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Events

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

 

All are welcome.

upcoming seminars and events

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Title: Supporting health management in everyday life with mobile technology

Presenter: Dr. Pedja Klasnja, Assistant Professor in the School of Information, and in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Abstract

Much of what individuals have to do to manage their health happens outside the clinic, in the midst of daily life. They may need to make changes to their physical activity and diet, adhere to complex medication regimens, or coordinate care among multiple clinicians. mHealth tools, such as mobile-phone applications and wearable sensors, are becoming an important platform for the delivery of interventions to support such activities. How to design effective mHealth tools is an open question, however.

In Pedja Klasnja’s work, Klasnja uses user-centered design methods and a combination of qualitative and novel quantitative evaluation methods to develop and evaluate mobile technologies that can support health management that patients do in their daily lives. He aims to design technologies that fit both individuals’ health needs and constraints of their personal and work lives, to understand factors that influence how individuals use and experience those technologies, and to assess whether, for whom, and in what circumstances those technologies are efficacious.

In this talk, Klasnja will provide examples of this approach across several health domains, including information management during care for breast cancer and increasing physical activity to reduce risks for cardiovascular disease.

Bio

Predrag "Pedja" Klasnja is an Assistant Professor in the School of Information and in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education at the University of Michigan. He works at the intersection of Health Informatics and Human-Computer Interaction, investigating how new technologies can help individuals to effectively manage their health in everyday life. Pedja holds a PhD in Information Science from the University of Washington, where he was also a National Library of Medicine Postdoctoral Fellow in Biomedical and Health Informatics.

Coffee and tea will be provided.


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Special Seminar Series: Health Informatics & Patient-Generated Health Data

Title: Getting More Value from Personal Informatics Data, Alone and Together

PresenterSean Munson, Assistant Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering, University of Washington.

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Join us for the third of three events about health informatics and patient-generated health data. Smartphones, wearables, and other devices increasingly enable patients to capture health-related data outside the clinic in their everyday lives. What health care opportunities does this data present? This seminar series samples research innovations that leverage patient-generated health data right in our own backyard. 

Abstract

Today, connected devices and mobile applications enable people to track a variety information. Health and wellness data is one of the most commonly tracked data types; more than 69 percent of United States adults currently track a health factor, with 14 percent using technology to so do. These numbers will continue to rise as new technology removes barriers to long-term, ubiquitous personal monitoring.

Less clear is how much value people gain from these tracking abilities. More data can increase one’s capacity to understand one’s behavior or symptoms, factors which influence it, and opportunities for improvement. Review of these data to produce actionable information, however, can be challenging for individual trackers, the support networks with whom they share it, and experts that consult. In this talk, Munson will discuss early efforts and challenges to helping people gain more value from their personal informatics data, both individually and in collaboration with others.

Biography

Sean Munson is an Assistant Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. He studies the use of software to support behavior changes. His work primarily focuses on increasing people’s exposure to diverse political news and opinions, and helping them achieve their health and wellness goals. Sean completed a B.S. in Engineering with a concentration in Systems Design at Olin College in 2006, and earned a PhD at the University of Michigan's School of Information in 2012. He has been a political blogger and, while working at Boeing, designed concepts for future passenger airplane interiors.

The series

On Tuesday, June 9, Heather Evans, Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington, will examine how mobile health technology could provide the key to improving detection and management of post-surgical complications.

On Tuesday, June 23, Dan Morris, Senior Researcher in the Medical Devices Group at Microsoft Research, will present opportunities for detecting cardiovascular risk through the demonstration of a wrist-worn device for continuous ambulatory monitoring of hemodynamic state.

On Tuesday, July 14, Sean Munson, Assistant Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington, will discuss early efforts and challenges to helping people gain value from tracking their personal health data with connected devices and mobile applications, both individually and in collaboration with others.


past seminars and events

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Special Seminar Series: Health Informatics & Patient-Generated Health Data

Title: Aurora: A Wearable Device for Ambulatory Observation of Hemodynamic State

Presenter: Dan Morris, Senior Researcher in the Medical Devices Group at Microsoft Research.

