News Archives 2006

December 2006

November 2006

October 2006

September 2006

August 2006

July 2006

June 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

12/22/06

Westat Presents Senior Corps Findings at Gerontological Society Meeting

Dr. Cynthia Thomas, a Westat Senior Study Director, gave a presentation titled "How Senior Corps Volunteer Programs Strengthen Communities and Enrich the Lives of Volunteers" at the 59th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America on November 19, 2006, in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Priyanthi Silva and Anne Kleiner from Westat and Nathan Dietz from the Department of Research and Policy Development, Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), were the co-authors. Data for this presentation came from the annual performance measurement surveys of the CNCS that Westat has been conducting for several years: the Foster Grandparent Mentoring Children Survey, the Senior Companion Service Recipient Survey, and the RSVP Volunteer Survey.

Results of the surveys indicate that foster grandparents are effective mentors because they increase children's self-esteem and help them to improve their academic performance. Senior companions are valued because they help older adults remain in their own homes by providing emotional and social support and assistance with errands and tasks around the house. Volunteers through the RSVP program believe they are able to contribute significantly to society and feel vital, active, and productive in their roles.

For more information: Contact Westat

12/12/06

Westat Awarded Second CTSU Contract by NCI

Westat has again been selected to manage the Cancer Trials Support Unit (CTSU), a program of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). That contract, with anticipated extensions, will run for a total of 7 years. The CTSU facilitates physician and patient access to cancer clinical trials across the United States and Canada, provides needed support services for the trials, and works with NCI to streamline and standardize service offerings. The Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups was the primary subcontractor in the original contract and continues in that role on the new contract.

Since 1999, Westat has worked to develop and implement systems and procedures for coordinating protocol implementation and providing regulatory support, data management, quality assurance, and financial management services. We also provide training services for CTSU systems and protocols, and operate the CTSU web site and help desk. The CTSU Independent Clinical Research Site program draws small hospital and cancer clinics into the research process. Under the new contract, Westat will continue to operate the CTSU and will undertake new initiatives to address emerging recommendations for improving the cancer trials infrastructure, making creative use of information technology, and extending services to new research organizations.

"The CTSU has been particularly effective in offering a wide range of clinical trial options to clinical researchers, accelerating enrollment to several major trials, and helping to advance cancer research," noted Westat Vice President Steve Durako. "The CTSU has become a vital component of the national cancer research establishment."

For more information: Contact Westat
http://www.cancer.gov/ncicancerbulletin/NCI_Cancer_Bulletin_103106/page9 [*]
http://www.ctsu.org/ [*]

11/09/06

Westat Wins Aegis Award for Documentary Videos on Ending Homelessness

Westat has won a coveted 2006 Aegis Award for the documentary video series Transformation Through Partnerships: Systems Change to End Chronic Homelessness, which was funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Aegis Awards recognize the people and organizations responsible for developing some of the most effective video/film productions being produced today.

The videos present the complex partnerships developed in Philadelphia and Seattle to meet the needs of persons who are homeless and have mental illnesses and substance abuse issues. Partnership efforts to end chronic homelessness highlighted in the videos include programs formed by homeless service providers and city/county government, the criminal justice system, the police, hospital emergency rooms, and business and philanthropic communities. The featured programs have won multiple national awards for their partnership efforts, and the videos present best practices to other communities striving to end homelessness.

Westat Project Director Dr. Mary Anne Myers worked with a team that included our late colleague Dr. Wade Martin, Ms. Dianne McElroy, and Ms. Chandria Jones, with support from the Westat Graphics Department and Tom Barnett Productions. Dr. Martin passed away just as the videos were completed. His partnership model forms the core structure used to elucidate the featured community collaborations. We are pleased that his ideas live on in the videos.

For more information: Contact Westat

10/05/06

Westat Welcomes New VP: Dr. Elaine Eaker, Epidemiologist

Westat is pleased to announce that Elaine Eaker, ScD, has joined Westat as a Vice President and head of a newly formed unit in our Health Sector. This unit will conduct communication research and develop and disseminate a variety of media messages. Dr. Eaker will also continue to pursue her research interests in social and behavioral epidemiology, disease prevention, and health promotion.

Dr. Eaker brings to Westat an extensive research background in health and epidemiologic studies and in behavioral research, as well as experience in managing research programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She is an expert in women's health, cardiovascular disease epidemiology, and community interventions for prevention of chronic disease. Dr. Eaker is a recognized authority on the measurement of psychological and social characteristics in population-based epidemiologic research.

