Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute hosts regular seminars where our scientists and collaborators present their research findings.

All are welcome.

Left: Aruna Kamineni, PhD, MPH, with Ali Thomas, MD, of Washington Permanente Medical Group

Upcoming seminars and events

Aug. 11, 2020

Neighborhood Deprivation Index: A tool for equity, inclusion and diversity in health research

Virtual Scientific Seminar: 4–5 p.m. Join online via WebEx or call in (more info below).

Speakers: Regan Gray, Arvind Ramaprasan, James Ralston, MD, MPH, and Beverly Green, MD, MPH

Regan Gray is a Black and Mexican American originally from Long Beach, Calif. She graduated high school early and left the Bay Area of Northern California for undergraduate college on the East Coast to further her study of premedical science and studio art. She then completed her graduate school in Texas and recently moved to Washington to serve as a Research Specialist II at KPWHRI on her way to becoming a surgeon and research investigator. At her very core she is driven by finding concrete ways to help people and has long been an active advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion. She brings her lived experiences of fighting against discrimination and passion for social justice to her current work at the Institute, and remains focused on driving meaningful change through science and culture. Regan will kick-off the panel with: 

  • Background on the purpose of this Scientific Seminar panel 
  • Forthcoming panel topics and opportunities  

James Ralston, MD, MPH, a KPWHRI senior investigator, and a physician at Washington Permanente Medical Group, focuses on improving the health and care of people living with common ongoing illnesses. Arvind Ramaprasan is a programmer analyst at KPWHRI supporting various researching and analytical studies. The two will discuss:

  • Their motivations for using Neighborhood Deprivation Index (NDI)
  • How NDI was developed
  • NDI data availability

Bev Green, MD, MPH, a KPWHRI senior investigator and a physician at Washington Permanente Medical Group, does research on improving health outcomes by taking care out of the office and into patients homes. Her work focuses on cardiovascular disease prevention and cancer screening and examines how to disseminate and implement researched tested programs that she has led at Kaiser Permanente Washington into community settings and for racially diverse patients. She will discuss: 

  • PCORnet's ADVANCE Collaborative, Oregon Community Health Information Network (OCHIN), and the study "Evaluating control of hypertension: Effects of social determinants of health" 
  • Interaction of gaining health insurance after the Affordable Care Act and neighborhood-level social deprivation on hypertension control
  • Results and where we go from here

Join the meeting here!

Meeting number: 

133 329 5693

Meeting password: 


Video address: 


Dial 1333295693@kponline.webex.com

You can also dial and enter the meeting number.

Audio connection: 


Access code: 133 329 5693

Global call-in numbers

Past Events

July 28, 2020

Improving health equity at KPWA through language access

Virtual Scientific Seminar: 4–5 p.m.
KPWHRI employees can view a recording of the presentation on Teams or access it as an MP4 file on the G drive.

Speakers: Barbara Obena and Maha Razzaki, who are, respectively, Quality Program Manager and Admin Analyst II for Member Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity at Kaiser Permanente Washington


  • ​Identify current state and highlights of language access in clinical research​
  • ​Understand language access resources​
  • Review equity case study: scheduling process for the Deaf and DeafBlind community​
  • Learn how to consult with the EID team​

June 23, 2020

The Obesity Paradox

Virtual Scientific Seminar: 4–5 p.m.
View the video presentation

Speaker: Edward J. Boyko MD, MPH – Professor Internal Medicine and Epidemiology, UW; Physician, VA Puget Sound 


Obesity is a well-recognized risk factor for multiple adverse health conditions such as, for example, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and certain cancers. Since these obesity-related conditions are associated with higher mortality, one would expect that obesity itself would also appear to shorten lifespan. However, longer survival with overweight and obesity has been shown repeatedly in general populations as well as persons suffering with certain diseases. Weight reduction is often recommended for persons at risk for or suffering from conditions related to overweight and obesity. For example, lifestyle intervention featuring weight loss is the first line recommended treatment for new onset type 2 diabetes without severe hyperglycemia. In an observation study, though, persons with type 2 diabetes of recent onset who lost weight over one year had a higher mortality compared to those who remained weight stable. Dr. Boyko will discuss these paradoxical findings and present his opinions on their origin as well as an approach to the problems of overweight and obesity.

May 26, 2020

Pragmatic trials involving people living with dementia and their care partners: Lessons from the STAR Caregivers Virtual Training and Follow-up Protocol

Virtual Scientific Seminar: 4–5 p.m.

Speaker: Robert Penfold, PhD–Senior Investigator, KPWHRI


  • Overview of the STAR-VTF protocol
  • Interesting issues in embedded pragmatic clinical trials with research dyads
  • Interesting issues related to pragmatic data collection

April 13, 2020

COVID-19 Forecast: Big Data, Research & Pandemic Trends

Webinar: 10–11 a.m.

Speakers: Michael L. Jackson, PhD, MPH, associate investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute;  Vice Admiral (ret.) Raquel Bono, MD, director, Washington State COVID-19 Health System Response Management; and Jeff Kaas, co-owner, Kaas Tailored

The panel is the most recent in a series of presentations organized by Association of Washington Businesses, COVID-19 Employer Resources Webinar Series. You can register here for the webinar.

March 2020

We have canceled all seminars scheduled in March because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. 

We are following guidance from Seattle-King County Public Health, the Washington Department of Public Health, and  Kaiser Permanente leadership, who are recommending cancellation of all meetings larger than 10 people. The aim is to help protect the health of our colleagues and patients by lowering our risk of spreading the virus.

We hope to reschedule Dr. Sarah Knerr’s seminar on “Implementing cancer genomic medicine to promote public health” at a later date. 

February 11, 2020

Modifiable factors associated with resident-physician safety, quality of care, and well-being

Where: Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, 4–5 p.m., Room 1509A

Speaker: Matthew D. Weaver, PhD—Instructor in Medicine
Division of Sleep Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, Brigham and Women's Hospital


Resident-physician work hours have been a subject of controversy for more than two decades. Recent high profile trials have tested the effectiveness of flexible or extended work hours on hospital-level outcomes such as 30-day mortality. I will report on findings from a nationwide, prospective cohort study that examined the association between the 2011 ACGME duty hour restrictions, which limited first-year resident-physicians to work no more than 16 consecutive hours, on patient and resident safety. In combination with work hour reform, there is a need to identify additional avenues to protect the health and well-being of medical providers. Occupational burnout is a highly prevalent issue. I will present findings from a recent workplace wellness initiative that tested the effectiveness of a sleep health education and sleep disorder screening program to reduce burnout among faculty at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Coffee and tea will be provided.