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HPRN Staff

Meet Our Team

The High Plains Research Network is seeking a Director with a passion for working with practices and communities to promote health in rural areas. More information is available here​. ​   

Jack Westfall, MD, MPH – Founder and Director of Emeritus

Jack was born and raised in Yuma, a small town in rural eastern Colorado. Jack’s career reflects his love for science and medicine, desire to help people, and passion for rural life. He worked to help build bridges between rural communities around Colorado and the University of Colorado Denver, and his efforts continue to inspire others. After attending medical school at the University of Kansas, he completed his family medicine residency at Rose Hospital in Denver and joined the faculty in the CU Department of Family Medicine. In 1997, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, he founded the High Plains Research Network (HPRN). During his 20 years as Director of the HPRN, he led and collaborated on a host of research projects on a variety of topics, working to ensure that the experiences of practices in rural eastern Colorado were included in the global research enterprise and contributing to the advancement of medical care in rural Colorado and beyond. In 2003, Jack established the HPRN Community Advisory Council to guide and inform the work of HPRN, bringing the patient and community voice solidly into the work of HPRN.  He worked fervently to promote participatory research methods and community engagement in primary care research throughout the United States and international settings.  As a family medicine doctor, Jack practiced in Limon, Yuma, and Fort Morgan. In addition to the HPRN, he held multiple positions that allowed him to support, promote, and develop many areas of rural health, including the Associate Dean of Rural Health for the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Jack and his wife recently relocated to San Jose, California to be closer to family. He currently serves as the Medical Director for the Whole Person Care Program at the Santa Clara County Public Hospital. He continues to consult on several HPRN projects.​


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.