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Join us for the second of three events about health informatics and patient-generated health data. Smartphones, wearables, and other devices increasingly enable patients to capture health-related data outside the clinic in their everyday lives. What health care opportunities does this data present? This seminar series samples research innovations that leverage patient-generated health data right in our own backyard. 

Abstract

Our group has traditionally worked on wearable sensors for consumer devices, with a focus on signal processing and machine learning techniques. We're currently focused on leveraging that expertise to develop novel, wearable sensors for cardiovascular health. Our first foray into this space is a wrist-worn device (project "Aurora") for continuous radial pulse wave analysis, including peripheral augmentation index (pAIx) computation and pulse wave velocity (PWV) measurement. The device can be worn continuously in ambulatory settings (i.e., it's small, wireless, and robust), which will enable research about how these metrics (pAIx and PWV in particular) behave over longer time periods than have typically been studied, how they correlate to daily activities, including sleep, exercise, and food/medication intake, and—most importantly—whether they can serve as new, ambulatory indicators of cardiovascular risk. In this talk, Morris will discuss how we got from input devices to health devices, will demonstrate the Aurora device, and will ask for research questions you would want to ask with this device.

Biography

Dan Morris is a Senior Researcher in the Medical Devices Group at Microsoft Research and a member of the dub group at the University of Washington. His work at MSR has included signal processing and machine learning for input systems, making medical information more useful to hospital patients, and generating musical accompaniment for vocal melodies (the "Songsmith" project). Currently, his two main research worlds—"sensing stuff for input" and "making medical information useful"—are finally coming together, and he is working on sensing and machine learning for health and wellness. Before MSR, Morris studied neuroscience at Brown, and developed brain-computer interfaces for research and clinical environments. His PhD work at Stanford focused on haptics and physical simulation for virtual surgery.

The series

On Tuesday, June 9, Heather Evans, Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington, will examine how mobile health technology could provide the key to improving detection and management of post-surgical complications.

On Tuesday, June 23, Dan Morris, Senior Researcher in the Medical Devices Group at Microsoft Research, will present opportunities for detecting cardiovascular risk through the demonstration of a wrist-worn device for continuous ambulatory monitoring of hemodynamic state.

On Tuesday, July 14, Sean Munson, Assistant Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington, will discuss early efforts and challenges to helping people gain value from tracking their personal health data with connected devices and mobile applications, both individually and in collaboration with others.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

U.S. film premiere—"Genetic Me," a documentary by Lone Frank

Featuring guest speaker Evette J. Ludman, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Group Health Research Institute.

7 to 9:30 p.m. in room 1509, Group Health Research Institute 

"Genetic Me" follows Lone on a deeply personal journey as she talks with experts in mental health, neuroscience, and genetics to explore the universal question, “How did I become me?” The event is generously offered by the Northwest Science Writers Association. All are welcome. 

Synopsis

Is our personality determined by our genes? And if it is, do we even want to know about it? Join the Danish science journalist Lone Frank on a trip around the world to talk to some of the brightest minds in the field about who we really think we are. For if anyone can chart their own genetic profile with a do-it-yourself kit for $99, there are suddenly some fundamental, ethical questions knocking at the door. Frank herself experiences some huge surprises along the way. And she is not the only one: in the course of the film she among other people meets an American expert in psychiatry, who evaluates an X-ray of a brain to belong to a callous psychopath—until he finds out that it was a picture of his own brain. He just happened to grow up in a well-functioning family, where his genetic disposition for being a psychopath were kept in check. "Genetic Me" integrates Frank's own, journalistic practice and research in a cinematic form, which makes the mysteries of brain science understandable even to brains that try to convince themselves that they are completely normal.

