I’m a researcher and certified health education specialist (CHES®) who focuses on decreasing vaccine-preventable diseases. I first developed an interest in vaccine-preventable diseases during my training in sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention and sexuality education evaluation. Later, during my graduate training, I also became interested in strategies to increase vaccination rates, specifically human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates.
As a researcher for more than seven years, my interests have expanded to include provider-patient communication and theory-based behavioral interventions. I focus on developing, implementing and evaluating training tools using implementation science methods. My goal is to increase healthcare providers' skills and abilities in using evidence-based communication strategies to provide consistent and equitable care to patients.
For example, I was part of a research team that conducted a usability and feasibility evaluation of a novel HPV vaccine communication training program targeted to healthcare providers. This effort, funded by the Academic Pediatric Association, used a smartphone app (HPV Vaccine: Same Way, Same Day™) among a cohort of pediatric residents. The evaluation resulted in the app being described by residents as interactive, easy to use, succinct, informative, engaging and practical. It has the potential to provide a scalable training technique to promote effective HPV vaccine recommendation skills.
Since joining Cincinnati Children’s in 2019, I’ve been involved in several exciting research initiatives. I’m the principal investigator of a study evaluating a virtual reality curriculum that aims to increase providers' skills in using evidence-based HPV vaccine recommendation practices. I’m also co-investigator of a content and usability evaluation of web-based continuing education programs designed to help dental providers discuss HPV and oropharyngeal cancers. Studies like these allow us to identify user-centered training features and evaluate provider training interventions, so we can produce evidence-based implementation training strategies.
I’ve received several honors and awards, including the Emerging Professional Award from the American School Health Association (2016). I was also named a fellow of the American School Health Association (2018).
Sexually transmitted infections; HPV; theory-based behavioral interventions
Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics