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Betty R. Bekemeier

faculty photo
I have a passion for public health as it is practiced in the community setting. Improving the health of whole communities can only happen through working effectively together across systems, agencies, and disciplines and believing that everyone participates in the work of public health.
Adjunct Professor, Health Systems and Population Health
Professor, Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing (primary appt.)

Northwest Center for Public Health Practice


PhD   University of Washington, 2007   (Nursing)
MPH   Johns Hopkins University, 1994   (Program Evaluation)
MSN   Johns Hopkins University, 1994   (Public Health Nursing Leadership and Management)
BSN   Pacific Lutheran University, 1984   (Nursing)

Contact Info


Department of Child, Family, and Population Health Nursing
1959 NE Pacific St.
Seattle, WA 98195

campus box:   357263
voice:   206-616-8411
fax:   206-685-9551


Betty Bekemeier is a public health systems researcher examining effective strategies for local and state public health systems to most effectively improve population health and eliminate disparities. She became Director of the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice in November 2015. She is Primary Investigator of the Public Health Activities and Services Tracking (PHAST) Study and conducts practice-based research in collaboration with state and local public health practice partners. She has held significant state and national leadership positions including with the Washington State Public Health Association and the American Public Health Association. Before coming to the UW, her career focused on public health practice at the local level, including: public health nursing, clinical and field management, epidemiology, community assessment, maternal child health, and administration.

Effective public health system performance; public health financing; local public health service variation and population health impact; disparities in public health system resource allocation; public health workforce development and leadership

Lim S, Pintye J, Seong H, Bekemeier B. Estimating the Association between Public Health Spending and Sexually Transmitted Disease Rates in the United States: A Systematic Review. Sex Transm Dis. 2022 Mar 11. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0000000000001627. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 35312659

Dada OO, Bekemeier B, Flaxman A, de Castro B. Local Health Departments' Characteristics and Their Performance Scores in PHAB Accreditation Standards. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2022 Jul-Aug 01;28(4):375-383. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001458. Epub 2022 Jan 18.  PMID: 35045009

Walker SC, White J, Rodriguez V, Turk E, Gubner N, Ngo S, Bekemeier B. Cocreating evidence-informed health equity policy with community. Health Serv Res. 2022 Jun;57 Suppl 1:137-148. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13940. Epub 2022 Mar 3. Review.  PMID: 35239188    PMCID: PMC9108222
PubMed Central

Grembowski D, Lim S, Pantazis A, Bekemeier B. Analytic approaches to assess the impact of local spending on sexually transmitted diseases. Health Serv Res. 2022 Jun;57(3):644-653. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13915. Epub 2022 Jan 17.  PMID: 34806188    PMCID: PMC9108077
PubMed Central

Backonja U, Park S, Kurre A, Yudelman H, Heindel S, Schultz M, Whitman G, Turner AM, Marchak NT, Bekemeier B. Supporting rural public health practice to address local-level social determinants of health across Northwest states: Development of an interactive visualization dashboard. J Biomed Inform. 2022 May;129:104051. doi: 10.1016/j.jbi.2022.104051. Epub 2022 Mar 19.  PMID: 35318149

Chair, capstone for Katherine Andersen
Provide HTIP with a database of all of their evaluation and registration data from the past 12 years. Analyze this database for common themes and provide a set of recommendations for future actions HTIP can take to increase their webinar effectiveness.

Chair, capstone for Lauren Tullis
Developing content for the e-learning course designed to teach public health professionals in rural departments how to use data to promote health equity.

Chair, capstone for Jacylyn Litzau
Developing an E-Learning Module on Mentoring

Chair, capstone for Kylerose Delaney
The Diamond Project: Cross Jurisdiction Quality Improvements in Immunization Work

Public Health Activities and Services Tracking (PHAST) Study

The PHAST Study is a multi-state collaboration of researchers and practice partners examining the outcomes associated with variation and change in public health financing, infrastructure, and service delivery at the local level. Initially funded through the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Nurse Faculty Scholars Program, PHAST received additional support from RWJF in 2013 to develop a system to make standardized local public health service and activity measures available to support evidence-based practice.

Turning Point--Collaborating for a New Century in Public Health

Turning Point was a national program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in which 21 states across the country were charged with developing innovative and effective change in public health infrastructure in their states through collaborations with unique partnerships. These partnerships built public health capacity throughout the public health system at both the state and local level.