She is experienced in community-based participatory research and practice-based research. Linda greatly enjoys working with people on the eastern plains and informing urban folks of the knowledge gained and new ideas from rural settings.
Christin Sutter - HPRN Community Liaison
Christin Sutter is a Community Liaison for the High Plains Research Network (HPRN) through the CCTSI Community Engagement Core. Ms. Sutter was born and raised in northeast Colorado where she currently lives with her husband and three young daughters. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science from Colorado State University. With HPRN, Ms. Sutter works with primary care clinics and communities in the nine counties of northeastern Colorado to implement, maintain, and evaluate studies and does community outreach to increase the region’s awareness of the HPRN and benefit of health research. She has contributed to projects on colon cancer, asthma, home blood pressure management, childhood obesity and smoking cessation.
Susan Gale – HPRN Community Liaison
Susan Gale is a Community Liaison with the High Plains Research Network. Before moving to southeastern Colorado, she worked at the University of Colorado Denver doing research at the dental school and the Diabetes Registry focusing on compiling and analyzing data. She took advantage of being near the graduate school and took classes in biostatistics and epidemiology. This background gave Ms. Gale a deep appreciation for research and the need to do it in various settings. Ms. Gale has lived in rural Colorado for the past 20 years. Her work with the HPRN fits with her research interests in disease prevention and has included projects on asthma, childhood obesity, smoking cessation, and fetal alcohol exposure. Ms. Gale is married and has two young adult daughters.