News Archives 2009

December 2009

November 2009

October 2009

September 2009

August 2009

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June 2009

May 2009

April 2009

March 2009

February 2009

January 2009

12/18/09

W3 Award Given to Westat for Outstanding Health and Science Web Sites

Westat has been honored with two Silver Awards from the 2009 W3 Awards (external site) [*]. In the Family/Parenting category, the first award is for Westat's work on the web site It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing (external site) [*]. Westat completed the work on behalf of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one of the National Institutes of Health.

The Noisy Planet campaign is designed to increase awareness among parents of children ages 8 to 12 ("tweens") about the causes and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL).

The Noisy Planet web site provides parents with facts about NIHL, tips on how to encourage their tween to adopt healthy hearing habits, and other steps they can take to protect their tween's hearing. The site also offers information specifically for tweens, such as interactive games about noise and hearing.

The second award is in the Environmental Awareness category. It is for work on a multimedia version of the National Science Foundation's (NSF) special report, Solving the Puzzle: Researching the Impacts of Climate Change Around the World. The site features results of NSF-funded research, interactive slide shows, and videos that illustrate how climate change is affecting the Earth's sky, sea, ice, land, life, and people.

The W3 Awards honors creative excellence on the web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award-winning sites, videos, and marketing programs. The W3 is sanctioned and judged by the International Academy of the Visual Arts (external site) [*]. It is an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from acclaimed media, interactive, advertising, and marketing firms.

For more information: Contact Westat

12/07/09

Westat Highlights Its Research on Aging at Gerontological Society Meeting

Westat researchers participated as presenters and others hosted an exhibit booth at the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Annual Scientific Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, November 18-22, 2009. The theme for GSA's 62nd Annual Meeting was Creative Approaches to Healthy Aging. The meeting brought together more than 3,500 professionals in the field of aging, including university researchers, Federal statistical agency staff, and service-delivery practitioners, with a major focus on health and long-term care.

Presentations by Westat staff (names in bold) included the following:

Presentation: Promising Initiatives for Mobility Management
Author: Jon Burkhardt, a Westat senior study director
Focus: The need to develop and support transportation options for older persons who are no longer able to or choose not to drive.

"A broad array of transportation options is needed in most communities," explained Mr. Burkhardt. "My presentation explored promising initiatives for the mobility management of these transportation options, an innovative approach for managing and delivering coordinated transportation services to older adults."

Presentation: Using Data from the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS)
Author: Jon Burkhardt, a Westat senior study director
Focus: How researchers can access data from previous versions of the NHTS and its predecessors.

Mr. Burkhardt described key findings from previous analyses of these data. He also discussed the 2008 survey; Westat collected all the data for the 2008 NHTS. "There are new variables in the 2008 survey and other variables of interest to researchers who study senior mobility," he noted. "The government plans to release the 2008 survey data files in January 2010."

Presentation: Overview of the National Health and Aging Trends Study: Design, Data, and Dissemination
Authors: Judith Kasper, PhD, of Health Policy & Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Vicki Freedman, PhD, of the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan; and Graham Kalton, PhD, a Westat senior statistician and senior methodologist, Senior Vice President, and Chairman of Westat's Board of Directors
Focus: An overview of a new national study measuring disability in older people.

"The goal of this new national longitudinal study," noted Dr. Kalton, "is to assemble a rich database that will allow researchers to study changes over time in independence and disability among older people, and key causes and consequences of these changes."

The study is funded by the National Institute on Aging and will be led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health working in collaboration with investigators at the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey, Brown University, Columbia University, the Medical College of Wisconsin, the Urban Institute, the University of Iowa, Syracuse University, and Westat. The study consortium is designing comprehensive state-of-the art methods for measuring disability in older people and will obtain information on key economic and social consequences of disability.

For more information: Contact Westat

Gerontological Society of America (external site) [*]

11/06/09

AEA Conference Features Westat Staff Presentations; Dr. Debra Rog to Give Plenary Address

Researchers from Westat will be participating as presenters, discussants, panel chairs, and topical interest group leaders in the 2009 annual meeting of the American Evaluation Association (AEA) (external site) [*]. The conference, whose theme is Context and Evaluation, will be held in Orlando, Florida, from November 11-14. The theme was selected by Westat Associate Director Debra Rog, PhD, who is the President of AEA and will give a plenary address on context-sensitive evaluation practice.

Westat is a conference sponsor and will be hosting an exhibit booth in the AEA exhibit area at the Rosen Shingle Creek Resort in the Panzacola Ballroom Foyer on level 1, one floor below the AEA registration desk. Westat staff will be available to discuss our experience and qualifications in designing and conducting evaluations.

A list of papers and presentations to which Westat staff (names in bold) contributed follows. For details on the time and location of each presentation, refer to the online program (external site) [*].

Mary Achatz. Assessing Community Capacity to Develop and Implement Powerful Strategies: Tools, Methodology, and the Influence of Evaluation on Practice.

Susan Berkowitz. To Mix or Not to Mix: The Role of Contextual Factors in Deciding Whether, When, and How to Mix Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in an Evaluation Design.

Matthew Carr, Jennifer Hamilton, and Allison Meisch. Using the Bloom Adjustment to Distinguish Intention-to-Treat Estimates and Impact-on-the-Treated Estimates: The Striving Readers Evaluation.

Scott Crosse and Janet Friedman. Ignore Context at Your Own Peril: Evaluation of a Community-Based Employment Program for Young Adults with Criminal Justice Involvement.

Joy Frechtling. Linking Implementation and Outcomes for Three Educational Interventions: Challenges, Strategies, and Lessons for the Future.

Joy Frechtling, Joseph Hawkins, and Debra Rog. Context Becomes Foreground: Baseline Study of a Program to Improve College-Readiness.

Jennifer Hamilton, Matthew Carr, Allison Meisch, and Karen Gray-Adams. Enhancing the Precision of Program Evaluation Results by Converting Intention-to-Treat Estimates to Impact-on-the-Treated Estimates: Striving Readers in Newark, New Jersey.

Barbara Heath, Jennifer Young, Xiaodong Zhang, and Margaret Hargreaves. A Case Study of the iPlant Collaborative Evaluation Plan Development: An Integrative Approach Using Outcomes-Based and Systems Methods and Concepts.

