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Fall 2012   Fall 2012
Keyboard Research

Keyboards, Desks Can be Hazardous to Your Health

Flip over your keyboard and you'll see a warning: "Some experts believe that the use of any keyboard may cause serious injury to hands, wrists, arms, neck and back." Yes, a keyboard can be hazardous to your health. So can a mouse. Even a desk's design can affect the way you work. Peter Johnson and his colleagues are testing computer devices and desks in an effort to keep workers healthier and more productive. Hewlett-Packard and Steelcase are supporting some of this research. Read more.

Alumni Profile

“I'm certain I've saved more lives with my public health work than I did in ERs"

Arthur Kellerman

Arthur Kellermann, MPH 1985, has a flair for the dramatic and a knack for telling compelling public health stories. He’s taken on some of the nation's toughest issues, from firearm injuries to soaring health-care costs. More than ever, he says, public health workers need to know the power of communication, from using Twitter and blogs to cutting-edge tools. "Going forward, the smartphone and other mobile apps are the next generation enabler of public health." Read more.

Making a Difference

Ensuring a Good Night's Sleep for Toddlers

Sleeping Child

Preschool-age children slept better when they stopped watching violent TV shows, says a new study led by Michelle Garrison (PhD ’06 and MPH ’99 in Epi). Garrison co-authored a study with Dimitri Christakis of 565 children ages 3 to 5 in the Seattle area for 18 months. Half of the parents received advice on how to replace violent screen content with shows deemed more appropriate by researchers (think Sesame Street or Dora the Explorer). Results showed a 29 percent improvement in the percent of children not having sleep problems.

Returning Injured Workers to Health Faster


Evidence from several DEOHS studies helped craft a new Washington state law, directing the Department of Labor & Industries to create a statewide network for providers who treat injured workers. The legislation also calls for expanding access to the state's Centers of Occupational Health Education (COHE). The law is expected to save the state more than $200 million over the next four years by returning more workers to good health after injuries. The evaluation work of Gary Franklin (who is also Medical Director of L&I) and Thomas Wickizer, now at Ohio State University, was key to the bill's passage. June Spector and Joel Kaufman also played crucial roles.

Research That Saved a Million Lives

Palmer Beasley

The work of former SPH Professor Palmer Beasley directly saved more than a million lives. The epidemiologist and UW grad (MS, Preventive Medicine ‘69) discovered the link between hepatitis B and liver cancer and found the virus could be passed from mother to child. Professor Beasley died Aug. 25 at the age of 76. While on the SPH faculty, he spent more than a decade conducting research in Taiwan. As The Seattle Times reports, Dr. Beasley found that a shot of immune globulin at birth protected babies. He successfully pushed the WHO to include hepatitis B shots in its global immunization program. In 2009 he talked about his work in a video interview.

Alumni Updates

Renee Heffron, PhD 2012, Epidemiology, received a Young Investigator Award from the International AIDS Society for her research on hormonal contraception and HIV risk in Africa. She was one of five scientists under 35 to win this award, funded by the IAS and the French National Agency for Research. She also was one of two UW students selected to receive the 2012 Graduate School Distinguished Dissertation Award.
Krycia Cowling, MPH 2011, Global Health, was recently featured in Humanosphere and is a researcher working in Delhi for the Public Health Foundation of India.
Jennifer Ehreth, MHA 2008, Health Services, authored a new book: Therapeutic and Diagnostic Device Outcomes Research. She is a Principal Consultant with La-Ser Health Analytics in Paris, France.
Colin Greene, MPH 2006, Health Services, is serving active duty as a Command Surgeon for the UW Army Warrior Transition Command, helping to oversee the care and rehabilitation of wounded, ill and injured soldiers.
Corey Casper, MPH 2002, Epidemiology, was honored as a Global Health Innovator by Seattle Magazine for his work to prevent infection-related cancers in Uganda.
Thomas Lumley, MS 1996 and PhD 1998, Biostatistics, was selected as an ASA Fellow “for outstanding contributions to statistical theory and practice; for influential collaborations benefiting many important scientific studies; and for implementation of new methodology through the R system and the development of specialist software packages.” He is currently a professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.
Jennifer Alright, MPH 1994, Health Services, is in her third year of running her own business, Adult Care Solutions, LLC. She assists adults in navigating the health care system by providing advocacy, resources and referrals for any needs.
David Lewis, Jr., MSPH 1981, Environmental and Occupational Health, has retired, and looks forward to spending summers with his family and winters in warmer climates.
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