Snacks and beverages will be provided. After the one-hour film, a discussion will be led by Dr. Ludman.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

To screen or not to screen: evolving evidence around breast cancer screening

Presenter: Diana Buist, PhD, MPH, Group Health Research Institute senior investigator

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 10 to 11 a.m.


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Special Seminar Series: Health Informatics & Patient-Generated Health Data

Title: Surgical Site Infection: Seek and you will find with mHealth

Presenter: Heather Evans, MD, Associate Professor of Surgery, the University of Washington.

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Join us for the first of three events about health informatics and patient-generated health data. Smartphones, wearables, and other devices increasingly enable patients to capture health-related data outside the clinic in their everyday lives. What health care opportunities does this data present? This seminar series samples research innovations that leverage patient-generated health data right in our own backyard. 

Abstract

Surgical site infections (SSI) occur in 3–5 percent of all surgical patients, and up to 33 percent of patients undergoing abdominal surgery. With shorter hospitalizations, most SSIs now occur post-discharge, placing a burden on patients who are often ill-prepared to manage SSI. More than half of patients who develop post-discharge SSI are readmitted to the hospital, making SSI the overall costliest health care-associated infection. The transition between in-hospital and post-discharge surgical care poses special challenges that exacerbate the morbidity of post-discharge SSI. Dr. Evans will explore the problem of SSI: how it has been historically underappreciated, and how mobile health (mHealth) could be key to improving the detection and management of the most common and costly post-surgical complication.

Biography

Dr. Evans, Associate Professor in the Division of Trauma, Burn and Critical Care Surgery at the University of Washington, has been studying surgical infections since 1999 when she began her surgical residency at the University of Virginia. In the past three years, she has led a multidisciplinary team, investigating the role of mobile health (mHealth) interventions for the early detection and treatment of surgical site infections, the most common healthcare associated infection in the United States. Together with investigators from UW Biomedical Health Informatics and GHRI’s own Dr. Andrea Hartzler, Dr. Evans has created mPOWEr, the mobile Post-Operative Wound Evaluator, an mHealth platform with a smartphone app for patients and a web-based dashboard for providers to facilitate improved post-discharge data sharing of surgical wound symptoms and wound photography. Although it began as a means to provide prospective wound surveillance data from patients, mPOWEr has rapidly evolving into a patient-centered tool to improve the post-discharge care experience for surgical patients. Dr. Evans is also on the bleeding edge of wearable technology application in health care, exploring how Google Glass might expedite the initial evaluation of burn wounds, enhance medical education, and facilitate improved standard evaluation of procedural milestones.

The series

On Tuesday, June 9, Heather Evans, Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Washington, will examine how mobile health technology could provide the key to improving detection and management of post-surgical complications.

On Tuesday, June 23, Dan Morris, Senior Researcher in the Medical Devices Group at Microsoft Research, will present opportunities for detecting cardiovascular risk through the demonstration of a wrist-worn device for continuous ambulatory monitoring of hemodynamic state.

On Tuesday, July 14, Sean Munson, Assistant Professor of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington, will discuss early efforts and challenges to helping people gain value from tracking their personal health data with connected devices and mobile applications, both individually and in collaboration with others.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Hilde and Bill Birnbaum Endowed Lecture 2015: Patient Engagement in the Digital Age

Featuring guest speaker Michael F. Evans, MD, associate professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto. 

7:30 a.m., Washington State Convention Center, Seattle. (Doors open at 7 a.m., breakfast served at 7:15 a.m.)

Michael F. Evans, MD, associate professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, will deliver Group Health’s 16th Annual Birnbaum Endowed Lecture at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3, at the Washington State Convention Center.