Dr. Eaker founded and conducted research under Eaker Epidemiology Enterprises, LLC, for about 10 years. Prior to forming Eaker Epidemiology Enterprises, LLC, Dr. Eaker was a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University. She has also held the positions of senior epidemiologist at the Marshfield Medical Research and Education Foundation, chief of the Cardiovascular Health Branch at CDC, and epidemiologist at the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Dr. Eaker has served on the American Heart Association (AHA) National Research Committee, the AHA National Research Program and Evaluation Committee, and the Executive Board of the Epidemiology and Prevention Council of AHA. For 5 years she chaired the Behavioral Science, Epidemiology, and Prevention Study Committee for the National AHA.

Westat is delighted to have Elaine join Westat to head this new group where she can use her strong research and management skills to continue her work in understanding the role of social and behavioral factors to public health and developing communications solutions in health and social areas.

Dr. Eaker has recently been funded by the National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health, to develop TalkToYourDocsm, a commercial web site to help improve communication and decisionmaking processes between health care providers and their patients on selected health issues.

For more information: Contact Westat

09/28/06

Incorporating NVivo Into the Analytic Process: Westat Presents Its Challenges and Successes

Karla Eisen, a Westat senior research associate, presented a paper at the Strategies in Qualitative Research Using QSR Software Conference held at the University of Durham, United Kingdom, September 12-15, 2006. The paper was coauthored by Dr. Izabella Zandberg and Dr. Susan Berkowitz, also from Westat. The presentation was on integrating NVivo, a computer-assisted qualitative software application, as part of a multiteam analysis of in-depth interview data in a mixed methods evaluation of clinical research networks.

"We presented the successes, challenges, and lessons learned in incorporating NVivo into the analytic process on this study," explained Eisen, "with particular emphasis on the implications of the diversity of the analytic team, especially of varying levels of experience conducting qualitative analysis and how this interplayed with differing inclinations to use and master the software." The presentation also considered the impact of working in a time-pressured, deadline-driven, non-academic environment, which made it impossible to fully exploit either the iterative or educative potential of the software.

For more information: Contact Westat

09/13/06

Westat to Exhibit at Several 2006 Health-related Conferences/Job Fairs

Westat will be exhibiting ongoing and upcoming work at several health-related conferences and job fairs this year. Representatives will be on hand to speak with prospective clients and staff. See the following list for conferences, dates, and sites.

Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) Annual Conference
When: September 22-25, 2006
Where: Chicago Marriott Downtown, Chicago, Illinois
Booth number: 29
www.socra.org/html/2006_conference.htm [*]

Society for Clinical Data Management (SCDM) Annual Conference
When: October 8-11, 2006
Where: Buena Vista Palace, Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Booth number: 307
www.scdm.org/events/Fall2006 [*]

NIH Research Festival Job Fair for NIH Postdoctoral, Research, and Clinical Fellows
When: October 19, 2006
Where: Natcher Conference Center (NIH campus), Bethesda, Maryland
Booth: Westat
http://researchfestival.nih.gov/job_fair.html [*]

Clinical Trial Supply USA Conference
When: October 24-25, 2006
Where: Holiday Inn Philadelphia�Historic District, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Booth: Westat
www.clinicaltrialsevents.com/usa2006 [*]

American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Exposition
When: November 4-8, 2006
Where: Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Boston, Massachusetts
Booth numbers: 720 and 819
www.apha.org/meetings [*]

08/24/06

Westat Acquires Eagle Design & Management, Inc.

Westat is pleased to announce the acquisition of Eagle Design & Management, Inc. (Eagle Design), effective July 1, 2006. Eagle Design increases Westat's capabilities for providing information management and communications solutions to our Federal Government and private sector clients. Westat can now offer current and prospective clients end-to-end communications services�from formative research to message and concept development and from implementation and dissemination to evaluation. The acquisition expands and complements Westat experience in health communications research and evaluation, in graphic design and production, and in a broad range of web-based applications.

For the past 15 years, Eagle Design has offered comprehensive health information center services to agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, primarily to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In managing these information centers, Eagle Design staff responded to inquiries from the public, created health education materials, developed and maintained accessible web sites, worked with NIH grantee institutions to disseminate research results and implement health awareness campaigns, and warehoused and distributed publications. Eagle Design has developed and implemented communication campaigns with many Federal Government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, Federal Trade Commission, National Science Foundation, Federal Aviation Administration, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Eagle Design has also conducted research projects for the National Center for HIV, STD, and TB Prevention and the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Eagle Design's experience includes many projects focusing on plain language communications and in ensuring compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Eagle Design staff and operations have been relocated to our Rockville office campus. Organizationally, they will be integrated into a research area to provide the most effective combination of our capabilities.

