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Qualitative Methods Showcase Speakers


Keynote Speaker:  Sara Shostak

Dr. Shostak is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Brandeis University. Her research and teaching interests include the sociology of health and illness, science and technology studies, the sociology of the body, sociological perspectives on bioethics, environmental health and justice, and genetics/genomics. Dr. Shostak's first book, Defining Vulnerabilities: Genes, the Environment, and the Politics of Population Health, is forthcoming from the University of California Press.  Drawing on in-depth interviews and ethnographic observation with nearly 100 environmental health scientists, policy makers, and environmental health and justice activists, Defining Vulnerabilities analyzes the rise of the study of gene-environment interaction in the environmental health sciences and examines its consequences for how we understand – and seek to protect – population health.  Dr. Shostak recently completed a collaborative analysis of how people make use of "nature" and "nurture" in their accounts of inequalities across individual level outcomes (e.g., health, intelligence, and success in life). She currently is working on a study that examines change over time in the illness experiences and processes of identity formation among people with epilepsy and their family members (1975 to 2005).

Karen Albright

Dr. Albright is an Assistant Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health’s Department of Community & Behavioral Health, on the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus; the Director of Qualitative Research in the Center for Research in Implementation Science and Prevention, an AHRQ-funded Center of Excellence; and the Director of the Qualitative Research Methods Forum. She is also the Qualitative Research Core Leader in the Colorado Health Outcomes Program, a center within the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and in the Children’s Outcomes Research Program, within The Children’s Hospital Research Institute. Dr. Albright’s research interests focus on health behaviors among socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.  She is currently investigating how distrust of pharmaceutical medicine and the American health care system affects health behaviors among individuals of low socioeconomic status.

John Brett

Dr. Brett is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Denver.  His research is focused on sustainable livelihoods and microfinance in Bolivia, dietary decision-making, and urban food systems and sustainability.  His just-finished project examines the relationship between food security, access to health resources and participation in microfinance programs, funded by the Fulbright Scholars program and in collaboration with CRECER and Freedom from Hunger with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  He has done research on medicinal plant use in Chiapas, Mexico, conducted a number of large scale evaluation projects on HIV education programs in the US, Native American history in relation to Rocky Mountain National Park, and a multi-year ethnographic study on the factors that influence diet and physical activity patterns in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.  His current research examines the host of food system "alternatives" emerging in urban areas and how they might, or might not create an alternative food system.   

Sheana Bull

Dr. Bull is a Professor in the Colorado School of Public Health’s Department of Community & Behavioral Health, on the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus. She is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the field of technology-based health promotion. For the past decade, her work has focused on the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions using computer kiosks, the Internet, cell phones and social media to facilitate HIV and STI prevention and self-management of chronic illness, including diabetes and heart disease.  

Doug Fernald

Mr. Fernald, MA is a Senior Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  He is the Director of BIGHORN, a practice-based research network of private practices in Colorado; the Assistant Director of CaReNet, a practice-based research network, and a senior analyst for Advancing Care Together (ACT), a four-year program discovering practical models to integrate mental health, substance use, and primary care services. Mr. Fernald also teaches ongoing "short courses" on using ATLAS.ti, a qualitative data analysis software package. His research interests include practice redesign to improve health behavior change, prevention, chronic disease management, safety, and patient-centered care. His recent work includes studies looking at implementing the patient-centered medical home in family medicine residency clinics, the use of health risk assessments in primary care, and understanding the integration of mental and behavioral health with primary care.   

Kristi Jackson

Dr. Jackson has worked as an evaluation researcher for seventeen years, during which she has served as principal investigator, co-investigator or advisor on a diverse array of qualitative health-related research.  Such research includes studies on pain management, organ donation, smoking cessation, adults with developmental disabilities, suicide prevention, and violence prevention. Her clients include entities as large as the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institute of Health, the World Bank, and the Government Accountability Office.  They also include many small, nongovernmental organizations in rural and urban settings.  She has provided this expertise in the USA, Canada, England, and China. Many of Dr. Jackson’s conference presentations and published papers discuss the implications of the growing importance of qualitative data analysis software. In April, 2013, her co-authored book with Pat Bazeley on the practical and methodological issues regarding the use of NVivo will be available through Sage Publications.

Tracy Johnson

Dr. Johnson joined Denver Health and Hospital Authority (DHHA) in 2010 as the special assistant to the CEO. She is responsible for assisting DHHA with the implementation of federal health care reform, especially in the areas of delivery system and payment reform.  Dr. Johnson previously served as president of Health Policy Solutions, Inc., a Colorado-based consulting firm that specialized in health policy analysis, health services research and evaluation, where her projects included providing technical assistance to two governor-appointed commissions on health care reform; advising the State of Colorado on health insurance exchanges and the Medicaid agency on issues related to cost, coverage, and quality; conducting the needs assessment for a multi-million dollar HIT initiative for CO safety net clinics; serving as survey director the CO Household Survey (2001) on health care access and coverage; and briefing The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System on Colorado's health care system and policy context.

Steve Koester

Dr. Koester is a Professor in the Departments of Anthropology and Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. His areas of interest are medical anthropology and political ecology, with a primary focus on drug use and disease transmission. His work has challenged one-dimensional behavioral explanations of disease transmission through ethnographic and qualitative studies focusing on the contextual factors that influence behavior. Dr. Koester’s work has identified additional avenues for disease transmission embedded in the injection process, investigated the effect of laws and policing strategies on risk taking and avoidance, and demonstrated how the social setting in which drug acquisition and use occurs influences the injection process. In 2001, he was a visiting behavioral scientist in CDC's Division of Viral Hepatitis, and in 2006-2007 was a Fulbright Scholar at the Hanoi School of Public Health. Dr. Koester is currently a Co-Investigator on a NIDA R0-1 examining injection practices to determine avenues of HCV transmission, and the Co-PI on a NIDA funded study examining the drug acquisition strategies of women who use methamphetamine.