Dr. Evans is a family physician and researcher who shares Group Health’s passion for finding practical ways to help people live happier, healthier lives. Read more about Dr. Evans' work and the 2015 Birnbaum lecture in Group Health Research Institute Events.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Data Science → Data Sense: Integrating Data Science and Statistics for Medical Advancement

Sponsored by Fred Hutch and University of Washington Cancer Consortium

Pelton Auditorium, Fred Hutch Campus, Seattle, Wash., 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Group Health Research Institute's Susan Shortreed, PhD, will join other colleagues on Panel: Getting Closer to the Data. View the entire agenda

Registration is free. Please RSVP.


May 12, 2015

Osteoporosis: Focus on Fractures

Presented by Susan Ott, MD

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The T-32 Directors and Fellows invite you to join them for a seminar presented by Susan Ott, MD, Professor of Medicine at UW.

Abstract

Osteoporosis is a common disease that is not simple. The World Health Organization has developed a fracture risk assessment tool. Dr. Ott will explain the background for derivation of this tool, show how it is used, and discuss some of the limitations. She will also show some examples of how treating risk factors does not necessarily help the patient.


May 12, 2015

Scientific Seminar: Prioritizing research: the use of risk prediction, value of information analyses, and portfolio evaluation to improve public investments in cancer clinical trials

Presented by Carrie Bennette, PhD

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Abstract

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently stressed that rigorous prioritization of trial concepts for large cancer clinical trials cooperative groups was critical to ensure that limited public funds are used effectively and efficiently. Yet despite this ardent call to improve the means of prioritizing and selecting cancer clinical trials, many questions remain about how to achieve these goals. Portfolio management is commonly used to prioritize investments within the private sector, but is not used widely to manage public research investments due to the difficulty of defining and quantifying appropriate measures of risk and return.

During this seminar Dr. Bennette will present work completed for her dissertation, in which she developed and evaluated novel quantitative measures of risk and return that were appropriate for publicly funded cancer clinical trials and applied a 'proof of concept' portfolio evaluation to a sample of clinical trial proposals recently reviewed by a large cancer clinical trials cooperative group, SWOG. 

Presenter

Carrie Bennette completed her PhD in the Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research and Policy Program at UW in December 2014 and began a K12 Patient-Centered Outcomes Research postdoctoral training award at GHRI with Karen Wernli as her primary mentor in 2015. Her research interests include cancer outcomes & policy, development, and implementation of decision analytical tools to help policymakers, patients, and healthcare providers in the face of uncertain and complex decisions, and the use of Web-based technology to improve the dissemination and implementation of comparative-effectiveness methods and results. 

During graduate school, Dr. Bennette worked with Dr. David Veenstra on several projects related to the cost-effectiveness of genomic sequencing. Prior to moving to Seattle, she completed her MPH at Columbia University and worked as a masters-level biostatistician at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, primarily focusing on the evaluation of novel biomarkers in prostate cancer screening and the clinical value of prediction models. 

Coffee and tea will be provided.


April 28, 2015

Project Esteban: Extending the effectiveness and reach of smoking cessation to those in most need

Presented by Roger Vilardaga, PhD

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Abstract

In this presentation, Dr. Vilardaga will discuss the background, rationale, and initial stages of development of a mobile intervention for people with serious behavioral disorders. He will briefly present the results of (1) a summative UX evaluation of NCI QuitPal among people with a psychiatric disorders, and (2) a UX evaluation of Learn-to-Quit, the low fidelity prototype of a novel smoking cessation app based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Finally, he will discuss the results and describe the next steps involved in this project.

Presenter

Roger Vilardaga studied psychology at the Universitat de Barcelona and received his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is passionate about the potential of mobile technologies for the advancement of contextual behavioral science and the development of cost-effective and higher-reaching behavioral interventions. In 2014 he received a five-year Pathway to Independence Award from the National Institutes of Health. This Award will provide training in user-centered design and will fund a three-year pilot randomized controlled trial to test the initial feasibility of the first NIH-funded smartphone app to deliver smoking cessation treatment for individuals with serious mental illness. Vilardaga is also Associate Editor of the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science and provides training in acceptance and commitment therapy to residents at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Coffee and tea will be provided.


