Archive—Events 2020

2020 Seminars and Events

November 24, 2020

Integration of Firearm Suicide Prevention Tools in Health Care Settings: Patient-Reported Access to Firearms & Decision Aid for Securing Firearms

Virtual Scientific Seminar: 4-5pm
View the video presentation

Speaker: Julie Richards, PhD, MPH, is a Research Associate at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute and an Affiliate Assistant Professor in the Health Services Department at the University of Washington.  Julie’s central research goal is to use qualitative and quantitative research methods to improve patient-centered care for stigmatized conditions, specifically problems related to mental health and substance use.  She currently leads a project, funded by the Kaiser Permanente Firearm Injury Prevention Taskforce, focused on patient-centered approaches to addressing firearm-related suicide risk.  


Suicide accounts for 60% of all firearm deaths in the U.S. and 80% in Washington State.  Providers need patient-centered ways to collaboratively address firearm safety with patients at risk of suicide, however, there are clinical guidelines addressing this topic, which has rarely been studied to date.  This session will explore two parallel research aims now in progress that will inform clinical guidelines for assessing patient firearm access and help patients make decisions about securing firearms.

Nov. 10, 2020

Working towards representation in research

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

Speakers: Regan Gray, MS, Clarissa Hsu, PhD, and Karen Wernli, PhD


Regan Gray, MS, is a proudly Black and Mexican American Research Specialist II at KPWHRI. At her very core, Regan is driven to find 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.

Regan will welcome our panelists to the Seminar.

Clarissa Hsu, PhD, is an Assistant Investigator with medical anthropology expertise who leverages qualitative methods to understand the cultural, social, and political factors that shape health and health care. Her research focuses on patient-centered outcomes/care, social determinants of health and complementary and integrative health.

Clarissa will discuss her experiences working with the Somali Health Board to conduct a focus group on vaccines in the Somali community, with an emphasis on her personal and professional learnings.

Karen Wernli, PhD, is an Associate Scientific Investigator with cancer epidemiology and health services expertise who brings patient perspective to her work. Karen’s  research is focused on patient engagement, cancer survivorship, screening and surveillance.

Karen will discuss engagement within research with women of color and communities historically underrepresented within the research cycle.

September 22, 2020

Association of Branded Prescription Drug Rebate Size and Patient Out-of-Pocket Costs in a Nationally Representative Sample

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

Speaker: Kai Yeung, PharmD, PhD, Assistant Investigator, Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, is a pharmacist and pharmaceutical economist with expertise in patient medication-use behaviors, insurance design, and outcomes research. His objective is to develop and evaluate incentives to encourage high-value use of health care services. Dr. Yeung has conducted research evaluating policies focused on specialty drug access, value-based insurance design, the consequences of insurance switching, and financial incentives. He combines applied econometric and cost-effectiveness analysis tools with a clinical understanding of prescription drugs and health insurance design to gain new insights in these areas. Dr. Yeung received his PhD in pharmaceutical economics from the Comparative Health Outcomes, Policy, and Economics (CHOICE) Institute at the University of Washington and his PharmD from the University of Southern California.


  • Background - Over the past decade, branded prescription drug manufacturers have substantially increased list prices while offering larger rebates to healthcare payers.
  • Issue - Although larger rebates can partially offset increases in list prices for health plans, patient out-of-pocket costs may be directly tied to list prices for uninsured individuals and indirectly for individuals covered by plans with deductibles or coinsurance.
  • Focus - This session will detail the association between rebates and out-of-pocket costs, and how this association may have healthcare access disparity implications.

September 8, 2020

Supporting parent-provider communication about HPV vaccination

Virtual Scientific Seminar: 4-5 p.m.

Speaker: Melissa Gilkey, PhD, is Associate Professor of Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Trained in the social and behavioral sciences, Dr. Gilkey studies individual, interpersonal, and organizational approaches to improving the delivery of cancer prevention services for adolescents.


Receiving a healthcare provider’s recommendation is the strongest and most consistent predictor of HPV vaccination, and yet many providers find communicating about HPV vaccination to be challenging. This talk will share findings from a series of studies that identify ways providers and healthcare systems can support guideline-consistent recommendations and effectively address parents’ HPV vaccination concerns.

Aug. 25, 2020

'They treat me like a person': Participant perspectives on demonstrating respect and building trust during research recruitment

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

Speaker: Stephanie A. Kraft, JD, assistant professor at the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics at Seattle Children’s Research Institute and the University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. She conducts conceptual and empirical research on issues related to building respectful relationships in research and healthcare. Her primary research interests are in understanding how people make decisions about research participation and improving how research teams demonstrate respect to and build trust with potential participants, especially among historically underrepresented patient populations. She also serves as a clinical and research bioethics consultant.


“Respect for persons” is a foundational ethical principle for research involving human participants, but there is a lack of understanding of how best to convey respect to participants and potential participants. This session will explore:

  • the principle of respect and its relationship to trust in the setting of research recruitment,
  • qualitative interview findings about research participants’ perspectives on respect and trust, and
  • the implications of these findings for research teams.

Aug. 11, 2020

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

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

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

July 28, 2020

Improving health equity at KPWA through language access

Virtual Scientific Seminar: 4–5 p.m.
KPWHRI employees can view the video 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.