For more information: Contact Westat

07/25/06

Presentations by Westat Staff at International AIDS Conference

Westat researchers will be making a variety of presentations at the XVI International AIDS Conference (IAS), August 13�18, 2006, to be held in Toronto, Canada. The theme of this year's conference is Time to Deliver! A list of presentations, posters, and abstracts to which Westat staff (names in bold) will be contributing follows. For details on the time and location of each presentation, refer to the IAS Programme Overview [*].

Adriana Duran, Marcelo Losso, Horacio Salomon, Sandra Pampuro, Donald R. Harris, Luis Soto-Ramirez, and Jennifer S. Read. Development of Antiretroviral Resistance Among HIV-1-Infected Women First Exposed to Antiretrovirals During Pregnancy: The NICHD International Site Development Initiative (NISDI) Perinatal Study.

Mar�a L. Cruz, Julianne Byrne, Daisy. Machado, Edmundo Cardoso, Mar�a Cervi, Adriana Aguilar, Miguel Cashat-Cruz, Mar�a Z. de Aquino, James Korelitz, and Leslie K. Serchuck. HIV-Infected Adolescents in Latin America: A Subpopulation of National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) International Site Development Initiative (NISDI) Pediatric Study.

Ricardo H. Oliveira, Julianne Byrne, Ricardo de Souza, Adriana A. Tiraboschi, Eloisa H.S. Marques, Regina Succi, and Leslie K. Serchuck. HAART in Children and Adolescents in Latin America: Relationship Between Viral Load and Clinical Characteristics from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development International Site Development Initiative (NISDI) Pediatric Study.

Miguel Cashat-Cruz, Ren� Gonin, Laura Freimanis, and Leslie K. Serchuck. Triglycerides and Cholesterol Among HIV-infected and HIV-exposed but Un-infected Children Less Than 2 Years in Latin America.

07/18/06

Westat Staff Participate in 2006 JSM Conference

Westat researchers will be participating as authors, session chairs, and discussants at the 2006 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) in Seattle, Washington, to be held August 6-9, 2006. Sponsored by the American Statistical Association and four other related professional societies, this year's meeting will be drawing approximately 5,000 attendees.

Presentations will cover a wide range of topics, including health surveys, longitudinal education studies, and methodological issues such as disclosure risk, nonresponse bias, and new interviewing and modeling techniques. Of particular interest is a presentation on reflections on the career of the late Joseph Waksberg, longtime chairman of the board of Westat.

A list of papers and presentations to which Westat staff (names in bold) will be contributing follows. For details on the time and location of each presentation, refer to the 2006 Joint Statistical Meetings Preliminary Program [*]:

Laura Branden. Use of Interpreters in Telephone Interviews.

Connie Citro, Graham Kalton, and Michael L. Cohen. Functionality and Usability of Information From the American Community Survey.

Sylvia Dohrmann, Daifeng Han, and Leyla Mohadjer. Residential Address Lists vs. Traditional Listing: Enumerating Households and Group Quarters.

Brad Edwards, David Cantor, and Lisa Moses. Differences in Survey Nonresponse Components Over Time in Various Domains.

Jiaquan Fan and David Judkins. Testing the Robustness of HLM and SUDAAN.

Ismael Flores Cervantes, J. Michael Brick, Laura Alvarez Rojas, Michael E. Jones, David Grant, and John Kurata. A Review of the Sample Design for the 2001, 2003, and 2005 California Health Interview Survey.

Wayne Fuller, Keith Rust, Phillip S. Kott, Barry I. Graubard, and S. Lynne Stokes. Panel Discussion: Finite Population Correction Factors.

Jeffrey Kerwin, Kerry Levin, Andrew Wang, Stephen Campbell, and Stehanie Shipp. A Comparison of Strategies for Reducing Item Nonresponse in a Web Survey.

Thomas Krenzke, Stephen Roey, Sylvia Dohrmann, Leyla Mohadjer, Wen-Chau Haung, Steve Kaufman, and Marilyn Seastrom. Tactics for Reducing the Risk of Disclosure Using the NCES DataSwap Software.