April 14, 2015

Scientific Seminar: Should We Screen for and Treat People Who Have "Prediabetes”?

Presented by David McCulloch, MD, Medical Director, Clinical Improvement, Group Health

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Unable to attend in person?
Webinar link: https://meetings.webex.com/collabs/#/meetings/detail?uuid=M87IVL0H7EQLYXGXEXCPVRIT4A-9ZW9&rnd=271097.23929

Meeting number: 197 339 310
Dial In Audio: 877-224-4168
Audio Code: 511238

Abstract

With the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the USA the desire to do something about it is very compelling. Shouldn’t we screen the population to identify those at highest risk for developing diabetes and then give them encouragement and support to prevent them from getting diabetes? What could be wrong with that idea? Actually, there is quite a lot wrong with that idea.
Dr. McCulloch will explain why the term “prediabetes” is misleading and why the National Diabetes Prevention Program that is being heavily promoted by the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is seriously flawed. While well-intentioned, it is likely to result in very different outcomes and unintended consequences than those they are expecting and hoping for.

Presenter

David McCulloch, MD, obtained his medical education at Edinburgh University, Scotland with additional postgraduate training at the University of Nottingham, England, and University of Washington, Seattle. He has worked in the field of clinical diabetes innovation for over thirty years and has over 80 publications on a wide variety of diabetes-related topics. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington and works as a diabetologist, leading clinical improvement efforts in diabetes with an energetic team at Group Health Cooperative. He has also chaired national and statewide diabetes and cardiovascular disease collaboratives with a wide variety of health care organizations. He is also the Medical Director for Clinical Improvement at Group Health.

Coffee and tea will be provided.


April 13, 2015

Seminar: Preparing for 2050—Transforming Health Care for a Graying America

Presented by Andrea LaCroix, PhD

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

The T-32 directors and fellows invite you to join them for a special scientific seminar presented by Andrea LaCroix, PhD.

Presenter

A member of the Group Health Research Institute faculty since 1989, Andrea LaCroix is an epidemiologist interested in older women’s health, especially prevention of heart disease, cancer, and disability. She is also interested in identifying strategies to optimize healthy aging. Dr. LaCroix was co-principal investigator of the Women’s Health Initiative Clinical Coordinating Center in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She is now a professor of epidemiology at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, and continues to serve as a director of GHRI’s T-32 postdoctoral fellowship in women’s health.


March 11–13, 2015

HMORN Annnual Meeting—Care Improvement Research: Partnering with Patients, Providers and Operational Leaders

Featuring GHRI presenters Robert Reid, MD, PhD; Jane Grafton, BA; Diana Buist, PhD, MPH; Luesa Jordan; Sharon Fuller, PhD; Gwen Lapham, PhD, MPH; Katherine Bradley, MD; Sascha Dublin, MD, PhD, and more.

Hyatt Regency, Long Beach, Calif.

The 21st annual HMORN conference will offer opportunities to interact and share your knowledge and ideas with peers from around the country, and create new collaborations and partnerships to further your own research.

The event will feature groundbreaking examples of care improvement research from scientists and research administrators representing HMORN member organizations from throughout the United States. Abstracts are also welcomed from researchers outside the HMORN with an interest in care improvement. Topics of special interest at the conference will include rapid-cycle learning, comparative effectiveness research, delivery system innovations, and the efficient dissemination and uptake of research findings into clinical practice.

Visit the HMORN Annual Meeting website for full details including schedules, presenters, and attendees.


February 24, 2015

Scientific Seminar: Writing an IRB application that includes social media: Key considerations

Presented by Kelly Hebner, JD, IRB Regulatory Analyst, Seattle Children’s Research Institute

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Abstract

The objectives of this presentation are to discuss the key ethical concepts in using social media in research, common regulatory issues that arise in IRB applications that include social media components, and strategies and resources to craft a social media IRB application.