Kathryn Henderson, Debra Rog, and Linda Weinreb. Attending to Context: Strategies for Producing Actionable Evidence in Dynamic Policy Issues.

David Judkins. The Hype and Futility of Measuring Implementation Fidelity.

Mustafa Karakus, Lynn Elinson, William Frey, and Marion McCoy. Employment Outcomes of Participants in Chronic Homelessness Demonstration Programs.

Mustafa Karakus, Marion McCoy, William Frey, and Martha Palan. Employment and Self-Sufficiency Among the Individuals Who Are Chronically Homeless: Implementation of Self-Sufficiency Matrix.

Allison Meisch, Jennifer Hamilton, Matthew Carr, and Nancy Thornton. Evaluating a Dosage Model of Professional Development: Professional Development in Context.

Robert Orwin and Robert Flewelling. Midcourse Evaluability Assessment: Redesigning the Strategic Prevention Framework Cross-Site on the Fly.

Gary Silverstein. The Informal Science Education (ISE) Project Management System: An Examination of the ISE Portfolio and the Implications of the Findings to the Field and Potential ISE Evaluators.

Joseph Sonnefeld and Robert Orwin. Examples of Success in Using Implementation/Fidelity Measures to Understand Cross-Site Variation in Multisite Evaluations.

For more information: Contact Westat

11/04/09

Using Psychiatric Service Dogs to Treat Soldiers with PTSD Explored

Westat has teamed with the Psychiatric Service Dog Society (PSDS), Walter Reed Department of Psychiatry, and National Institutes of Health (NIH) intramural scientists to conduct the first research on the effectiveness of psychiatric service dogs with soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Funded by the U.S. Army Center for Excellence on Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, this exciting study is led by Principal Investigator (PI) Dr. Craig Love (Westat), Co-PI Dr. Joan Esnayra (PSDS), Co-I Dr. Andre Bouterie (Walter Reed), and Drs. Giovanni Cizza and Terry Phillips (NIH).

The study will investigate the effectiveness of psychiatric service dogs as an adjunct to conventional mental health treatments. It will also provide the basis for a larger sequence of studies on the efficacy of service dogs for soldiers or veterans with a variety of psychiatric disorders.

Two groups of 10 soldiers diagnosed with PTSD will be involved in the study. The soldiers in one group will each be provided with a prescreened rescue dog and taught how to train their dogs in three domains: basic obedience, public access skills, and disability-related assistance. The training will take place over 6 months under professional guidance. Each dog will graduate from the training program as a full-fledged service dog. The new human-canine partnerships will be permanent.

Another group of 10 soldiers will be used as a comparison group. They will not receive dogs. Both groups of 10 soldiers will undergo the same "standard of care" treatment protocol for soldiers with PTSD at Walter Reed.

Research clinicians will assess both groups' mental health statuses for 12 months, and data collected from both groups will be compared. In addition, biological measurements of the soldiers will be taken at specified time points throughout the study using least-invasive technologies (a human sweat patch applied to the skin, a finger prick to extract one droplet of blood onto filter paper, cotton swab saliva samples, heart rate, heart rate variability measurement, and blood pressure).

"This study is crucial to the development of complementary and alternative approaches to mental illness and reducing the problems associated with mental illness, particularly PTSD," noted Dr. Love. "This study is also a novel approach in that it uses service dogs and involves the parallel measures of biological and behavioral markers."

For more information: Contact Westat

10/30/09

Public Health Meeting Includes Westat Staff

Westat staff will be participating in this year's American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting and Exposition (external site) [*] in a variety of levels. The meeting will be held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from November 7-11, 2009. More than 13,000 national and international physicians, administrators, nurses, educators, researchers, epidemiologists, and related health specialists are expected to attend.

The theme for this year's meeting is Water and Public Health: The 21st Century Challenge. APHA's meeting program addresses current and emerging health science, policy, and practice issues in an effort to prevent disease and promote health.

Attendees can stop by Booths 928 and 930 in the exhibit hall to meet Westat project staff and learn about our capabilities as well as our projects and career opportunities in public health research.

Several Westat staff have leadership roles in APHA caucuses, special primary interest groups, and sections:

  • Luceli Cuasay, Dr.P.H.—Program Chair-Elect, Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health
  • Patrick High, Dr.P.H.—Chair, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Caucus of Public Health Professionals; LGBT Caucus representative, APHA Governing Council
  • Brenda Leath—Charter Advisory Board Member and Chair, Community Outreach Committee of Health Informatics Information Technology (HIIT) Special Primary Interest Group (SPIG); Councilor and HIIT SPIG Representative, APHA Governing Council
  • Wilhelmina Ross—Councilor, Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health Section, APHA Governing Council

Westat staff will be leading presentations on the following:

Patrick High. (Moderator). Gay and Bisexual Men's Health.

Brenda Leath. (Moderator). Security, Privacy, and Confidentiality of Patient Health Information: Overcoming Challenges for EHR and PHR Adoption Among Vulnerable Populations.

Brenda Leath. (Moderator/Presenter). Persons with Disability—The Integral Role of Health Information Technology in Emergency Management: Preparedness, Response, Recovery, and Mitigation.

Wilhemina Ross. (Moderator). Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health.

Karen Stewart, William Frey, Mustafa Karakus, Marian McCoy, Lynn Elinson, Martha Beemer Palan, and Bibi Gollapudi. (Presentation). Evaluation of Demonstration Programs Targeting Services to Chronically Homeless Adults with Disabilities.

For more information: Contact Westat

10/21/09

Westat to Help Integrate Treatments Across Mental Health Service Systems

As part of the Science to Service initiative of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Westat will develop, evaluate, and disseminate products that promote integrated treatment across service systems. These systems include mental health, substance abuse, homelessness, criminal and juvenile justice, and primary care. Project staff will also provide technical assistance to grantees, states and localities, and SAMHSA.

The Science to Service initiative aims to improve the lives of people with mental health and substance abuse disorders. Tasks under the contract are wide ranging and focus on increasing the dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices.

For more information: Contact Westat

09/29/09

Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Operations Contract Re-Awarded to Westat

Westat has been re-awarded the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) contract. DAWN collects retrospective data on drug-related visits to emergency departments and drug-related deaths reported to medical examiners and coroners. Westat has been the data operations contractor for DAWN since 2002 and has also provided research design and statistical reporting support for this important Federal program. DAWN staff review more than 10 million medical charts and identify and abstract approximately 350,000 cases a year.

