Recognition September 2018

KPWHRI names four new assistant investigators

Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) recently added four assistant investigators to its faculty, including three promoted from the post of research associate.

New to KPWHRI is Laura Harrington, PhD, whose research focuses on the causes, prevention, and treatment of cardiovascular disease, especially among older women and those with modifiable risk factors linked to venous thromboembolism. Dr. Harrington just completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in cardiovascular epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard University School of Public Health. She earned her PhD from the University of Washington’s (UW’s) Department of Epidemiology, where she trained at the UW Cardiovascular Health Research Unit. She earned her master of public health degree in epidemiology from the University of Michigan.

The three KPWHRI researchers recently promoted to assistant investigator are Aruna Kamineni, PhD; Gwen Lapham, PhD; and Nora Henrikson, PhD.

Dr. Kamineni’s research has encompassed cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, with her current work focused largely on evaluating and improving screening for cervical and colorectal cancer. With a passion for evaluating screening efficacy and effectiveness, Dr. Kamineni plans to continue to pursue research in the areas of precision cancer screening, pathogen-associated cancers, HPV vaccination, and health systems research. Dr. Kamineni has a PhD and master of public health degree in epidemiology from the UW. Prior to joining KPWHRI in 2009, she worked as a research scientist in the UW Department of Biostatistics and as a research assistant at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Dr. Lapham’s research is focused on addictions treatment, studying alcohol, opioids, and cannabis use and misuse. Her current projects include a study of cannabis use among primary care patients and a trial focused on treating addictions in primary care and health care systems. Dr. Lapham has a PhD in health services and a master’s degree in social work from the UW. Before arriving at KPWHRI in 2013, she worked at the Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System. 

Dr. Henrikson’s research focuses on qualitative, quantitative, and user-centered design methods to design and test interventions to improve health and member experience. Her work has included projects in insurance design, vaccine hesitancy, and reducing overuse of low-value care. She is studying ways to reduce financial distress in people with cancer, including use of financial navigation interventions and price transparency initiatives. She is also interested in impacts of emerging genomic technology on clinical care, including current work exploring innovative approaches to clinical integration of genetic testing at Kaiser Permanente Washington. In addition, she leads KPWHRI’s partnership in the Kaiser Permanente Research Affiliates Evidence-Based Practice Center, providing systematic evidence reviews to support KPWHRI’s contracts with the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force and other clients. Dr. Henrikson earned her PhD from the UW Institute for Public Health Genetics within the School of Public Health and Community Medicine. She has master of public health degree in health behavior and health education from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She joined KPWHRI in 2010.