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School of Public Health
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Betty R. Bekemeier

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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 Services
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

Orr JM, Leider JP, Singh S, Balio CP, Yeager VA, Bekemeier B, McCullough JM, Resnick B. Regarding Investment in a Healthier Future: Impact of the 2012 Institute of Medicine Finance Report. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2020 Sep 9. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001209. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 32956294

Thapa R, Yang Y, Bekemeier B. Menopausal symptoms and associated factors in women living with HIV in Cambodia. J Women Aging. 2019 Apr 7:1-20. doi: 10.1080/08952841.2019.1593773. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 30957680

Brewer A, Colbert AM, Sekula K, Bekemeier B. A need for trauma informed care in sexually transmitted disease clinics. Public Health Nurs. 2020 Sep;37(5):696-704. doi: 10.1111/phn.12784. Epub 2020 Aug 10.  PMID: 32776628

Sainkhuu S, Cunha-Cruz J, Rogers M, Knerr S, Bekemeier B. Evaluation of Training Gaps Among Public Health Practitioners in Washington State. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2020 Aug 6. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000001184. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 32810065

Bekemeier B, Delaney K, Wenzl S, Roberts M, Hersh D. The Diamond Project: A Quality Improvement Model for Adopting Shared Service Delivery in the Washington Vaccines for Children Program. Front Public Health. 2020 Jul 14;8:272. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2020.00272. eCollection 2020.  PMID: 32760687    PMCID: PMC7372928
PubMed Central

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

Chair, capstone for Patricia Atwater
Lost in translation? Interdisciplinary lessons for practice-based research

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.