Under the new contract, Westat will continue to review emergency department records in more than 200 hospitals and more than 500 medical examiner and coroner offices throughout the United States.

DAWN data will be made available immediately to authorized users through a web-based query system and will also be delivered annually to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

For more information: Contact Westat

09/25/09

Michael Raithel Served as Keynote Speaker at SAS Conference

Michael Raithel, a Westat senior systems analyst, gave the keynote speech at the Western Users of SAS Software 2009 conference in San Jose, California, on September 1. He discussed the many workplace, societal, and industry issues that SAS programmers routinely face, including a light-hearted look at some aspects of being a SAS programmer.

Mr. Raithel was the first non-SAS Institute speaker to be invited to give the keynote speech at this annual conference. He also taught a half-day class on SAS Indexes based on his book The Complete Guide to SAS Indexes, one of three books on SAS Mr. Raithel has published.

For more information: Contact Westat

09/21/09

19th Annual Morris Hansen Lecture: October 13, 2009

Dr. Sharon L. Lohr (Arizona State University) will give the 19th Annual Morris Hansen Lecture on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, at 3:30 p.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) South Building in Washington, DC. The Morris Hansen Lecture series is sponsored by the Washington Statistical Society (WSS), Westat, and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Dr. Lohr's lecture is titled The Care, Feeding, and Training of Survey Statisticians. Dr. James Lepkowski (University of Michigan), Donsig Jang (Mathematica), and David Morganstein (Westat) will be the discussants.

The USDA's South Building is between 12th and 14th Streets at the Smithsonian Metro Stop (Blue/Orange Lines). Enter through Wing 5 or Wing 7 from Independence Ave. (The special assistance entrance is at 12th Street and Independence Ave.) A photo ID is required. Please preregister for this event (external site) [*] to help facilitate access to the building.

The Morris Hansen Lecture series was established by WSS in 1990 with a financial grant from Westat. The series seeks to achieve balance between theory, applications, and policy, and to highlight the diversity of disciplines that inform survey practice.

This lecture series was created to honor Morris Hansen, a former Westat Chairman of the Board, whose pioneering contributions to survey sampling and related statistical methods during his long and distinguished career at the Census Bureau and at Westat established many standards and methods, mostly still in use, for the conduct of surveys. In 1996 and 2006, Westat made additional financial contributions to WSS so that the Hansen Lecture series could continue.

WSS (external site) [*] provides additional information on this lecture, as well as topics and speakers of the previous lectures in the series.

For more information: Contact Westat

08/18/09

Dr. Helga Rippen to Head Westat's Center for Health Information Technology

Dr. Helga Rippen, a nationally known leader in health information technology, has joined Westat as Vice President and Chief Health Information Officer. She will head Westat's Center for Health Information Technology. Joining Dr. Rippen at the center is health IT expert Dr. Scott Finley, who will serve as Senior Physician Informaticist.

"We are pleased to have the expertise of these two senior researchers to supplement our expanding health IT capabilities," said Joseph A. Hunt, President of Westat. "Their addition to our Center for Health IT will give Westat unmatched insight into the views of employees, health care providers and systems, government agencies, IT vendors, and pharmaceutical companies on the cost-effective delivery of high-quality health care and technology."

Westat's Center for Health Information Technology provides research, evaluation, effectiveness and usability studies, health communication services, and technical assistance for government and private sector organizations.

Dr. Rippen's more than 20 years of experience has spanned all aspects of health technology and health care, including patient treatment, basic research, product development, implementation, and national policy development.

Most recently, Dr. Rippen served as Vice President of Health Information Technology at Hospital Corporation of America (HCA). She led the development of an electronic health record initiative for HCA's 170 hospitals, 300 physician offices, imaging centers, and outpatient surgical centers.

Dr. Rippen is board certified in preventive medicine and public health and holds MD, PhD, and MPH degrees. She completed her medical residency at the Johns Hopkins University and her PhD in biomedical engineering at Duke University.

Dr. Finley brings to Westat his extensive experience in a variety of health IT arenas, including computerized physician order entry systems, electronic health records, e-prescribing, and clinical trials management systems. He has worked with leading organizations in health IT in both the private and public sectors.

Dr. Finley is a member of the faculty of the Division of Health Sciences Informatics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He received his medical degree from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and his MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health.

We are honored to have Dr. Rippen and Dr. Finley as members of our team and welcome them to Westat.

For more information: Contact Westat

08/14/09

NHLBI Chooses Westat to Administer Coordinating Center for Global Health

Westat has been selected by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to serve as the Administrative Coordinating Center for its global efforts to combat noncommunicable chronic cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases (CVPD) in developing countries.

The program's objectives are to develop research Centers of Excellence (COEs). Faculty and staff will conduct independent and/or collaborative research, as well as train future chronic CVPD investigators at the doctoral and post-doctoral levels.

This program is expected to stimulate research in a number of areas, including clinical work, epidemiology, health services and outcomes, health policy, and behavioral study efforts. Westat is a part of a team of contractors that is involved in this global health initiative.

Westat staff will provide a variety of administrative support services such as:

  • Oversee communications,
  • Collect and track information,
  • Catalog program tools,
  • Identify and assess outcome measures and program statistics, and
  • Prepare progress and activity reports.

Westat will also coordinate meetings in collaboration with the COE investigators and staff, the scientific advisory board, data and safety monitoring boards, other National Institutes of Health institutes and centers, and other national and international organizations.

The overall program focus is developing clinical research infrastructure and research training that involves research on new or improved approaches, programs, and measures to prevent or treat chronic CVPD.

For more information: Contact Westat

08/06/09

National Health Communication Conference Features Presenters from Westat

Westat health marketing professionals and health communication researchers will participate as presenters at the Third Annual National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing and Media (external site) [*] in Atlanta, Georgia, August 11-13, 2009. Westat will also have a booth in the exhibit hall, booth #108.

The conference is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Marketing and the Office of Enterprise Communications. The following organizations are co-sponsors:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • National Cancer Institute
  • National Public Health Information Coalition

This year's conference theme is Participation Powers Prevention. Encouraging the public to more fully participate in matters of health, especially prevention, is a cornerstone of health reform. The conference will challenge participants to use the latest knowledge in health marketing and communication to fully engage with their constituents and the general public to improve our nation's health.

A list of materials to which Westat staff (names in bold) will contribute follows.

Jennifer Berktold, Bob McKinnon, Bess Bendet, and Tuere Anderson. (Presentation.) Evaluating the Effectiveness of Social Media in Promoting Audience Engagement: The Boss of Me Case Study.

Teresa J. Brady, Simani Price, Colleen Ryan-Leonard, Pam Eidson, and Terry Savage. (Presentation.) Marketing Community-Based Arthritis Self-Management Programs to Primary Care Practices: Results from Qualitative and Quantitative Audience Research.

Simani Price, Susan McClure, Joy Hugick, and Jennifer Berktold. (Poster.) Framing the Discussion of Bisphenol A (BPA) in the Mainstream Media.

Simani Price, Lance D. Potter, and R. Craig Lefebvre. (Presentation.) Comparison of Blog and Newspaper Coverage of a Food Recall.

Karen Stewart, Marion McCoy, Mustafa Karakus, and Lynn Elinson. (Paper.) Multi-Agency Partnership to Provide Housing, Employment, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse Services to Chronically Homeless Persons in Five U.S. Cities.

Mekkla Thompson. (Presentation.) Reaching Out to Hard-to-Reach Target Audiences in Diverse Communities to Promote Zinc Intervention Strategies for Childhood Diarrhea Treatment: Experience from the Philippines.

For more information: Contact Westat

07/27/09

Joint Statistical Meeting Draws Westat Researchers as Participants; Shapiro to Be Named ASA Fellow

Westat researchers will be participating as authors, panelists, discussants, session chairs, and organizers in this year's Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM). The conference will be held in Washington, DC, from August 2-6, 2009. The conference is expected to attract the largest attendance in its history, with more than 5,000 statisticians worldwide having already preregistered.

JSM is held jointly with the following organizations:

  • American Statistical Association (ASA),
  • International Biometric Society (Eastern and Western North American Regions),
  • Institute of Mathematical Statistics,
  • Statistical Society of Canada,
  • International Chinese Statistical Association, and
  • International Indian Statistical Association.

Westat presentations will cover a wide range of topics, including the American Community Survey; data confidentiality; human rights; methodological issues such as address-based sampling, variance estimation, and mode effects; and a variety of other topics.

In addition to the presentations, Gary M. Shapiro, a recently retired Westat senior statistician, will be named a Fellow of ASA. The honor of Fellow is awarded to one-third of 1 percent of the membership of the ASA each year, based on the individual's contributions and service to the profession.

Another Westat senior statistician, Dr. David Marker, will participate as a member of the Board of Directors of ASA and its Council of Chapters Governing Board. He will also chair the meeting of the ASA Scientific and Public Affairs Advisory Committee.

A list of papers, presentations, and sessions to which Westat staff (names in bold) contributed follows. For details on the time and location of each session, refer to the Joint Statistical Meetings Preliminary Program (external site) [*].

Robert M. Baskin, Robert E. Fay, and Trena M. Ezzati-Rice. Comparison of Fractional Weighted Imputation and Multiple Imputations for Inpatient Hospital Care Expenditures in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.

J. Michael Brick. (Chair.) Estimation with Nonignorable Missing Data in Survey Sampling - Topic Contributed – Papers.

J. Michael Brick. (Panelist.) Future of Random-Digit-Dial Telephone Surveys.

George Contos, J. Michael Brick, Karen C. Masken, and Roy Nord. Response Mode and Bias Analysis in the IRS' Individual Taxpayer Burden Survey.

Ismael Flores Cervantes and J. Michael Brick. Efficacy of Post-Stratification in Complex Sampling Designs.

Daniel R. Guzmán, Tamy Guberek, Gary M. Shapiro, and Paul Zador. Studying Millions of Rescued Documents: Sampling Plan at the Guatemalan National Police Archive (GNPA).

David Judkins. (Organizer and Chair.) Model versus Randomization-Based Inference from Group Randomized Trials – Topic Contributed – Panel.

Graham Kalton. (Discussant.) Challenges Related to the American Community Survey Three-Year Estimates - Topic Contributed – Papers.

Tom Krenzke and David Hubble. Toward Quantifying Disclosure Risk for Area-Level Tables When Public Microdata Exists.

Hyunshik Lee. (Discussant.) The Guatemalan Police Archive Project: Sample Design, Weighting, and Analysis – Topic Contributed – Papers.

Jianzhu Li, J. Michael Brick, Phyllis Singer, and Bac Tran. Using Statistical Models in the Sample Design for the Quality Control Reinterview Program.

Yan Li, Barry I. Graubard, and Ralph DiGaetano. Weighting Methods for Population-Based Case-Control Study with Complex Sampling.

David A. Marker. (Discussant.) Safety and Health Issues in Transportation – Topic Contributed – Papers.

Jill Montaquila, Valerie Hsu, J. Michael Brick, Ned English, and Colm O'Muircheartaigh. A Comparative Evaluation of Traditional Listing vs. Address-Based Sampling Frames: Matching with Field Investigation of Discrepancies.

Greg Norman and Richard Sigman. Using Addresses as Sampling Units in the 2007 Health Information National Trends Survey.

Megan Price, Daniel Guzman, Paul Zador, Gary M. Shapiro, and Tamy Guberek. Analyzing Command and Control of the Guatemalan National Police Leadership Over Human Rights Violations: A Statistical Analysis of the National Police Archive.

Gary M. Shapiro, Daniel Guzman, Paul Zador, and Tamy Guberek. Weighting for the Guatemalan National Police Archive Sample: Unusual Challenges and Problems.

Paul Zador. (Organizer and Chair.) The Guatemalan Police Archive Project: Sample Design, Weighting, and Analysis – Topic Contributed – Papers.

For more information: Contact Westat

07/13/09

Maryland Cancer Registry Achieves Quality Standard While Under Westat Management

Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) Maryland Cancer Registry (MCR) and Westat have achieved the U.S. Cancer Statistics Publication Standard for the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR).

Achieving this standard indicates that Maryland cancer incidence data met the National Data Quality Standard for NPCR and will be included in the national cancer statistics, as well as on the NPCR web site. This is a significant achievement in Westat's first year of managing the MCR; MCR had not met this quality standard for the past several years.

Westat provides quality assurance, data processing, database management, and technical services to the MCR.

Westat collects all cancer incidence data (invasive cancers and certain in situ cancers) as reported by the following licensed organizations in Maryland:

  • Hospitals,
  • Radiation therapy centers,
  • Ambulatory care facilities, and
  • Freestanding diagnostic laboratories

Westat also processes and maintains these data and provides ongoing reporting to DHMH.

For more information: Contact Westat

07/08/09

Westat's 7th Annual Summer Internship Program Is in Full Swing

Westat is in the midst of its seventh year of offering summer internships in applied social sciences for underserved and underrepresented minority students. The mentoring program runs for approximately 11 weeks, from June 1 through August 31.

In an effort to increase diversity among applied researchers, African American, Hispanic/Latino American, and Native American/Alaska Native interns experience real world issues while providing real services for the projects they work on. It is a growth experience for both the students and their Westat mentors.

Westat Senior Study Director Donna D. Atkinson, Ph.D., the program's co-coordinator, explained the program's goal: "We want to further the development of students in the social sciences, offer a program to broaden their exposure to research beyond theory, and provide students with an applied research experience and an opportunity to be in a mentoring relationship with seasoned researchers within Westat."

Westat interns work with existing research projects in activities such as conducting focus groups, analyzing qualitative and quantitative data, writing findings, planning steps in a research project, participating in writing proposals, and conducting interviews.

"As part of the experience, interns attend a weekly seminar session to supplement what they learn through their assignments about Westat and our business," added Westat Senior Study Director Craig Love, Ph.D., the program's co-coordinator. "At the end of the summer, each intern makes a presentation to Westat staff on their summer experiences."

The summer internship program began in 2003 with two interns who worked on projects in Westat's Substance Abuse Research Group (SARG) headed by Westat Vice President David Maklan, Ph.D. In the first 6 years of the program, Westat projects have supported 19 interns. This summer, four interns are involved in a variety of projects including health communications, public health, and substance abuse treatment evaluation in the court system.

Interns have gone on to complete their masters' and doctoral degrees. Some interns have been hired by Westat staff to continue work on projects they began in the summer.

For more information: Contact Westat

06/11/09

Westat to Examine Alcohol-Related Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behaviors

Westat will conduct the National Epidemiologic Surveys on Alcohol and Related Conditions-III (NESARC-III) for the National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse.

NESARC-III is a national, in-person survey that will examine alcohol-related attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors among approximately 50,000 adults. The survey instrument will also measure a wide variety of mental health-related conditions associated with alcohol use and abuse. In addition to respondents' self-reports, the NESARC-III will attempt to collect DNA samples (saliva) from all respondents.

The contract also includes two substudies:

  • Assess the validity of the mental health measures included in the main survey questionnaire.
  • Examine the reliability of the responses collected in the NESARC-III.

Westat will prepare final deliverables, including clean, weighted data files; a methods report; and a restricted-use data file.

For more information: Contact Westat

05/22/09

Westat Staff Share Expertise at Child Development Biennial Meeting

Westat researchers gave paper presentations and poster sessions and conducted a data workshop at this year's Society for Research in Child Development (external site) [*] (SRCD) Biennial Meeting held in Denver, Colorado, last month.

SRCD was established in 1933 by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science. The Society is a multidisciplinary, not-for-profit professional association with a membership of approximately 5,500 researchers, practitioners, and human development professionals from more than 50 countries. The Society promotes multidisciplinary research in the field of human development, fosters the exchange of information among scientists and other professionals of various disciplines, and encourages applications of research findings.

The list of papers by Westat staff and co-authors follows (Westat staff names in bold).

Jude Cassidy, Susan S. Woodhouse, Brandi S. Stupica, Laura Jernigan Sherman, Yair Ziv, and Carl Lejuez. Infant Irritability and Maternal Adult Attachment as Moderators of a Home Visiting Intervention in a Randomized Controlled Study.

Camilla Heid. Head Start Impact Study: Subgroup Findings.

Kwang Kim and Alberto Sorongon. Using Data From the Head Start Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES).

Kwang Kim. Characteristics of the Families, Learning Environments, and Communities of Dual Language Learning Children in Head Start.

Spencer Li and Alberto G. Sorongon. Head Start Services, Parents' Social Capital, and Parent Involvement.

Alberto G. Sorongon. Risk Factors on the Cognitive Outcomes of DLL Children: Does Head Start Play a Protective Role?

Kathleen E. Wallner-Allen, Priscilla Rouse Carver, and Denise Pinkowitz. Relations Between Executive Functioning in 1st Grade and Academic and Social Outcomes in 3rd and 4th Grade.

Yair Ziv and Carol Andreassen. Risk Factors on the Socioemotional Outcomes of DLL Children: Does Head Start Play a Protective Role?

Yair Ziv and Alberto G. Sorongon. Attachment-Related Social Information Processing in Preschool.

For more information: Contact Westat

05/06/09

Westat Staff to Participate in 64th Annual Public Opinion Research Conference

A contingent of Westat staff will be attending the 2009 conference of the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) (external site) [*] in Hollywood, Florida, on May 14-17. The theme of this year's conference is Public Choices in Changing Times. At a special plenary session, panelists will debate the role of traditional survey research in a world of electronic measurement and changing information needs.

As every year, Westat researchers and their contributions in survey research science are a strong presence at the conference. Westat staff will be teaching short courses; discussing new books; and presenting papers, briefs, and poster presentations, as well as serving as session discussants.

On Wednesday, May 13, Westat Vice President, Director of the Survey Methods Unit, and Associate Director J. Michael Brick, PhD, will co-teach a short course, Practical Tools for Nonresponse Bias Studies. Dr. Brick has served on AAPOR's Executive Council as Communications Chair for the past year, a year in which AAPOR has established a presence on the social networking sites Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

On Friday, May 15, from 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Westat Vice President and Associate Director Brad Edwards will be available at the Meet-the-Author session in the Great Hall. He is a co-author of Survey Methods in Multinational, Multiregional, and Multicultural Contexts, which is due out this year.

Westat staff are associated with a number of paper presentations covering a variety of topics: cell phone surveys, cognitive interviewing, surveys with interpreters, survey pretesting, issues in noncoverage and nonresponse, health surveys, mode effects, and other methodological issues. A list of papers and presentations authored or co-authored by Westat staff (names in bold) follows.

Pat Dean Brick and Johnny Blair. Current Practices in Cognitive Interviewing.

David Cantor and Brett McBride. Are You Feeling Worthless? An Investigation of Mode Effects for Measures of Emotional Well-Being.

Sarah Dipko and Krista Freedman. Cell Phone Reverse Directories – Promise or Peril?

Janet Harkness, Ana Villar, Yelena Kruse, Laura Branden, Brad Edwards, Clarissa Steele, and Ying Wang. Using Interpreters in Telephone Surveys.

Wendy Hicks, Martha Stapleton Kudela, Douglas Williams, and Jessica Graber. Pretesting and Methods Development Within a Longitudinal, Multi-Mode Survey.

Ryan A. Hubbard. Dialing for Dollars: The Effect of Mode on Income and Asset Item Nonresponse.

Martha Stapleton Kudela, Kerry Levin, Joshua Hantman, Jocelyn Newsome, Salma Shariff-Marco, Nancy Breen, and Gordon Willis. Do Emotional Reactions During Cognitive Testing Carry Over to the Field?

Martha Stapleton Kudela, Jonathan Wivagg, Conrad Choiniere, and Amy Lando. Making the Most of a Traditional Landline RDD Survey in the 21st Century: A Case Study.

Kerry Levin, Martha Stapleton Kudela, Jocelyn Newsome, Joshua Hantman, Salma Shariff-Marco, Nancy Breen, and Gordon Willis. Assessing Questions About Self-Reported Racial/Ethnic Discrimination in a Health Survey.

Brett McBride, Karen Tourangeau, Wendy Hicks, Brad Edwards, Laura Branden, Lauren Harris-Kojetin, and Abigail Moss. Using Paradata in an Establishment Survey to Guide Interviewer Training and Interviewer Behavior.

For more information: Contact Westat

05/01/09

Susan M. Viet, PhD, Named a 2009 Fellow of Industrial Hygiene Association

Westat's Susan M. Viet, PhD, has been named a 2009 Fellow of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) (external site) [*]. AIHA members are recognized for their outstanding work in occupational and environmental health and safety. Dr. Viet is one of 26 AIHA members who earned the honor this year.

Members chosen to be Fellows have been nominated by colleagues in the profession for their significant contributions to the practice of industrial hygiene or related disciplines. The Fellow classification is limited to no more than 5 percent of the AIHA membership.

Dr. Viet is a senior industrial hygienist, a certified industrial hygienist (CIH), and certified environmental trainer (CET) with 30 years of experience in the environmental, health, safety, and epidemiology fields. She is currently the environmental team leader for the National Children's Study.

"The industrial hygiene profession has provided so many opportunities for me," commented Dr. Viet regarding the honor. "It's nice to know that the industrial hygiene community thinks I have contributed to the profession in some significant way."

For more information: Contact Westat

04/27/09

Sid Schneider, PhD, and Panel to Discuss Health Information Technology

Sid J. Schneider, PhD, of Westat, and Tom Lewis, MD, and Maria Rosa Watson, DDS, PhD, both of Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County, will speak at the fourth in a series of seminars for the 2009 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series sponsored by the Rockville Institute and the Universities at Shady Grove.

This month's seminar is titled Health Information Technology: A Prescription for Today. The presentation will examine the benefits and concerns of the growing adoption of health information technology. It will be held on Tuesday, May 5, at 4:30 p.m. The seminar, which is free and open to the public, is held in the Camille Kendall Academic Center (external site) [*], Building III, Room 3241, 9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20850.

Dr. Schneider's part of the presentation will familiarize the audience with the basic concepts of health IT. He will outline the benefits that might be realized and the drawbacks that may emerge as health IT is more universally adopted. He will cover some of the important findings of focus group research on the opinions of patients toward health IT. The audience will gain a perspective on the forces that are driving and that are holding back the adoption and use of health IT in the United States.

The second part of the presentation will focus on the methods in place to address transitions of care for low-income, uninsured, safety net patients (Dr. Lewis). It will also cover the recommendations for the state regarding Health Information Exchange from the perspective of community users using data gathered as part of the Montgomery County Health Information Exchange project (Dr. Watson).

For more information: Contact Westat

04/23/09

Health Web Sites Developed by Westat Win Awards

The Health Information Resource Center (HIRC), a national clearinghouse for consumer health information programs and materials, has awarded two of Westat's clients with World Wide Web Health Awards (external site) [*]. The Web Health Awards recognize the best Web-based health-related content for consumers and professionals. There were nearly 1,000 entries in the 2008 competition from hundreds of organizations.

Westat developed, designed, and maintains the following web sites winners.

Web site: It's a Noisy Planet. Protect Their Hearing (external site) [*]
Client: National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
Division: Health Promotion/Disease and Injury Prevention Information
Award: Merit

Web site: National Eye Institute (external site) [*]
Client: National Eye Institute
Division: Patient Education Information
Award: Merit

The Web Health Awards program is an extension of the HIRC's 16-year old National Health Information Awards (NHIA) (external site) [*], the largest program of its kind in the United States. A panel of international health information and Internet experts judge entries based on accuracy, success in reaching the targeted audience, and overall quality.

For more information: Contact Westat

04/20/09

Westat to Exhibit at a Variety of Conferences and Job Fairs

Westat will be exhibiting at several conferences and job fairs in April and May 2009. Representatives will be on hand to speak with prospective clients and staff. See the following list for conferences, dates, and sites.

Association of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) Global Conference (external site) [*]
When: April 24-28, 2009
Where: Colorado Convention Center, Denver, Colorado

Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) Career Fair (external site) [*]
When: April 28, 2009
Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC

Partnerships with CROs (external site) [*]
When: April 28-30, 2009
Where: Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel, Orlando, Florida

2009 American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) Conference (external site) [*]
When: May 14-17, 2009
Where: Westin Diplomat Convention Center, Hollywood, Florida

Global Health Council International Conference (external site) [*]
When: May 26-30, 2009
Where: Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC

For more information: Contact Westat

04/07/09

Scott Crosse, PhD, to Participate in Seminar on School Drug and Crime Prevention Programs

Scott Crosse, PhD, a Westat Associate Director, and Rita Rumbaugh, Montgomery County Public School's substance abuse prevention specialist, will speak at the third in a series of seminars for the 2009 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series sponsored by the Rockville Institute and the Universities at Shady Grove.