Biography

Kelly Hebner brings expertise in Office of Human Research Protection (OHRP) regulations, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and pediatric research. Ms. Hebner received her Juris Doctor at Seattle University in 2009, and is a member of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA). She is a member of the Health Law section of the WSBA.

Coffee and tea will be provided.


February 19, 2015

Scientific Seminar: MsFLASH and Other Stories: Non-hormonal Management of Menopause Symptoms

Presented by Katherine M. Newton, PhD, Senior investigator, Director of Research & External Affairs, Group Health Research Institute

Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 1 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Abstract

Since the publication of the findings from the Woman’s Health Initiative, which clarified the risks for women associated with the use of hormone therapy for menopause symptoms, women have been seeking non-hormonal, safer therapies to treat menopause symptoms. Our understanding of which menopause symptoms are most important to women, and our toolkit to help them manage these symptoms, has improved dramatically over the last 13 years. In this presentation, the results of a series of studies (HALT and MsFLASH) that have added to this toolkit will be presented.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Scientific seminar: Bias in estimating the causal hazard ratio when using two-stage instrumental variable methods

Presented by Fei Wan, PhD candidate and biostatistician in the Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Pennsylvania. 

4:00—5:15 p.m., Group Health Research Institute, Room 1509A, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle

Biography

Fei Wan is a PhD candidate and biostatistician in the Center for Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests are in the area of causal inference /observational studies, Comparative Effectiveness Research, and health service research.

Abstract

Two-stage instrumental variable methods are commonly used to estimate the causal effects of treatments on survival in the presence of measured and unmeasured confounding. Two-stage residual inclusion (2SRI) has been the method of choice over two-stage predictor substitution (2SPS) in clinical studies.

We directly compare the bias in the causal hazard ratio estimated by these two methods. Under a principal stratification framework, we derive a closed form solution for asymptotic bias of the causal hazard ratio among compliers for both the 2SPS and 2SRI methods when survival time follows the Weibull distribution with random censoring. When there is no unmeasured confounding and no always takers, our analytic results show that 2SRI is generally asymptotically unbiased but 2SPS is not. However, when there is substantial unmeasured confounding, 2SPS performs better than 2SRI with respect to bias under certain scenarios. We use extensive simulation studies to confirm the analytic results from our closed-form solutions.

Coffee and tea will be served.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Constructing Optimal Dynamic Antipsychotic Treatment Regimes for Patients with Schizophrenia

Presented by Susan Shortreed, PhDAssociate Investigator, Group Health Research Institute

3:00—4:30 p.m., University of Washington Health Sciences Building, Room H371, Seattle.

Event information

The Program in Health Economics and Outcomes Methodology (PHEnOM) seminar will be held Wednesday January 21, 2015 from 3–4:30 p.m. in the Health Sciences Building, Room H371.

Methods Topic: Dynamic Treatments

More information:
PHEnOM: http://depts.washington.edu/phenom/

For more information about the PHEnOM seminar series: http://depts.washington.edu/phenom/seminar/

Questions? Please contact: Anirban Basu at basua@uw.edu


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Seminar: Variable Selection for Case-Cohort Studies with Failure Time Outcome

Presented by Andy Ni, MS. 

4–5:15 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.

Biography

Andy Ni received his MS in Biostatistics from the University of Toronto, and then worked at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa, Canada, as a biostatistician for two years. He is currently in his fifth year of PhD study and UNC-Chapel Hill.

Abstract

Case-cohort design is widely used in large cohort studies to reduce the cost associated with covariate measurement. In many of those studies the number of covariates is very large, especially with the increasing availability of massive genetic information.

Therefore, an efficient variable selection method is needed for case-cohort design. In this presentation, Mr. Ni will focus on the Smoothly Clipped Absolute Deviation (SCAD) penalty based variable selection procedure in case-cohort studies with failure time outcome. He will establish the consistency and asymptotic normality of the maximum penalized pseudo-partial likelihood estimator.

