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Barbara J Matthews, MBA
Research Scientist
Family Medicine Research Section
Phone: (206) 685-3108

Biographical Information

I started working at Family Medicine in 2001 when a poor economy forced my exit from a once thriving consulting business I owned with my husband. My professional career began as a research analyst in an academic pharmacology department, and I wanted to return to medical research. When the opportunity to work with Laura-Mae Baldwin on a colorectal cancer study presented itself, I was offered the position based on my analytical experience.

Ten years and ten projects later, I still find magic in analyzing qualitative data and logistic regression. I also find great satisfaction in managing projects from beginning to end.

Many of our projects have focused on physicians' practice patterns in treating both colorectal and ovarian cancers. One especially rewarding project helped the American Cancer Society evaluate their Patient Navigator program. More recently, my projects include the assessment of the capacity of rural health facilities to treat opiate addiction in Washington State, and the co-coordination of a rural walkability study within three sites across the U.S.

I organize teams of volunteers to feed homeless teens in the U-District every Tuesday morning. Present and past Family Medicine associates and friends gallantly sacrifice a few hours of sleep to prepare and serve breakfast to these temporarily anchorless young souls.

In my private life, I am a certified mediator conducting mediations on a volunteer basis. It is very satisfying to find amicable solutions to contentious situations, especially when they involve the care of children.

I am part of the "Mad As Hell Doctors" crew who advocate for single payer health care. Last year, our team conducted 47 town hall meetings on a road trip across the United Stated from Portland, OR to Washington DC. Our purpose was to educate people about the value of a single payer ("Medicare for all") health care system. This year we toured 20 cities in California advocating for a state single payer system.

I am also a fiber artist. I completed the UW Fiber Arts Extension program, and am now involved with several arts groups, including the UW Fiber Arts Advisory Board. My current interest is representing geographic formations through dyeing and construction of cloth.

My partner in life and husband of 34 years is an IT professional who also studies Philosophy and German. I am the mother to two young men. One is a recent UW graduate with aspirations for law school, and the other an UO graduate (we forgive him) on a business management tract with aspirations for film making.