Hyunshik Lee, Frank Jenkins, and Sunyeong Heo. Hierarchical Linear Modeling Using Complex Survey Data Based on the Pre-Elementary Education Longitudinal Study (PEELS).

Tiandong Li, Chinfang Wong, and Ru Lu. A Bayesian Approach to the Calibration of New Test Items.

Benmei Liu. Accounting for Interviewer Variability in Small Area Estimation.

Stephen R. Machlin, David Kashihara, and Diana Wobus. Evaluation of the Accuracy of Household Reports of Medical Expenditures for Visits to Physician Offices.

Stephen R. Machlin, Diana Wobus, and David Kashihara. Evaluation of the Completeness of Household Reports of Medical Expenditures for Visits to Physician Offices.

David Morganstein, Graham Kalton, Ed Bryant, and Dan Levine. Why Some Statisticians Never Die or Fade Away: Reflections on the Career of Joe Waksberg.

Inho Park, Sylvia Dohrmann, Jill Montaquila, Leyla Mohadjer, and Lester R. Curtin. Reducing the Risk of Data Disclosure Through Area Masking: Limiting Biases in Variance Estimation.

Andrea Piesse and David Judkins. Estimating Counterfactual Temporal Trends.

Mary Schubauer-Berigan, William R. Radabaugh, Avima Ruder, Misty Hein, Sharon R. Silver, Patricia Laber, Kathleen Waters, Jinghui Liu, Steven Spaeth, and Kyle Steenland. LTAS.NET: A NIOSH Life Table Analysis System for the Windows Environment.

Wendy Van de Kerckhove, Thomas Krenzke, and Leyla Mohadjer. Approaches to Nonresponse Bias Analysis in an Adult Literacy Survey.

07/07/06

Joseph Waksberg's Career Commemorated

The career of Joseph Waksberg, former Westat Senior Vice President and Chairman of the Board who died in early January, was commemorated on June 26, 2006, at the National Academy of Sciences.

The audience included many of Joe's long-time colleagues and friends, as well as his son and daughter, his companion, members of his family, and family friends. Invited speakers included many from his career. Dan Levine remembered Joe's "first" career at the Census Bureau, which spanned some 30 years. Dr. Graham Kalton summarized many of Joe's important methodological innovations to the statistical field. Dr. J. Michael Brick focused on Joe's contributions to the development of random digit dialing. Warren Mitofsky shared his recollections of Joe during many late election nights at CBS, as well as highlighting Joe's contributions to the development of the field of predicting election results. These speakers were followed by comments from Joseph Hunt, President of Westat; Dr. Howard Hogan, Census Bureau; Arlene Waksberg, Joe's daughter, who spoke for the family; and Dr. Monroe Sirken, National Center for Health Statistics.

A number of common threads ran through all of the presentations: Joe's professional eminence, his contributions to the field of statistics, his warmth and humanity, his willingness to help, and his ability to reach out to others. And, as Dr. Sirken summarized, Joe really cared�he cared about his work, he cared about the Federal statistical system, he cared about ideas, and above all, he cared about people. Those present were in full agreement and one point was very clear�Joe will be missed.

06/15/06

NAGC Honors Three Products for Excellence in Communication

The National Association of Government Communicators [*] (NAGC) has granted first and second place awards in different categories to three Westat projects in recognition of their excellence in communication. Each year NAGC honors the best in government communications and underscores the association's high standards of professionalism in public service. The following awards recognize the vision and expertise of the respective government agencies to develop effective communication tools in collaboration with Westat's project teams of researchers, graphic artists, and support staff.

  • Eagle Books�First Place: Soft Cover Book Category
    Developed for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Native Diabetes Wellness Program, the Eagle Books [*] use Native American characters to deliver messages about healthy living to elementary school children. The complete series was made available in March 2006. Printing and distribution of the books will soon reach 1 million. Westat handled the art direction and production for the series.
  • No Child Left Behind Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative�Second Place: Conference Brochures or Programs Category
    This U.S. Department of Education program provided strategy-based services for managing major conference events, including workshop planning and support, and materials development for print, multimedia, video, and the web. The Teacher-to-Teacher Initiative [*] was created in 2004 to improve teacher quality by having teachers with proven classroom strategies share those strategies with other teachers. Westat has been involved since the inception of the initiative.
  • Recovering Hope: Mothers Speak Out About Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)�Second Place: Documentary Category
    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA's) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention produced Recovering Hope, an hour-long documentary, as part of its ongoing efforts to prevent the range of disabilities that can result from prenatal alcohol exposure. Created for viewing by women in recovery and their counselors, the documentary encourages women to stay in recovery and to seek services for their children. Distribution of the video kits now exceeds 15,000. Westat served as SAMHSA's FASD Materials Development Center for Excellence [*] and created the documentary in collaboration with Pendragwn Productions.

