Elizabeth (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 Associate Professor, Health Services
Associate Professor, Psychosocial and Community Health (primary appt.)

Northwest Center for Public Health Practice


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

Contact Info

email:   bettybek@uw.edu

Department of Psychosocial and Community Health
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 practice system development; public health financing; management of public health practice; public health nursing leadership; public health workforce development issues

Bekemeier B, Yip MP, Dunbar MD, Whitman G, Kwan-Gett T. Local health department food safety and sanitation expenditures and reductions in enteric disease, 2000-2010. Am J Public Health. 2015 Apr;105 Suppl 2:S345-52. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302555. Epub 2015 Feb 17.  PMID: 25689186

Dilley JA, Bekemeier B, Harris JR. Quality improvement interventions in public health systems: a systematic review. Am J Prev Med. 2012 May;42(5 Suppl 1):S58-71.  PMID: 22502926

Bekemeier B, Grembowski D, Yang YR, Herting JR. Local public health delivery of maternal child health services: are specific activities associated with reductions in Black-White mortality disparities? Matern Child Health J. 2012 Apr;16(3):615-23.  PMID: 21505777

Bekemeier B, Grembowski D, Yang Y, Herting JR. Leadership matters: local health department clinician leaders and their relationship to decreasing health disparities. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2012 Mar;18(2):E1-E10.  PMID: 22286291

Brazg T, Bekemeier B, Spigner C, Huebner CE. Our community in focus: the use of photovoice for youth-driven substance abuse assessment and health promotion. Health Promot Pract. 2011 Jul;12(4):502-11. Epub 2010 Nov 4.  PMID: 21051323

view books/publications in WorldCat

Member, thesis committee for Carolina Amador
Disparities in timing of gestational diabetes screening in Hispanic and Caucasian, non-Hispanic women

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

Turning Point is a national program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in which 21 states across the country were funded to develop 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.