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Meet NWCPHP's Research Assistants

Research Assistants (RA) comprise an essential component of the workforce at NWCPHP. Research Assistants are current University of Washington School of Public Health graduate students.

February 11, 2011

Research Assistants (RA) comprise an essential component of the workforce at NWCPHP. Research Assistants are current University of Washington School of Public Health graduate students. These individuals help NWCPHP better serve the public health community.

Nora Kleinman

Nora Kleinman

"Working at the NWCPHP has given me a greater appreciation for the amount and scope of work that local health departments have to do."

For almost a year, Nora Kleinman has worked on the evaluation team at NWCPHP. Her work includes creating training needs assessments and evaluations for our state, local, and tribal public health partners. She also evaluates programs conducted at the NWCPHP. Nora is often the driving force behind the statistical analyses and reports that are produced after the data collection is completed. She is currently in her second year of the Masters of Public Health program in Epidemiology at the University of Washington (UW). Like many Seattleites, Nora commutes to work on her bicycle and enjoys hiking, rock climbing, backpacking, and snowshoeing.

Swarnika Mehta

Swarnika Mehta"Since working with NWCPHP, through project meetings and data analysis, I have gained a lot of knowledge of public health and its related operations."

As a second-year student in the Masters in Information Management program at the UW Information School, Swarnika Mehta enjoys a unique research assistant position with NWCPHP. Since September 2010 she has been providing software engineering support to the Randomized Trial of Communication Methods between Public Health and Health Care providers (REACH) project. Her role includes database management and technical support for the message delivery systems. When she's not busy expanding her IT knowledge, Swarnika's passion is for swimming.


Dana Meranus

Dana Meranus"My time at NWCPHP has amplified my awareness of the lack of standardized public health tools available to health care professionals, and has exposed me to the benefits of public health research partnerships."

Dana Meranus, a second-year student in the UW Epidemiology doctoral program, has been working with NWCPHP since October 2009. She is currently assisting with the REACH project, a five-year study to evaluate the effectiveness of different communication methods used between public health agencies and health care providers during emergency events. Before beginning graduate school, Dana worked for a variety of health departments and non-governmental organizations. She hopes to continue her training in public health practice with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Epidemic Intelligence Service after completing her PhD.

Claire Rainey

Claire Rainey"Having previously worked at the local level, it's been fascinating to approach public health practice from a new angle. Working with NWCPHP has given me a better perspective about how public health programs and policies are created and reshaped at every level of the public health system."

Claire Rainey began working with NWCPHP in December 2010. She is currently working with Carl Osaki on a regional assessment of new public health emergency preparedness capabilities. Claire also works on the evaluation team and writes for the NWCPHP website. Claire is a first-year Masters of Public Health student in the UW Epidemiology program. As a research assistant with NWCPHP she has enjoyed combining her experience in public health practice with her newly learned analytical skills. When not at work or school, Claire enjoys exploring Seattle's many neighborhood parks, markets, and great restaurants.

Carla Rodriguez

Carla Rodriguez"I think the academic and practice partnership forged at NWCPHP is a great model because many public health settings do not have the time and resources to devote to conducting rigorous research to guide their practice."

Carla Rodriguez, a fifth-year PhD student in the UW Department of Epidemiology, is the newest research assistant at NWCPHP. With over 11 years of experience working in public health practice, Carla is an exciting addition to our team. She just began working on a new research project that is identifying indicators for success in disease reporting, investigation and response across six state health departments. Since moving to Seattle, she has missed her favorite hobby, surfing, but makes up for it by cooking up a storm with her husband and spending time outdoors. After finishing her doctoral degree, Carla hopes to continue conducting research that supports the work being done by public health practitioners.

Katherine Sabourin

Katherine Sabourin"Before I worked at the NWCPHP, the only side of public health I really saw was the research side. After having worked here for a few months I have been able to experience the public health practice side of things, which I must say is very different from research."

Katherine Sabourin began working with the NWCPHP as a volunteer intern last summer, leading the medical and public health planning efforts for the Northwest Ride of Dreams mass gathering event in Ellensburg, Washington. Now a research assistant, Katherine works on a variety of projects. As a member of the evaluation team, Katherine analyzes and reports questionnaire results. In June she will be graduating with her Master's of Public Health in Epidemiology, as well as a certificate in Global Health. After graduation Katherine hopes to find work on a remote tropical island.


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