Ni will further show that the proposed model selection procedure can identify the true model with probability one as sample size goes to infinity, and it estimates the nonzero parameters as efficiently as if the true model is known a priori. Simulation results will be presented to assess and compare the finite sample performance of the proposed variable selection procedure with AIC- and BIC-based tuning parameter selection methods. The proposed procedure is applied to the Busselton Health Study.

Ni will make recommendations for practical use of the variable selection procedures in case-cohort studies.

 

Coffee and tea will be served.



Monday, January 12, 2015

Special presentation
Research publishing open access

Presented by Jevin West, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of Washington Information School

2:30–3:30 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.

Summary

Open access journal articles are freely available on the Internet with no restrictions, no paywall. This publishing model raises many questions for researchers, including:

  • Does open access increase citations?

  • Do open access journals have impact factors comparable to subscription journals?

  • What are the costs and benefits—for my group, for GHRI, and for research in general—of paying extra to publish an open access article? 

  • Which open access journals should I publish in?

Join us for a presentation and conversation about open access publishing on Monday January 12, 2015 at 2:30 p.m., room 1509A. Assistant Professor Jevin West, University of Washington Information School, will talk about pros and cons and answer your questions about open access.

For more on open access publishing, see the 8-minute PHD comics video.


Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

Scientific seminar
Beyond the 1-exposure, 1-outcome paradigm for scientific discovery in environmental epidemiology

Presented by Jennifer Feder Bobb, PhD, Research Associate, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health

4–5 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.

Summary

The most common approach in environmental epidemiology is to hypothesize a relationship between a particular exposure and a particular outcome and then estimate the health risks.

In this talk I will present two case studies from my research that move beyond this standard one-exposure, one-outcome paradigm. The first case study considers the problem of estimating the effects of multiple exposures on a single outcome. We propose a new approach for estimating the health effects of multi-pollutant mixtures, Bayesian kernel machine regression, which simultaneously estimates the (potentially high-dimensional) exposure-response function and incorporates variable selection to identify important mixture components.

The second case study considers the effects of a single exposure (heat waves) on multiple outcomes (cause-specific hospitalization rates). Rather than pre-specifying a small number of individual diseases, we jointly consider all 15,000 possible discharge diagnosis codes and identify the full spectrum of diseases associated with exposure to heat waves among 23.7 million older adults. Through these case studies, we find that approaches that consider multiple exposures and/or multiple outcomes have the potential to lead to new scientific insights.

Bio

Jennifer received her PhD in biostatistics from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in May 2012. She is currently a research associate in the Department of Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health, working with Francesca Dominici and Brent Coull. In her research she develops statistical methodologies for large and high-dimensional, observational data, with applications in public health and epidemiology. Some of her work has been to develop methods for estimating the health effects of climate change, methods for estimating how concurrent exposure to multiple environmental stressors (heat waves, air pollution, chemical mixtures) impacts health, and applying these methods to conduct large-scale epidemiological investigations.


Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2014

Webinar
Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care, presented by The Commonwealth Fund

9–10 a.m. Pacific; Registration information

Presenters

Moderator: Melinda Abrams, Vice President, Health Care Delivery System Reform, The Commonwealth Fund

Jurgen Unutzer, MD, Director, Advancing Integrated Mental Health Solutions Center, University of Washington

Andrea Fox, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Squirrel Hill Health Center

Marty Abdo, Certified Peer Specialist and Peer Bridger, Harborview Medical Center

Meeting Description:

Behavioral health problems significantly affect people’s health and quality of life, and often exist alongside physical health problems. This one-hour webinar on December 10, 2014, at 12 p.m., E.T., will discuss the benefits of integrating behavioral health into primary care, especially for low-income individuals, drawing on lessons from the Safety Net Medical Home Initiative, a five-year demonstration that was supported by The Commonwealth Fund, Qualis Health, and the MacColl Center for Health Care Innovation at the Group Health Research Institute.


Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

Scientific seminar
The role of stage at diagnosis in colorectal cancer racial/ethnic survival disparities: a causal inference perspective

Presented by Linda Valeri, PhD, Research Fellow, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health

4–5 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.

Summary

Disparities in colorectal cancer survival and stage at diagnosis between white and black patients are widely documented, whereby black patients are more likely diagnosed at advanced stage and have poorer prognosis. Interest lies in understanding the importance of stage at diagnosis in explaining survival disparities.

To this aim we propose to quantify the extent to which racial/ethnic survival disparities would be reduced if disparities in stage at diagnosis were eliminated. In particular, we develop a causal inference approach to assess the impact of a hypothetical shift in the distribution of stage at diagnosis in the black population to match that of the white population. We further develop sensitivity analysis techniques to assess the robustness of our results to the violation of the no-unmeasured confounding assumption and to selection bias due to stage at diagnosis missing not-at-random.

Our results support the hypothesis that elimination of disparities in stage at diagnosis would contribute to the reduction in racial survival disparities in colorectal cancer. Important heterogeneities across the patients’ characteristics were observed and our approach easily accommodates for these features. This work illustrates how a causal inference perspective aids in identifying and formalizing relevant hypotheses in health disparities research that can inform policy decisions.

Dr. Valeri's research interests

Dr. Valeri works on statistical methods for causal mediation analysis, which is relevant for comparative effectiveness research, evaluating and improving policy recommendations, and explaining biological mechanisms. Her dissertation focused on developing methods and computational tools for mediation analysis under the counterfactual framework in the presence of interactions and measurement error. Currently, she is interested in the analysis of pathways in longitudinal and time to event data.


Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014

Webinar
The Team Guide: Healthier patients, happier staff

1–2 p.m. Pacific

Register here. Pre-registration not necessary. Please connect via WebEx on December 9.

Event information
Join the MacColl Center team on December 9, 2014 to discuss team-based care. We are pleased to announce the release of the Team Guide, an online tool for primary care teams working to establish or transform team-based care developed through our Primary Care Teams-Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices (PCT-LEAP) project. Please join us on December 9, 2014, at 1 p.m. Pacific / 4 p.m. Eastern for an introductory webinar.

Visit the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's website for more information: New Online Resource Provides Tools for Transforming Primary Care.


Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2014

Scientific seminar
A review of the long-term benefits and risks of bariatric surgery

Presented by David Arterburn, MD, MPH

2–3 p.m., Room 1509A, Group Health Research Institute, 1730 Minor Ave., Seattle.

Abstract

In the last 10 years there has been a marked increase in data on the short- and long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery. The objective of this seminar is to summarize recent evidence related to the safety, efficacy, and metabolic outcomes of bariatric surgery to guide clinical decision making. 

Dr. Arterburn will discuss the challenges of randomized and observational trials in the area of bariatric surgery and present data and conclusions from the 2013 National Institutes of Health Symposium on the Long-Term Outcomes of Bariatric Surgery. He will also specifically focus on a review of the sparse data on bariatric outcomes among older adults.

Bio

A national leader in obesity research, Dr. Arterburn joined Group Health Research Institute in 2006 to forge a new program of research spanning behavioral, pharmaceutical, and bariatric surgical care. Before joining GHRI, he published important findings on the epidemic nature and rising cost of obesity in the United States.

Because tackling the obesity crisis requires a menu of treatment options, Dr. Arterburn's current research covers a broad range, including policy-level interventions for health plans, pharmaco-epidemiology, pharmacogenetics, the long-term outcomes of bariatric surgery, and shared decision making related to elective surgery. With the support of the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation, for which he serves as a medical editor, he has collaborated with Group Health's specialty leadership to implement and evaluate a new initiative to promote shared decision making around elective surgical care with video-based patient decision aids. The approach shows great promise for simultaneously improving the quality and lowering the costs of health care.