Paige Wartko, PhD, MPH, first became interested in public health through her passion for women’s health. Her expertise has since broadened to include medication safety, behavioral health, and mental health. She currently works on a study of medication safety for pregnant women with chronic conditions including depression, anxiety, and hypertension, and two pragmatic trials related to opioid use: One focuses on helping patients who take high doses of opioids manage their chronic pain and lower their opioid dose. Another focuses on treating patients with opioid use disorder with medication in the primary care setting.
Dr. Wartko has been collaborating with Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) since 2016, when she began working with Dr. Sascha Dublin as a PhD student at the University of Washington Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Wartko’s doctoral research focused on risk of maternal and infant outcomes during pregnancy such as gestational diabetes, maternal gestational weight gain, and infant birthweight that were associated with antidepressant medication use in pregnancy. As a PhD student, she was involved in two additional projects at KPWHRI—the assessment of Kaiser Permanente Washington’s change to a one-step approach to identifying gestational diabetes and the prevalence and frequency of cannabis use during pregnancy.
In addition to her PhD, Dr. Wartko also earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree at the University of Washington Department of Epidemiology. Her research assessed the association of developing endometrial cancer and history of gestational diabetes while pregnant. She completed her master’s practicum at Public Health–Seattle & King County, assessing disparities in incidence of low birth weight by maternal birthplace within racial and ethnic groups—work that she presented to community stakeholders. Before starting her MPH work, Dr. Wartko completed a summer internship at the National Cancer Institute, studying trends in endometrial cancer incidence.
Pregnancy; reproductive cancers
Effectiveness of health system interventions for patients using high-dose opioids; medication safety during pregnancy
Maternal mental health around the time of pregnancy; substance use and addiction including opioids and cannabis
Effectiveness of health system interventions for patients with opioid use disorder
Prevention and treatment
Wartko PD, Weiss NS, Enquobahrie DA, Chan KCG, Stephenson-Famy A, Mueller BA, Dublin S. Antidepressant continuation in pregnancy and risk of gestational diabetes. Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2019 Jul 12. doi: 10.1002/pds.4799. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Pocobelli G, Yu O, Fuller S, Fraser JR, Wartko P, Chen L, Newton K, Dimer J, McCulloch D, Warwick S, Dublin S. One-step approach to identifying gestational diabetes mellitus: association with perinatal outcomes. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Aug 17. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000002780. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed
Researchers need much bigger data sets to find outcomes that matter, Dr. Sascha Dublin and colleagues write in Pediatrics.
Reuters, Oct 3, 2019