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NWCPHP Faculty Member Receives National Attention for Study

Led by NWCPHP faculty member Betty Bekemeier PhD, MPH, FAAN, efforts of the Public Health Activities and Services Tracking (PHAST) Study have been featured in a recent edition of the Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) newsletter.
NWCPHP Faculty Member Receives National Attention for Study

Betty Bekemeier PhD, MPH, FAAN

Led by NWCPHP faculty member Betty Bekemeier PhD, MPH, FAAN, efforts of the Public Health Activities and Services Tracking (PHAST) Study have been featured in a recent edition of the Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) newsletter.

April 10, 2013

Creating a system to track varying services available through local health departments and the corresponding health impacts on populations, the Public Health Activities and Services Tracking (PHAST) Study was recently highlighted in the Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) newsletter, PHSSR Matters.The PHAST study is led by NWCPHP faculty member Betty Bekemeier PhD, MPH, FAAN.

Given the nation's recent financial crisis and resulting health care cuts, the PHAST study was developed to monitor how variations in local public health department services affect the health of populations. Local public health departments participating in the PHAST study were from Public Health Practice-Based Research Networks (PBRN). As an active member of the Washington State PBRN, Bekemeier works closely with PBRN and conducted an initial meeting of study participants to identify similar measurable services and other comparable variables across local health departments.

The study places special emphasis on vulnerable populations, and tracks detailed information regarding local public health department service types, volume, scope and reach. It is hoped that the PHAST study will highlight the effectiveness of various public health efforts. More specifically, findings will help answer such questions as: Which public health services are effective? For which populations? Under what conditions?

Tracking this information over time, local health leaders will be equipped with data-driven evidence to guide decision and policy-making. Findings of the study may then be applied or replicated in additional health departments to reduce health disparities while improving the health of populations. PHAST study data will also be available for additional, large scale studies in the future.

Bekemeier discussed the value of the study and PBRN collaboration a recent interview and will be presenting “The PHAST Experience” at the PHSSR 2013 Keeneland Conference April 8–11.

Bekemeier is a peer reviewer for Northwest Public Health. Bekemeier is also an Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Nursing, Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health, and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar.

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