This month's seminar is titled Are Schools Using Effective Drug and Crime Prevention Programs? It will be held on Thursday, April 16, at 4:30 p.m. Each seminar, which is free and open to the public, is held in the Camille Kendall Academic Center (external site) [*], Building III, Room 3241, 9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20850.

This presentation will highlight research findings and the gaps in knowledge pertaining to the identification of effective school-based prevention programs and the adoption of those programs. It will cover the following:

  • The development of lists of effective prevention programs and criticisms of those lists,
  • The prevalence of research-based programs in schools, and
  • Factors that are associated with the adoption of research-based programs and how those factors may point to ways to boost adoption.

The presentation also will describe efforts to develop a list of research-based programs that is intended to overcome some of the concerns about previous lists, and to examine the prevalence of those programs in schools. It will conclude with a discussion of the challenges to improving prevention programming in America's schools.

Health Information Technology: A Prescription for Today, the next and final seminar this spring, will be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.

For more information: Contact Westat

04/01/09

Educational Research Meeting Attracts Broad Range of Westat Researchers as Participants

Westat researchers from several study areas will be serving as discussants, presenters, and professional development course instructors at this year's American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting(external site) [*]. The meeting will be held in San Diego, California, April 13-17, 2009.

AERA is the most prominent international professional organization advancing the dual goals of educational research and its practical application. The annual meeting convenes more than 14,000 educational researchers from the United States and abroad.

Reflecting our organization's broad range of research activity, Westat attendees will be discussing a diverse set of topics, including early education and child development, health evaluation, teacher pay-for-performance, informal science education, school libraries, rural education, and research methodology, among others. The following is a list of Westat staff contributing to this year's conference.

Joy A. Frechtling (Discussant). Assuring That Large-Scale Evaluations of After-School Programs "Pay Their Own Way."

Jennifer A. Hamilton, Allison Meisch, Matthew Carr, Ian Petta, and Karen Gray-Adams. Literacy Interventions in the Middle Grades: Results from the First 2 Years of Striving Readers.

Jennifer A. Hamilton, David Judkins, Patricia Troppe, Adrienne Von Glatz, and Babette Gutmann. Classroom Literacy Interventions and Outcomes Study (CLIO): Implementation Challenges and Lessons Learned.

Craig Love. The Many Faces of Evaluation: What Evaluators of Educational Programs Can Learn From Other Disciplines.

Joan S. Michie. What Have We Learned From the Two National Evaluations of the Improving Literacy Through School Libraries Program?

Tom E. Munk (Discussant). Methodology and Instrumentation for Mathematics Education Research.

Robert Colby Perkins and Stephen E. Roey. A Further Examination of Mathematics and Science Coursework and NAEP Science Assessment Performance.

Robert Colby Perkins and Stephen E. Roey. The Uneven Achievement Gaps: Findings From the NAEP 2005 High School Transcript Study.

Robert Colby Perkins and Stephen E. Roey (Instructors). Professional Development Course. Accessing and Analyzing High School Transcript Study Data for Educational Research Purposes.

Victoria Schaefer. Facing an Uncertain Future: Aspirations and Achievement of Rural Youth.

Gary P. Silverstein. Findings from a Pilot Study of the Informal Science Education Program's Project Monitoring System.

John Wells, Keith MacAllum, and Xiaodong Zhang. Teacher Responses to Pay-for-Performance Policies: Survey Results From Four High-Poverty, Urban School Districts.

Kitty Williams and Trevor Williams. Self-Efficacy and Performance in Mathematics: Reciprocal Determinism in 30 Nations.

For more information: Contact Westat

03/17/09

Westat Communication Products Win Awards

The Society for Technical Communication (STC) recognized several Westat products in its Distinguished Technical Communications 2008-09 (external site) [*]. Two products won Awards of Excellence and the others Awards of Merit. The products were commended for their high level of professional work in the areas of technical publication, technical art, and online communication.

Two Westat projects received Awards of Excellence:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Mental Health Services:
Assertive Community Treatment Kit
Technical Publication Competition: Reference Materials Category
This kit is a component of a series of toolkits (referred to as KITs) for mental health care consumers and those who support and serve them. The KITs highlight evidence-based practices. The goal of all these KITs is to enable people with mental illnesses to live fulfilling lives, contribute to their communities, and strive to reach their full potential.

National Science Foundation: Bridges to the Future
Online Competition: Promotional Category
This project created an online archive of a webcast conference. The topics of the conference concerned the challenges and potential solutions to three aspects of the United States' infrastructure: electric power, water resources, and the structural condition of roads, dams, bridges, and buildings.

Four other Westat projects received Awards of Merit:

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration: The Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Kit
Technical Art Competition: Promotional Informational Materials Design
This kit consisted of a folder and brochure that would support Westat's efforts to recruit hospitals to join the DAWN network of participating facilities. The materials were designed to present a brief overview of the project in a colorful manner that would capture attention while conveying the messages on the importance of participation.

National Institutes of Health (NIH): Networks for Clinical Research (NCR) Web Site
Online Communication Competition: Reference Materials Category
NIH has an ongoing effort to identify all clinical research networks (CRNs) worldwide and collect basic information about their nature and scope. To further this effort, Westat redesigned the Inventory and Evaluation of Clinical Research Networks (IECRN) web site, which was later renamed to NCR. Westat proposed a phased approach to enhance the web site. This approach positioned IECRN products and results in the marketplace and the clinical research community.

U.S. Department of Education: Changing the Equation
Online Communication Competition: Promotional Category
This video helps parents understand the key findings of the National Math Advisory Panel and supports the implementation of the panel's recommendations to improve math education.

U.S. Department of Education: Campus Crime Reporting Training
Online Communication Competition: Tutorials and Training Category
The Campus Crime Reporting Training is an effective online interactive training for postsecondary institutions on compliance and reporting requirements of the Clery Act. This act requires the reporting of a variety of crime statistics in order to provide the campus community with accurate, complete, and timely information about the safety of the campus environment so that the community can make informed decisions. The training video was developed as a companion to The Handbook for Campus Crime Reporting, which was written by Westat and published by the U.S. Department of Education in 2005.

For more information: Contact Westat

03/09/09

Westat Staff to Participate at SAS Global Forum 2009

On March 22-25, Westat staff will participate in the SAS Global Forum 2009 (external site) [*] at the Gaylord National Resort Hotel and Convention Center, National Harbor, in Washington DC.