The competition is open to communicators for national, military, state, regional, county, municipal, or other governmental entities or agencies and also to private-sector communicators, like Westat, who have produced work for a government entity and enter it on their behalf. Awards are given to the government organization for which the work was produced.

For more information: Contact Westat

05/24/06

Westat Senior VP Gives Keynote Address at International Blaise® ® Conference

Dr. James Smith, Westat Senior Vice President of Computer Systems and Applications, presented a keynote address at the 10th International Blaise Users Conference (IBUC 2006) held May 9-12, 2006, in Arnhem, The Netherlands. His address, "Open Sesame, Open Blaise," suggested some types of software openness�such as open architecture, open source, and open innovation�that may be relevant to the Blaise software system. Blaise is a computer-assisted interviewing (CAI) system and survey processing tool for the Windows operating system. Westat is the licensor for Blaise in the United States and Canada and is a major user of the system for data collection work.

Dr. Smith is responsible for Westat's survey systems design, development, and operation and for management of the company's systems analysis and programming staff.

For more information about Blaise:
http://www.westat.com/statistical_software/blaise/links.cfm

05/12/06

Presentations by Westat Staff at AAPOR Annual Conference

Westat researchers will be making a variety of presentations at the 2006 American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Annual Conference to be held May 18-21 in Montreal, Canada. The theme of this year's conference is Confronting Core Values and Cultural Conflict. A list of papers and presentations to which Westat staff (names in bold) will be contributing follows. For details on the time and location of each presentation, refer to the AAPOR Annual Conference Preliminary Program [*].

David Cantor, Holly Schiffrin, Inho Park, and Bradford Hesse. An Experiment Testing a Promised Incentive for a Random Digit Dial Survey.

Sherman Edwards, J. Michael Brick, John Kurata, and David Grant. Effects of Multiple Sponsors on RDD ResponseRates.

Barbara H. Forsyth, Martha Stapleton Kudela, Deidre Lawrence, Kerry Levin, and Gordon Willis. Methods for Translating Survey Questionnaires.

Ryan A. Hubbard and Thomas M. Guterbock. Community and Survey Nonresponse.

Martha Stapleton Kudela, Barbara H. Forsyth, Kerry Levin, Deidre Lawrence, and Gordon Willis. Cognitive Interviewing versus Behavior Coding.

Kerry Levin, Barbara H. Forsyth, Martha Stapleton Kudela, Deidre Lawrence, and Gordon Willis. Applying Field-based Pretesting Methods.

Laurie Lewis, Izabella Zandberg, and Brian Kleiner. Mixed Modes and Mode Effects: Focus on the Web.

Natalie C. Otoo and Ryan A. Hubbard. Projecting Your Assets: Asset Value Nonresponse.

Elizabeth W. Wood, Jennifer O'Brien, Kerry Levin, and Tracey H. Heller. Boosting Response Rates: Are There Optimal Times to Email Respondents?

David Cantor. An Introduction to Conducting Surveys of Organizations (Short Course).

Robert M. Groves and J. Michael Brick. Practical Tools for Nonresponse Bias Studies (Short Course).

04/28/06

Westat Staff Participate in AERA Annual Meeting

Fifteen Westat researchers participated in this year's American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, discussing a wide range of topics, including adult literacy, computer technology, student achievement, and high school curriculum and transcripts, among others. The meeting was held in San Francisco, California, from April 7-11, 2006, with approximately 14,000 education researchers in attendance. A list of papers and presentations to which Westat staff (names in bold) contributed follows.

Janis Brown, Carolyn Shettle, Robert Colby Perkins, and Stephen Roey. Measures of High-School Curriculum Offerings.

Mary Dilworth and Barbara Williams. Career Opportunities to Conduct Educational Research that Influence National Policy Decisions. Roundtable discussion.

Brian Kleiner, Gary Silverstein, Xiaodong Zhang, and Amber Winkler. A Random Assignment Study on the Impact of Home Computers on Fifth Graders. Also Designing and Implementing a Randomized Experiment.

Janis Brown, Eugene Gonzalez, and Stephen Roey, Enhancing the Accessibility of Course-Taking Data: NAEP High-School Transcript Study Data on the Web.