Nancy Leech

Dr. Leech is an Associate Professor in the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado, Denver, where she teaches Masters and Ph.D. level courses in research, statistics, and measurement. Her area of research is promoting new developments and better understandings in applied qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies. Dr. Leech has published more than 65 articles in refereed journals, and is co-author of three books; SPSS for Basic Statistics: Use and Interpretation, SPSS for Intermediate Statistics: Use and Interpretation, and Research Methods in Applied Settings: An Integrated Approach to Design and Analysis, all published by Taylor and Francis. She has made more than 70 presentations at regional, national, and international conferences. 

Susan Moore

Ms. Moore is the Assistant Director of Health Services Research at Denver Health, where she has been involved in research projects concerning public health emergency preparedness, patient safety, and the use of health information technology to improve care for chronic conditions. Ms. Moore is interested in the application of both quantitative and qualitative methods to health care research, and has a particular interest in topics involving the use of health information technology. Prior to joining Denver Health, Ms. Moore worked in the information technology industry for ten years, where she handled project oversight and personnel management, software support and systems maintenance, multimedia and database design, and technical education, training, and evaluation.

Elaine Morrato

Dr. Morrato is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Systems, Management & Policy in the Colorado School of Public Health and Associate Director for the Children’s Outcomes Research Program.  She has over 20 years of experience in health outcomes research with a focus on the diffusion and clinical translation of pharmaceutical innovation and policy.  Her research interests include promoting the dissemination and implementation of drug warnings and other medical evidence.  She is currently a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Drug Safety and Risk Management Advisory Committee, which advises the FDA on issues of risk management implementation.  Dr. Morrato has an AHRQ career development award on "Accelerating the Diffusion of Comparative Effectiveness Evidence into Clinical Practice" and has served on the NIH CER Key Function Committee and its Dissemination and Implementation Research Working Group since 2010.  She is also the Training and Education Leader for the Center for Research in Implementation Science and Prevention at the University of Colorado.  

Marty Otañez

Dr. Otañez is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Denver, and a professional filmmaker. His research and videography focus on two distinct and overlapping areas: digital health stories and tobacco industry strategies at the farm-level to undermine health, labor rights and ecologies in Malawi and other developing countries. In order to reach broader audiences with his research and advocacy, he creates digital stories and social documentaries. He has been retained as an expert media contact for UK-based Plan International, a child-centered community development organization, and as a consultant for media reports produced by BBC-World, and Swiss Television Kassensturz. He is also a member of the Framework Convention Alliance task force on policy issues associated with the social and ecological costs of tobacco growing, and a board member on the Human Rights and Tobacco Control Network and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s WorkSafe Colorado network.

Jini Puma

Dr. Puma is a Research Associate with the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center (RMPRC) in the Colorado School of Public Health, Anschutz Medical Campus.  Her research and evaluation interests are in early childhood obesity prevention, immigrant health, community-based participatory research methods, and social determinants of health.  Prior to her position with the RMPRC, she conducted research in early childhood development in the Department of Psychology at the University of Denver.  Dr. Puma has served on the National Early Head Start Research and Evaluation Consortium for the past 11 years.  

Jean Scandlyn

Dr. Scandlyn is a Research Professor in the Departments of Health and Behavioral Sciences and Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Denver.  Her research over the past decade has focused on human migration and on marginalized adolescents and young adults in the United States. She has worked in the Andean region of South America, where she participated in a community-based health assessment in northern Peru and co-taught a field school on ethnographic and community-based research methods in rural Ecuador. Through a Fulbright Fellowship, Dr. Scandlyn currently teaches and consults on qualitative research methods to staff members of health-related Non-Governmental Organizations in Bolivia. Her most recent project, with Dr. Sarah Hautzinger of Colorado College, is a community-based ethnographic study of how multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan affect soldiers, their families, and the community surrounding Fort Carson, Colorado. 

David West

Dr. West is the Director of the Colorado Health Outcomes Program in the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and has been on the Faculty of the School of Medicine for two decades. He previously served at the helm of the Colorado Medicaid Program for 14 years, then founded Colorado Access, a not-for-profit Health Maintenance Organization for underserved populations. In addition to his administrative/management roles, Dr. West is an active researcher in health care delivery science, having successfully led multiple large scale multi-year and multi institution projects funded by AHRQ, NIH, and other federal, state, and private funding agencies.  He brings a unique blend of administrative, policy, and scientific skill to his research and management responsibilities. Dr. West's research focuses upon the redesign of health care systems, with an emphasis upon the lessons learned through the modification of health care delivery and financing mechanisms to improve effectiveness and outcomes.

Linda Zittleman

Ms. Zittleman is the Associate Director of the High Plains Research Network (HPRN), a network of primary care practices and communities in rural eastern Colorado, for which she oversees all aspects of research and program activities. She also fosters and coordinates the HPRN Community Advisory Council, a group of local residents from eastern Colorado that helps guide the work of the HPRN in all phases of the research process. She is also the Co-Director of the Colorado Immersion Training in Community Engagement program and serves as the program’s Coordinator for the Rural Northeast Colorado Community Track. Over the past 12 years, Ms. Zittleman’s research career has addressed a wide range of health issues, including 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 joined the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2005.