Westat staff members Michael Raithel and Mike Rhoads were invited to present SAS technical papers at the conference. Rick Mitchell is part of a panel discussion at the event. Rachel Brown and Jennifer Fulton co-authored and will present a contributed paper. Sharon Avrunin-Becker and Marie Alexander created a poster for display as a contributed presentation as well.

Altogether, Westat staff is involved in five SAS technical presentations at the conference. Over the past 13 years, Westat staff has presented more than 180 technical papers at SAS conferences. Duke Owen, Conference Executive Board member, and Rick Mitchell, Conference Section Chair, will serve organizational roles at the conference.

The list of papers to be presented by Westat staff and coauthors follows (Westat staff names in bold):

Sharon Avrunin-Becker and Marie Alexander. Wandering Cross-Reference Lines in PROC GPLOT.

Rachel Brown and Jennifer K. Fulton. Backpacking Your Way Through CDISC: A Budget-Minded Guide to Basic Concepts and Implementation.

Rick Mitchell and Stephen Noga. Obtaining, Growing, and Retaining Your Professional SAS® Staff: A Panel Discussion.

Michael Raithel and Michael Rhoads. You Might Be a SAS® Energy Hog If ....

Michael Rhoads. Avoiding Common Traps When Accessing RDBMS Data.

For more information: Contact Westat

03/04/09

Allison Henderson and Panel to Discuss Performance-Based Compensation in Education

Allison Henderson, a Westat Associate Director; Patrick Schuermann, Ed.D., Research Assistant Professor of educational leadership and public policy at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University; and Dianne Morse Houghton, part of New Leaders for New Schools' executive team will speak at the second in a series of seminars for the 2009 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series sponsored by the Rockville Institute and the Universities at Shady Grove.

This month's seminar is titled Money Matters—Performance-Based Compensation in Education. It will be held on Thursday, March 12, at 4:30 p.m. Each seminar, which is free and open to the public, is held in the Camille Kendall Academic Center (external site) [*], Building III, Room 3241, 9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20850.

This presentation will examine lessons learned in the bold new experiment of differentiated pay for educators. Using case studies from the federally funded Teacher Incentive Fund program and other differentiated pay systems across the nation, Ms. Henderson and Dr. Schuermann will explore the challenges and successes from the field. Ms. Houghton will share New Leaders for New Schools' practical experiences in implementing a performance-based compensation as part of the District of Columbia Public Schools' sweeping reform efforts.

Other seminar topics that will be covered this spring include:

Are Schools Using Effective Drug and Crime Prevention Programs?
(Thursday, April 16, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.)

Health Information Technology: A Prescription for Today
(Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.)

For more information: Contact Westat

02/27/09

Supporting Employees With Developmental Disabilities: Westat Partners With SEEC

Westat employs staff members through a partnership with SEEC, a Silver Spring, Maryland-based nonprofit that provides support to people with developmental disabilities. We are glad to join the growing list of SEEC employers in Montgomery County.

Westat's involvement with SEEC reflects our commitment to the principles of equal employment opportunity, which apply to every aspect of the employment relationship. Our staff members represent the broad spectrum of workers regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, or disability.

"We are proud of our partnership with SEEC," notes Westat Vice President and Director of Administration Bruce Romer. "SEEC provides employees who add value to our organization and contribute to the depth and richness of our workforce."

For more information: Contact Westat

02/13/09

Westat's New Baltimore Office in UMB BioPark

Westat has recently opened a new office in Baltimore, Maryland at the University of Maryland at Baltimore (UMB) BioPark. The office currently houses staff working on the Home Visit Program component of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) for the National Institute on Aging. The BLSA, which is one of the Nation's longest running health research studies, is based in Baltimore and the Westat office offers our staff close proximity to the BLSA researchers and study resources.

Westat's office location in the UMB BioPark has the added benefit of access to UMB's biomedical research institutions and life science companies that make their home in the BioPark, with the potential for fostering collaborative working relationships.

Westat is excited about the potential for Baltimore-based growth and the new research opportunities that our new location at the BioPark provides.

For more information: Contact Westat

02/06/09

Robert C. Ficke to Speak at Seminar About an Aging America

Robert C. Ficke, a Westat Senior Study Director, and John J. Kenney, PhD, of Aging and Disability Services of Montgomery County, Maryland, will speak at the first in a series of seminars for the 2009 Contemporary Social Issues Seminar Series sponsored by the Rockville Institute and the Universities at Shady Grove.

This month's seminar is titled Getting Ready for an Aging America: Where Are We, Where Do We Need to Go? It will be held on Thursday, February 12, at 4:30 p.m. Each seminar, which is free and open to the public, is held in the Camille Kendall Academic Center (external site) [*], Building III, Room 3241, 9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland, 20850.

Mr. Ficke and Dr. Kenney will discuss how the rapidly changing demographic of local communities requires planning and development to prepare for an emerging elderly population with a diversity of circumstances and needs. Most of this population will be healthy and independent, while others will need a range of services. Current research and practice can help guide policies and plans for ensuring vibrant communities.

Other seminar topics that will be covered this spring include:

Money Matters—Performance-Based Compensation in Education
(Thursday, March 12, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.)

Are Schools Using Effective Drug and Crime Prevention Programs?
(Thursday, April 16, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.)

Health Information Technology: A Prescription for Today
(Tuesday, May 5, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.)

For more information: Contact Westat

01/15/09

Dr. Jane Schulman Joins Westat as VP in Health Sector

Dr. Jane Schulman has joined Westat as a Vice President and head of a new unit in our Health Studies Sector devoted to public health and biomedical studies. She brings 25 years of research and management experience in health and life sciences.

Prior to joining Westat, Dr. Schulman worked for Battelle for 16 years, most recently serving as Vice President and Director of Research Operations for Battelle's Health and Life Sciences Global Business. In this role, she managed a diverse scientific and technical staff of approximately 750, including statisticians, epidemiologists, and basic laboratory scientists. Major clients included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), especially the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Dr. Schulman has authored or co-authored more than 50 peer reviewed publications and final reports on occupational health, the spatial distribution of disease, birth defects, breast cancer, unintentional injuries, smoking-attributable mortality, and the prevalence of tobacco use.

We are honored to have Dr. Schulman as a member of our team and welcome her to Westat.

For more information: Contact Westat

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