Elois Scott, Ina Mullis, Michael Martin, Miyako Ikeda, Patrick Gonzales, Leslie Jocelyn, David Kastberg, Eugene Gonzalez, and Trevor Williams. Measuring Student Achievement in Large-Scale International Assessments.

Gary Silverstein and Michael Golden. A State's Perspective on Using a Randomized Experiment to Study Computer Impacts on Fifth Grade Students

Adrienne Andi Sosin, Gary Schecter, Carolyn Shettle, Carolyn Thompson, Elaine Sands, Mary Cortina, JoAnn Cosentino, Miriam Pepper-Sanello, and Renee White-Clark. School-University Collaboration in the No Child Left Behind Era: A Postmortem for a Federal Grant Proposal.

Sheida White, Barbara Forsyth, Jing Ching, and Carianne Santangelo. Real-World Tasks Study of the National Assessment of Adult Literacy.

Xiaodong Zhang, Gary Silverstein, Philip Fletcher, John Wells. An Integrated Method to Analyze Achievement Across Systemic Initiatives.

04/12/06

Westat Awards Subcontracts for International Blood Safety and Availability Research

Under Westat's Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study-II (REDS-II) coordinating center contract with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), Westat has awarded subcontracts to two U.S. research institutions as part of NHLBI's new REDS-II international initiative. The objectives of the international program are to conduct epidemiologic, laboratory, and survey research of blood donors in resource-limited countries seriously affected by the AIDS epidemic. This international initiative has been developed to improve blood safety and availability. Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, will be conducting research in China in collaboration with the Chinese Institute for Blood Transfusion, located in Beijing, and five blood centers distributed throughout China. Blood Systems Research Institute, San Francisco, California, will conduct research in collaboration with the Funda��o de Medicina in Sao Paulo and three other Brazilian blood centers.

Since its inception in the late 1980s, REDS has been one of the U.S.'s premier research programs in blood safety and availability. The new international initiative addresses the global imperative to improve blood resources.

03/27/06

SAS Press Publishes Michael Raithel's The Complete Guide to SAS Indexes

Michael Raithel, a Westat senior systems analyst and an authority on SAS software, has had his third book published by SAS Press. The Complete Guide to SAS Indexes was published in February 2006. Mr. Raithel has published two other books to date:

  • Tuning SAS Applications in the MVS Environment (1995), which was entered into the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History Information Technology collection, and
  • Tuning SAS Applications in the OS/390 and z/OS Environments (2003), which is the updated second edition of the 1995 book.

Mr. Raithel is on a Westat team of recognized senior SAS technology leaders. He provides leadership and planning for the application of SAS software products to a variety of projects. Notably, he is involved in the planning, deployment, and tuning of SAS/IntrNet software, used by various projects to display government data over the Internet. Mr. Raithel has taught SAS software classes at conferences, at Westat, and as an invited lecturer to the SAS Institute's office in the United Kingdom. His web-based SAS/IntrNet�SAS Data Warehouse GPRA application, created for the U.S. Customs Service, was nominated for the 1999 Computerworld Smithsonian Award in the Government and Nonprofit Organizations category.

You can read an interview with Mr. Raithel by SAS Press's Authorline at the following link:
http://support.sas.com/publishing/bbu/authorline/2006/1_06/1_06a.html [*]

For more information about his book:
http://www.sas.com/apps/pubscat/bookdetails.jsp?catid=1&pc=60409 [*]


03/27/06

Westat Expands Patient Safety Culture Assessment Materials

In an effort funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Westat is expanding the assessment of patient safety culture beyond the hospital setting. Westat is adapting the highly successful Hospital Survey on Patient Safety (HSOPS), which assesses hospital staff perceptions about the facility's environment related to medical error and patient safety, to two other care settings: nursing homes and outpatient/ambulatory health care facilities. Organizations interested in pilot testing these draft surveys should contact Westat at safetyculturesurvey@westat.com for the summer 2006 testing. The final surveys will be available in 2007.

Westat is also developing a national database to enable hospitals to compare their patient safety culture survey results with other hospitals' results.

HSOPS, a public-use survey, and its companion survey users' guide were released for national distribution in fall 2004 in partnership with Premier, Inc., the Department of Defense (DoD), and the American Hospital Association (AHA).

For more information:
safetyculturesurvey@westat.com.
www.ahrq.gov/qual/hospculture [*]

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